My husband and I had lunch at the Bourbon Cafe and we will not be returning. The food was modest in quantity, which is okay... it was lunch. But five... yes five... french fries is a bit skimpy by any standard. When we ordered, the waitress asked my husband if he would like an extra piece of chicken. He said yes and it was a wing... a scrawny overcooked wing for which he was charged an extra five dollars.
The ambience was okay although the entertainer for the evening was thumping around setting up equipment. But that was okay. It was fun.
The service was just so-so. She was pleasant but did not return to ask how our meal was. I caught her eye to ask for more water, which was brought to me after I had finished my meal and was drinking my coffee.
The coffee was delicious but not enough of a draw to make up for the deficiencies.
Favorite Dish: The coffee
For our 30th anniversary, my husband and I decided to travel across Canada, having only been to Canada a few times. We were recommend to visit Bourbon Quarter by the hotel we were staying with. We were greeted promptly at the door and seated at a lovely booth. We opened the menu, and we surprised to see such variety! I tried the duck breast, which I was told was from right there in New Brunswick and my husband tried the rack of lamb. The only thing better than the food, which was amazing, was how friendly the staff was. Maybe it is a Canadian thing, I don't know, but they were so accommodating. We headed out just before their live entertainment began, a bit to late for us as we were heading out in the morning. On our travels, if we happen to venture back to New Brunswick, Canada, we will make Bourbon Quarter a must.
Favorite Dish: Sugar and Spice lacquered Duck Breast
Pecan encrusted rack of lamb
A great seafood restaurant that IS open 7 days a week all year round.
The seafood chowder is thick and full of seafood chunks and the lobster.... Mmmm the lobster!
On a Sunday afternoon, the place was quiet and service was efficient.
For the menu, visit
Assuming that you've chosen to visit Saint John's OUTSTANDING City Market (please see my separate City Market "things to do" tip), you might want to catch a bite to eat there, too. There are numerous eateries and food stands, pretty much offering about anything you might want to consider. Among your options are:
> Billy's Seafood Company (see separate restaurant tip) This is more of a sit-down restaurant right at the edge of the market. Excellent and fresh seafood and other items.
> Java Moose, a coffee stand that also sells the prerequisite muffins and pastries.
> Kim's Korean Food, they have both prepared items and are a grocery. Are you in the mood for Kimchee?
> Pete's Frootique, you gotta LOVE the name if nothing else. This is the place that you'll find froot - oops I meant fruit - smoothies and the like.
> Jeremiah's Deli, they have deli-style lunch items, cold cuts, cheeses and - if you're ready for something sweet - soft or hard-serve ice cream.
> Raymond's, another excellent deli option
> Sagrati's, sandwiches, wraps, milkshakes, smoothies and other such items.
> Sister's Italian Food, Italian goodies, including excellent PIZZA. (see photo above)
> Taco Pica Cooperative, specializing in Mexican, Guatemalan and Spanish foods. Apparently this place is run by a fairly active ex-patriot Guatemalan community in Saint John.
> The Infusion Tearoom/Bistro, they have a nice selection of homestyle soups and chowders
> The Wild Carrot Cafe, they serve fresh sandwiches, homemade soups and claim to have the "best salad bar in New Brunswick".
Favorite Dish: Well, we really really enjoyed the pizza from Sister's Italian. And, for sit-down meals, Billy's Seafood is top-drawer.
NOTE, if you're buying from a stand, ask them to point you in the direction of the tables. There is an outdoor, but covered and insulated (plastic) area in which you can sit and enjoy your food purchase, if the stand from which you buy doesn't have an immediate place to sit down.
We went into the alehouse to have some ale, a simple plan. It turned out that the Saint John Alehouse was more than just a brewery and pub, they have a nice food menu as well. We didn't do a meal there, but it all looked tasty, might be a good choice.
The Saint John Alehouse reminded me - a little bit - of Ray's Steel City Saloon back home in Tallahassee, Florida. They have a huge selection of beer and ales, both bottled and on tap. If you are a brew lover, this is your place. And, be sure to tell your server what type of beer you prefer, he or she can give you some excellent guidance on what to choose, if you're less familiar with the local brands.
Prices below reflect "just having a beer or two", not lunch or dinner service.
Favorite Dish: Among the beers and ales on tap are:
Alexander Keith's (IPA, Red Ale, Light and White)
Moosehead (Ale, Light and Lager)
Picaroons (Best Bitter, Timber Hog Stout, Dark and Stormy, Seasonal Tap)
Pump House (Blueberry Ale, Fire Chief Red Ale, Scotch Ale and Seasonal Tap)
Rickard's (Red, White and Honey Brown)
plus, the usual suspects such as Molson, Labatt's, Coors, etc.)
