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What's must eat Atlantic food?

HI all,

I'll be travelling all around the East Coast (Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, St John, Halifax, Moncton, Charlottetown, St John's) with my family and was wondering if there's any must eat local specialities or must go restaurants.

Any suggestions are welcome!
Thanks in advance.

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  1. When I'm sitting at my computer and not my iPhone, I'll tell you all About Newfoundland food!

    1. Alma Lobster Shop in Alma, New Brunswick. Get yourself a cold fresh cooked lobster and sit outside on picnic table overlooking Bay of Funday and enjoy. This town is right outside Fundy National Park which has amazing views if you have some time to hike the trails. Also stop into cheese factories....we stopped at one in New Brunswick and Quebec and tried wonderful cheeses. If your gut says stop at a place, following your feeling even if you have to turn around.

      3 Replies
      1. re: fryerlover

        Ok, I'm back.
        Newfoundland specialities:

        Pan-fried cod: so fresh, so good. I eat as much cod as I can get when I'm home.
        Jigg's Dinner: salt beef, boiled root vegetables, cabbage, gravy, "dressing" (ie: stuffing) and turkey.
        Homemade jams using local berries: wild blueberry, partridgeberry, bakeapple are must tries
        Tea buns: especially raisin
        Homemade bread: I don't know why but soft white bread is so much better when i'm back home
        Pea soup with salt beef (instead of ham)
        Fish & Chips: Fried cod fish & fries, all topped with dressing and gravy.
        Local beers: Blue Star, India Ale, Quidi Vidi beers (do the brewery tour!), Yellowbelly Pubs' microbrews
        Newfoundland Chocolate Company's truffles: made using the local berries I mentioned above
        Game meats: Moose and caribou in steaks, stews, soups or burgers.
        Blueberry or Partridgeberry Pudding: it's a cake topped with a brown sugar sauce. Mmm...
        PIneapple soda or Birch Beer (soda): both made by Crush (makers of cream soda)
        Toutons! (pronounced TAO-TON). Fried bread dough served with jam, molasses or butter. So amazing. Looks like an English muffin but it's so soft and delicious.
        Fish and Brewis: codfish and hard bread (ie: dehydrated bread - http://www.purity.nf.ca/hardandsweet....
        )Scrunchions: fried pork fat. Served with cod.
        Screech: Newfoundland rum
        Lay's Potato chips: roast chicken and fries & gravy flavours - exclusive to NL!
        Purity products (found in any grocery or souvenir store) - cookies like Jam Jams, hard candies like Peppermint Knobs, crackers like Lemon Creams, flavoured syrups. More here: http://www.purity.nf.ca/

        Some places to check out:
        Moo Moo's (best soft serve ice cream - we called them "custard cones"
        )Ziggy Peelgood's - stationary food truck. best for fries, dressing and gravy
        Fat Nanny's - small grocery store. Buy your jams and baked goods here
        Bagel Cafe - good for generous portions and traditional dishes like toutons
        Raymonds or Atlantica - fine dining. Worth the visit
        Bacalao - modern takes on traditional dishes. loved this one.


        1. re: cellophane_star

          We have roast chicken Lays in NS, and sometimes fries and gravy too. :)

        2. re: fryerlover

          fryerlover, thanks for suggesting Alma Lobster Shop. I was in Fundy National Park this past weekend and everyone felt like getting lobster. They had cooked lobsters from 1-6 lbs, and I picked a large ~3 lb lobster with butter, garlic butter, and 3 rolls - I think the price for everything was ~$23. We sat outside at a picnic table as you described, and it was a great experience at a great price.

        3. When will you be traveling?

          1. If you're getting to Newfoundland via Sydney or an alike place in Cape Breton then I suggest Pettipas Market/Auld's Cove Lobster Suppers. The owner is a bit of an eccentric lunatic , but he has really good food,such as his fish stew, steamed mussels and lobster. Be warned though: the restaurant is in the back of a tourist shop, and he will try and hawk off some fridge magnets and provincial flags.. They're located at 13176 Highway 104 Aulds Cove, Mulgrave, NS B2G 1N5, Canada.

