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St John’s, Newfoundland
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The 17 Essential Restaurants of St. John’s, Newfoundland

Where to eat fish and chips, wild game, and much more in this colourful seaside city

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St John’s, Newfoundland
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Newfoundland and Labrador’s icebergs, puffins and craggy coastlines have attracted tourists from all over the world for decades but recently, St. John’s has become a culinary destination in its own right. Canada’s most easterly city is also the most colourful, and while the rainbow-like array of historic homes is often covered with fog, the food scene shines all year round. For a city of 150,000, there are surprisingly diverse offerings, ranging from renowned Raymonds (Fred Morin and David McMillan of Joe Beef dubbed it the best restaurant in Canada when they visited with Anthony Bourdain in 2018) to low-key Pakistani institution International Flavours.

It’s also worth noting that Newfoundland is the only province in Canada where you can legally serve wild game in restaurants: Pair that with an exploding craft beer scene, renewed interest in local ingredients, and some unexpected Asian influences, it means St. John’s offers much more than fish and chips (but the city does that pretty darn well, too).

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1. The Grounds Cafe

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1525 Portugal Cove Rd, Portugal Cove-St. Philip's
NL A1M 3H3, Canada
(709) 895-2800
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Who knew it would be a genius idea to open a cafe in a garden centre? The Grounds Cafe at Murray’s Garden Centre in Portugal Cove serves brunch and lunch dishes fuelled by produce from the restaurant gardens, in a dining room with cathedral-like ceilings, hanging plants, and hooked rugs adorning the walls. 

2. Mallard Cottage

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8 Barrows Rd, St. John's
NL A1A 1G8, Canada
(709) 237-7314
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The 18th-century cottage which houses the rustic Mallard Cottage is a National Historic Site but the food is anything but old fashioned. Chef Todd Perrin reimagines Newfoundland cuisine with dishes like roasted carrots with dukkah and Newfoundland honey, or turbot chop with shaved parsnips and oyster aioli. 

3. International Flavours

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4 Quidi Vidi Rd, St. John's
NL A1A 1B9, Canada
(709) 738-4636
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On the road up to Signal Hill, this small restaurant with big flavours is squeezed in between historic row houses. For more than 20 years, International Flavours has had only three options — a lamb, chicken or vegetable platter — but this small, reasonably priced menu of Pakistani dishes is devotedly devoured by lunch regulars in a tiny dining room. 

4. Bannerman Brewing Co.

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90 Duckworth St, St. John's
NL A1C 1E7, Canada
(709) 747-2337
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Bannerman Brewing’s huge taproom also serves as a coffee shop with espresso drinks and remote workers on laptops in the morning, then becomes a bustling eatery by midday with snacks like Thai street fries, spicy cauliflower bites, and Jiggs Dinner croquettes with salt beef, pickled cabbage and mustard pickled aioli. In warmer weather, an enormous garage door retracts to double the taproom’s size, with a patio overlooking Duckworth Street and, on a sunny day, the harbour.

5. Hungry Heart Cafe

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142 Military Rd, St. John's
NL A1C 2E7, Canada
(709) 738-6164
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Smack in the middle of Rawlin’s Cross (the city’s most confusing intersection), the Hungry Heart offers an oasis replete with seasonal local fare for breakfast and lunch. Favourites include a moose and manchego burger with caramelized onions, roasted beet and apple salad, and local lamb pappardelle in a small, brightly-lit corner dining room.

6. Raymonds Restaurant

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95 Water St, St. John's
NL A1C 1A4, Canada
(709) 579-5800
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Locally-made pottery adorned with pretty-as-an-Instagram-picture dishes abound in the vaulted-ceiling dining room of Raymonds, which overlooks St. John’s harbour. Chef Jeremy Charles has redefined Newfoundland cuisine, launching it into the fine-dining stratosphere by using traditional Newfoundland ingredients and wild game in a modern Nordic fashion. 

7. Seto Kitchen + Bar

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281 Duckworth St, St. John's
NL A1C 1G9, Canada
(709) 722-7386
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Seto’s dining room is small, dark and moody, the perfect locale for enjoying its comprehensive cocktail and craft beer list. Chef Ken Pittman’s grandfather was one of the first Chinese immigrants to land in Newfoundland and the menu reflects both Canadian and east Asian influences with dishes like Kalbi duck breast with noodles and kimchi puree, cod burgers, and an ever-changing gnocchi special. The fun late-night menu is loved by industry folk, and features a blooming onion with caviar, fried chicken, and vegetable fried rice. 