(Note, there is a high school named James S. Rickards in Tallahassee, and in spite of them being MY high school's arch rivals, I decided to try the Rickard's Ale. I did the honey brown, very very good - smooth and yet hearty)
Prefer bottled beers or ales? Here are a few that are available:
Garrison (Tall Ship, Nut Brown, Irish Red, Imperial Pale Ale)
Propeller (Bitter, Pale Ale, Porter)
St. Amboise (Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout and Apricot Ale)
Fuller (London Pride, Organic Dew)
Innis and Gunn
plus, the usuals... Grolsch, Stella Artois, Corona, Dos Equis, Heineken and Sam Adams)
If I'd had a bottle brew, I think I would have tried the Apricot Ale...OK OK, not the most manly sounding brew, but it sounded interesting.
Did all of you VirtualTourist members get the little inside joke? "Don't Miss the Fresh Seafood" is the "example" that they list under "give your restaurant review a title".
OK, it's not original, but it really fits for this tip. Billy's Seafood Company in Saint John is both an excellent fresh seafood restaurant AND market. "Take Away" or "Take Out" can mean two different things here.
But, if we're talking about prepared meals, the restaurant features a wide variety of well-prepared local seafood entrees, prepared both in simple and more complex ways. The emphasis is on local and fresh.
They aren't 100% seafood, there are steaks and chops, and a vegetarian dish or two, but c'mon.... if you're eating at a place called Billy's SEAFOOD company, you're not there for the ribeye, are you?
Favorite Dish: Among the better appetizer choices were the baked oysters and the bacon-wrapped scallops -always a favorite of mine. I saw someone having the bouillabaisse, and it looked scrumptious. I guess I wasn't in the mood for a big bowl of "B". (Maybe the next time I'm in Marseilles. :)
As for mains, they have excellent options for halibut and salmon, along with scallop and lobster features. I think you should consider a couple of the "mixture" options, perhaps the thermidor (featuring shrimp, Digby scallops, lobster and haddock baked in thermidor sauce) or maybe the Seafood Medley (featuring shrimp, Digby scallops and lobster sautéed with mushrooms and green onions in a garlic cream sauce and served over linguine). How about some cedar-plank baked salmon?
If you'd like something lighter, maybe less of an "entree", I'd perhaps look at the fish and chips or the Digby scallops and chips.
Whatever you get will be expertly prepared and fresh. Terrific food.
I could have written this tip for Tim Horton's for almost any village, town, city or even highway rest stop in Canada. This is Canada's coffee and doughnut franchise, there are thousands of outlets all over this beautiful country. They've even moved into the USA, where they are going doughnut hole to doughnut hole with venerable Dunkin' Donuts.
This particular outlet, pictured below, is located in the Market Square shopping complex of Saint John. Their main products are the doughnuts, and they also make muffins and other pastries. Many of the outlets also sell breakfast sandwiches, usually built around eggs, sausage and bacon. Ummmmm, love that bacon. :)
As for my "the most Canadian place on earth" line, I stole it from the American television show HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. There is a scene where two of the characters are in a Tim Horton's in Toronto, and one of them says - "we're in the most Canadian place on earth". Tim Hortons equals Canada in much the same way that McDonald's equals the USA. Get it?
Favorite Dish: I thought the maple-frosted doughnuts were the best.
We might have found the best restaurant in all of Saint John! The Lemongrass specializes in Thai fare, but the menu also includes other Asian delicacies, including the amazing Indian butter chicken I ordered. This restaurant is located in an old uptown Saint John house, and the Asian twist they have given to it goes surprisingly well with the old fireplace and wood mouldings. Service was quick and efficient, and everybody enjoyed their meal very much. One word of warning though: even if it says the wonton soup is made with a mild broth, it is insanely spicy!! Other than that, everything was great.
Favorite Dish: I highly recommend the butter chicken or the sweet and sour pork.
It didn't take us long to figure out that Vito's is the kind of restaurant that has been around for decades and that still seems to be a local's favorite. At Vito's you'll enjoy good, honest Italian dishes in a family atmosphere - nothing too fancy, but something to please everyone. There were eight of us and we ordered pasta, pizza, BBQ chicken and a chicken cesar salad (which they claim to have invented?!), and everything was quite good. Our waitress was a little swamped but she was still friendly and efficient, and we all left the place full to the brim!
From the outside, Taco Pica looked like a pretty authentic Mexican restaurant (colorful but low-key) so we decided to give it a try and we weren't disappointed! We stopped by for lunch and were pleased with the menu, which features pretty much all your favorite Mexican dishes. Service was quick and friendly, and it began in a Spanglish that quickly turned to Spanish once I got over my shyness and uttered a few words. Some posters on the walls informed us that the place actually turns into a salsa and meringue nightclub on the weekend - perhaps if there's a next time?!