            There's also the only restaurant (the Sou'Wester) in Peggy's Cove, which again, has delicious seafood, and is also set in a tourist trap. However, you cannot beat the scenery.

            I want to say Shaw's Landing in West Dover. Around 10-15 minutes north of Peggy's Cove. When I went, it was owned by a northern European gentleman, who made the best smoked fish I've had the pleasure of tasting. However, I heard he had sold the place and from there it went downhill. Now, I hear that it's pretty good again. Does anyone have a current opinion on the place?

            I didn't take any notes in Halifax.However, I find that if you walk and/or drive around parts outside of the waterfront you'll find interesting ethnic restaurants and stores.

            1. Halifax Farmers Market is now open 7 days a week (though it still has the most vendors on Saturdays) and has a wide range of really delicious local food including: fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, deserts, fresh cooked meals and seafood. The crepes are a Halifax favourite, I'm personally a big fan of the Mexican place on the second floor. I've never eaten at the brunch place on the first floor parallel to the fish shop but I've heard good things.

              The fish shop also has a take out restaurant where you can get a lobster poutine. I highly recommend this! They will also make you a fresh steamed lobster, mussels or fish and chips. If you want to make any seafood on your own I'd recommend this shop, and if you're more adventurous you can ask them to shuck an oyster for you! Depending on your price range there are a whole wack of delicious restauraunts. If you are into fast food you should try a donair! It is kind of like a gyro but the meat is slightly different and there is sweet sauce. This is not for everyone but I love it! There is also amazing poutine at Willy's. The five fisherman and press gang are both great but more pricey. There are a lot of reasonably priced places on arglye street and surrounding areas. Your fathers moustache on spring garden is a favourite and is probably worth it for the ambience alone. The food is pretty good, but I prefer the Old Triangle for pub food. They also have locations in Charlottetown and either Moncton or Fredricton (can't remember).
              I've reviewed a few of them on my blog if you want to check it out, or give me some more details and I can make some suggestions!

              There's already been a detailed post on Newfoundland, but I'd say make sure to get some fries and burger (kind of like poutine but with ground beef instead of gravy) lots of cod, and don't be afraid of cod cheeks/tongues! I really liked Ches's fish and chips for traditional cuisine.

              PEI is famous for blue mussels and potatoes. There is a lot of great pub-y food as well, and good lobster is everywhere on the east coast! Unfortunately it's been a few years since I've been there and don't remember a lot of the places I ate, but I do remember a delicious oyster bar somewhere kind of by the water (but not right on it).

              Have fun!

              2 Replies
              1. re: edibleexplorer

                Never heard of "fries & burger".

                Ches's is a *popular* choice for fish & chips but it's not the best, in my opinion. The Big R or Ziggy Peelgood's are great alternatves. If you make over to Bell Island, make sure you eat at Dicks'. the best fish and chips!

                1. re: cellophane_star

                  I don't know the official name, I've heard it called newfie poutine in the rest of the Atlantic province, but in Newfoundland they referred to it as fries with burger and stuffing or something like that. Any chip shop should have it!

              2. Hi! Lucky you! : )

                We just returned from 1st visit to Nova Scotia....absolutely breathtaking!! Literally something fabulous to see around every corner!! Didn't have enough time to do and see everything we wanted to see (or to eat everywhere we wanted !)....so already planning a return trip! Not sure where your route will take you, but here's the highlights of our visit :

                Fredies Fantastic Fish House, Halifax: The Best Seafood Chowder and Fish & Chips in Nova Scotia!! (we sampled it everywhere we stopped). The Seafood Chowder was to die for!! HUGE chunks of Haddock, Lobster, Scallops in a creamy but light broth with small pieces of potatoes and onions. Fantastic!! The Fish was cooked to perfection! Lightly battered, golden, crisp on the outside, incredibly moist on the inside! The fries and fried clams were also delish! It was a little out of the way and hard to find. But definitely worth the effort!! On the list for our return visit.

