Nova Scotia offers plenty of Good Cheer, Lobster and Seafood
150 Culinary Destinations for Tastebud Consideration!
Story and photos courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia.
Calling all foodies! Taste of Nova Scotia has launched the 2019 Nova Scotia Culinary Trails program with new participating venues, hands-on experiences, and prize packages. Each culinary route within one of Canada’s most colorful and culturally-rich Atlantic provinces details dozens of stops to enjoy a multitude of Nova Scotia’s signature culinary experiences along the province’s 4,500 miles of coastline. Check out the Good Cheer Trail (beer, cider, spirits and wine), the Lobster Trail, and the Chowder Trail to plan a personal foodie agenda to remember.
Producing a quarter of Canada’s seafood and boasting a billion-plus dollar fish and seafood export industry annually, Nova Scotia has a rich culinary heritage along with an equally long legacy in cultivating locally-produced wine and beer. Grapes have been grown in the province since the early 1600s and locally-brewed beer dates back to the mid-18th century.
Each Trail has its own passport with a map, description of venues, and a card for visitors to collect stamps as they visit participating locations. Once a certain number of stamps are collected, passports can be sent digitally or by mail to enter to win prizes, from tee-shirts and culinary tours to fresh lobster shipped right to your door depending on the Trail. Visitors can get all three Trail passports at participating Trail stop locations or access the digital versions at https://novascotiaculinarytrails.com.
The three culinary trails are province-wide and represent all seven regions of Nova Scotia. With 84 participating locations, the Good Cheer Trail is Canada’s first and only winery, brewery, cidery, and distillery trail.
Good Cheer Trail
Among the 16 wineries featured are such distinctive locations as the Avondale Sky Winery and Restaurant, where the tasting room is located in a church built in 1837, and Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards, Nova Scotia’s only certified biodynamic vineyard. Travelers can join tours and tastings at each featured winery, 11 of which also make Tidal Bay, the first wine appellation for Nova Scotia. A crisp, aromatic white wine, it displays the singular characteristics of the province’s cool climate and pairs perfectly with local seafood.
With 48 breweries and brew pubs on the Good Cheer Trail, visitors can sample award-winning ales and lagers, along with a variety of truly “local” craft beers. The Oyster Stout at Sober Island Brewing in Eastern Passage is made with real oysters to infuse their stout with a true taste of the sea. At Boxing Rock in Shelburne, the deliciously-refreshing Sour Mash Cranberry Wheat Ale is made with Nova Scotia own cranberries.
As with wine and beer production, the seven cideries and 10 distilleries are craft and small-batch producers, utilizing local ingredients, including locally grown apples, berries and other produce. Among the participants is Steinhart Distillery, who recently won the award for Best Classic Gin from Canada at the 2019 World Gin Awards in London, England, and Halifax’s first cidery, Chain Yard Urban Cidery.
Once 10 stamps have been collected, visitors can enter a drawing to win one of three grand prize Good Cheer tour experiences; at 15 stamps travelers can also earn a complimentary Good Cheer Trail tee-shirt (supplies are limited). For information on the Good Cheer Trail, visit https://goodcheertrail.com.
With 44 trail stops, including 40 restaurants, two seafood retailers and two lobster experiences on the map, the Lobster Trail offers lovers of this popular crustacean a wide variety of classic and innovative dishes, from lobster poutine and lobster eggs benedict, to lobster tacos, fondue, and, of course, the traditional boiled lobster dinner.
Now in its second year, the Lobster Trail offers two memorable experiences in quintessential Nova Scotia locations: Cape Breton Highlands National Park where visitors will enjoy a traditional lobster boil including how to expertly crack open cooked lobsters. Second on the Peggy’s Cove Boat Tours & Lobster Dinner, visitors will enjoy a savory lobster dinner during a two-hour boat tour.
Among the 40 restaurants featured are the Shore Club Lobster Suppers, celebrating 83 years of serving the original Nova Scotia Lobster Supper, and Hall’s Harbour Lobster Pound & Restaurant where visitors can witness the world’s highest tides on the Bay of Fundy while feasting on a number of delicacies, from lobster dinners and lobster rolls to lobster mac n’ cheese and lobster quesadillas.
Once visitors collect between three and 10 stamps, they will be eligible for three grand prize draws by submitting their passports via mail or digitally. For details, visit https://novascotialobstertrail.com.
Nova Scotia is home to Canada’s original Chowder Trail, first launched in 2011. Travelers can experience 59 seafood chowders across the province without tasting the same recipe twice. Each restaurant has its own methods and distinctive flavors – from smoked haddock and corn chowder to bacon and lobster chowder – that reflects each region of the province and family traditions.
Many visitors love to sample as many chowders as possible as they navigate their way around Nova Scotia. Among the highlights are Charlene’s famous seafood chowder at Charlene’s Bayside Restaurant & Café in Whycocomagh on Cape Breton Island; the fresh seafood chowder at Evan’s Fresh Seafoods & Restaurant on the Dartmouth waterfront at Alderney Landing; and, on the Eastern Shore, known for its beaches and surfing, visitors can enjoy made-to-order seafood chowder at the Rose & Rooster Café featuring local haddock, shrimp, scallops and lobster.
Cape Breton boasts 14 Chowder Trail participants, the highest concentration in the province. For more information, visit https://novascotiachowdertrail.com.
“Visitors will find cross-over among the Trail stops, for example more than 30 Chowder Trail stops are also on the Lobster Trail and five are included on the Good Cheer Trail,” says Emily Haynes, executive director, Taste of Nova Scotia. “This just means more opportunities for visitors to sample their way across Nova Scotia … and more chances for them to collect stamps for an opportunity to win Trail prizes.”
Follow Up FactsFor complete information about Nova Scotia tourism opportunities, visit https://www.novascotia.com.
For a feature article in our Travel Article Library about southern Nova Scotia travel with many surprises and delights along the shore of the Bay of Fundy, check out “Nova Scotia’s Historic Evangeline Trail”.