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After a day enjoying your boat, there’s nothing better than docking at a coastal eatery for fresh seafood, ice-cold drinks, salty vibes, and, of course, beautiful views.

 

Nova Scotia

Birch & Anchor, Halifax

This waterfront eatery, beer garden, and dock is tucked under a railway bridge on the shore of the Bedford Basin. The only thing better than the view is enjoying it with an ice-cold drink and freshly baked pizza from the outdoor wood oven.

“Birch & Anchor is the brick-and-mortar realization of our sister catering company, Asado Wood Fired Grill,” says spokesperson Jennifer Swain. “Mike Yould, owner-operator of Asado Wood-Fired Grill, brought his dream of running a food truck to fruition in 2015. With the purchase of a Yoder Smoker straight from Kansas City, he began peddling his slow-smoked barbecue across Nova Scotia.” Growing demand led to a second barbecue and in 2020, Birch & Anchor opened. birchandanchor.ca   

The Dining: In summer, executive chef Ryan Burke focuses on the outdoor space with a wood-fired kitchen, pizza oven, and rotisserie grill. Seafood fans dive into the cornmeal-crusted calamari served with pickled jalapenos or the ancho-crusted tuna with saffron potato salad. Landlubbers can’t go wrong with the smoked brisket birria tacos or steak and frites with wild mushrooms and chimichurri.

The Docking: There’s no docking charge at the restaurant. “In 2022, we expanded our dock and began to develop … relationships with two other local small businesses,” says Swain. “East Coast Powersports Adventures offer seasonal jet ski rentals from one side of our dock, and Halifax Boat Tours provides … cruise options.”

Bar Sofia, Halifax

Bar Sofia offers fresh, bright, vibrant Latin American flavours in the Queen’s Marque District on the Halifax waterfront. Enjoy tapas-style shared plates from Chef Anthony Walsh in a playful, beautifully designed space, showcasing the work of artist Rafael Silveira. The bohemian vibe will immediately transport you to a place where the music always plays, the libations are mezcal- and tequila-centric, and delectable plates keep coming. On warm summer nights, there’s the large outdoor patio, with its Peruvian-inspired Rainbow Mountain wall art.

“The patio is an amazing experience in nice weather. You can expect Mexican corn, tacos, or Newfoundland tuna tiradito being served up from the outside kitchen, while bartenders mix inventive cocktails. It’s a blast and quite frankly feels like a vacation,” says Freehand Hospitality spokesperson Marco Gucciardi. barsofia.ca

The Dining: Order a few nibbles to accompany drinks while perusing the menu. Try the Elotes, an ear of chargrilled corn on the cob, rubbed with spices, and served with citrus crema and green onions. The olives in citrus oil and garlic and the shishito peppers grilled with Newfoundland sea salt are equally delicious. Another must-try is the Seared Sardines Escabeche with red onion and aioli and Felipe’s Morcilla + Eggs with house made morcilla sausage, fried quail eggs, and salsa diablo.

The Docking: The Halifax waterfront accommodates all sizes of boats. There are multiple free berths for daytime use — register online before docking. buildns.ca/visit/halifax/halifax-marina

Tuna Blue, Hubbards

“Once upon a time, there were two couples: Tim and Christine and John and Karen — the best of friends, cottage neighbours, and family cousins,’ explains Tuna Blue co-owner Christine Murphy. “Our families experienced many Caribbean sailing adventures together, where we would sail into a beautiful tropical cove. Once ashore, we’d find a small resort, a cool restaurant, or a marina and relax and enjoy a great meal, sip cocktails and watch a great reggae band. We wanted to re-create that in Nova Scotia.”

In 2019 the friends bought the Dauphinee Inn and turned it into the tropically-themed Tuna Blue Inn, Restaurant, and Marina. “Hubbards had everything we needed to do this. We simply had to add good food, various drinks, live entertainment, and accommodations,” Murphy says. tunablue.ca

The Dining: “We love to see boats pulling up to our marina and coming into the Tuna Blue for a bite,” says Murphy. “They can come to our restaurant or sit in our waterfront beer garden for a more casual experience. Most of our boaters come for our fish tacos, which are made with fresh haddock … We recommend our seafood chowder to warm up chilly boaters.”

