12 Food Experiences in New Brunswick That Prove It’s Canada’s Best-Kept Secret

Ranging from artistic to community-focused, the best food experiences and restaurants in New Brunswick showcase the province’s incredible range of cuisine that make New Brunswick food one of the province’s best-kept secrets.

A chef cooks maple salmon at one of the best restaurants in New Brunswick
Dinner on the Beach in St. Martin – Photo credit: New Brunswick Tourism

New Brunswick is known for its dramatic coastlines, adorable fishing villages, and stunning landscapes. But the beauty that draws droves of visitors to the province each year, anxious to explore the ample wilderness of Fundy National Park and the iconic Hopewell Rocks, also draws some of the world’s top chefs and entrepreneurs. As a result, food in New Brunswick has become a draw of its own.

The best restaurants in New Brunswick range from the classic to the elegant, and as the mystical draw of Canada’s least populated province draws more explorers to its stunningly beautiful coastlines, the New Brunswick food scene will only get more exciting.

Read on and discover some of the most exciting food experiences in New Brunswick that have helped make this province Canada’s best-kept secret for foodies.

Ballet by the Ocean


A dancer at the Ballet by the Ocean dinner experience
Ballet by the Ocean – Photo credit: New Brunswick Tourism

A delightful meal paired with a magical performance!

Imagine yourself by the sea, basking in the open air while the award-winning Ballet Atlantique Canada performs on an outdoor stage overlooking the Northumberland Strait.

This is the monumental performance that is Ballet by the Ocean. The event was begun as a pilot project in 2020, at a time during Covid when Ballet Atlantique was “probably the only [professional] dance company in the world performing,” says their CEO Susan Chalmers-Gauvin, who, with her husband Andre, leased land on their property to the dance company for one dollar so that they could continue to perform.

And because the stage is on a protected wetland, birds flying overhead are an added element of the performance!

We were also treated to an extravagant three-course meal as well as watching the show, with piano and cello accompaniment. This was accompanied by wine samples from Magnetic Hill Winery. This Moncton winery is the largest of about ten wineries in New Brunswick.

We were among some 100 guests who watched Ballet by the Ocean from the sidelines while experiencing a meal created by Atelier Tony’s executive chef Jordan Holden and his team. The meal began with a delicious salmon mi-cuit with a cucumber yogurt sauce and dill, followed by braised beef with wild mushrooms, truffle sour cream, asparagus and baby potatoes.

The finale was “Swan Lake” — a delicious choux pastry with Chantilly cream. Menus change with the season. The formula for this performance has been so successful that it will continue one evening a week in September and then again In July and September next year.

Periwinkles Restaurant

St. Martins

Henry's Bar at Beach Street In is one of the best foodie experiences in New Brunswick
Henry’s Bar at Beach Street Inn – Photo Credit: Diana Ballon

Beach Street Inn’s Periwinkles Restaurant at Beach Street Inn is the place to go for fine dining in this tiny village of 275 people, about an hour west of Fundy National Park.

Whether you are enjoying a stay at this charming boutique inn or driving less than an hour from the city of Saint John, the creations at Periwinkles make it a worthwhile journey. Red Seal Chef Nick Shaw uses fresh, local ingredients from both land and sea to craft a menu with such favourites as bacon-wrapped scallops, seared fish cakes, seafood bouillabaisse, cedar plank salmon and petit tenderloin filet.

Meals can be eaten on their sun porch or fireside on the patio under the stars. All overnight guests have a breakfast board included with their stay that includes coffee, tea or juice, a croissant, ham, cheese, hard-boiled egg and fruit. Or they can order off the menu with popular items such as Eggs Benedict and St Martins Blueberry Pancakes. 

If you visit Periwinkles for dinner, plan to have a cocktail at Henry’s Bar, a Beach Street Inn favourite. They ring a bell at 4:00 p.m. to invite you to pull up a stool at the bar. Interesting cocktails of the day include Bichon Frisé with vodka, St. Germain and grapefruit juice and lemon drop martinis with vodka, Cointreau and lemon juice.

Old Molly’s Bar

St. Martins

Charcuterie board at Old Molly's Restaurant in St. Martins New Brunswick
Charcuterie board at Old Molly’s Restaurant – Photo credit: Diana Ballon

Where Periwinkles offers is one of the best restaurants in New Brunswick for fine dining, Old Molly’s Bar is the place to go in St. Martins for a laid-back vibe, a craft beer or glass of wine, cocktails, mocktails and a “build your own” charcuterie board or plate of N.B. half shell oysters.

