Dining on the Ocean Floor, Burntcoat Head Park
Nova Scotia combines its famous lobster with innovative chefs and delicious wines to make an unforgettable experience.
You’re sitting in a quaint restaurant, perusing a menu full of fresh, local dishes. Soon, it starts arriving at your table: crab, Digby scallops, oysters. Then comes the highlight: just-caught, melt-in-your-mouth lobster, paired with local wine.
This scene is a common one in Nova Scotia. But the province’s famous fresh lobster—as well as its mussels, clams, and scallops—is just the beginning. You’ll also find producers growing grapes and apples for amazing wines and pies, craft breweries, and unique dining experiences. It all adds up to an amazing culinary adventure.
Here are some of the top tastes to experience in Nova Scotia.
Eat Like A Local
Eating in Nova Scotia begins with seafood, of course—and lobster is king. Pick out your own lobster at the Lobster Pound in Halls Harbour, go out on a lobster boat and catch your own dinner, or travel the 40-stop Nova Scotia Lobster Trail for unique takes on the crustacean. You’ll also want to sample some of the hearty, unique dishes that reflect the culture of the people who settled here. Donair, the “official food” of Halifax, is spiced beef cooked on a spit and shaved onto a pita, then covered in a sugary garlic sauce and topped with tomato and onion. Sample these Greek-influenced wraps at the King of Donair and Tony’s Donair.
Article continues below advertisement
Savor Nova Scotia’s Amazing Wines
One of the first areas in North America to cultivate grapes in the 17th century, Nova Scotia today boasts more than 70 grape growers. A cooler climate and shorter growing season mean that flavors pop; try Nova Scotia’s appellation wine, Tidal Bay, which pairs well with seafood. Enjoy Nova Scotia wines in restaurants, or visit vineyards on your own or with a tour.
Have a Unique Dining Experience
From contemporary restaurants in urban Halifax to both sea- and farm-to-table restaurants, Nova Scotia chefs are locavores all the way. Two notable examples: The 12-seat Bite House in Forks Baddeck, where Chef Bryan Picard creates ever-changing, nine-course menus with ingredients from local producers and the restaurant’s own garden. Or try Bessie North House in Canning; their seven-course, seasonally inspired prix-fixe menu uses produce from their own gardens and local producers, and you can even bring along your own bottle of your favourite Nova Scotia wine.
You could also choose to dine in a winery: Le Caveau, the restaurant at Domaine de Grand Pré vineyards, is one of the area’s top culinary destinations, serving locally sourced seafood in the gorgeous Annapolis Valley. Or try something entirely unique…if you’re lucky enough to get a seat: dining on the ocean floor (when the tide is out, of course) at Burntcoat Head Park on the Bay of Fundy. Chef Chris Velden with Flying Apron Cookery prepares a three-course, seafood-centric meal, with lots of lobster, Nova Scotia wines, and cheeses.
Article continues below advertisement
There’s a wealth of innovation happening in Nova Scotia’s drinks scene. When it comes to craft beer, start with the multi award-winning Uncle Leo’s Brewery in Lyon’s Brook, which makes traditional style ales, including a cream stout, a Kolsch style, and a malty smoked porter. Or take a tour: Jump on the Halifax Beer Bus to visit some of the city’s most popular breweries and brew pubs, or go with Wine and Beer Tours of Nova Scotia to Lazy Bear Brewing in Smiths Cove in Annapolis Valley, where tasting flights come with a stunning view of the Bay of Fundy.
If your taste veers toward whisky, visit the first single-malt distillery in North America, Glenora Distillery, which uses water from nearby Maclellan’s Brook to make its award-winning Scottish-style whiskies. Or head to Barrelling Tide Distillery in Port Williams, where its liqueurs are made with locally farmed products.
Explore more of the unique tastes of Nova Scotia and plan your culinary adventure at NovaScotia.com.
Sign up for the Daily Wander newsletter for expert travel inspiration and tips
Please enter a valid email address.
more from afar