Speaking of Quidi Vidi, time your visit with brunch or dinner at the Mallard Cottage. Chef Todd Perrin is passionate about using locally sourced ingredients in all his dishes, and his ingenuity shows (and at incredibly reasonable prices). In 2017, Mallard Cottage opened its new beer garden – the first of its kind in the city!
For fresh seafood, you can’t beat the oysters and mussels at the Adelaide Oyster House. Actually, just about every item on their menu is unbelievably delicious – and they’re all small plates, so you can order as much as you please. While here, try some Port Rexton Brewery beer on tap. This small craft brewery in rural Newfoundland is beloved by locals, and despite only being around for a few years, has forged the path for many other small craft breweries in the province.
When the weather’s in your favour, soak up the sun at the Gypsy Tea Room’s Courtyard. This enclosed outdoor seating area serves spirits and ales, as well as select menu items from the restaurant. The setting is lovely – tucked away from busy Water Street, surrounded by the historic walls of the Murray Premises hotel.
Finally, if you’d prefer something more casual, head to the Duke of Duckworth. Locals know it’s the best spot for fish and chips in the city. This old English pub is cozy and casual, and people flock here after work for an afternoon drink (or three). Follow it up with some live traditional music at O’Reilly’s or Shamrock City, and you’re in for a perfect weekend!
St. John’s has a colourful personality, but it’s the people that really stay with you; you’ll likely find yourself enamoured with the thick accents, the jovial conversations, and the warm hospitality received from the locals. Don’t be surprised if you’re invited into a stranger’s home for a cup of tea and a chat. And the further you move away from the urban centre, the friendlier it gets. If you have time to explore any of rural Newfoundland, hop in a car rental and drive the Irish Loop, or spend a few days on the Bonavista Peninsula. Whether you’re seeking a sense of solitude or looking for experiences off the beaten path, Newfoundland will provide it.