This content is sponsored by Newfoundland and Labrador

Sponsored by Newfoundland and Labrador

This content was produced by Boston Globe Media's Studio/B in collaboration with the advertiser. The news and editorial departments of The Boston Globe had no role in its production or display.

10 palate-pleasing ways to take in St.John’s this summer

From wild game to bacalao, unique treats abound in Newfoundland and Labrador's capital.

Cityscape, St. John’s, Newfoundland and LabradorCityscape, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

North America’s most easterly city—St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador—has become a foodie’s adventure ground, where 500-year-old traditions provide the raw materials for contemporary chefs, cooks, and other culinary artists. As a haven for fishers working one of the richest fishing grounds in the world, and a market for foragers scouring the forests, fields, and fens of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s, the capital city, has become a top palate-pleasing destination. Here’s how you can best savor the flavors you won’t find anywhere besides this California-sized province.

1. Drink in icebergs

Fifth generation fisherman Captain Ed Kean, aka the “Iceberg Cowboy,” wrangles up wild chunks of ice called growlers each spring in Iceberg Alley off Newfoundland and Labrador’s coast and herds them to the Canadian Iceberg Vodka company. The fresh water from the growlers, frozen for thousands of years, is the supply for distilling what the company calls “the world’s purest vodka.” Using the same ancient water source, the Quidi Vidi Brewery makes a refreshing lager called Iceberg Beer. For those who prefer alcohol-free drinks, Berg Water bottles iceberg water, each sip of which is a reminder of Newfoundland and Labrador’s pristine ruggedness.

2. Tuck into cold water snow crab and lobster

lobster mac & cheese made with four cheeses at the St. John’s Fish ExchangeLobster mac & cheese made with four cheeses at the St. John’s Fish Exchange

Every summer during prime snow crab and lobster season, chefs around St. John’s take advantage of the fresh supply from the North Atlantic, featuring it in seasonal dishes like lobster mac & cheese made with four cheeses at the St. John’s Fish Exchange. Just as often, it’s simply served steamed with butter like they do at Oliver’s, a cozy downtown hideaway. Those who want the full experience of cooking lobster for themselves can head to The Fish Market on Duckworth Street. They package and ship live lobster for you to pick up at your return airport.


3. Taste history in every bite of bacalao

Salted, dried cod or bacalao is easy to transport and has a distinctive flavor. For centuries, Newfoundland and Labrador’s bacalao was the fish of choice in countries around the Atlantic rim where cooks developed hundreds of recipes considered traditions today. Bacalao appears on menus across the city of St. John’s in dishes like croquettas de bacalao at Boca Tapas Bar and salt cod-stuffed toutons at O’Reilly’s Pub, a real display of locals’ sense of humor. Toutons are fried bread dough, another Newfoundland and Labrador tradition, but usually served as a sweet treat with molasses rather than salty fish.

4. Try munchin’ scrunchions

In Chinched Restaurant & Deli in Newfoundland and Labrador Inside Chinched Restaurant, St. John’s

A local delicacy, the cod tongue has long been a favorite of locals, usually served fried with scrunchions spooned over them. These crispy bits of fried salt pork rind are the perfect accent for tender tongue. Cod tongues with scrunchions make the grade at restaurants like the St. John’s Fish Exchange, Mallard Cottage, and Oliver’s, just as it does in many a pub. Newer takes on the traditional dish are just as enticing, like cod tongue tacos with grilled cabbage at Chinched Restaurant & Deli.

5. Get Chinched on Jiggs dinner

Dishes like Jiggs dinner share rustic roots with scrunchions as foods from the days when salting was one of the few methods of preserving food. Chinched Restaurant & Deli specializes in charcuterie boards, but on the same menu is their unique version of Jiggs dinner, made with riblets and salt pork tongue. The restaurant also offers a similar dish from northern Europe, traditional lobscouse stew made with the same ingredients—pulled salt meat with root vegetables and cabbage. Chinched, in the local parlance, means stuffed after a hearty meal, a common feeling following a Jiggs dinner.

6. Introduce your palate to moose

Meat counter at Chinched Deli

Newfoundland and Labrador is uniquely the only province in Canada that allows restaurants to serve wild game. Moose, partridge, and rabbit all appear on the menus at Raymonds Resturant and The Merchant Tavern from time to time, both owned by chef Jeremy Charles. “Parts Unknown,” CNN’s travel and food show, filmed Charles hunting moose and roasting moose meat over an open fire with host Anthony Bourdain. Wild game is common on menus throughout St. John’s. O’Reilly’s Pub serves up moose stew, spaghetti with moose Bolognese, and even wild game nachos.


7. Time travel at a butcher shop

Those who remember neighborhood butcher shops will feel like they’ve stepped into the past when they enter Halliday’s Meat Market. Customers can still select sausages made according to the original recipe, then watch Kip Halliday, the third generation owner, as he wraps them in paper and ties the package with a string pulled from the ceiling. To a request for chicken legs, Halliday might ask, with a twinkle in his eye, whether the customer prefers the front legs or the back.

8. Savour the flavors of northern berries

Bakeapple berriesBakeapples

In Newfoundland and Labrador, a bakeapple doesn’t come from a tree, and crowberries and partridgeberries aren’t just for birds. The crowberry resembles a blueberry while the bakeapple looks like a plump, salmon-hued raspberry. The bright red color and tart flavor of the partridgeberry marks it as a member of the cranberry family. Companies like Dark Tickle riff on the province’s foraging traditions by transforming these hand-picked berries into delicious jams, spreads, sauces, and drinks. The Newfoundland Chocolate Company whips them into sweet treats. At their Duckworth Street location, get “A Hug from Nan,” a bakeapple chocolate ganache truffle, or pick up “The Bayman,” flavored with partridgeberry.

9. Stock up on Newfoundland and Labrador goods

For one-stop Newfoundland and Labrador shopping, drop by Belbin’s Grocery—a family business since it opened in 1943—on Quidi Vidi Road in the city’s north end. Besides the usual local grocery items, they prepare ready-to-serve dinners like moose, rabbit, or seal flipper pies. Bidgood’s Supermarket on Route 10, just 15 minutes south of downtown St. John’s, sells fresh, salted and smoked fish, and their own line of northern berry preserves. On the drive back, take the short detour to Cape Spear Lighthouse at North America’s most easterly point and one of the best local vantage points for spotting icebergs and whales. Pro tip: When tracking bergs, this online Iceberg Finder resource comes in handy.


10. Say farewell with a kiss

If a walking tour up and down the residential streets overlooking St. John’s harbor says anything to a visitor, it’s that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians love color. Jellybean Row is the local term for the brightly painted row houses. For nearly a century, the same fondness for cheery color has been evident in bags of locally made Purity Factories candy, like Peppermint Nobs and Bull’s Eyes. Seal the perfect foodie adventure with a Purity bag of Assorted Kisses.

Fisherman filleting cod in Newfoundland and Labrador Fisherman filleting cod in Newfoundland and Labrador

This content was produced by Boston Globe Media's Studio/B in collaboration with the advertiser. The news and editorial departments of The Boston Globe had no role in its production or display.