                Rum Runners Inn, Lunenburg: Literally stumbled upon this gem!! It was the only restaurant on Montague St., where the kitchen was not already closed, or preparing to close-before 9pm. The Seafood Platter was WOW! Smoked salmon, oysters, mussels, scallops..the presentation was beautiful and the flavours were out-of-this-world! The service was fantastic~friendly, knowledgable, helpful. A truly fabulous dining experience!

                The Snow Queen, Antigonish: The description in "The Taste of Nova Scotia" Book drew us in for lunch. It is recommended for good reason! Great Seafood Chowder and Fish & Chips!!
                until we tried Fredies in Halifax, this was the favourite! They say to eat where the locals eat...this place could be why that saying originated!

                Henley House Pub and Restaurant, Sheet Harbour: Great lobster bisque and steamed local mussels.

                And I have to mention Tom's Pizza in Baddeck! The plan was....after driving the truly breathtaking Cabot Trail, we were going to cap our incredible journey with a lobster feast in Baddeck ! Apparently I traded a side journey to Meat Cove (spectacular scenery!!) for a lobster dinner!!! lol....by the time we arrived in Baddeck~around 8:30~ literally every restaurant was shut or closing!! with the exception of Tom's Pizza!! I haven't had pizza that good in many, many years!! Made to order with the freshest ingredients it was yummy!! Thank you Tom's for saving the day!

                Just a note: We made the trip in late June~ I am guessing the Summer Season doesn't really get underway until after July 1?? Which would explain, even in the heavy tourist destinations, the early closing hours in the restaurants? But we know for next time ; )

                Also, while not food related, the Ironworks Distillery in Lunenburg should definitely be on your to do list!!


                4 Replies
                1. re: magic chef

                  I just looked up Fredies Fantastic Fish House (since I had never heard of it). The food may be good but it's in Bayer's Lake... and I would never advise a tourist to venture into that ugly place.

                  1. re: existential_crisis

                    We are tourists and we had no qualms venturing into that neighbourhood…and when we return to NS we will venture there again… to Fredies Fantastic Fish House ~ for what we think is the best fish & chips and chowder in NS. By ugly place, I assume you are speaking of the neighbourhood? Looked fine to us…numerous big brand name stores and restaurants. No where in any of the literature from the Nova Scotia tourist board were there any warnings about the neighbourhood. Besides, to be honest, I felt the more need to lock the doors on the car when we stopped by Propeller Brewery on Gottingen St. then when we were in Bayers Lake…just saying…

                    1. re: magic chef

                      Bayers Lake is perfectly safe; it's just not a very attractive place and there's a similar shopping area in most cities.

                      The area around Propeller does look a bit seedy, but I know more people who've had their cars broken into in Bayers Lake than around Gottingen. I would lock up in both spots :)

                  2. re: magic chef

                    magic chef,

                    I made it to Freddies, and the seafood chowder is exactly like you have described. Aside from the large chunks of seafood, I really enjoyed the thin consistency. Thanks for the recommendation.

                  3. I have some advice for Halifax:
                    - on the waterfront, I'm partial to The Battered Fish, which is a truck on the boardwalk. It's easy to find, as the food trucks are clustered.
                    - also on the waterfront, Sugah! is a great spot for candy or ice cream.
                    - there is a Cows on the waterfront also, towards the Casino
                    - The Lower Deck is an institution. The food is nothing special, just standard pub food, but there's a great patio and music. In the summer, there is live music during the day too. It is on the waterfront also.
                    - I love The Wooden Monkey, on Argyle Street. Great local and organic food. Popular with visiting celebs.



                    1. If you're in the area and traveling to Peggy's Cove, Rhubarb Restaurant (8650 Peggy's Cove Road - a few minutes from Peggy's Cove) is now under new management. I tried it last night and was blown away - very fresh fish, homemade pizzas, biscuits that I actually had a dream about last night, and craft beer on tap). They opened a bakery as well (so you can buy those ridiculous biscuits for the road) and are selling the chef's compound butters, bbq sauce, and other goodies. Awesome and so much better than almost anything else on Peggy's Cove Road (also try The Finer Diner!).