1. Great Gourmet: Explore the capital’s eateries

Beyond the hilly streets and brightly-painted buildings of St. John’s, one of the main reasons to visit the quaint capital of Newfoundland is its top dining options. Whether you fancy dining on regional favourites with an award-winning twist at Raymonds Restaurant, stellar seafood at Bacalao Restaurant, a brilliant brunch at the historical Mallard Cottage in Quidi Vidi Village, or lighter bites at one of the many cafés in the city’s bustling downtown district, you’ll be able to discover a brand new flavour with every street corner you turn.

2. Raise the Bar: drink cocktails in Downtown St. John's

Despite only being home to a little more than 100,000 people, Newfoundland and Labrador’s capital city of St. John’s claims to have the most bars per person of any city in the whole of North America, which means one thing: the locals sure enjoy a grand time. Whether you’re into live music, beautifully mixed drinks or dancing into the early hours, you’ll be able to do it all in St. John’s, where downtown George Street turns into a lively hub that’s similar to Dublin’s Temple Bar every night when the sun sets. Time to head to the bar and try some local craft brews.

3. Festival Fix: Visit during festival season

To get a fast fix of the culture of Canada’s youngest province and oldest city, and to try local produce and great nightlife all in one place, nothing quite beats pairing your holiday with one of the city’s amazing annual festivals. Whether it’s music or food you’re after – St. John’s has it all. For instance, head across in May and you can experience events like the Beer Expo, where you can try dozens of new and unique brews from Canada and further afield. In July/August you’ll be able to enjoy a ten-day extravaganza that starts with live music in 21 downtown bars at George Street Festival, and culminates in the three-day Newfoundland & Labrador Folk Festival in the city’s Bannerman Park.

4. Best Boltholes: Go on a food journey beyond the city

Just an hour’s drive outside the city, the owners of lavish inns and artisan studios are rolling out great food experiences paired with lovely accommodation in stunning surroundings. Mind the Newfoundland ponies and goats as you check into the Doctor’s House Inn and Spa. Its tasting menu incorporates greenhouse vegetables, and your breakfast syrup comes from tapped maples. Meanwhile, local boy meets Louisiana girl and they start the Grates Cove Inn, where they are cooking up interesting Creole dishes using local ingredients. And they have some funky things happening in their studios and performing arts stage. If you want a creature comfort from home take in the Devon Tea at the Rose Manor Inn. 

5. Eat like a Local: Make the most of unique dishes

When you visit a place that’s as connected to nature as St. John’s, it’s no surprise that locally sourced produce sits right at the heart of its food culture. Not only is the city renowned for its cod fishing and salt cod prowess, but the region is also famous for its wild game and meat, which means that every time you dine at one of the city’s restaurants, you’ll be eating authentic bites made from locally sourced produce like snow crab, moose, and cod tongues and cheeks.

6. Al fresco Eats: Have a picnic on the coast

For a truly unique culinary experience to take your trip up a notch, make a beeline for the Ferryland Lighthouse, about an hour’s drive south of St. John’s. There you can indulge in a picnic with a twist, overlooking whale-packed waters in the shadow of a 19th-century lighthouse, and looking at one of the island’s most beautiful vistas. Perfect for a romantic day out or an afternoon of family fun, it’s sure to live long in the memory.

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