Scrumptious PEI meals – what and the place to eat in Prince Edward Island, Canada
With sandy seashores, shallow bays and fairly farmsteads, Canada’s smallest province of Prince Edward Island gives a bounty from its chilly Atlantic waters and wealthy, crimson soil. The tradition of PEI meals is relaxed and genuine, with a deceptively homespun mix of lobster suppers and farmers markets, craft beer and seasonal produce that may have come straight from the fictional Anne of Inexperienced Gables farm at Avonlea.
However Canada’s Meals Island additionally holds its personal for essentially the most subtle foodie, providing the best high quality of produce from land and sea, with superstar cooks like Michael Smith spreading the fame of meals in Prince Edward Island to a global viewers. We discovered a lot to get pleasure from within the meals of PEI, so come together with us for a tour of the scrumptious flavours, excellent eating places and meals experiences we discovered once we stayed within the island capital of Charlottetown and toured round Prince Edward Island.
This text is printed in the course of the Covid disaster and goals to encourage you for future journeys. We advocate that you just examine newest authorities recommendation earlier than reserving to journey and the web sites of any locations you want to go to to examine the most recent scenario.
Seafood in PEI
You may style the freshness of the PEI seafood and Prince Edward Island is without doubt one of the main seafood producers for the remainder of Canada. With miles of sandy seashores, shallow bays and pristine Atlantic waters, the island takes pleasure within the sustainability and high quality of its harvest from the ocean, so there’s no higher place to strive the freshest lobsters, mussels, oysters and clams.
The chilly Atlantic waters off Prince Edward Island make a great breeding floor for lobsters and different seafood with the fishing of lobsters being regulated by quotas and fishing restrictions to make sure a bountiful provide. The lobster season in runs by Could and June, when the PEI lobsters are at their peak and there’s a second season from August till October.
The well-known Prince Edward Island Lobster suppers originated as fundraising held in church halls, the place family and friends would collect for a starter of chowder or mussels adopted by complete boiled lobster served with butter. The custom of the lobster suppers in PEI is continues in eating places across the island, reminiscent of Lobster on the Wharf in Charlottetown, New Glasgow Lobster suppers or Fisherman’s Wharf in North Rustico the place you’ll be able to order your personal Lobster Supper.
We visited Lobster on the Wharf on the waterfront at Charlottetown, with its seafood market the place you’ll be able to check out the lobsters and oysters and make a purchase order if you want. Within the restaurant subsequent door we tried their well-known lobster roll, which is one other PEI favorite, particularly eaten at lunchtime.
The massive chunks of lobster are served with crisp lettuce and simply the correct amount of mayo in order to not overpower the lobster, then tucked right into a mushy floury white roll. The native eating places all compete for the title of finest PEI lobster roll and with a view of the harbour we expect ours was positively a contender. It’s onerous to consider that not so way back, lobster have been thought-about as poor man’s meals and have been so plentiful that they could possibly be used on the farmer’s fields as fertiliser.
The shallow bays round PEI are additionally excellent for oysters and like wine the flavour can rely the place there are farmed or caught. Probably the most well-known selection is the Malpeque oyster originating in Malpeque Bay on the north shore of PEI which are actually farmed everywhere in the island, with the oyster season operating from Could to November. You might also see oysters on the menu or within the oyster bars named after the areas they arrive from reminiscent of Colville Bay or Raspberry Level oysters.
It’s a private selection whether or not you prefer to eat the PEI oysters freshly opened and uncooked or cooked. I want them pure with maybe a squeeze of lemon with the intention to style the flavour of the ocean, however there are additionally many scrumptious methods to prepare dinner the oysters of their shells or fry them in cornflour to make use of in numerous dishes. If you wish to strive only one or two, you’ll be able to typically purchase them individually at seafood counters like Lobster on the wharf in Charlottetown.
Quite a few oyster bars in Charlottetown will serve you a plate of oysters, reminiscent of Claddagh Oyster Home the place we have been capable of evaluate the flavours of various varieties. You’ll additionally discover many different eating places across the island reminiscent of Malpeque Oyster Barn that concentrate on Prince Edward Island oysters. They are going to sometimes show the oysters on ice, displaying the names of the totally different varieties relying on what’s freshly caught that day.