Ginger-soy braised brisket
Seto Kitchen + Bar/Facebook

8. Basho

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283 Duckworth St, St. John's
NL A1C 1H3, Canada
(709) 576-4600
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After a tenure with Nobu in Tokyo, chef Tak Ishiwata opened Basho and its popular bar in a historic building downtown over a decade ago, and it’s still serving up some of the best sushi in St. John’s. This minimally-designed Japanese fusion restaurant produces high-grade scallop rolls, tuna tartare with roasted garlic avocado, white truffled and tomato yuzu salsa, and one of the best filet mignons in the city. 

9. Bad Bones Ramen

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178 Water St, St. John's
NL A1C 1A9, Canada
(709) 237-2200
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Steaming bowls of noodles are appreciated year-round in St. John’s thanks to less-than-balmy daily temperatures. Bad Bones Ramen serves local beer on tap alongside a variety of ramen and snacks in a comfortable dining room decked out with an ultra-hip mural of disembodied cartoon heads slurping up noodles. 

10. The Duke Of Duckworth

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325 Duckworth St, St. John's
NL A1C 1H5, Canada
(709) 739-6344
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Hidden on McMurdo’s Lane between Duckworth and Water Streets, the Duke of Duckworth is an iconic watering hole that serves up some of the best pub grub in the city. Pints of Guinness and local beer flow endlessly at this small, always bustling bar, making “the Duke” everything a local should be. The fish and chips are iconic, but the huge bowls of chowder are one of the best-kept secrets in the city. 

11. Ches's Famous Fish and Chips (multiple locations)

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9 Freshwater Rd, St. John's
NL A1C 2N1, Canada
(709) 726-2373
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Ches’s Fish and Chips in an institution in St. John’s, and has been pumping out piles of fi and chi (the colloquial term for fish and chips) since 1951. Diner vibes prevail in Ches’s’ oldest location on Freshwater Road, which serves fish and chips, cod bites, and seafood platters. If you want to eat like a local, be sure to order your fries with dressing and gravy, a Newfoundland tradition.

12. Chinched

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5 Bates Hill, St. John's
NL A1C 4B5, Canada
(709) 722-3100
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Turquoise walls and a gallery wall of pig-themed art sets the tone for this relaxed dining room and deli, where house-made charcuterie flies off the shelves and the happy hour’s pig ear fries are a favourite. The seasonal bistro menu is also decidedly meat-heavy with small plates like rabbit poutine and Southern-style fried chicken livers. 

13. Rocket Bakery (multiple locations)

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272 Water St, St. John's
NL A1C 1B7, Canada
(709) 738-2015
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Rocket Bakery’s funky vibe has made it an anchor in downtown St. John’s. The colourful cafe is regularly crowded with diners downing baked goods, soups, salads, and famous cod cakes, and it’s often also filled with the sound of musicians meeting up for a traditional jam sesh. There are also two outposts further afield, serving the Mount Pearl area and Churchill Square.

14. Piatto Pizzeria + Enoteca (multiple locations)

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377 Duckworth St, St. John's
NL A1C 1H8, Canada
(709) 726-0909
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Piatto Pizzeria + Enoteca’s eateries (there are two in St. John’s and four throughout Atlantic Canada) are the only pizzerias certified by Naples’ VPN east of Montreal. Expect affordable Neapolitan-style pizzas, great Italian wine and cocktails in their signature red and black dining rooms decorated with full-size red Vespas. The wood-fired pizzas range from a traditional Margherita to “the Stephanie” with goat cheese, prosciutto crackle, caramelized pears, and balsamic reduction — a pie that has reached celebrity status in St. John’s. 

15. The Merchant Tavern

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John's, 291 Water St, St. John's
NL A1C 1B9, Canada
(709) 722-5050
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In an old bank building downtown, diners crowd around the mammoth square bar at the centre of the Merchant Tavern, decorated in navy blue and presided over by the head of a moose that chef Jeremy Charles shot himself. The relatively casual little sister of Raymonds stands out on its own thanks to the handmade pasta and big hunks of meat flying out of the open kitchen — not to mention a thoughtful wine list, carefully-made cocktails, and plenty of local beers on tap. 

16. The Adelaide Oyster House

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334 Water St, St. John's
NL A1C 1C1, Canada
(709) 722-7222
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While the Adelaide Oyster House is known for shucking the best oysters from across the continent, the reverence for its tacos is what made it one of the most popular eateries in St. John’s. The tuna taco and fish taco are worthy of your time, as are Kobe beef lettuce wraps with Japanese “mac” sauce, housemade kimchi, and rice puffs (which have been on the menu since day one). Expect a trendy ambiance: the lights are low and the music is loud, while the space is laden with dark clapboard and wood tables. 

17. RJ Pinoy Yum

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38 Ropewalk Ln, St. John's
NL A1E 5T2, Canada
(709) 747-1953
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The only Filipino restaurant in St. John’s can be found in an inconspicuous strip mall in the west end. Bright yellow and red decor liven up the simple dining room and the ube (a Filipino yam) shines purple in the dishes. Pork siopao (a steamed bun of sorts), Chicken Java Yum Rice and pansit (noodle dishes) abound with shaved ice dessert halo-halo to finish.