The Docking: There is no docking fee but call Tuna Blue ahead of time to book a space. There are also two mooring balls and a dingy dock, as well as slips for overnight docking (for a fee). 


New Brunswick

Lemongrass, Saint John

Lemongrass opened in 2004 and has become a staple for diners seeking great noodles and cold pints. “The vibe is ‘pub-ish’ but refined simultaneously, with a strong focus on creating a lively atmosphere through music, food, and service,” says owner Phil Croft. “The music is a curated mix of acid jazz, funk, and Latin swing, but the food is the heart restaurant.” lemongrasssaintjohn.com 

The Dining: Pad Thai and Money Bags are the most popular items, but you can’t go wrong with the daily specials. “They tend to be influenced by northern Thai cuisine, and items like Northern Thai Herbed Sausage and Khao Soi pop up frequently and sell out quickly,” Croft says. Lemongrass also boasts 28 beers on tap from around region and across Canada. 

The Docking: The Saint John Boardwalk is currently undergoing a $35-million facelift, creating enclosed patios with retractable roofs and doors that open to overlook a new skating oval and performance stage. There are also plans to incorporate tidal steps that flow seamlessly into Market Slip, where visiting boats will be able to dock.

Stmr.36 BBQ & Social
Delta Hotel, Fredericton

More than 70 years ago, the Saint John River steamers had 36 stops along the river – one of those stops is now the location of the newly opened Stmr.36 BBQ and Social in the Delta Fredericton. The restaurant offers a social experience and soulful barbecue in a family-style atmosphere. While many restaurants boast about their “dining experience,” this menu actually offers something called the Experience, with staff choosing a selection of starters, main courses, and desserts. stmr36bbqsocial.com

The Dining: Try the Maple Forty Creek pulled pork with shaved pickled vegetables, Forty Creek barbecue sauce, and horseradish aioli. If steak is more your style, then the 20-ounce Rib Eye Atlantic Blue Dot Reserve with herb butter is hard to beat.

The Docking: The riverside Delta Fredericton has a large dock, free for diners.


Photo by: Creative Supply Productions

Gridiron Brewing & Beer Daddy BBQ, Hampton

This small family-run operation originally started in owner Luke MacGregor’s garage and has since grown to be a cozy taproom with a
great outdoor seating area.

“We focus on supporting local farmers and suppliers, with over 90 per cent of ingredients coming from New Brunswick and PEI,” says MacGregor. “Having grown up on a small farm, I understand the relationship between small producers and small businesses.”

Gridiron provides a great experience after a day on the water, with a variety of beers alongside food from Beer Daddy BBQ, which MacGregor’s brother-in-law, Corey Richard, runs in their shared space at 1051 Main St. in Hampton. facebook.com/beerdaddybbq

The Dining: Southern-inspired slow-smoked meat with great sides and desserts is what you can expect.

“The best bet is the BBQ Sampler and a pint of Paddler’s Pale Ale, a tropically flavoured American Pale Ale,” says Macgregor. “You might need two pints as this sampler is best shared between two people … (Or) an easy introduction to beer and BBQ is the Lazy River Light and the smoked mac and cheese with added pulled pork.”

There are also premium sandwiches like the Cheezie Brizzie (brisket, cheese, and fixings on a brioche bun). Beer sampler flights are available.

The Docking: There is a public boat ramp and docking available next to the Lighthouse River Centre (1075 Main St., Hampton), located on the banks of the Kennebecasis River, about a four-minute walk to the taproom. Docking is free during the day, forbidden overnight.


Prince Edward Island

Salt & Sol Restaurant and Lounge, Charlottetown

Salt & Sol started with a trip to Portugal, as the owners of the Street Eats food truck sought now ideas. It opened in 2019, focusing on local products, tapas, and shared plates.