The PEI mussels are one other of the seafood delicacies to attempt to a big bowl of mussels makes an awesome lunch or an appetiser earlier than your fundamental dish of lobster. Wild mussels develop abundantly alongside the shoreline PEI however they’ve additionally been farmed right here because the 1970s, grown in mesh socks suspended from ropes in shallow bays and inlets to permit the ocean water to clean round them.
The PEI mussel season isn’t restricted to when there’s an R within the month, so the Prince Edward Mussels are harvested and obtainable to eat all 12 months spherical. You’ll discover mussels on the menu of all of the eating places that concentrate on seafood in PEI and we loved ours at 21 Breakwater in Souris on the northern shore of PEI, the place they have been served with nation bread and a creamy sauce on the facet.
Clams are discovered within the mushy moist sand of many seashores when the tide goes out and clam digging in PEI is a favorite native exercise you could additionally strive as a customer. Able to prepare dinner clams are on sale from seafood farms, the place they’ve been collected within the wild after which cleaned in tanks of seawater.
A conventional approach to strive the Prince Edward Island clams is to prepare dinner them on the seaside the place the clams are dug, washed in seawater after which steamed in seaweed over an open fireplace in a clam bake.
If you’re simply visiting, it’s most likely best to strive clam digging in PEI by reserving an exercise with ExperiencePEI who supply numerous totally different meals experiences on Prince Edward Island.
PEI Ice cream and cheese
Transferring away from the ocean shore you’ll discover rolling fields and fertile farmlands with the wealthy, crimson soil that’s ultimate for dairy manufacturing. One other well-known export of PEI is the COWS Ice cream, which began on the creamery in Cavendish however is now offered in many various areas round Canada.
I popped into their central Charlottetown location proper subsequent to the Confederation Centre of Arts to strive a few of their recent strawberry ice cream from an ever altering choice. Their ice cream is served with a big dollop of humour and the totally different flavours have quirky names like Cowconut cream pie, Cownadian Maple and Moonicorn. You’ll discover COWS Ice cream in a number of different areas of PEI as you journey round the island, so you should definitely strive a few of their luscious island ice cream.
COWS additionally make cheese on Prince Edward Island, with extra data on their Cows Creamery web site and you can too look out for the artisan Glasgow Glen Farm Gouda which is offered from their farm store and at Farmers markets. A typical dish on the menus of many native eating places is a charcuterie and cheese tasting board, which is right for sharing over a craft beer and a good way to pattern among the domestically made cheese and different delicacies. We ordered the scrumptious platter under at Terre Rouge (now Terra Rossa) in Charlottetown.
PEI Farmers Markets
If you wish to get a good higher sense of the wealth of recent farm produce that’s obtainable in Prince Edward Island, you should definitely go to the Charlottetown Farmer’s market which is a brief distance from the downtown space. The market has an genuine really feel and appears to epitomise the ethos it proclaims of Eat Contemporary! Purchase Native!
Within the inexperienced painted market corridor, small meals producers arrange their stalls, promoting essentially the most seasonal of island produce, many proudly proclaiming their pesticide free and natural credentials. After we have been there in early summer season, it was all concerning the spring greens, with child turnips, kale and rhubarb, whereas a number of months later I’m positive that the cabinets could be stuffed with strawberries, blueberries and different mushy fruit.
This PEI Farmers market takes place each Saturday 9am to 2pm all 12 months spherical in a everlasting constructing at 100 Belvedere Avenue. Look out for the totally different sorts of PEI potatoes, and the jars of do-it-yourself jellies, jams and handicrafts to take residence. Blended in with the produce there are stalls promoting lunchtime dishes and snacks to remove; truffles, pastries and seafood snacks.
It’s value coming hungry to check out among the residence baked items within the small cafe. In the event you’re driving across the jap facet of the island, there’s additionally the Summerside Farmers Market that additionally opens each Saturday 9am – 1pm. Additionally within the centre of Charlottetown, reverse the Confederation Arts Centre there’s a Sunday farmer’s market with 70 totally different meals and craft producers. Yow will discover a full checklist of different Farmers Markets in PEI right here.
