We’re back with Restaurant Roundup for 2015! This year’s theme: Where To Eat This Weekend. Every other week we’ll be profiling a different city in Canada with a list of great dining recommendations for you to check out – from fancy to hole in the wall and everything in between! Today Meaghan Carey of Un Assaggio of Food, Wine, and Marriage gives us the low-down on which restaurants to visit in picturesque Cape Breton this weekend!
Lunch in Cape Breton
Dancing Goat Café and Bakery
The bustling roadside café, Dancing Goat Café and Bakery, is a favourite stop along the Cabot Trail for locals and visitors alike. With delicious sweet treats, fresh breads, artisanal sandwiches and soups, and lattes that would rival any top coffee house, the Dancing Goat is a culinary gem tucked in the hills of the Margaree Valley. After lunch be sure to buy a package of Goat Cakes (oatcakes) and a Margaree Valley Fog for the road!
Open Year-Round. 6289 Cabot Trail, North East Margaree, NS
The Red Shoe Pub
In the village of Mabou you’ll find The Red Shoe Pub, an institute in the tiny village that’s now owned and run by the Rankin Family. This warm pub has an energetic atmosphere, which makes it a great spot for a late lunch. The seafood chowder is one of the best on the island, if not in the Maritimes, and served with a delicious buttermilk biscuit.
Open June to October. 11533 Route 19, Mabou, NS
The Rusty Anchor
On the cliffs of Pleasant Bay, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean you’ll find one of my favourite restaurants, The Rusty Anchor. They’re known for having one of the best lobster rolls on Cape Breton! Fresh lobster caught locally (“just down the road”) served on a toasted bun with a little melted butter — no mayo or celery filling up this roll, just unadulterated lobster. You also won’t find a better place to enjoy snow crab. On a warm summer day be sure to enjoy lunch on the patio to take in the ocean vistas, and if you’re lucky live local music and a whale sighting.
Open June to October. 23197 Cabot Trail, Pleasant Bay, NS
Dinner Destinations in Cape Breton
If you find yourself starting or ending your Cape Breton weekend in Sydney, then Flavor should be your destination of choice for dinner. Flavor has been a highlight of the Cape Breton dining scene since it opened in 2008 and now boasts three restaurants in the Sydney area. Serving dishes inspired by traditional fare, the menu is seasonally focused with something for everyone, including vegetarian, paleo and gluten-free options. The food is creative and fresh, as is the bistro’s atmosphere. Be sure to try the lobster risotto!
Open Year-Round. 16 Pitt St, Sydney, NS
Highland Sitting Room
For a sociable evening, with old-world charm visit the Highland Sitting Room in the Keltic Lodge (Ingonish). After a long day of hiking, touring or simply enjoying one of the area’smany beaches, the Sitting Room is the perfect choice for a leisurely dinner. The menu is reminiscent of a British gastro pub, with local seafood and traditional pub fare. The lobster rolls on mini brioche buns with red pepper aioli is an inspired twist on a classic. With sofas and wingback chairs, the Sitting Room is a lovely destination to spend an evening listening to music and visiting with friends old and new.
Open May to October. Keltic Lodge, Middle Head Peninsula, Ingonish Beach, NS
The Bite House
In a century-old farmhouse in rural Baddeck, Chef Bryan Picard welcomes you to his home and the 10-seat restaurant, The Bite House. The Bite House has created a major buzz on the island, and across Canada, since it opened last year. Featuring a set five-course tasting menu that’s inspired by the seasons and changes monthly, you can expect to find only the best of locally sourced food. Reservations are required and should be made (well) in advance to avoid disappointment.
Open May to December. 1471 Big Baddeck Rd, Baddeck, NS
Just For Fun in Cape Breton
Big Spruce Brewing
Start your weekend off right with a visit to Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza. Big Spruce Brewing is one of Canada’s only organic, on-farm microbreweries and has been brewing some seriously good beer since 2013. With cheekily named brews like Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, Ready Yer Knot…Regatta Red Ale, and Silver Tart a stop to the brewery tasting room and shop will add some fun to any weekend in Cape Breton. Check out Food Truck Fridays at Big Spruce Brewing all summer long with live music, cold beer, a local food truck and of course plenty of Cape Breton hospitality!
Open Year-Round. 64 Yankee Line Road, Nyanza, NS
Bean Barn Café
From early morning fresh brewed coffee to afternoon tea and cinnamon buns, the Bean Barn Cafe has something delicious on offer throughout the day. Conveniently located in Ingonish on the Cabot Trail, this casual and cozy cafe is a great place to stop for a light meal or snack. If you’re looking for a quick, reasonably priced breakfast then the Bean Barn Breakfast Burrito is a must try. Eggs, bacon, cheese and house made chipotle mayo — perfect fuel for a morning hike or perfect to help recover after a long night at a local ceilidh!
Open May to October. 36743 Cabot Trail, Ingonish Beach, NS
Glenora Distillery near Inverness on Cape Breton’s west coast produces North America’s first and Canada’s only single malt whisky, Glen Breton. Guided distillery tours are available daily during the summer months, and include a generous tasting of the whisky at the end. A lively and informative tour of this working distillery, it’s a real treat for any whisky lover! And after the tour be sure to check out the Pub; the mussels steamed in Big Spruce Ale make a delicious post-tour snack.
Tours Available May to October. 13727 Route 19, Glenville, NS
More Great Places To Eat This Weekend
Here are most great places to eat across Canada this weekend! Where will you be eating?
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Vancouver Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Edmonton Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Calgary Edition 1 and Calgary Edition 2
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Toronto Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Montreal Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Winnipeg Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Quebec City Edition
If you want more great suggestions on where to eat across Canada, be sure to subscribe to The FBC Food Lovers Newsletter. Twice a month we'll be featuring great posts from FBC members, mouthwatering recipe ideas, delicious places to eat, as well as occasional tasty offers from some of our partners.
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Where To Eat This Weekend: Cape Breton Island Edition was written by Meaghan Carey. Meaghan shares her musing on life, as she attempts to cook good food for family and friends from her small kitchen, on her blog Un Assaggio of Food, Wine, and Marriage. Raised in Cape Breton, Meaghan returns home as much as possible and loves to welcome friends to this picturesque corner of Canada each summer. Connect with Meaghan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.