Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Eat, drink, and be merry in PEI!

I'm curious how many people outside of Canada, and who have not read Anne of Green Gables, have heard of Prince Edward Island.  My sense is that it's a bit of a hidden gem to the wider world, and only really known in Canada for its fantastic beaches and delicious seafood.  The world would be a better place if that sense is wrong!

My experience there was not average, since I didn't do the tourist thing but instead spent my time hanging out with friends.  I can attest that the beaches are beautiful, the people are friendly, but I can't comment much on tourist stuff like Green Gables or anything else!  Probably the only somewhat touristy thing we did was go deep sea fishing off the north coast of the island with a company located on Wharf Road.  And it was AWESOME.

However.  When it comes to places to eat, drink, and hang out in Charlottetown, we definitely covered some ground.  So here's a run-down on a variety of coffee shops, restaurants, and bars that may help you decide where you want to vector yourself when you're wandering around this beautiful, small city.

Fishbones: first place we went!  This place is on Richmond Street, and in summer the whole row of restaurants also put out sidewalk patios.  We had fresh oysters at the bar, regular food on the patio, drinks all around ... fun place!  Later at night, the restaurant aspect shuts down and the DJ and dancers come out.

Olde Dubin Pub: I am always a sucker for a good Irish pub, and this one makes the cut.  We were there at night, fairly late actually (post-midnight) and it was packed!  Great live music too .... who can turn down Galway Girl??

Peakes Quay: I can only comment on Peakes as a night spot, and it's jammed.  Large place and quite open with decks and patios, so it doesn't feel overly crowded.  Also right near the water which is awesome.

Kettle Black: I'm not 100% sure if this is the right name and I think this place is fairly new, but they make gourmet coffees and what looked like really delicious food.  It's a bit chaotic and unsettled inside ... like they're still settling in, but a friendly, warm place to grab a cup.

Merchantman Pub: sitting on the corner of Queen St and Water St, this place is great.  The main entrance is on Queen St and there's a patio there too, in the warm months.  There's another back patio that you can access from a separate entrance on Water St.  Delicious food!

Hunter's Ale House: Hunter's is a tad removed from the main hub of downtown, but is still a busy place.  Beware when the Mudmen rugby team have a home game, because they will descend en masse upon the place after their game.  :)  Good place for meals during the day, also relaxed place to hang out at night with live music!

Daniel Brenan's Brickhouse: this venue is super cool.  It's a big old brick building that used to be a warehouse, and is now a fantastic restaurant with a really neat lounge/bar called Marc's Studio perched on the top.  Shout out to Danny because he's an amazing bartender.

Cow's: best ice cream in Canada, and among the top ten in the world!!  Prepare yourself for flavor options overload when you walk in.  But it is DELICIOUS.

Two final random non-food-or-drink related notes on PEI.  Go for a walk in Victoria Park!  Great waterside views from the boardwalk there.  And also, I was super excited to discover that there's a drive-in movie theater in Brackley, which is more towards the north coast of the island.  Somebody go and tell me how amazing it is!

 My photos.  You may not borrow or replicate them under any circumstances, sorry!

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