Extra information: Charlottetown Farmer’s Market | Summerside Farmers Market | Downtown Farmer’s Market Charlottetown
The Potatoes of Prince Edward Island
The standard PEI potato is elevated and celebrated, because the wealthy, crimson soil of Prince Edward Island grows extra potatoes than some other Canadian province. There’s even a potato museum in PEI! On the western facet of the island, the Canadian Potato Museum is ready among the many potato fields the place you’ll be able to go to farm buildings, study concerning the potato rising enterprise and style numerous potato based mostly dishes of their cafe. In the event you’re visiting a Farmers Market, look out for among the totally different colors and sorts of potatoes, which appear to like PEI’s properly drained, sandy soil and gently rolling fields.
Probably the greatest locations to strive the tasty native potatoes is at The Chip Shack, a meals truck on the waterfront at Peakes Quay in Charlottetown. The hand lower chips made with native potatoes are double fried to make them further crunchy and we will sofa for his or her deliciousness!
The Chip Shack additionally sells different native favourites like lobster rolls, chilli sizzling canines and poutine and there are outside picnic tables the place you’ll be able to sit to eat with a view over the marina. The proprietor Caron is the self proclaimed Queen of Fries and dispenses hugs and smiles at The Chip Shack with numerous bubbly enthusiasm.
Eat your greens in PEI
Kale and leafy greens is probably not essentially the most inspiring vegetable, however we discovered that the domestically grown greens have been broadly utilized in salads and different dishes once we ate out in Charlottetown.
When utilized in such a inventive manner, it turned a pleasure to get our day by day quota of greens in dishes like this kale salad with beets, goats cheese and caramelised pecans at Terre Rouge (now Terra Rossa) at 72 Queen St in Charlottetown.
Meals excursions in PEI
For foodies who need to dip into the native meals tradition, we extremely advocate taking a PEI meals tour. In simply a few hours you’ll be able to style your manner by the flavours of Prince Edward Island, to not point out asking your information for suggestions for one of the best eating places to go to later. Lots of the locations I’ve talked about have been visited on our incredible meals tour with Expertise PEI. We tried their Style the City tour, however Expertise PEI supply numerous different excursions and meals experiences, reminiscent of their Pictures and Pints drinks tour or their Mussel and Lobster shore boil.
Our Prince Edward Island meals tour not solely took us to a spread of various meals spots round Charlottetown, however gave us an awesome perception into the island’s historical past as we handed by the historic quarter of the island’s capital. The tour included fairly a number of totally different food and drinks stops and we actually didn’t must eat a lot else for the remainder of the day!
In the event you’re on the lookout for a singular meals expertise, you may additionally try the Culinary Institutes Boot camps with half day or full day programs the place you’ll be able to work with a chef to create native dishes based mostly on the seasonal native produce.
Eating places in PEI
One of the best eating places in Charlottetown
Though we have been in Prince Edward Island for just a few days, we managed to check out numerous locations to eat in Charlottetown, that we will extremely advocate. On the coronary heart of the eating scene is Victoria Row, a pedestrianised road beside the Confederation Centre of Arts that homes among the finest eating places in Charlottetown, in a row of flip of the century brick outlets and warehouses. Through the summer season months, the sidewalk turns into a patio bounded by flowering planters, because the eating places spill out and locals get pleasure from a drink and chunk to eat whereas absorbing the sunshine.
Turning the nook alongside Queens Avenue there are many different eating places on this fundamental thoroughfare by the historic downtown space of Charlottetown. We had an awesome meal at the well-known Charlottetown restaurant Terre Rouge (Now Terra Rossa) at 72 Queens St and you may additionally prefer to strive the oysters and different seafood at Merchantman recent seafood and oyster bar at 23 Queens Avenue. When you’ve got a candy tooth, check out Anne of Inexperienced Gables goodies at 100 Queen Avenue for conventional chocolate and truffles that PEI’s crimson haired island heroine Anne Shirley would have dreamed of.
Down the facet road of Sydney Avenue we additionally dined one night at Brickhouse Restaurant providing a relaxed ambiance and brasserie model dishes utilizing native produce, washed down by craft beers and cocktails. For beer lovers The Gahan Home is a brewery and restaurant that has a brewery within the basement, the place we tried a few of their beers on our meals tour with Expertise PEI. Additionally on the identical road is the Outdated Dublin Pub and Claddagh Oyster Home which has a pub ambiance and is a superb place to strive the native seafood and different seafood dishes.
