Prince Edward Island

Annie Schlechter
Perhaps the best thing about the budding PEI food scene is that one can’t really call it a scene. On an island devoid of urban irony and pretension, there are no hopping hipster joints, no trendy spots serving pork belly and fennel pollen – just an abundance of fresh local ingredients and a growing number of top-notch chefs who know what to do with them. While upscale restaurants are scarce (largely owing to a lack of tourists to patronize them), there are a handful of great eateries and plenty of unpretentious spots serving up the likes of fresh scallop burgers, steamed lobsters, and fish and chips.

Top Restaurants in Prince Edward Island

Dayboat

Dayboat is another wonderful pick for a more serious meal. Lunch is served on an attractive outdoor deck, and the carefully curated menu includes local seafood and island-raised meats, such as PEI smoked salmon, Pickle Point oysters, and crispy roast mackerel with island mushrooms.

5033 Rustico Rd., PEI, 902-963-3833
Tags: seafood

Flex Mussels

Flex Mussels makes no bones about what it’s celebrating: glossy, plump PEI mussels, pulled from the water only hours before hitting one’s plate. The location is enchanting, with views of the Charlottetown harbor, but the sight of steaming bowls of bivalves may be the best view around. The formula is simple: Start with mussels and sauce them any way you like, with Thai-inflected lemongrass and coconut milk or basic garlic and white wine. The place is such a success that the owners opened a New York City branch in 2008, to the delight of jaded Manhattan palates.

Peake’s Wharf, PEI, 902-569-0200
Tags: seafood | views

Richard's Seafood

Richard’s Seafood eatery is another island favorite: a classic clam shack with an outdoor deck facing busy Covehead Harbour. As fishing boats chug by, dig in to a plate of fried clams or a juicy lobster roll.

Covehead Wharf, PEI, 902-672-2376, www.richardsfreshseafood.com
Tags: budget | seafood | local favorite

Rick's Fish 'N' Chips & Seafood House

After a day at the beach or on the links, sometimes one just wants cheap and cheerful fare. Rick’s Fish ’N’ Chips & Seafood House fits the bill: The service is friendly, the fish fresh, and the chips are hand cut from PEI potatoes. Grab a picnic table on the deck with a view of St. Peter’s Bay and try the marinated mussels or an oversize scallop burger.

Route 2, PEI, 902-961-3438, www.ricksfishnchips.com
Tags: budget | seafood

Seaweed Pie Café

Out on the lonely western coast, Seaweed Pie Café is a cozy little roadside eatery that serves up local specialties like homemade fish cakes with baked beans and mustard pickle, or Acadian meat pies with buttermilk biscuits. The namesake dessert is anticlimactic: just sponge cake with cream and fruit, thickened with carrageenan made from the Irish moss that washes up on PEI shores.

Route 14, PEI, 902-882-4313
Tags: comfort food

Ship to Shore Lounge

Champion oyster shucker and Flex Mussels veteran John Bil opened a simple but superlative little seafood joint last year on the shores of Malpeque Bay. The Ship to Shore Lounge offers native oysters, lobster, pots of steamers, and fish and chips. The fish is native and impeccably fresh; the veggies are organic; and the setting is low-key, no-frills, and friendly.

2684 Route 20, PEI, 902-836-5475 or 902-940-6405, www.shiptoshorelounge.com
Tags: seafood | expensive

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