Although Old Molly’s just opened in December 2022, the place is already hopping in the evenings, particularly when they host trivia nights and live music with local artists.

The bar exists in the former home of a conductor of Steam Engine #1, or “Old Molly,” which ran between St. Martins and the town of Hampton until the early 1900s.

The dining formula here is simple. You customize your own charcuterie board with a choice of delicious New Brunswick meats and fish, cheeses and dips. The options include gluten-free selections. (We chose sliced smoked sturgeon, hot and cold smoked salmon and smoked brisket for our meats and fish; peppercorn gouda and edam as our cheeses; and Sturgeon pate – all delicious.)

For drinks, Old Molly’s has a wide selection of craft beers, all from breweries close to the bar. Each of their eight taps offers a different style of beer, which range from IPAs to stouts, sours and blondes. They also have cider on tap and Canadian wines served by staff who are friendly and welcoming.

Lobster Tales by Shediac Bay Cruises


A boy looks at a lobster on a Shediac Cruises lobster dinner
Shediac Cruises Lobster Tales – Photo credit: New Brunswick Tourism

Spend a highly entertaining two-and-a-half hour with Shediac Bay Cruises learning how to fish for lobsters, crack them open with finesse, and then prepare and eat them for dinner.

Retired New Brunswick lobster fisherman and Shediac Bay Cruises co-owner Captain Ron Cormier is at the helm to tell you “the secret life of a lobster,” along with important information about lobster conservation.

“Technology and greed are a bad combination,” Cormier tells us, referencing how technology almost decimated the New Brunswick lobster trapping industry. The province has since put a cap on the number of lobster traps as well as the months that fishermen are allowed to trap, enabling the industry to gradually rebuild itself.

This is a fun cruise for kids and their grownups. The captain never hits you over the head with his conservation message, but he’s passionate about it and knows how to engage an audience
while slipping a little education into the mix.

45th Parallel Restaurant

Deer Island

A quaint restaurant on Deer Island New Brunswick - 45th Parallel restaurant
45th Parallel Restaurant – Photo credit: Diana Ballon

Although the third largest of Fundy Isles, Deer Island has only about 700 residents, according to 2021 statistics. Due to its diminutive population, this island, which kisses the coast of Maine, has few options for sleeping or eating. But Deer Island is still worth a visit, if only for a meal at the 45th Parallel Restaurant.

The longest-running restaurant on Deer Island, 45th Parallel, has a fun, homey vibe with red and white checked tablecloths and curtains, wooden booths, and an owner who will keep you entertained.

“The last thing I want is for people to come here and think I ripped them off,” says owner Diane Bustin. That’s unlikely, given that Bustin charges just $79 per room plus tax for a basic room at her adjacent motel. The stay includes a pancake and coffee breakfast at the restaurant for those staying in July and August.

For lunch or dinner, seafood is what they do best. Everything from pan-fried haddock, scallops, clams and shrimp to the classic fish ‘n chips and lobster rolls are served. The restaurant is the only licensed establishment on Deer Island, so come here if you want a beer, a glass of wine or a shot of something stronger.

When I asked Bustin why her WiFi password is vodka45th22, she told me that there was a bottle of vodka on the counter when the WiFi was set up. Bustin has many stories to tell, and her warm and engaging character, as well as the quality of the food, lends this place a special charm.

Atelier Tony


A tray of brunch foods including berries, eggs benedict, and potatoes at Atelier Tony Restaurant
Brunch at Atelier Tony’s – Photo credit: Diana Ballon

Opening during Covid didn’t make starting a restaurant in New Brunswick easy. But pastry chef Tony Holden, along with his son Chris, as general manager and son Jordan, as executive chef, persevered with their passion for food and creativity to build Atelier Tony into one of the best restaurants in New Brunswick.

Atelier Tony serves high-end French-inspired cuisine using fresh local ingredients that incorporate many international flavours into their dishes. Meals are served in a relaxed, unpretentious environment. The restaurant is located down a hallway from their bakery, Boulangerie Tony, which the family opened at the same time as the restaurant. Many of their ingredients are sourced from Dieppe Farmer’s Market, which sits directly across the street.

Designer Judith Mackin, founder and creative director of Tuck Studio, realized Atelier Tony’s vision for a bistro-style restaurant that would be equally modern, airy and vibrant. The vibe is low-key but elegant, with many pastel colours, plants adorning the walls and ceilings, local art, chandeliers, retro gold tile work, and a fully open kitchen visible from anywhere in the dining room.