If the solar’s shining, I’d advocate strolling all the way down to Peakes Quay, the place there are a number of different seafood eating places together with the Chip Shack, Lobster on the Wharf and a department of the COWs creamery ice cream.
Extra PEI Eating places
As we toured round Prince Edward Island, we additionally found another glorious eating places and locations to eat. After visiting Inexperienced Gables Heritage Place on the north shore, we stopped at The Dunes Gallery which has a stunning restaurant overlooking a reasonably backyard stuffed with sculptures.
The gallery options the pottery of homeowners Peter and Joel in addition to supporting native artists, with the colorful work and prints of over 50 artizans on show. Though the restaurant was closed once we visited, we’d have beloved to have eaten within the glass conservatory main out to the gardens, with a lunchtime and dinner menu based mostly on recent seafood and native produce.
Even should you’re not consuming there, you’ll get pleasure from this treasure trove of creativity which is properly value a cease on the PEI Arts and Heritage path that includes 140 artists, artisans, arts and heritage websites across the island.
Dalvay by the ocean
In an idyllic place, overlooking the sand dunes of the northern shore we discovered Dalvay by the ocean, which is a privately owned historic resort and a nationwide monument. The substantial home was constructed by a rich businessman, Alexander MacDonald as his summer season residence, which he named after his childhood residence in Scotland, Dalvay-by-the-sea.
The resort additionally featured within the Anne of Inexperienced Gables movies and TV collection because the White Sands Resort talked about within the novel the place Anne attended a music recital. The interiors are lined with wood panelling that’s harking back to an outsized vacation cabin, with 25 visitor rooms in the principle home, furnished with antiques in traditional model.
The Macmillan eating room restaurant provides an upscale eating expertise in the home’s authentic eating room the place the MacDonald household would entertain their visitors. Though we didn’t have an opportunity to eat right here, this may be a wonderful place for dinner or maybe afternoon tea by the stone hearth within the foyer or within the spacious and stylish library.
21 Breakwater in Souris
The 21 Breakwater restaurant is in a century outdated home, set again a little bit from the highway with a view over the water in Souris, a fishing and vacation neighborhood on the north shore. We stopped for lunch as we toured the Factors East coastal drive for a wonderful bowl of mussels served with salad and nation bread. The eating room is solely furnished with wood tables and bentwood chairs, with a homely really feel and the menu incorporates all of the island’s favorite seafood dishes reminiscent of lobster roll, fish tacos and mussels in addition to salads and sandwiches. Of their adjoining Second Facet Bar you’ll be able to order craft beers and cocktails with a number of appetisers.
Fancy’s Espresso Counter in Murray River
We acquired a heat welcome at Companion Espresso which has now rebranded as Fancy’s Espresso Counter in Murray River, a reasonably neighborhood on an inlet by the ocean the place many individuals preserve their boats or cease on the best way to the ferry to Nova Scotia. This small cafe specialises in freshly roasted and floor espresso, so we ordered a cup to strive with one among their berry and white chocolate muffins. Additionally they promote a number of craft and pure meals merchandise from native artists and producers which might be value a search for an genuine PEI memento.
Breweries and wineries to go to in PEI
All through Canada we’ve discovered a robust craft beer tradition and Prince Edward Island is not any exception. In the event you’re staying in Charlottetown, there are many bars the place you’ll be able to strive the native beer, like The Gahan Home the place we stopped on our meals tour with Expertise PEI. The brewery is within the basement of the constructing the place you’ll be able to peer by the glass home windows to see the brewers at work, then style a few of their handcrafted ales with a chunk to eat. The names of the beers alongside conjure up the spirit of Island life, with Island Crimson amber ale, Sydney Avenue darkish stout or Raspberry bitter, a wheat beer flavoured with island raspberries.
Exterior Charlottetown there are various breweries and cider makers that always make an awesome cease as you tour the island as you should purchase the beer to drink later, style of their faucet rooms and infrequently have a chunk to eat on the identical time (you should definitely appoint your non-drinking driver). There’s a full checklist of craft beer and cider makers on the Tourism PEI web site.
