Nova Scotia is a stunning area of Canada located on its East Coast. This beautiful province is mostly surrounded by water. This makes for a temperate climate that suits wine production, great local produce and amazing seafood. If you love your food and wine this is a brilliant destination. Here are six gastronomic highlights of a visit to Nova Scotia:
The scallops of Digby are known world wide for their amazing taste. This small town is located in the south west of Nova Scotia in the Annapolis region. It, of course, has a waterfront which is covered in great seafood restaurants.
The town of Digby has been harvesting scallops for over a century. Their practices are sustainable and they only source from healthy beds. The scallops are known for their size and taste. Personally I found them to be very light and extremely more-ish.
Digby is a decent drive from the capital of Nova Scotia Halifax. The good news is if it doesn’t fit your itinerary to head all the way there many of the best restaurants in Nova Scotia and in wider Canada source their scallops from Digby.
I first enjoyed them at a restaurant in Halifax. They were so good that when I went to the wonderful area of Annapolis I went out of my way to visit Digby and have a scallop and chips lunch. It was absolutely well worth it!
The first wine appellation granted to Nova Scotia in 2012 for the white wine Tidal Bay. This wine must be made with local grapes and the appellation is based on a taste profile rather than an exact specification of grape types and percentages.
The heart of Nova Scotia wine is around the lovely little town of Wolfville. The Nova Scotia wine industry really began in the 1970s with the Grand Pre winery just outside Wolfville. This wonderful winery continues to flourish. In addition to a lovely large tasting room the winery is the home of the very well regarded Le Caveau restaurant.
There are quite a few other wineries in the area from Blomidon Estate to Gaspereau to Avondale Sky. The region is best known for whites and sparklings but also have some lovely light reds. Don’t miss trying the delicious Ice wine.
Halifax Seaport Farmers Market
The longest continually running market in North America, the Halifax Seaport Farmers market was established in 1750. It is located on the waterfront in the lovely Halifax. This is a wonderfully authentic farmers market and exactly the kind of thing I always envisage when I think of farmers markets!
The market is open everyday but it really comes to life on the weekends when the number of vendors can grow to 250 and more. The market is located over two floors but the majority of stalls are on the ground floor.
In addition to the fresh produce and local meats on offer there are a huge variety of local producers. Enjoy everything from dutch cheeses to gourmet dips to raw chocolate. Several wineries and distilleries from across Nova Scotia also have stalls so if you aren’t able to make it out of Halifax this is a great place to sample some of the best beverages of the region.
There are also many stalls selling crafts, toiletries, wood, wool and much more!
Ironworks Distillery, Lunenberg
I was surprised to see alot of Rum when I visited Nova Scotia! It was rather unexpected – perhaps due to its shipping heritage? There are quite a few distillers in Nova Scotia however Ironworks is the one that has garnered the most attention on the world stage.
The actual distillery is located in the charming UNESCO heritage town of Lunenberg. Not only are all the products made here but there is also a store and you can take a tour if you book ahead. The lovely owners Pierre and Lynne will take you through the range and their story.
Don’t miss the shipwreck Rum and its great backstory. The fruit-based liqueurs are absolutely amazing as well. All ingredients are locally sourced and the packaging is very stylish. A fantastic gift – for others or just for yourself!
Five Fishermen, Halifax
This is one of the best restaurants in Nova Scotia. Located in the heart of downtown Halifax, the building in which the restaurant is located was the home to the mortuary during the time of the Titanic. All of the bodies from the Titanic were brought to this building. There are rumoured to still be ghosts – make sure you visit the top level bathroom!
On a less haunting note, start your evening with a glass of Tidal Bay in the Little Fish Oyster Bar downstairs. Then head upstairs for a seafood extravaganza! I highly recommend ordering the Five Fish, one of their signature meals. This will ensure you try a wide range of Nova Scotia seafood.
If you can do leave some room for dessert as they do a fabulous selection.
Fox Hill Farm
Fox Hill Farm is the ultimate in local food experiences. This sixth generation family farm plants the seeds, grow the grass, manages the cows and produces all the products themselves. As many of their delicious products are not homogenised Nova Scotia is literally the only place you can enjoy many Fox Hill Farm products.
The farm is located in the lovely little town of Port William in the Annapolis Valley. It is possible to visit and purchase their full range as well as try some of their delicious cheeses and ice cream. My personal favourite was the unbelievably good chocolate milk.
If you are not able to make it to Port William check out Fox Hill Farm at Halifax Market.
Amanda OBrien is Owner of The Boutique Adventurer. The Boutique Adventurer focusses on luxury adventures in emerging destinations that end with a high thread count on the sheets in the evening.