Our brunch for two set us back just over $50 and was well worth the price, with eggs benny and their “eggs a la you” served on beautiful ridged plates made by a local potter, with a mouth-watering danish as an amuse bouche to start.

As well as a weekend brunch, the restaurant is open for weekday lunches and dinner five nights per week.

Tide & Boar Gastropub and Tide & Boar Brewing


A mixologist crafts a cocktail at Tide and Boar Gastropub in Moncton
Tide & Boar Gastropub in Moncton – Photo credit: New Brunswick Tourism

The award-winning Tide & Boar Gastropub in Moncton has become a local hot spot as well as a destination for those looking for the best food in New Brunswick. The restaurant offers a menu that showcases adventurous yet unpretentious local fare and an interesting selection of beers.

While the menu at Tide & Boar Gastropub changes frequently, the evening we visited, it included a mixture of more refined items like panko and parmesan-crusted haddock and tuna poke along with creative comfort food dishes like a massive plate of boar poutine, and the classic burgers and fish and chips.

These dishes or a charcuterie platter can be paired with a beer from their extensive list of draft and beer flights or a cocktail or glass of wine. The Tide and Board microbrewery specializes in twists on the classics, along with an impressive list of New Brunswick craft beers.

Happy hour at Tide & Boar runs from 3:00 pm to 5:00 p.m. daily. They serve barbecue after 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays to Saturdays.

Although we enjoyed our patio dinner at Tide & Boar, we loved our pizza dinner at their nearby taproom and restaurant Tide & Boar Brewing. They use mozzarella from New Zealand with a unique moisture content that doesn’t release all the fat for their pizzas. Accompany the pizza with a Caesar salad made with cubes of pork belly rather than bacon, and you have some of the best food in New Brunswick.

Lost and Found Ice Cream


A berry and vanilla soft serve ice cream cone from Lost and Found ice cream
Lost and Found Ice Cream – Photo credit: Diana Ballon

If you’re looking for dessert in New Brunswick, you can’t go wrong with ice cream at Lost and Found in Moncton’s North End.

While the flavours are constantly changing, what you can expect from this artisanal ice cream company are consistently original flavour combinations using locally-sourced ingredients. My soft-serve strawberry-rhubarb ice cream tasted like it was filled with real berries and rhubarb, while other hard ice cream, such as my husband’s blueberry lavender, were similarly fresh and delicious.

Other unique ice cream flavours at the time of visiting included orange cardamom, date square, coconut mint chip and “the movies,” a local favourite that consists of buttered popcorn ice cream, chocolate chunks and salted peanuts.

Magnetic Hill Winery


Zach Everett, owner of Magnetic Hill Winery poses in front of his bar
Zach Everett at Magnetic Hill Winery – Photo credit: Diana Ballon

With one of the best views of Moncton from its tasting room patio, Magnetic Hill Winery is a refined place to while away the afternoon, fueled with a charcuterie board and a glass of local New Brunswick wine. You can even enjoy wine flights or a wine cocktail.

Unbeknownst to many, New Brunswick does produce wine! Magnetic Hill is the largest of about ten wineries in New Brunswick. But, at not quite 20 years old, that is still very young in the Canadian wine world.

“We opened in 2005 in the cellar of what was once an abandoned historic site [from 1867],” says Zach Everett, Magnetic Hill’s spirited winemaker and a co-owner of the family business. With a lot of hard work, they separated the house and barn and restored the building. That included creating a small covered bridge in the new tasting room with heritage wood and tin from old barns and using reclaimed tin and a post-and-beam construction to give the winery a rustic, sustainable feel with modern touches.

Magnetic Hill Winery began with three wines — strawberry, strawberry-rhubarb and raspberry, which made sense given that the family had worked as strawberry and raspberry farmers for years. Since then, they have gradually expanded to produce 40 cold-climate wines using new wine styles, traditional methods, sparkling wines, and oak barrel-aged reds.

This year the winery won best appassimento wine in the All Canadian Wine Championships. Their Terroir Generator Label wines, which we sampled, fuse factors beyond their control, including soil and climate, with factors within their control, like grape variety, growing practices, winemaking practices and regional identity in the quality of the wine.

This series is dedicated to the “lightbulb moments” it takes to catch up to other wine regions worldwide that have had hundreds of years of head start, using grape varieties that are hundreds or thousands of years old, says Everett.

With funky magnetic-inspired labels or art that are created by magnets in their label series, the bottles at Magnetic Hill Winery look as good as the wines that they hold taste!

