Moncton, Saint John, and Fredericton contain New Brunswick’s largest variety of restaurants, but excellent seafood is rarely hard to find even in the province’s smaller communities. New Brunswick’s most unusual signature dishes are fern fronds known as ‘fiddleheads’ and edible seafood called ‘dulse.’ Râpure and poutine rapée made from potatoes and salt pork are among the most commonly served meals in New Brunswick’s French-speaking Acadian region. Saint John is home to North America’s biggest independent brewery, Moosehead, but the live music played at many clubs and bars in the area is often just as big a draw as the drinks served.
Bars and Pubbing in New Brunswick
New Brunswick’s legal drinking age may be 19, but people under 25 must make advance reservations to be placed on the exclusive guest list at Club Tonic (5 Golden Grove Road, Saint John). Not only is it Saint John’s largest nightclub, but it is Canada’s biggest dance club east of Montréal. Club Tonic visitors must be dressed to impress, especially inside the reservation-only VIP room. Visitors will encounter a far more casual atmosphere served alongside tasty fish and chips at Market Square’s Saint John Ale House (1 Market Square, Saint John).
Boom! (474 Queen Street, Fredericton), Fredericton’s gay-friendly dance club, is famous for its large shooters and tremendous variety of drinks. A large portion of Fredericton’s other watering holes are Irish pubs such as the James Joyce Irish Pub (659 Queen Street, Fredericton), a popular post-show gather after Fredericton Playhouse performances.
Oxygen Complex (125 Westmorland Street, Moncton) contains three lively venues under the same roof in the heart of downtown Moncton, in addition to a private green VIP room. Cosmo (700 Main Street, Moncton) is one of Moncton’s best places to enjoy live music, especially on Thursday jam sessions.
Dining and Cuisine in New Brunswick
New Brunswick may not always be an easy province to find dining options beyond seafood, Chinese, or fast food; however, a former uptown Saint John bank building now serves authentic Spanish tapas at Alley Gria (126 Prince William Street, Saint John). Those craving traditional Maritime shellfish in Saint John won’t be disappointed at Billy’s Seafood Company (51 Charlotte Street, Saint John), whose regulars come from as far as the United States. As one of Saint John’s few Indian and Thai restaurants, Thandi’s (33 Canterbury Street, Saint John) exotic dishes are well worth the extra cost.
Fredericton’s largest variety of ethnic options is served each Saturday night at the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel’s Terrace Dining Room (659 Queen Street, Fredericton). The chefs at this fine haute create specialties from around the world and host a traditional prime rib buffet every Friday night accompanied by a beautiful riverside view with superb outdoor dining in New Brunswick. The Panda Chinese Restaurant (1216 Regent Street, Fredericton) serves up Fredericton’s most authentic Chinese cuisine, and their lunchtime buffets are especially affordable.
Not only is beer on the drink menu at Moncton’s famous Pumphouse Brewery (5 Orange Lane, Moncton), but it is also a main ingredient in the restaurant’s brick oven pizza. Customers can grill their own garlic bread before enjoying a main course at the Pastalli Ristorante (611 Main Street, Moncton) Italian restaurant. Taj Mahal Flavour of India (882 Main Street, Moncton) became Moncton’s first family-owned Indian restaurant in 2003.