There are few locations on the earth which can be extra naturally lovely and charming than Canada’s Prince Edward Island. Wedged between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick within the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the two,185-square-mile island is a well-liked trip vacation spot for Canadians, in addition to People who deal with themselves to the attractive drive alongside the coast up by Maine. Guests congregate within the hotter months to discover the island’s red-sand seashores and lighthouse-dotted shoreline, and partake in out of doors actions like paddleboarding, kayaking, and fishing on the coast, and mountain climbing within the rugged inside.
All that out of doors exercise works up an urge for food, which is probably one motive PEI has additionally earned a fame as “Canada’s Meals Island.” Its culinary declare to fame is the mussel; the island produces 80 % of Canada’s mussels, about 50 million kilos per yr, which is why you’ve seemingly encountered them even if you happen to haven’t visited the realm. However the well-known bivalves don’t get all the eye. Domestically raised beef, an array of summer time produce, and quite a lot of different seafood are all on the menu. The Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown attracts expertise from throughout too, feeding expert cooks and a spirit of innovation into eating places throughout the island. Even so, the wilderness tradition imparts an off-the-cuff vibe on the restaurant scene. It’s not unusual to see folks sit all the way down to a pleasant dinner in tenting gear.
Although many Canadians preserve second houses on PEI, the year-round inhabitants is small, like a whole lot of seasonal coastal locations. As of 2019, there are simply over 150,000 everlasting residents, who work in a mixture of agriculture, fisheries, aerospace, biotech, and renewable vitality. Although few in quantity, the pleasant locals usually can’t assist hanging up impromptu conversations with guests about their beloved residence.
Between the picturesque inns serving multicourse feasts, craft beer bars with decks best for sundown drinks, and a great deal of seafood round each flip, it’s laborious to not rave.
What are the most effective issues to eat on Prince Edward Island?
Prince Edward Island is synonymous with mussels, and guests are by no means removed from a contemporary bowl. Whereas mussels are native to PEI, farmers ramped up manufacturing within the late Nineteen Seventies. Nowadays, mussels are grown in 19 shallow bays and inlets throughout the island.
The Mi’kmaq, a First Nations folks that has lengthy inhabited the northeastern seaboard, have been consuming mussels for hundreds of years. The unique inhabitants of Prince Edward Island, the nomadic Mi’kmaq took to the coast in summer time to fish, harvest shellfish (lobster, snow crabs, oysters, clams), catch eel, and hunt seals; come wintertime, they hunted rabbits and different small recreation. Seaweed and berries had been additionally ample of their diets. You possibly can study extra about their historical past and language on the Lennox Island Mi’kmaq Tradition Centre, or get a literal style for your self on the Bannock and Clams within the Sand expertise (highlighted under).
The culinary sources on the island as we speak mimic this twofold, inland and coastal weight loss program. The fertile soil is prime for rising potatoes, and the mineral-rich land is residence to 450 beef farms, most of that are small, family-owned operations. Locals swear the animals profit from the salt air (don’t all of us). Within the hotter months salads teem with flavorful native greens, and cooks experiment with vegetable-forward dishes that includes tomatoes, peppers, squash, and berries of every kind.
On the similar time, PEI has nearly 1,000 miles of shoreline well-known for lobster, clams, and oysters. Herring, mackerel, and bluefin tuna are ample throughout their respective seasons as effectively. The island can be well-known for lobster suppers, a practice began in 1957 as a fundraising effort by the New Glasgow and District Junior Farmers Group; the group finally morphed the custom right into a restaurant, merely referred to as New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, one of many longest-operating household eating places in PEI.
What to know earlier than you go
The Culinary Institute of Canada: Prince Edward Island is residence to Canada’s premiere culinary faculty, the place many budding cooks get their begin, alongside folks learning pastry arts and lodge and restaurant operations administration.
The Island Stroll: Impressed by the Camino de Santiago in Spain, this 700 kilometer (about 435 miles) path circumnavigates the island and is split into 32 sections in each inland and coastal areas. Alongside the path, you’ll traverse purple grime roads, picturesque seashores, and main cities like Charlottetown and Summerside. For those who don’t have time to finish the complete loop — which takes about 32 days at a tempo of 12 to fifteen miles per day — it’s simple to decide on a small part and reward your self with a deal with alongside the best way. One good possibility is to stroll from Souris to Howe Bay, the place you may see blueberry fields and refuel with wine and charcuterie at the Inn at Spry Level. Or you may journey from Wellington to McNeil Mills and cease for lunch at Backwoods Burger or Richmond Dairy Bar for ice cream.
Confederation Path: This different path, which runs tip to tip versus across the island, takes hikers and cyclists by wetlands, forests, and charming villages.
Anne of Inexperienced Gables: Anne of Inexperienced Gables is the most effective promoting Canadian novel of all time, and other people come from all around the world to go to Inexperienced Gables Heritage Place in Cavendish. Even if you happen to’ve by no means learn it, it’s value stopping by to see the gorgeous environment that impressed the setting of creator L.M. Montgomery’s beloved ebook. There you may discover the unique home, Nineteenth-century gardens, and strolling trails. Afterwards, cease for lunch or dinner at Blue Mussel Cafe, one of the common eating places within the space.