My wife and I spent a relaxing July day in the Port City. We just happened to be there at lunch, so we sat down outside at the dockside Market Square complex that is full of shops, restaurants and even the New Brunswick Museum! The old brick building that you see here, built in 1877 after the great Saint John fire, is typical of the older construction in the city. Like many other places, the downtown area has been renovated greatly to cater to the tourist crowd. We had a great time sitting there for our lunch watching the antics of all the tourists from the huge cruise ship that was docked only a few hundred feet away.
Favorite Dish: It had been 5 months since we last had a good feed of Indian food - while in England in February! On this day, we shared a couple of their Luncheon Specials - a Nawabi Salad at US$5 (mango, tomato, cucumber and red onion with roasted garlic and lemon dressing) and for US$6 the Murgh Mukhani or Butter Chicken ('served to the Mughal Kings, made of tender chicken simmered in a creamy butter gravy, with nuts, ginger and fenugreek'). We both really loved the Murgh Mukhani - amazing flavours! However, the salad seemed a trifle too sweet, I think the mango was too ripe or something. However, it was still quite edible! Altogether, with a tip and drinks about US$30. March 2008 Update: This restaurant has gone out of business.
This is a very nice sit-down restaurant (although they may also have take-out), serving Lebanese, Italian, and Canadian dishes. The decor is tasteful, airy, and the staff is friendly. Lots of parking space.
A great place to try some Lebanese food if you've never had it before.
Favorite Dish: They have a great deal for lunch. For just under CAD$10., you get a choice of soup, your entrée, dessert, and tea or coffee. With tax, the meal came to about $11.50.
I had never had Lebanese food before, so I had the Shwarma with Hummus, the corn chowder for the soup, and Baklava for dessert. Everything was delicious, and I was stuffed !
I'll definitely try this place again.
A very nice deli in the beautiful City Market - The food was amazing and lots of it. Only problem was the service, the lady that served me was not very nice and made the experience unpleasant.
Favorite Dish: I had a smoked meat sandwich, excellent!!!!!!
Following the Great Fire of 1877 which destroyed much of downtown Saint John, including 1600 buildings, Victorian-era brick buildings were erected as replacements over the following years. Today, this area makes for a very pleasant walk as you enjoy the sight of these structures with their Corinthian columns, Italian facades and various intriguing gargoyles!
Among the buildings constructed was the Union Club, in 1890. This was the idea of senior businessmen who felt that they needed a place to meet for companionship and the exchange of ideas. The interior of the building is richly decorated with a luxurious carved staircase and a Victorian style oak paneled foyer. The private dining room in this facility is also lavishly decorated, with a large fireplace and more intricate wood carvings. It holds several large tables with traditional wooden chairs.
Over the years, the club has entertained novelist H. Ryder Haggard (1914), the Prince of Wales (1919) and several of Canada's Prime Ministers. On this day, I was invited as a lunch guest by one of its members, with whom I had met during the morning on official business.
Favorite Dish: The Seafood Chowder was excellent, a thick and hearty mixture of all sorts of things including white fish, scallops, potatos and onions! That was the highlight for me. The main course of Fish and Chips was also very tasty!
The Mediterranean Restaurant has been in the same location in Saint John since 1971.
The first time I ate there was over 20 yrs ago, but I recently had an opportunity to return there after all that time. The place underwent some major interior renovations in recent years, and it is a very nice place.
At one end of the building is the Blue Olive pub, where they have live entertainment on certain days of the week. When I was there with my wife during the middle of the week, there was a bowling crowd in the pub doing some celebrating, so it was a bit on the noisy side.
The restaurant's menus include breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a kids menu. They also offer take-out and delivery. They don't open until late in the morning, so it isn't a very popular place as a breakfast spot.
The staff was friendly, polite, and attentive.
Favorite Dish: We had the Chicken Cacciatore, and the New York Striploin with brown rice. Both meals were good-sized portions, tasty, and arrived hot. Those, along with a drink each, cost us around CAD$40.00.
The price range of the dinner entrées was from just less than $11.00, to just under $18.00 for either the Seafood Platter, or the Roast Prime Rib of Beef. Most entrées were between $11. to $13. This was quite reasonable, when compared to some restaurants right downtown, where the same meals would likely cost $20.
Some of the other dinner meals they offer include broiled salmon, fried scallops, BBQ chicken, Chicken Souvlaki, Moussaka, steaks, stir-fry, ham, and pork chops. The lunch menu includes sandwiches such as a clubhouse, Souvlaki on pita, chicken rolls, and a variety of hot sandwiches.
Overall, my wife and I enjoyed our dining experience here, but if I'm going to deduct points, it will be for two reasons:
1) there isn't much of a divider between the restaurant area and the pub area. If you're looking for a quiet dinner, you might be somewhat disappointed, depending on how busy the Blue Olive is;
2) we found the washrooms were not well tended to. The sinks didn't look like they had been cleaned in hours, and it wasn't busy when we were there.