If you’re extra of a wine drinker there are a number of PEI wineries you could go to and take a vineyard tour in addition to doing a little wine tasting and purchase a bottle or two. Assuming you need to benefit from the wine however don’t have a delegated driver, you could need to guide with PEI wine excursions who can take you to all one of the best wineries across the island. There’s a full checklist of wineries on Prince Edward Island on the Tourism PEI web site, however a pair that provide excursions and tastings are Rossignol Property Vineyard and Matos vineyard and distillery.
PEI Meals festivals and experiences
In the event you’re visiting Prince Edward Island, you could need to plan your journey to coordinate with one of many fabulous meals festivals that happen, particularly within the autumn.
On the time of writing in 2020, a few of these festivals could also be postponed till 2021 or happen in a special type, so please examine earlier than you journey.
Fall Flavours PEI – This month lengthy competition takes place in September and early October, with a collection of occasions that embrace a restaurant programme showcasing native cooks, culinary occasions and actions throughout Prince Edward Island. Fall Flavours incorporates the two day PEI beer competition in September to showcase native craft beers.
PEI Shellfish competition – A 4 day competition that takes place in September with culinary demos by native cooks, eating experiences and competitions for one of the best oyster shucking and seafood chowder.
Tyne Valley Oyster competition – A weekend competition firstly of August, incorporating the Canadian Oyster shucking championship which pulls opponents from throughout Canada, in addition to oyster suppers, a household centred oyster parade and music occasions.
Summerside Lobster Carnival – a three day competition in July which is neighborhood and household centred with culinary occasions, parades and competitions that commemorate the tradition of lobster fishing and consuming in PEI.
PEI Pageant of wines – a three day competition in Could with wine tasting and winemakers dinners. There’s additionally a 1 day PEI spirits competition in November.
The place to remain in PEI
We beloved our keep in Charlottetown at The Nice George Resort which made an ideal base for us to see the island’s capital in addition to touring all the opposite locations we visited round PEI.
The Nice George is a historic boutique resort that has expanded from its authentic nook constructing, taking in all the gorgeous pastel painted homes close by that conceal resort rooms beside their quaint facades.
The resort has been the sensible place to remain in Charlottetown because the 1850s, when it hosted among the delegates on the Charlottetown Convention when Prince Edward Island turned the Birthplace of Confederation.
The Nice George is in an awesome location and regardless of being bang within the centre of Charlottetown’s historic district, there’s a carpark tucked away within the courtyard which signifies that it’s no drawback to park your rental automobile.
Inside there’s a homely however elegant really feel, with the spacious floor flooring given over to snug sofas and seating areas the place you may sit and browse, have a chat or play a board sport seated across the hearth. That is additionally the place a buffet breakfast is served with recent fruit, yoghurts and people very moreish cinnamon buns to go together with your espresso.
The ambiance of The Nice George Resort is heat and welcoming, with pleasant however unobtrusive service and I’d extremely advocate it as a spot to remain in Charlottetown. The resort doesn’t have a restaurant, however as you’re within the coronary heart of the historic district, there are any variety of glorious locations to eat inside a couple of minutes stroll of the resort, together with the gathering of bars and eating places alongside fairly Victoria Row.
Extra information: Nice George Resort in Charlottetown PEI
Customer Data for Prince Edward Island
To assist plan your journey go to the Tourism Prince Edward Island Web site and the Uncover Charlottetown web site
There are tons extra concepts for foodies on the Canada’s Meals Island web site, with data of meals producers, experiences and occasions on Prince Edward Island.
Attending to Prince Edward island: We flew into Halifax, which is the closest worldwide airport, after which drove to PEI as a part of our 7 day highway journey round Nova Scotia and PEI. The island is linked to the mainland by each a bridge and a daily ferry service and it’s enjoyable to strive each should you can. We drove throughout the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick, from the place it’s a 45 minute drive to Charlottetown. There’s a toll when crossing from PEI to New Brunswick, nevertheless it’s free within the different path when travelling from New Brunswick to PEI.
On the best way again, we explored the South East space of PEI after which took the Wooden Island Ferry again throughout to Caribou, Nova Scotia. There are as much as eight ferry crossings per day which is operated by Northumberland Ferries.
For different issues to see in Canada go to the Canada Tourism web site.
This text was sponsored* by Tourism PEI who supplied the resort keep, meals and experiences talked about.
* Extra information on my insurance policies web page
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