Coastal drives: Mountaineering the Island Stroll or Confederation Path is an effective way to see PEI, however if you wish to cowl extra floor, the Island’s three coastal drives are an effective way to absorb all of the beautiful pure magnificence. Colourful indicators mark the North Cape Coastal Drive, Central Coastal Drive (which is split into Inexperienced Gables Shore within the north and Crimson Sands Shore within the south), and Factors East Coastal Drive. Additionally they make a useful option to set up consuming your means throughout the realm.
Fall Flavors Competition: You possibly can eat effectively yr spherical on Prince Edward Island, however come September, locals and guests have a good time the island’s culinary excellence in the course of the Fall Flavours Competition, which additionally encompasses the PEI Worldwide Shellfish Competition. Count on oyster-shucking events, potato peeling contests, and seafood galore.
The very best eating places round PEI
Charlottetown: Prince Edward Island’s capital metropolis is gorgeous and walkable, and it’s residence to various schools and universities, which give it a youthful vitality. Pull as much as the bar at Sea Rocket Oyster Home, the place you may watch the workers expertly shuck when you sip a martini or home a smashburger. Water Prince Nook Store is legendary for its lobster dishes, however you may’t go mistaken with something on the seafood-focused menu. Second-year college students are doing the cooking on the Culinary Institute of Canada’s Eating Room, the place you may take pleasure in dishes like seared sea scallops with miso glaze and celeriac puree whereas taking in water views. Receiver Espresso has three areas on the town and serves breakfast, lunch, baked items, and low cocktails. For those who go to from July to September, the Sunday Downtown Farmers’ Market is value a cease too.
Crimson Sands Shore: Alongside Crimson Sands Shore, the southern half of the Central Coastal Drive, make it some extent to cease in charming Victoria-by-the-Sea for lunch or dinner. Make a reservation on the Landmark Oyster Home and have a seat on the bar, the place you may order a plate of PEI oysters earlier than digging into nachos and an area lobster roll. Lobster can be the principle attraction at Lobster Barn Pub & Eatery, however the restaurant serves a big collection of burgers and sandwiches too.
North Cape Coastal Drive: Earlier than hopping within the automotive and heading for the North Cape — which has the longest pure rock reef in North America — cease for breakfast and low at Samuel’s Espresso Home in Summerside, PEI’s second-largest metropolis. The Summerside Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays year-round as effectively. As you make your means north, cease for a beer flight at Moth Lane Brewing and keep for a wonderful lunch; the chalkboard menu modifications day by day, and a lot of the fare comes off the smoker out again. For those who cease for the night time in West Level, Sally’s Galley Pub and Grill is the place to be for dinner, largely as a result of it’s the one restaurant on the town; the fish is contemporary, the wine pours are beneficiant, and the laidback workers will make you’re feeling at residence.
Inexperienced Gables Shore: Inexperienced Gables Shore is the northern half of the Central Coast Drive, and you’ll in all probability glean from the identify that it’s additionally residence to Inexperienced Gables Heritage Place. Cease for lunch (reservations really helpful) at the Blue Mussel Cafe in North Rustico, a energetic harbor-front eatery that’s a favourite of each locals and vacationers; attempt the seafood chowder poutine or the beer and lime mussels, that are steamed in garlic and blueberry ale. Close by, Glasgow Glen Farm is thought for its gouda, however the store additionally serves pizza, charcuterie boards, and baked items. Whilst you’re at it, choose up some high quality sweets at Jane & Sue Chocolate, which serves house-made chocolate treats like mango-passionfruit bonbons and single-origin chocolate bars.
Factors East Coastal Drive: Among the most lovely views on PEI might be had from the oceanfront picnic tables at Level Prim Chowder Home & Seaside Bar, which serves glorious informal fare like lobster rolls, peel-and-eat shrimp, and a number of other kinds of seafood chowder. After your meal, stroll alongside the shore to the close by Level Prim Lighthouse, the primary and oldest lighthouse on PEI. Additional east, set inside a ravishing home overlooking Colville Bay, 21 Breakwater has a well-curated menu with dishes like citrus butter steamed mussels and fish and chips with hand-cut fries. The restaurant’s Second Facet Bar serves apps and drinks if you happen to’re craving one thing lighter.
The very best bars on Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown and Central Coastal Drive: The Dali Café serves strong drinks and hosts reside music and occasions like dueling pianos and drag bingo. Amaro Outdated Fashioneds, espresso martinis, and Negronis are on the menu at Italian restaurant and bar Abbiocco. Hopyard has one of many greatest craft beer menus on the island and can spin your vinyl of alternative from their intensive assortment. And on the energetic Pony Boat Social Membership, you may play bocce, billiards, and arcade video games with a drink in hand.
