What are the iconic places to eat for locals? For instance, if someone grew up in PEI then moved away, what would be their must-go restaurants when they visit?

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Ashley C
Los Angeles , CA
PEI Ambassador Barbara Mayhew
Barbara Mayhew

General Island

Hi Ashley,

The dining establishments I am going to suggest are all seasonal operations.  Therefore, depending on the time of your visit, not all might be open.  I advise checking their websites for dates and hours of operation as well as contact coordinates to communicate with the individual restaurants regarding any dietary or other concerns.

For certain, I am going to recommend a meal at one (or both) of the Island’s two main lobster suppers – New Glasgow Lobster Suppers  and Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers .  I recently wrote about the enduring popularity of Island lobster suppers which you can check out here as it will give you an idea of what these suppers are about.  Both are located on the Island’s north shore, mid-Island, with New Glasgow Lobster Suppers in the picturesque rural community of New Glasgow and Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers just mere footsteps from North Rustico harbour with its fleet of lobster and deep-sea fishing boats.  No reservations required at either venue.

A trip to PEI would not be complete without a stop at Richard’s Fresh Seafood , the famous little take-out on Covehead Wharf.  Popular with both locals and tourists, the take-out may be small in stature but its food offerings more than make up for it.  Locals eagerly await its opening every summer and line-ups can be long during peak summer days. Their lobster rolls and fish and chips are legendary. Here’s my review of the lobster roll from Richards. Try to nab a table on the upstairs balcony that overlooks the harbour with its fishing boats.  No reservations accepted.

If you’re looking for something more upscale, you might check out the dining room at the iconic Dalvay by the Sea Hotel. This is not far from Richard’s Seafood Eatery and is located just inside the National Park at Dalvay.  Reservations recommended.

In Brackley Beach, you might choose to dine at The Dunes Studio Gallery and Café. This is eclectic pottery and art gallery that also boasts lovely gardens. It’s a really interesting place to have a meal. Walk-ins only for lunch; reservations accepted for dinner. 

In North Rustico, I suggest checking out The Pearl Eatery; a small intimate dining room.  Attentive service awaits you at this little gem on the Island’s north shore. The Pearl features a field/sea to table menu so the food is very fresh and local. Reservations recommended.

For a unique dining experience, I recommend The Table Culinary Studio in New London. Located in a repurposed little white country church, The Table offers Island-themed dinners daily.  To learn more about what a Table dining experience entails, read my experience here.  Reservations required.

The Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, with one of the most commanding views of the River Clyde, is located in the gently rolling hills of New Glasgow.  It is a favourite with Islanders and tourists. A casual dining experience in a repurposed creamery, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In particular, it’s a favourite spot with Islanders for breakfast, especially on weekend mornings.  Walk-ins only for breakfast and lunch; reservations accepted for dinner.

Celebrity Chef, Michael Smith, offers a unique dining experience daily at his Inn at Bay Fortune near Souris. Known as “Fireworks”, this is an entire evening experience of several hours that has become a very popular tourist destination in the eastern part of the province. Smith offers only one seating per night, per person prix fixe. Fireworks focuses on local foods and cooking is done over open fire.  Reservations well in advance are required.

The Point Prim Chowder House at Point Prim near the Island’s oldest lighthouse is popular with both tourists and locals.  Don’t let the name fool you – they serve more than just chowder!  Reservations recommended.

Located in North Rustico, not far from the town’s harbour and lovely beach, is the Blue Mussel Café. It’s a busy spot, often with line-ups out the door that attest to its popularity.  Walk-ins only;  reservations not accepted.

There are many great places on the Island that serve wonderful meals featuring foods from our rich red soil and from the waters that surround us. The foregoing is just a sampling of the wonderful dining options that await the foodie who visits PEI. There are lots of reasons why we’re known as Canada’s Food Island!  I hope you discover many of these reasons during your Island visit!

Barbara