Don’t let its small town vibe fool you – there’s a lot to do in this provincial capital. With an excellent trail system throughout the city, it’s easy to see, eat and drink your way around. Whether you go on foot or bike, here’s a guide on how to experience the best of Fredericton.
Beer and Biking
63 Brunswick St.
Did you know that Fredericton has the highest concentration of breweries in Atlantic Canada? Second Nature Outdoors has a self-guided Gears & Beers bike tour that showcases the city’s growing microbrewery scene while marking local sights and attractions to stop by in between.
221 King St.
Cozy, modern and laid-back, Graystone Brewing has become a popular downtown hangout with over 20 craft beers on tap. Ask for a flight of the bartender’s pick or a glass of Patagonia Pale Ale, one of Graystone’s hand-crafted West Coast-style ales. Tip: Grab a can to-go and watch them seal it right in front of you.
912 Union St.
Cross over Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge and you’ll end up at The Picaroons Roundhouse. You can’t miss it, as the trail naturally curves its way down to the brewery and taproom. They have a wide selection of original tradi-tional British-style ales, including Irish Red and Best Bitters, as well as local beers and ciders on tap. Lively atmosphere with long communal tables inside and a great outdoor space (pet-friendly) overlooking the river with plenty of seating and food trucks. Picaroons is a place for everyone, beer drinker or not.
280 Main St.
Continue biking your way north and you’ll find Trailway Brewing Co. Launched in 2014, it has come a long way since co-owners Dan Mason and Jake Saunders homebrewed in Saunders’s basement. This 4,600-square-foot brew house, which has an attached tasting room, specializes in aromatic and flavourful American-style ales. Their original Beyond Reality is my favourite – a dry-hopped Raspberry Wheat, perfect after a long day of biking.
7 Brookmount St.
If you wonder what old-fashioned diners were like in Canada, think no more. When in Fredericton start your day at Sunshine Diner and you’ll immediately feel like a local. A cozy diner serving simple, good all-day breakfast food for an affordable price. I recommend the Breakfast Special – your favourite combo of eggs, choice of protein, toast and a side of beans or home fries. Bonus: Sit in a booth to get that true diner vibe.
649 Queen St.
Isaac’s Way offers a globally inspired farm-to-table menu (with gluten-free and vegan/vegetarian options) in a casual creative atmosphere. The building used to be an old courthouse and is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Fredericton. Covered on each restaurant wall is artwork that’s part of a silent art auction benefiting a children’s charity.
230 Main St.
While in the northside, shake things up and stop by The Shake Shed Freddy. This gourmet micro-shakery offers unique (and Insta-worthy) milkshake creations that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Grab a “biggie” or try different flavours with a flight of mini milkshakes. (I recommend the New Yorker, which comes with a piece of cheesecake on top!) Make sure to snap and share a photo of how you #GetShakeFaced!
79 York St.
Need a break from beer? Head over to 11th Mile for dinner and craft drinks. This chef-owned restaurant prides itself for its Maritime hospitality and locally sourced ingredients. I recommend the pork belly, a beautiful dish that melts in your mouth and packs an explosion of flavours and textures. Tip: Order appetizers and mains to share, but make sure to order a NY Sour all to yourself. This deliciously balanced mixture of whisky and wine will sure be your new go-to cocktail!
540 Queen St.
Located on the main strip of Fredericton, 540 Kitchen & Bar Gastropub is known for top quality and gener-ously portioned appetizers, such as escargot with aged cheddar, or beet salad with goat-cheese fritter, and mains such as fettuccine with braised lamb, or crispy chicken thighs with potato pavé. Tip: Sit on the patio while enjoying one of their beers on tap – a rotating craft beer selection that brings in the best brews of the coast!
After dinner, head over to The Tannery – a historic quadrant known for Fredericton’s nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a live band, a dance bar or a chill lounge, this is the block to hang out. I ended up at Dolan’s Pub (346 King St.) which is a nice laid-back place for a drink and live music. TIP: Sit outside on the patio where you’ll likely meet people or bump into someone you already know. (In my case, my server from 11th Mile!)
St. Mary’s Old Reserve
543 Union St.
Make your way to the St. Mary’s Old Reserve and join the St. Mary’s First Nation for their annual powwow. This weekend event in June brings together the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) community through traditional ceremonies of music and dance, as well as an arts and crafts market and food stalls for everyone to enjoy. This one of the first events to kick off summer festival season in the city with plenty others to come, including the popular Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, Down East Brew Fest, and Highland Games.
28 Saunders St.
Not one, but three morning markets are held every Saturday in Fredericton. The Cultural Market brings together different cultures from around the world under one roof. Find international crafts and delicacies, includ-ing my favourite Filipino food: BBQ pork skewers and siomai.
665 George St.
Its central location makes Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market the heart of the community. This vibrant gathering spot features more than 200 indoor and outdoor merchants selling everything from local produce, meats and dairy, fresh flowers and one-of-a-kind gifts, to homemade goodies and delicious eats out of food trucks. Tip: Try the Spring Craft Cider from Red Rover Brewery, New Brunswick’s first cider house.
311 St. Marys St.
Cross the Westmorland Street Bridge to The Northside Market. Open Saturdays and Sundays, this 23,000-square-foot venue houses a variety of food vendors, local suppliers and artisans.
703 Queen St.
Admire Canadian and International artwork at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. This beautiful gallery curates a great in-house collection with a focus on Atlantic Canadian artwork. In addition, several of Salvador Dali’s pieces, including the huge Santiago El Grande painting, are on permanent display – a must-see on its own.
Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge
Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge transverses the Saint John River and links downtown Fredericton to the northside. Formerly a railway bridge, it spans 581 meters and is shared between pedestrians and cyclists. It’s easily my favourite Fredericton gem!
Sunset along the Saint John River
With the Saint John River cutting between north and south, Fredericton presents clear and majestic views of the sunset. Slow down by the waterfront and watch the sky go from blue to pink to purple. Tip: Add drama and character to your sunset photos by using the lighthouse as a foreground.
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