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Reasonable places to eat in St. John's NL

Hi,
My sister and I are planning a trip to St. John's in September 2012. We are seniors and it's our first trip 'home' since 1950! We will be staying for a month and eating out a lot so we are looking for 'comfort food' or homey diner-type restaurants. Tasty food at a reasonable price in clean surroundings. We'll have a rental car so we're not limited to any one area. We know all the fish and chips places to try but we'll need to have something other than that. No Atlantica in our budget. We'll also be spending some time in Greenspond and Bay Roberts if anyone has suggestions for eateries on the way to those destinations from St. John's.

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  1. Hi there! I lived in St. John's for most of my life but moved to Calgary 7 years ago. Whenever I go back, I always make sure to check out the new local eateries. Here are some good spots to consider:

    Yellowbelly Pub - microbrewery on site. Food was decent. George Street adjacent

    Bacalao - Maybe be a bit out of price range but I really enjoyed the food.

    Hava Java - Good place to grab a coffee downtown plus they have these awesome half chocolate dipped oat cookies.

    Rocket Bakery - fairly new. I didn't find much that caught my eye. The location used to be Auntie Crae's, which was one of my favorites, so Rocket didn't impress me as much. However, they do have a good selection of grab & go lunches and baked goods.

    Fat Nanny's - This is a great foodie store but make sure you get some bread, raisin tea buns or molasses loaf here! They're made by Auntie Crae's. They're the best.

    Pi - fairly new thin crust pizza place. Good pizza, good price, lots of options for your pie

    Bagel Cafe - good for breakfast & lunch. Nice selection, fairly priced, huge portions. The Sprout - vegetarian cafe. Nice setting. Decent food & prices. Very quiet.

    Lighthouse Picnic in Ferryland - outside of St. John's. For $25, you get a drink, lunch and a dessert plus amazing views... LOTS of whales. Worth the trip on a nice day.

    Moo Moos - getting ice cream from here is a MUST. Their soft serve is my all-time fave

    Manna Bakery - A European deli & bakery with a great selection. Lunch menu available for eat in & take out.

    Get Stuffed - I didn't eat here but it seems like a nice basic easy lunch place.

    Taj Mahal - Great Indian food

    Casbah - I haven't eaten here in years but it has a lot of fans!

    Nautical Nellie's - traditional pub food. I heard their menu has improved recently.

    The Cafe at The Rooms (museum) - decent food, including some traditional NL stuff (ie: pea soup)

    Jumping Bean - great place for coffee. the best in St. John's, in my opinion!

    Bidgood's - outside of St. John's in Kilbride. It's a grocery store but has a huge selection of local baked goods and specialty foods found only in NL (bottled rabbit and moose included!). It's a must see.

    5 Replies
    1. re: cellophane_star

      Can't seem to edit my reply...

      I wanted to add Beachy Cove Cafe down in Portugal Cove, near where the Bell Island Ferry docks. They have lots of great Newfoundland specialties like cod tongues, pea soup. hot turkey sandwich, fish & chips, fish & brewis, etc. Very good food and very homey.

      And if you go to Bell Island, make sure you stop at Dicks's. Excellent fish & chips!

      1. re: cellophane_star

        I have printed this list off thank you. How about knock your socks off fine dining as well?? Blue on Water looks interesting. Any suggestions are appreciated

        1. re: Foodiehoward

          Raymond's and Atlantica, for sure. St. John's doesn't have a lot of fine dining spots so these are the top options. 'knock your socks off' is a bit subjective... Where are you coming from (geographically speaking)

          If I had to choose one, I'd recommend Raymond's because it's right downtown. Atlantica is a 15 minute drive from St. John's but the setting (overlooking the bay) is beautiful. Just make a reservation for either well in advance!

          I haven't been to Blue on Water but heard good things.

          1. re: cellophane_star

            I thank you and definitely planned to hit Raymonds and had looked at Atlantica. I will be staying at Blue on Water which looks pretty funky so with 4 nights will likely try it out and report back. I'm in Kingston. Thanks for the tips, much appreciated

            1. re: Foodiehoward

              You will not find your socks knocked off at Blue on Water (I've been there for brunch, dinner and lunch and was totally underwhelmed all 3 times - maybe just bad luck?) but Raymonds and Atlantica are both great. Atlantica has a car service which will pick you up and drop you off for around $60 round trip - the food and views are worth it in my opinion. Call them well in advance and ask to reserve a table by the window.

              You're also close to Chinched Bistro and Aqua which would both fall into your "funky" category while being far superior (and probably less expensive) to Blue on Water. These are places where you can try some interesting twists on traditional food. I especially love Chinched Bistro - we've been fairly regular customers since they opened and are always impressed with the food and service.

              Enjoy!

      2. If you are downtown you can always go to Velma's place on water very diner with fried fish, scrunchins and toutons

        6 Replies
        1. re: HalifaxRetales

          Thank you : )

          1. re: Foodiehoward

            I hope this suggestion is sarcastic because Velma's is the polar opposite of fine dining. It's very traditional Newfoundland cooking but there are other places in town that are more refined.

            1. re: cellophane_star

              the original post asked for comfort food

              1. re: HalifaxRetales

                Ah, I thought it was in response to Foodiehoward's fine dining request. My mistake.

              2. re: cellophane_star

                I'm actually looking for great from diners to fine dining so I personally appreciate all the suggestions, thank you

            2. re: HalifaxRetales

              A word of warning -- Velma's is wildly overpriced for what it offers. That problem isn't unique to Velma's when it comes to the St. John's dining scene, however.