Cease at Deep Roots Distillery simply exterior of Charlottetown for a tour of the orchard and to pattern some spirits, like apple brandy and blueberry liqueur. Catch reside music on the Lone Oak Brewing taproom in Borden-Carleton whereas sipping on a maritime pilsner or oatmeal stout. Positioned a bit inland from the Inexperienced Gables Shore, Island Honey Wine Firm is value a detour to style some expertly made meads, and farm excursions can be found when booked upfront.
North Cape Coastal Drive: Evermore Brewing Co. in Summerside serves craft beer (assume tangy coconut pineapple sours) with snacks like cod truffles and pizza. Stable cocktails, wine, and beer await at the Sundown Room, the place you may catch a few of the island’s most lovely — you guessed it — sunsets from the expansive patio.
Factors East Coastal Drive: There’s at all times one thing occurring at Copper Backside Brewing in Montague, like comedy reveals, musical acts, and trivia nights, to be loved with an American pale ale or blueberry bitter. Close by Bogside Brewing has a pleasant out of doors patio the place you may drink cider along with a big collection of beers.
Oyster Shucking, Bread Lessons, and Extra Culinary Experiences
Chef Michael Smith and his spouse Chastity have created a really memorable eating expertise at this interactive, farm-to-table meal. Fireworks Feast is held on the couple’s Inn at Bay Fortune, a five-star seaside property set on 75-acres of gardens, forest trails, an apple orchard, and mushroom patch. The night begins at 4 p.m. with a farm tour to study concerning the property’s herb gardens, greenhouses, and vegetable beds, and cocktails from the bar on the entrance garden present gasoline to discover the grounds. Then comes oyster hour, when visitors can bounce between live-fire cooking stations for roasted oysters and vegetable tacos comprised of the farm’s personal produce. Company lastly file inside for a multicourse meal that features heritage grain bread, seafood chowder, lovely salads and greens, meat and fish programs, and dessert, full with s’mores roasted by the hearth.
For those who’ve ever needed to tong and shuck your personal oysters, try the Get Shucked expertise at Valley Pearl Oysters. You’ll tour the plant, hop in a ship to tong for oysters, study to shuck them your self, and revel in a meal on the firm’s oyster bar. The $129 price consists of an oyster knife to take residence.
This expertise on the Lennox Island Reserve offers visitors a style of Indigenous baking practices. You’ll take to the seaside, the place you’ll study to bake bannock, a conventional Indigenous fast bread, over a wood-fueled hearth pit within the sand. Because the bread bakes, the guides inform tales of life on Lennox Island and supply just a few classes on the Mi’kmaq language.
PEI’s Greatest Inns and Inns
Two minutes down the street from the Inn at Bay Fortune, residence of the Fireworks Feast, the Inn at Fortune Bridge is a Parisian-inspired boutique inn outfitted with distinctive French furnishings, chandeliers, and huge marble loos with luxurious heated flooring. Company who determine to attend the Fireworks Feast experience there in fashion in a 1957 Bentley. A gourmand breakfast served on the Inn at Bay Fortune can be included within the charge. Rooms begin at $500 per night time.
391 Route 310, Fortune, PE C0A 2B0, Canada
Treetop Haven affords forest lodging with trendy facilities like full kitchens and indoor plumbing for anybody who needs to sleep in nature with out roughing it in a tent. Cabins can be found, however go for one of many 5 tree pods: geodesic domes that sit on elevated wraparound decks, making visitors really feel as in the event that they’re residing within the timber. Each encompasses a personal sizzling tub and grill, one or two bedrooms, and a full kitchen. Rooms begin at $190 per night time.
1210 Mt Tryon Highway, Albany, PE C0B 1A0, Canada
For those who’ve ever needed to remain in a lighthouse, ebook a room on the West Level Lighthouse Inn, which affords spectacular views of the Northumberland Strait and the colourful purple sand seaside. You possibly can sleep within the lighthouse itself if you happen to reserve the Keeper’s Quarters or Tower Room, however the 11 visitor rooms within the adjoining constructing are additionally fantastic, with personal decks overlooking the water. Company can take pleasure in complimentary breakfast and baked items, in addition to 24-hour entry to the lighthouse museum, which closes to the general public at 8:30 p.m. Rooms begin at $184 per night time.
364 Cedar Dunes Park Highway, O’Leary, PE C0B 1V0, Canada
The Holman Grand Resort is located within the coronary heart of downtown Charlottetown, placing visitors inside strolling distance of the town’s bars and eating places. Some rooms within the historic lodge characteristic terraces or fireplaces, and coverings on the on-site spa aren’t egregiously costly. Foyer restaurant Redwater Rustic Grille serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a give attention to native components. Rooms begin at $149 per night time.
123 Grafton Road, Charlottetown, PE C1A 1K9, Canada
Amanda Gabriele is an avid eater, prepare dinner, martini lover, and classic glassware fanatic. She writes about meals, booze, and journey, and you’ll comply with her adventures on Instagram @amandameatballs.