You might expect a city famous for its “chocolate river” to have a great culinary scene, and Moncton, N.B. doesn’t disappoint. Established favourites have been joined by a recent influx of exciting newcomers, all of them taking advantage of the seasonal bounty of the nearby Bay of Fundy. Here are five restaurants you must check out on your next visit to the Fundy region.
Since opening in November 2019, Clos (pronounced “Clo” — the ‘s’ is silent) has become a popular spot for working lunches and date nights on Moncton’s Main Street. High-end French cuisine is a focus of the menu, which changes often, but expect a few surprises from chef Jonathan Morrison as well. When I visited in early February, scallops were in season and paired with a classic risotto, and dessert was a Froot Loop pannacotta that tasted exactly like cereal milk.
Tide and Boar Gastropub
Bring your appetite to this popular Main Street hangout, which blends modern pub fare with fresh-in-season seafood, washed down with a rotating selection of craft beers brewed in-house and sourced from around the Maritime region. Start with a charcuterie board — the Tide board is seafood-focused, while the Boar board is piled high with cured meats — and oysters on the half-shell with all the fixings before moving on to a main event (the boar poutine is a favourite). tideandboar.com
Don’t let the location of this venerable eatery fool you. It may be situated in an out-of-the-way plaza above an industrial supply shop, but the moment you step out of the elevator into the sophisticated hush of the elegantly-appointed dining room, you’ll understand why Little Louis’ has been a favourite of locals and visitors for 18 years (Diana Krall is a fan). Chef Pierre Richard specializes in modern French cuisine with Atlantic Canadian flair, like the surf n’ turf with Blue Dot Reserve beef tenderloin from P.E.I. and the popular pasta with butter poached Fundy lobster, mushrooms and espelette peppers in a scallop wine sauce.
Don’t worry, vegetarians, we haven’t forgotten about you. Moncton is home to a number of veg-friendly spots, but Calactus is one of the best, serving up vegetarian comfort food that will please even the most devoted carnivore in your party. We guarantee their famous “Big Marc” burger, oven-baked “Bolognese” lasagna, or flatbread pizza loaded with toppings will give you ample energy for exploring the city on foot.
Cinnamon Soul Café and Bakery (Hillsborough)
Okay, technically this one isn’t in Moncton proper, but rather in Hillsborough, about a 30-minute drive from the city centre, but it’s a must-stop on the way to or from the famous Hopewell Rocks. As the name suggests, this cozy spot is famous for its homemade cinnamon buns, which make for a perfect on-the-go snack with coffee. But if you’re not in a rush to catch low tide, the menu is packed with more substantial options for lunch and dinner, including gooey paninis on house-made bread, from-scratch seafood chowder and a lobster roll you’ll wish you could take home with you. facebook.com/CinnamonSoulCafe