If you want to experience this New Brunswick food experience a little deeper, you can include a stay at their nearby Magnetic Hill Winery boutique hotel.

Saint John Ale House

Saint John

A fish plat with bread, beer, and vegetables at Saint John Ale House in New Brunswick
Saint Johns Ale House – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

The award-winning Saint John Ale House is a slow-food gastropub in uptown Saint John with former Top Chef Canada competitor Jesse Vergen at the helm. Their menu includes an interesting selection of upscale pub fare with popular items like Digby bacon maple scallops, salt & pepper wings, lobster risotto, spring lamb gnocchi, dry-aged ribeye, whole rainbow trout and a chocolate stout cake for dessert. They also offer lobster rolls and periwinkles seasonally.

The Ale House carries 30 beers on tap, about 25 of which are local New Brunswick craft beers. Saint John Ale House also has an extensive wine and cocktail list that are a treat to enjoy on the restaurant’s waterfront patio.

Chef Jesse Vergen also owns The Smoking Pig BBQ, a roadside BBQ takeout in a renovated train caboose in Quispamsis, a suburb of Saint John.

Isaac’s Way


A guide to the best restaurants in New Brunswick wouldn’t be complete without a stop in the province’s capital, Fredericton.

In the city’s vibrant downtown, you’ll find Isaac’s Way, a unique, community-minded restaurant run by Tabatha Smith, along with restaurant pros Chef Jesse, Chef Laurie, and Kristin. The restaurant was launched in 2005 by Tina and Jason LeJeune, but the original restaurant was tragically lost to a fire. The new location, on Queen St., sits in, what was once, the Fredericton courthouse, dating back to 1855.

The atmosphere of this unique restaurant is as creative as its menu options. The walls of Isaac’s Way are lined with art from local creators, and all of them are for sale by private auction. Their community focus includes donations to local art groups as well as community kitchens to feed the area’s less fortunate.

We Explore Canada founder had the chance to eat at Isaac’s Way with his family. They delighted in the creative takes on classic dishes such as the chilli molasses glazed ribs and roasted red pepper-stuffed portabello mushrooms.

This Fredericton restaurant serves up an even balance of fare that includes vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan dishes, adding to its flare as a community favourite and one of the best restaurants in New Brunswick.

Wolastoq Wharf

St. Marys

A large plate of Seafood Risotto in front of a cocktail and a sign reading "Wolastoq Wharf"
Wolastoq Wharf – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Situated just outside of Fredericton in St. Mary’s First Nation, Wolastoq Wharf is an Indigenous-run restaurant offering a fine-dining seafood experience with a First Nation twist.

Kevin Wagar enjoyed a meal here during the final night of his tour of the province and touted it as one of his favourite foodie experiences in New Brunswick. Wolastaq Wharf offers one of the best patios in Fredericton and is one of the go-to restaurants in Fredericton for a casual lunch, a weekend brunch, or an evening of fine dining.

The meals at the Wharf are carefully crafted, and the atmosphere is refined yet casual. This isn’t a place where you rush through a meal. Rather, it’s best enjoyed at a relaxed pace, exactly like life in New Brunswick.

The restaurant serves up delicious meals that include high-end fare such as lobster tails, maple-glazed salmon, and lobster and shrimp fettuccini alongside classic Indigenous cuisines such as taco salad with bannock croutons and seasonal soup with bannock and molasses.

The staff at Wolastoq Wharf are warm and inviting, and they will try to convince you to stay for dessert. You should listen to them!

The dessert options at this St. Mary’s restaurant are fantastic, and the portions are designed for sharing. Forget the waistline and treat yourself.

Eat Your Way Through The Province With The Best Restaurants In New Brunswick

New Brunswick is among the most peaceful and beautiful provinces in Canada. The foodie scene here is taking off and establishing the province as one of the most exciting places within Canada’s gastronomy landscape.

From the creative to the artistic, explore the best restaurants in New Brunswick with our delightful guide to foodie experiences in the province.

Do you have a favourite attraction or restaurant in Canada? Head over to the We Explore Canada Facebook Community and join the conversation! You’ll find an amazing group of people passionate about travel in Canada who love to share their local secrets.

3 thoughts on “12 Food Experiences in New Brunswick That Prove It’s Canada’s Best-Kept Secret

  1. Jeff says:

    While I do not disagree with your choices one restaurant is notable by its absence. The Rossmount Inn in St Andrews is considered by many foodies I know to be the best in the province, (and beyond) and has been for a number of years. I’m sure your research would confirm this.

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