29 August 2019 by Rachel Mostyn
From some of the world’s finest seafood to moreish kebabs and, um, edible seaweed, these are the finest gastronomic offerings of Nova Scotia. Remember, it’s all set to wild coastal drives, light-house-dotted fishing towns and spectacular clifftop scenery. Inspired? Take a look at our Nova Scotia itineraries, or continue your foodie pilgrimage with our curated itinerary:
Home to some of the world’s finest lobster, in Nova Scotia you’ll be spoilt with oh-so-fresh, buttery-sweet crustaceans. You’ll be able to pick your own at fine-dining restaurants, indulge with humble lobster rolls by the sea and even follow the famous Nova Scotia Lobster Trail, getting stamps in your trail passport for everything from lobster poutine to lobster fondue.
Port Royal lobster dinner (Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia / Photography: Scott Munn)
It’s not just lobster that puts Nova Scotia on the seafood map. And, while many fall in love with the chowder, which has its own trail, it’s the oysters that might just linger longest in your memory. With a variety of coastal ecosystems, there are no fewer than three types on offer. So, whether it’s the clean and mild characteristics of the north or the big, juicy offerings of Cape Breton, there’s something for everyone.
Oysters, Oceanstone Resort (Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia/Photography: Patrick Rojo)
In Nova Scotia’s long apple-growing tradition, some of the first trees to be planted were cider varieties. And, recently, there’s been something of a resurgence, with craft cideries springing up across the region. All have their own distinct specialities and, like wine, each reflects their individual terroirs, with tasting flights and cellar tours bringing it all to life.
This traditional dish was first invented by the region’s French Acadian settlers back in the 18th century, devised as a way to make the most of available food. As such it’s a glimpse back into Atlantic Canada’s pioneering past. Its name derives from “patates râpées” meaning “grated potatoes”, which are joined by onions, meat and a chicken broth to form a delightfully hearty savoury pie.
A slice of rappie pie
Nova Scotia has far from escaped the craft beer wave. Instead, it’s surfing high on it, with over 50 breweries spread throughout the province, each showcasing unique local ingredients to create a fantastic array of offerings. Expect the likes of IPAs, pilsners and stouts to be flavoured with everything from spruce and maple to jalapeño and pumpkin.
For something of the unique, dulse is an edible red seaweed that grows in the Bay of Fundy. It’s harvested suitably by hand, with a portion of the frond left behind to regrow. Then, the dulse is dried and served as a simple snack. Our tip? Try the DLT – a dulse, lettuce and tomato sandwich often served with smoked paprika.
Dried and shredded dulse
In 2015, donair was declared the official food of Halifax, Nova Scotia’s capital. And, for good reason. This humble kebab features Lebanese-style pitta topped in spiced ground meat, fresh vegetables and lashings of donair sauce – a sweet garlic offering. Fine dining this is not. It’s messy, devilishly indulgent and best paired with the aforementioned craft beer.
Digby on the Bay of Fundy is home to the largest scallop fishing fleet the world over, bringing in great hauls of these delicacies. Resultantly, the port town is home to a fantastic array of seafood restaurants. Whether pan-seared, battered or in a ceviche, it’s all ultra-fresh and perfectly prepared. There are even scallop omelettes and kebabs to try.
Nova Scotia Wine
You might not have known it, but Nova Scotia was one of the first areas to cultivate grapes in North America, having started growing them back in the 1600s. Today, there are now over 70 vineyards, taking full advantage of the unique soil and the cooler climate. Be sure to try the Tidal Bay; you can taste the coastal breezes and cool breezes of its birthplace.
Avondale Sky Winery (Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia/Photography: Scott Munn)
With Nova Scotia translating as “New Scotland”, it’s no surprise that you can sample North America’s very first single malt here at the Glenora Distillery. You can even taste whiskies finished in ice wine casks. Indeed, there are just under a dozen distilleries dotted throughout the province, offering anything from maple vodka to herbal liquors.
Whisky barrels at Glenora Distillery
If all this sounds exciting, get in contact with one of our specialists to start organising your perfect trip to Nova Scotia, or take a look at our gourmet road trip: