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The Best Restaurants in Moncton, New Brunswick: The Locals’ Pick

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2 weeks ago

Being perfectly positioned in the heart of Canada’s maritime provinces, Moncton offers some of the freshest food in New Brunswick. I’ve had the luxury of eating in and around Moncton for years, so the best restaurants in Moncton are very clear to me and other locals – and they’re very often not the ones you’ll find on a cursory Google search.

You’ll have limited time in Moncton, so I’ve selected a few local favorites that have been tried and tested (some of them a lot more than once) and are absolutely worth the stop. And I’ve pointed out the special food that you absolutely must try while you’re in Moncton.

Best Restaurants in Moncton

St James’ Gate

St James’ Gate has cemented its position as one of the best restaurants in Moncton. And it’s not just the incredible food, it’s the dazzling atmosphere. If I had to describe it, entering St James’ Gate is like entering the Cotswolds in England during the late Middle Ages with all the warmth and coziness that you’d expect (but with tasty food and not Middle Ages gruel).

I suggest starting with the beet salad (also known as the gate salad (fittingly)), which is the standout dish and delivers every single time (it’s the freshness for me). For your main, you have choices including poultry, pork, seafood and vegetarian options, my personal favorite being the pork tenderloin. It is so fresh and so juicy.

If you’re feeling tired after your meal, St James’ Gate is also a lovely boutique hotel. You might need to spend the night there after stuffing yourself.

Gusto

Located right in the heart of downtown Moncton, Gusto is a firm local favorite that offers consistently tasty Italian dishes. The team at Gusto prides itself on using only the finest local ingredients and this is really what matters.

Because when you have access to the incredibly clean and abundant food that only New Brunswick can offer, you want to make sure that you’re dining with the team that knows how to turn it into something special.

It might seem simple, but it’s the arancini that keeps me going back. In fact, I have returned for just the arancini several times and have taken friends and family to Gusto try it as well (separate orders, of course – I am entirely unwilling to share), all of whom resoundingly agree that it’s some of the best arancini that they’ve had.

And homemade goat cheese ravioli? Yes, please. You can’t go wrong with this one. And, again, it’s not like other goat cheese you’ll get: this is sourced from the finest local ingredients, even the cast iron seared scallops are fresh from the bay!

I would politely suggest that you do not skip dessert here, as their cheesecakes are absolutely worth the experience. They do pack them to go! There have been occasions where I have had to take them to go, but I never don’t get dessert at Gusto.

Tide & Boar

For those who missed it, Tide & Boar is a play on words: it refers to the Tidal Bore that Moncton is famous for and which is absolutely one of the best things to do in Moncton. Tide & Boar offers a cozy atmosphere and great food and, as the name suggests, they prides themselves on their seafood selection and local boar products.

Tide & Boar’s boar meat pie with aged British cheddar, apple and onion jam served with parsnip puree is an absolute delight on the palate, and is one of the dishes that you simply must try while you’re in New Brunswick.

And yes, you can find a spicy tuna tostada all over the world. But are you going to get tuna as fresh as you can get it in New Brunswick? That’s what makes the food in New Brunswick a cut above the rest.

If you’re looking for somewhere to spend your Friday night, Tide & Boar usually has locals bands playing (in both English and local French). They also have a great patio that is open in the summer.

Hynes

This family-type diner is a local favorite. It has been around for as long as I can remember. Growing up, every time we would visit Moncton, we would go to Hynes for breakfast every Sunday – without exception. When I was in university, this became the spot we would gather on the morning after a heavy night.

Local tip: Beat the church crowd and go early on a Sunday, or you may end up waiting in line for a while.

Hynes is the ultimate mom and pop diner. They have been around for 75 years and they know how to fill hungry bellies. My go to order is the Hynes breakfast with a side of baked beans and a side of hollandaise sauce, because life is short, get all the sides.

Vien Dong

You didn’t think we would have a Vietnamese restaurant on this list! I discovered Vien Dong through a Cambodian friend who would swear by it, saying it was the best Vietnamese food he could find in town. Vien Dong quickly became a favorite of mine and of many others, given the sheer volume of positive reviews online. Vien Dong is the local spot for all your Vietnamese cravings.

My go-to order is the beef pho with a side of fresh vegetable rolls, but you can’t look past the pork vermicelli with a mini wonton soup. And buy their homemade fish sauce – it is so, so tasty.

Looking for the Best Dessert in Moncton?

Halo Donuts

You will find Halo Donuts only a short walk from Main Street. Trust them with your calorie spend because they’ve been around for as long as Moncton and serve the best donuts in town. Be sure to visit them early, because they often sell out and will not stay open once all the sweets are gone.

The Homer is the best seller, but I always get the Maple bar, made with real, local maple syrup, but I would suggest that, since you came all this way (and life is short), get the mixed box of six. You’ll thank me later.

Lost and Found

Conveniently next to Halo Donuts is Lost and Found Ice Cream. It would be a great disservice to yourself if you missed out on this homemade, delicious ice cream. Chef Jonathan Morrison’s ice cream is simply divine. Maybe you’ll start speaking to a higher power after you’ve had it.

Do not skip this one – we promise it is worth it. And if you’re struggling to decide which flavor to get, you can’t go wrong with the banana dulce de leche (it might even rival ice cream in Buenos Aires).

Café Archibald

Café Archibald is one of my family’s hidden gems. It is on the corner of Archibald street and Mountain road. It is not quite downtown and not quite anywhere else. This café is a Parisian-style café where they serve savory and sweet crepes.

It is very close to the campus of the university and it is also across the road from my aunt’s house, so I have had the fortune of having countless suppers here. You really cannot go wrong with any of the crepes. The savory crepes are served with fresh salad and the sweet crepes are some of the best desserts you will find in Moncton.

My favorite savory crepe is the crêpe Canadienne. It has bacon, onions, mushrooms and delicious homemade hollandaise sauce. And the sweet crêpe that you simply must try is the brownie crêpe. These come in sizes that you can technically share, but you’re not going to want to.

And for the Best Drinks in Moncton

Coffee: La Factrie

This is where you will find me on a Saturday morning in Moncton. La Factrie is a community staple. Their lattes are divine, and the pastries are worth it (I will always find pastries worth trying). I suggest trying their hot chocolate. It is made with real, local melted chocolate from LaRouère (chocolat chaud à la Parisienne), a neighborhood favorite.

Beer: Happy Brewery

Happy Brewery offers a great atmosphere and a wide selection of beers. They also have 0% beers on tap. I recommend the blueberry sour, for a little East Coast taste. They are directly on Main Street, a short walk from most hotels in the area. I can honestly say that I’ve spent more time here than I should have!  

Wine & Cocktails: Third Glass

Across from Happy Brewery is Third Glass, a wine and cocktail hotspot. It is small and can sometimes be difficult to find a table, but very much worth it if you are into good wine and great cocktails.  

Juice: The Vibe Juicery

Resetting your system from the night before has never tasted so good. The Vibe Juicery has all your healthy desires covered. My favorite is the “Raw”, with activated charcoal, lemon, water and local maple syrup!


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