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How to Eat Like a Local: PEI

From indulgent gourmet fare to mouthwatering delicacies, Prince Edward Island is abundant in top-notch cuisine, and islanders were leading the farm-to-table “locavore” movement long before it became trendy. 

Small local restaurants serve up some of the best seafood. Water-Prince Corner Shop in Charlottetown serves up incredible Fish n’ Chips (made with hand-cut PEI potatoes), delectable seafood chowder, and fresh and succulent oysters and Island Blue Mussels.  Other appetizing options in town include Terre Rouge, and Lot 30 -- which has no freezer, so you can be sure that the food is always fresh here.  Neighbouring breakfast/lunch hot-spots, Leonard’s and Beanz, are steps away from Province House and great for grabbing a bite at before setting out to explore the charming city streets. If you’re in town on a Wednesday or Saturday, immerse yourself in the vibrant energy and warm ambiance of the Farmer’s Market on Belvedere Avenue, a long-time local favorite.

Outside of Charlottetown, The Dunes (on the way to popular Brackley Beach), The Inn at Bay Fortune, The Pearl in Rustico, or 21 Breakwater in Souris are all sure to please.  Route 3 Eatery, a small, side-of-the-road joint in Vernon River, offers great value and has the Island's only wood-fired pizza oven. The owners even smoke their own bacon on-site. 

When in PEI one must eat lobster. Try a traditional lobster roll: a plain-jane buttered hotdog bun with lobster, or indulge in a traditional “lobster supper” experience, with all the fixins’. New Glasgow and Cardigan Lobster Suppers are both great -- and a fraction of the cost that you would pay in larger cities. Customers purchase a ticket for the size of lobster they want and then take their seat in a bustling hall, where they’re treated to all-you-can-eat seafood chowder, fresh mussels, coleslaw, potato salad and homemade rolls. There’s also ice cream and an assortment of pies for dessert. An elastic waistband is strongly recommended.

Palate-pleasing local ales and crisp spirits are the perfect complement to all the hearty fare. A Shots & Pints tour in Charlottetown pays homage to festive maritime culture and is a great way to sample local craft beers and spirits like potato and wild blueberry vodka. The island was the last province in Canada to abolish prohibition (in 1948), and Moonshine remains part of island culture to this day. Visitors can get into the outlaw “spirit” first-hand as some companies offer tours and tastings of the local staple.

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Tips by
Kelsey

Deal Expert, Toronto
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
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Kelsey Gotell