Saint John, the one and only city on the Bay of Fundy (yes, the infamous Bay that’s world renowned for fossil sites and having the highest tides on Earth) is home to a variety of delicious restaurants, beautiful historic sites and architecture, and some of the most breathtaking vistas on Canada’s East Coast. Flights booked, reservations confirmed, I was eager to finally experience a weekend in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Dining in Saint John was delightful. Not only do most restaurants offer fresh seafood daily, many incorporate a fusion of flavours for an East Coast spin on international cuisines, including Italian, Indian and English; so no matter where you dine, you’ll find a little taste of Saint John in every bite.
36 Grannan Lane
Quaint cafes in cute alleyways make for the most relaxing start to the day. We stopped by Rogue Coffee (located in the most Instagrammed alley in Saint John) for a quick bite before heading out for the day. They make a mean matcha and their baked goods (the blueberry muffin is a must) are sourced from local spots, including East Coast Bistro down the street.
1 Market Square
Picture this — the clouds finally part after a chilly overcast morning, birds are chirping, sun is beaming, and you find yourself on a patio by the water, about to be served the most delicious seafood lunch by Top Chef Canada finalist Jesse Vergen. To sum up a meal that really deserves an article of its own, the fish was fresh, the seafood chowder creamy as could be, and the oysters masterfully shucked. I highly recommend ordering the fish and chips and market chowder – you will not be disappointed!
26 Germain St.
If you’re not one for seafood, Vegolution is the place for you. Saint John’s only vegetarian restaurant offers vegetarian and vegan options, including an award-winning poutine and fresh salads.
42 Princess St.
The food blogger in me could not contain myself at Britt’s Pub & Eatery, and my camera roll is a testament to that. The Fish Cakes Eggs Benedict and Deep Fried Apple Pie French Toast were not only de-lec-ta-ble, they also made for the perfect Insta capture. To say it was mouthwatering does not even do it justice. Definitely worth a visit.
97 Germain St.
A memorable experience, with the friendliest staff and the most perfect crème brûlée I have ever eaten – this coming from a self-proclaimed dessert connoisseur! Italian by Night is a top pick for good eats and ambience, whether for a date night or a lovely evening out with friends and family.
Drinks after Dark
The nightlife scene here is charming and lively. Wine, cocktail and ale bars are found all around Uptown Saint John, frequented by locals and visitors filling the quiet streets with calming chatter and laughter. If you fancy pre-dinner cocktails, or just want to keep the party going, I recommend a cold brew at Picaroons’ round table, or for retro ambience head to Five & Dime or Eighty Three Bar Arcade for a fun night out with friends. From a whisky cocktail to a pint of Moosehead (Canada’s oldest independent brewery and native to Saint John), there’s surely a spot here for everyone to enjoy.
A weekend just wasn’t enough to take in the beauty of the city, architecture, culture and nature in and around Saint John; I’m already planning my next visit, and Irving Nature Park is at the top of my list. This gorgeous oasis contains miles of hiking trails, beaches, a boardwalk over a marsh and some of the most breathtaking vistas on the East Coast.
City and Culture
A post-breakfast stroll in the city led us through the beautiful streets of Uptown Saint John, appreciating historic architecture and buildings along the way. The city is full of art and culture waiting to be consumed – in the King’s Square area, trendy boutiques and over a dozen art galleries, including Trinity Gallery, abound. We also stopped by Queen Square Farmers Market on Sunday morning and had the most delicious fresh-squeezed lemonade from Tall Tom’s Lemonade & Kettle Corn, a local favourite.
Saint John is home to the Reversing Falls Rapids, the point where the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River collide to create water flow in the opposite direction. Experiencing it from the lookout point was life changing, and one of the most memorable moments from the trip.
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