1. The Grounds Cafe

1525 Portugal Cove Rd, Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, NL A1M 3H3, Canada

Who knew it would be a genius idea to open a cafe in a garden centre? The Grounds Cafe at Murray’s Garden Centre in Portugal Cove serves brunch and lunch dishes fuelled by produce from the restaurant gardens, in a dining room with cathedral-like ceilings, hanging plants, and hooked rugs adorning the walls. 

1525 Portugal Cove Rd, Portugal Cove-St. Philip's
NL A1M 3H3, Canada

2. Mallard Cottage

8 Barrows Rd, St. John's, NL A1A 1G8, Canada

The 18th-century cottage which houses the rustic Mallard Cottage is a National Historic Site but the food is anything but old fashioned. Chef Todd Perrin reimagines Newfoundland cuisine with dishes like roasted carrots with dukkah and Newfoundland honey, or turbot chop with shaved parsnips and oyster aioli. 

8 Barrows Rd, St. John's
NL A1A 1G8, Canada

3. International Flavours

4 Quidi Vidi Rd, St. John's, NL A1A 1B9, Canada

On the road up to Signal Hill, this small restaurant with big flavours is squeezed in between historic row houses. For more than 20 years, International Flavours has had only three options — a lamb, chicken or vegetable platter — but this small, reasonably priced menu of Pakistani dishes is devotedly devoured by lunch regulars in a tiny dining room. 

4 Quidi Vidi Rd, St. John's
NL A1A 1B9, Canada

4. Bannerman Brewing Co.

90 Duckworth St, St. John's, NL A1C 1E7, Canada

Bannerman Brewing’s huge taproom also serves as a coffee shop with espresso drinks and remote workers on laptops in the morning, then becomes a bustling eatery by midday with snacks like Thai street fries, spicy cauliflower bites, and Jiggs Dinner croquettes with salt beef, pickled cabbage and mustard pickled aioli. In warmer weather, an enormous garage door retracts to double the taproom’s size, with a patio overlooking Duckworth Street and, on a sunny day, the harbour.

90 Duckworth St, St. John's
NL A1C 1E7, Canada

5. Hungry Heart Cafe

142 Military Rd, St. John's, NL A1C 2E7, Canada

Smack in the middle of Rawlin’s Cross (the city’s most confusing intersection), the Hungry Heart offers an oasis replete with seasonal local fare for breakfast and lunch. Favourites include a moose and manchego burger with caramelized onions, roasted beet and apple salad, and local lamb pappardelle in a small, brightly-lit corner dining room.

142 Military Rd, St. John's
NL A1C 2E7, Canada

6. Raymonds Restaurant

95 Water St, St. John's, NL A1C 1A4, Canada

Locally-made pottery adorned with pretty-as-an-Instagram-picture dishes abound in the vaulted-ceiling dining room of Raymonds, which overlooks St. John’s harbour. Chef Jeremy Charles has redefined Newfoundland cuisine, launching it into the fine-dining stratosphere by using traditional Newfoundland ingredients and wild game in a modern Nordic fashion. 

95 Water St, St. John's
NL A1C 1A4, Canada

7. Seto Kitchen + Bar

281 Duckworth St, St. John's, NL A1C 1G9, Canada
Ginger-soy braised brisket
Seto Kitchen + Bar/Facebook

Seto’s dining room is small, dark and moody, the perfect locale for enjoying its comprehensive cocktail and craft beer list. Chef Ken Pittman’s grandfather was one of the first Chinese immigrants to land in Newfoundland and the menu reflects both Canadian and east Asian influences with dishes like Kalbi duck breast with noodles and kimchi puree, cod burgers, and an ever-changing gnocchi special. The fun late-night menu is loved by industry folk, and features a blooming onion with caviar, fried chicken, and vegetable fried rice. 

281 Duckworth St, St. John's
NL A1C 1G9, Canada

8. Basho

283 Duckworth St, St. John's, NL A1C 1H3, Canada

After a tenure with Nobu in Tokyo, chef Tak Ishiwata opened Basho and its popular bar in a historic building downtown over a decade ago, and it’s still serving up some of the best sushi in St. John’s. This minimally-designed Japanese fusion restaurant produces high-grade scallop rolls, tuna tartare with roasted garlic avocado, white truffled and tomato yuzu salsa, and one of the best filet mignons in the city. 

283 Duckworth St, St. John's
NL A1C 1H3, Canada

9. Bad Bones Ramen

178 Water St, St. John's, NL A1C 1A9, Canada

Steaming bowls of noodles are appreciated year-round in St. John’s thanks to less-than-balmy daily temperatures. Bad Bones Ramen serves local beer on tap alongside a variety of ramen and snacks in a comfortable dining room decked out with an ultra-hip mural of disembodied cartoon heads slurping up noodles. 

