Newfoundland and Labrador’s beautiful landscape and location has given birth to a bounty of fresh, local ingredients that local chefs have turned into world-class food and drink.
The province is very proud of its farm-to-table ethos and a lot of restaurants use ingredients that were grown locally. It’s not unusual to be served a dish with seafood caught that day, alongside vegetables that were picked in a nearby garden. It’s also not unheard of to stumble upon food and drink that lists the nearby icebergs on the list of ingredients! Here’s a small guide to just some of the delicacies you can sample while exploring Newfoundland & Labrador.
What to Eat
Using its eclectic mix of local ingredients, Newfoundland & Labrador has created several local delicacies that you won’t find elsewhere in the world. Here are four must-eats.
Best described as a pancake crossed with a donut, this local breakfast food is pan friend until golden. Then drizzled with molasses. Keep an eye out for them on breakfast and brunch menus!
Jiggs’ Dinner with Figgy Duff
This traditional meal is commonly served on Sundays in many places around Atlantic Canada, but especially in Newfoundland & Labrador. The Figgy Duff is very similar to the Scottish Clootie Dumpling, and the other ingredients served alongside it are usually salt beef and turkey, turnip, cabbage, potato, carrot, peas pudding, and, more often than not, a wildberry dessert.
Fish ‘N’ Brewis
Fishing has always been one of Newfoundland & Labrador’s most important industries, and this recipe is as old as the industry itself. In the past, fishermen salted the cod to help it last the winters. To make it edible the fish would be soaked overnight in water to reduce the salt content. Then the next day the fish and bread are boiled separately until tender, then served together. Traditionally it is served with salted pork fat that has been cut into small pieces and fried.
Bakeapple Jam and Pie
In the northern tundra of Newfoundland & Labrador, you’ll find the lesser-known Bakeapples (also called cloudberries). They are generally ready for picking around mid-August and are notoriously hard to pick, which make them a somewhat rare delicacy. Locals love to make delicious (and distinctive!) jams, juice, tarts and pies with them.
Where to Eat
Newfoundland & Labrador might be tucked away into one of the four corners of the world, but it’s no stranger to world-class restaurants. While exploring the province, keep an eye out for these three renowned places to eat.
Found in St. John’s, Raymonds was ranked number 12 in Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants 2019 list. It is the brainchild of local chef, Jeremy Charles, and sommelier, Jeremy Bonia (the restaurant is named after their grandfathers, who were both named Raymond). The menus change regularly, and are influenced by what ingredients are available locally during that season. Menus come in three, five and seven course options, with the choice to pair wine selected by a professional sommeliers.
The most famous fish and chip shop in Newfoundland & Labrador. Found in 1951 by Ches Barbour and his wife Betty, it now has seven locations across the province. The menu is generous, and includes traditional fish & chips, seafood, and burgers. There’s also a breakfast menu served from 9am daily that includes fully cooked breakfasts and pancakes.
Fogo Island Inn
Dine in a modern architectural marvel located at one of the four corners of the world. When you book one of the inn’s 29 guestrooms, you’ll be treated to fine-dining at its restaurant that only uses local ingredients. The menu changes daily and reflects ingredients that are grown locally that season. Some examples include scallops with parsnips and rhubarb jelly, salt cod and shaved turnip, roasted cabbage and bakeapples.
Newfoundland & Labrador is no stranger to the craft brewery trend. The oldest microbrewery in the province is Quidi Vidi Brewery Co., which has been making beer since 1996! It produces the must-try Iceberg Beer, made from 10,000 year old local iceberg ice. The brewery is located on the water and has a taproom with an amazing view.
It is traditional to leave 15%–20% of your bill at most restaurants, pubs, etc. when served by a waiter, waitress, or bartender.