6 Places for Local Specialities in Moncton, New Brunswick

Moncton, N.B. is not known as a foodie destination. In fact, the city’s culinary claim to fame was once that it had more Tim Horton’s per capita than anywhere else on the planet. But, between East Coast specialties, local brew and Acadian delights, no one needs to go hungry in the Hub City. Here’s the best of Moncton:

Beer

The Pump House in downtown Moncton is an award-winning brewery and restaurant. It makes everything from seasonal beers (like pumpkin) to S.O.B. (Special Old Bitter) to their infamous blueberry ale. Grab a seat in the graffiti-covered beer keg booths, order the beer sampler tray for $6.75 and try one of the brick oven pizzas. It too contains beer and is right good. (5 Orange Ln.)

Donair

The Maritime version of shawarma is made with thinly sliced beef, tomatoes, onions and a sweet sauce. Many pizza places offer them, but head to Greco Pizza, a chain that began serving donairs in 1977. It has since expanded its menu by adding the meat, veggies and sauce to pizza and stuffing it into eggrolls. If you really want to give ‘er, try the garlic fingers, another Maritime invention. This one is garlic butter and cheese baked on pizza dough and, of course, dunked in donair sauce. (Five locations in the Greater Moncton area.)

Pastries

Sticky buns. Pinwheels. Cinnamon rolls. They ain’t got nothing on nun’s farts. The Acadians baked Pêt de soeur using leftover pie dough, brown sugar, butter and maple syrup. Three centuries later, Nanna’s Bakery, on Mountain Road, is keeping the tradition alive with these sweet and gooey concoctions. The bakery only makes them in small batches on Fridays so they go faster than the Acadians were expelled. Call ahead on Thursday (or arrive before noon on Friday) and before long, you’ll be singing their praises in Chiac: “Chu stuffed!” (608 Mountain Rd.; 506-855-9645)

Cocktails

Tide & Boar Gastropub has all the usuals – White Russian, Old-Fashioned, Manhattan — but dive into its “innovative” cocktail menu. The Magnetic Hill Sour (named after Moncton’s famous attraction that drags cars backwards uphill) is a layered cocktail of a whisky sour and Chocolate River Raspberry Dessert Wine from the hill’s winery. Or try its Candied Apple cocktail made from vodka, butterscotch Schnapps, Goldschlager and the Boar’s own house-made baked apple syrup. To counteract all the sweetness, order the local boar poutine. (700 Main St.)

Vegetarian Food

A Monctonian favourite among both vegetarians and carnivores, Calactus Café offers a menu that sweeps across the globe. Start with the Thousand and One Nights appetizer with Chaptai (a flatbread from Southeast Asia), feta cheese, falafels, hummus and veggie sticks. Then, move on to its Indian thin crust pizza with curried vegetable pâté and roasted sunflower seeds. Homemade vegan desserts and organic wine top off this spot’s charms. It’s a little pricey but the servings are big and the café can “veganized” most dishes. (125 Church St.)

Seafood

Monkeytown has no shortage of superb seafood restaurants but the one that wins out in terms of variety and scenery is Pisces. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much but the restaurant sits on the bank of the Petitcodiac River, which is famous for its tidal bores. If you can tear your eyes away from the gushing waters — it happens twice a day — to your menu, you’ll find seafood croquettes, Atlantic lobster, Bouillabaisse (a French-style stew with every crustacean/bivalve known to man in it) and seafood casserole. (300 Main St.)

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