178 Water St, St. John's
NL A1C 1A9, Canada

10. The Duke Of Duckworth

325 Duckworth St, St. John's, NL A1C 1H5, Canada

Hidden on McMurdo’s Lane between Duckworth and Water Streets, the Duke of Duckworth is an iconic watering hole that serves up some of the best pub grub in the city. Pints of Guinness and local beer flow endlessly at this small, always bustling bar, making “the Duke” everything a local should be. The fish and chips are iconic, but the huge bowls of chowder are one of the best-kept secrets in the city. 

325 Duckworth St, St. John's
NL A1C 1H5, Canada

11. Ches's Famous Fish and Chips (multiple locations)

9 Freshwater Rd, St. John's, NL A1C 2N1, Canada

Ches’s Fish and Chips in an institution in St. John’s, and has been pumping out piles of fi and chi (the colloquial term for fish and chips) since 1951. Diner vibes prevail in Ches’s’ oldest location on Freshwater Road, which serves fish and chips, cod bites, and seafood platters. If you want to eat like a local, be sure to order your fries with dressing and gravy, a Newfoundland tradition.

9 Freshwater Rd, St. John's
NL A1C 2N1, Canada

12. Chinched

5 Bates Hill, St. John's, NL A1C 4B5, Canada

Turquoise walls and a gallery wall of pig-themed art sets the tone for this relaxed dining room and deli, where house-made charcuterie flies off the shelves and the happy hour’s pig ear fries are a favourite. The seasonal bistro menu is also decidedly meat-heavy with small plates like rabbit poutine and Southern-style fried chicken livers. 

5 Bates Hill, St. John's
NL A1C 4B5, Canada

13. Rocket Bakery (multiple locations)

272 Water St, St. John's, NL A1C 1B7, Canada

Rocket Bakery’s funky vibe has made it an anchor in downtown St. John’s. The colourful cafe is regularly crowded with diners downing baked goods, soups, salads, and famous cod cakes, and it’s often also filled with the sound of musicians meeting up for a traditional jam sesh. There are also two outposts further afield, serving the Mount Pearl area and Churchill Square.

272 Water St, St. John's
NL A1C 1B7, Canada

14. Piatto Pizzeria + Enoteca (multiple locations)

377 Duckworth St, St. John's, NL A1C 1H8, Canada

Piatto Pizzeria + Enoteca’s eateries (there are two in St. John’s and four throughout Atlantic Canada) are the only pizzerias certified by Naples’ VPN east of Montreal. Expect affordable Neapolitan-style pizzas, great Italian wine and cocktails in their signature red and black dining rooms decorated with full-size red Vespas. The wood-fired pizzas range from a traditional Margherita to “the Stephanie” with goat cheese, prosciutto crackle, caramelized pears, and balsamic reduction — a pie that has reached celebrity status in St. John’s. 

377 Duckworth St, St. John's
NL A1C 1H8, Canada

15. The Merchant Tavern

John's, 291 Water St, St. John's, NL A1C 1B9, Canada

In an old bank building downtown, diners crowd around the mammoth square bar at the centre of the Merchant Tavern, decorated in navy blue and presided over by the head of a moose that chef Jeremy Charles shot himself. The relatively casual little sister of Raymonds stands out on its own thanks to the handmade pasta and big hunks of meat flying out of the open kitchen — not to mention a thoughtful wine list, carefully-made cocktails, and plenty of local beers on tap. 

John's, 291 Water St, St. John's
NL A1C 1B9, Canada

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16. The Adelaide Oyster House

334 Water St, St. John's, NL A1C 1C1, Canada

While the Adelaide Oyster House is known for shucking the best oysters from across the continent, the reverence for its tacos is what made it one of the most popular eateries in St. John’s. The tuna taco and fish taco are worthy of your time, as are Kobe beef lettuce wraps with Japanese “mac” sauce, housemade kimchi, and rice puffs (which have been on the menu since day one). Expect a trendy ambiance: the lights are low and the music is loud, while the space is laden with dark clapboard and wood tables. 

334 Water St, St. John's
NL A1C 1C1, Canada

17. RJ Pinoy Yum

38 Ropewalk Ln, St. John's, NL A1E 5T2, Canada

The only Filipino restaurant in St. John’s can be found in an inconspicuous strip mall in the west end. Bright yellow and red decor liven up the simple dining room and the ube (a Filipino yam) shines purple in the dishes. Pork siopao (a steamed bun of sorts), Chicken Java Yum Rice and pansit (noodle dishes) abound with shaved ice dessert halo-halo to finish.

38 Ropewalk Ln, St. John's
NL A1E 5T2, Canada

Related Maps