“We pride ourselves on the excellent service provided by our team, making our guests feel like they are on our back deck at home,” says co-owner Neally Currie. “Of course, nothing is better than sunshine, sea views, tapas, and craft cocktails.” saltandsolpei.ca 

The Dining: “After a long day on the water, you have to try our famous Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich,” says Currie. “It was originally from our food truck and still stands at the top five years later. It’s a crunchy, sweet, and spicy chicken burger with lettuce, tomato, and dill pickle on a brioche bun.” Or try the mussels, prepared in miso lime broth and served with garlic toast. “We are also famous for our craft cocktails. Try one or two off our crafted menu or go straight for a classic margarita,” says Currie. 

The Docking: Located in the heart of the Charlottetown Waterfront, The Charlottetown Yacht Club offers a full-service marina for visiting boats. Docking fees are based on boat size. Typically, one of the docks on the west side of the marina (100 metres long) is available for short visits (two hours maximum). Call (902) 892-8065 to reserve a berth. cyc.pe.ca

The Cork & Cast, Charlottetown 

The Cork & Cast is a 50-seat floating restaurant in the Seaport Marina in downtown Charlottetown. Old family recipes, a love of food, and a passion for local ingredients inspire owners Doug Mckinney and Rachel Sauve. “We have amazing suppliers on the island and we don’t have a deep fryer, so everything is done in a pan or the flat-top grill,” says McKinney. “Our fish is pan-seared to perfection.”

The name references wine and floating docks (Cork), plus fishing and the characters working at the restaurant (Cast). “We have a great selection of bottled and house wines,” adds McKinney.

The Dining: “After a day on the water, we recommend the haddock taco,” says McKinney. “We use fresh haddock, ordered daily. It’s pan-seared, served on a flour tortilla, with some amazing toppings and a choice of two sides.” The steamed mussels served with Cajun Cork Sauce are also popular, followed with the Surf & Surf special of fresh haddock, pan-seared with garlic, tarragon, and breadcrumbs, topped with pan-seared Cajun shrimp, garlic, and dill scallops. “We also have a fantastic island beef cheeseburger for those non-seafood lovers,” says McKinney.  thecorkandcast.com

The Docking: Boats can dock at the Seaport Marina next door to the restaurant. Day docking is free; reservations required. themarinasofcharlottetown.com/dock

 


Newfoundland

Happy Adventure Inn, Eastport

Owners Chuck and Brenda Matchim of the Happy Adventure Inn have provided a dock and dine experience on the Eastport peninsula for 12 years. Located above Powell’s Cove, the inn offers a beautiful vista of the harbour and town. Chuck Matchim grew up on the Eastport Peninsula and is passionate about the region, its waters, and its history.

At the inn, Chucky’s Seafood and Wildgame Restaurant features locally sourced ingredients and traditional Newfoundland dishes. “Chucky’s Seafood and Wildgame Restaurant is the predecessor to Chucky’s Fish and Ships, formally located in downtown St. John’s,” says Chef Sharlett Matchim. “It still serves the same fish and chip recipe Chucky made famous.” The menu changes frequently, you’ll always find Newfoundland snow crab, moose, and fresh cod. happyadventureinn.com/chuckys

The Dining: “All of our fish is locally sourced from the waters in Bonavista Bay,” says Matchim. “Local fishers, Lloyd and Louise, live across the harbour from the inn. During most of the summer season, they catch the cod served in our restaurant. With its large flake and sweet taste, it is some of the best cod you’ll ever taste.”

The fishers are also involved in a scientific study that monitors the cod stocks. “Their knowledge, expertise, and hard work, help ensure that we are not overfishing and that the stocks can grow and replenish at a sustainable rate,” adds Matchim.

Chucky’s seafood platter includes steamed crab or lobster, pan-seared scallops and shrimp, locally sourced cod, calamari, and steamed mussels. “Our lobsters are dropped off weekly to our wharf by Sandy and her husband, Bon,” Matchim says. “They have been catching lobsters for years and are our exclusive supplier. Sandy and Bon grew up on Bonavista Bay and supply some of the best on the island.”

The Docking: There are no fees to dock at the 12-metre floating wharf for a meal, but reservations are recommended. Larger vessels can arrange dockage at the nearby government wharf through the Happy Adventure Harbour Authority. In addition to accommodation and dining, Happy Adventure offers tours by kayak and zodiac from the wharf at the inn and Terra Nova National Park.  


Views from Tuna Blue


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