The Northumberland Shore of Nova Scotia runs along the Northumberland Strait from Amherst to Antigonish. Stretching 338kms along the northeastern shore of Nova Scotia this route is known as the Sunrise Trail and is a scenic and leisurely drive along the coast. As you travel through this area you’ll pass by rural homes, farmland, fishing sheds, charming towns, lighthouses, gorgeous beaches and amongst all of that some culinary delights and untapped treasures.
I recently took a road trip from Amherst to Antigonish to create a food guide to the Northumberland Shore of Nova Scotia. Here is a compilation of some of the various restaurants, cafes, bakeries, breweries and more that I enjoyed.
Table of Contents
Food Highlights in Amherst, Nova Scotia
Our Backyard BBQ
My most surprising find in Amherst was in a small strip mall next to the Dollarama. A BBQ restaurant known as Our Backyard BBQ. They cook, smoke, grill their own meats on site and serve up huge portions of delicious meats with large sides to go with it. I went for a favourite order of mine, a pulled pork sandwich. This large sandwich which was served with two heaping sides of mac’n’cheese and coleslaw came to just around $17.00. An amazing price for the amount of food you get. It was so delicious, and I highly recommend you check them out if you are passing through.
Our Backyard BBQ – 147 S Albion St, Amherst, NS
Balcony Candy Shoppe
What originally started as a small candy shop on the balcony in Dayle’s Grand Market has now expanded into it’s own property on Victoria Street East in Amherst. Balcony Candy Shoppe specializes in delicious candy, viral social media treats, old school candy and imported candy. They also carry protein powders, shakes and some sports gear. Visit for some nostalgia and to try some tasty treats or flavour combinations you never considered before. Think huge spicy pickles wrapped in fruit roll-ups.
Balcony Candy Shoppe – 125 Victoria St E, Amherst, NS
Art of Eating Deli & Catering
One of the main go to lunch and cafe spots in Amherst is the Art of Eating Deli. This is the kind of place where everybody knows your name. Well, unless you’re a visitor from out of town like me. They have a large array of sandwiches, salads, daily soups and other things on their menu and offer some great dessert options as well.
Art of Eating Deli and Catering – 91 Victoria St E, Amherst, NS
Trider’s Craft Beer
The only craft beer brewery in town is Trider’s Craft Beer. Tucked away behind one of the main roads in town they are also a public house and live music venue. Visit for live music, enjoy a flight or grab some beer to go.
Trider’s Craft Beer – 46 Anson Ave Unit 3, Amherst, NS
Notable mention: Birkenshaw’s Tea Room and the B Ready take out food shop used to be in Amherst as well. Sadly they closed in late 2022 but the owners can still be found at the Moncton farmers market selling tasty treats each week.
Where to stay in Amherst, Nova Scotia
A great place to stay in Amherst, Nova Scotia along the North shore is the Amherst Shore Country Inn. Located about 25 minutes from the main town of Amherst. The Inn is located right on the Northumberland Shore with ocean views, featuring a spacious property with sprawling gardens, beach access and chalets for you to stay in. They are also a must visit for food along the Northumberland Shore. Whether you enjoy a delicious breakfast that is included with your stay or make a reservation for dinner. Their restaurant has views overlooking the ocean and serve up great dishes made with food locally sourced from their gardens and nearby farmers.
Best Eats from Pugwash to River John on the Northumberland Shore of Nova Scotia
What’s For Dinner – Food Truck
What’s For Dinner is a food truck located near the corner of the Sunrise Trail and River John road, across from the Esso gas station in River John, NS. They are open seasonally and sell burgers, hotdogs, fries, poutines and the most delicious fish and chips. I ended up at the food truck just randomly and it was a lucky surprise with how great and fresh their fish and chips were. They are definitely on my top list of favourite fish and chip places in Nova Scotia now.
What’s For Dinner – 1957 Highway 6, River John, NS
The Overstreet Cafe
Also located in River John is the Overstreet Cafe. Opened in June 2022, they are a welcomed addition to the community. Stop in for your caffeine fix and a tasty treat made in shop or stay and enjoy lunch with a delicious sandwich or soup. While there I enjoyed a gluten free peanut butter delight square, a sparkling pomegranate lemonade and ham sandwich on a ciabatta bun.
The Overstreet Cafe – 2727 River John Station Rd, River John, NS
Wiley’s By the Wharf
Located in Wallace, Nova Scotia, Wiley’s By The Wharf restaurant opened in summer of 2022 (previously the Whirligig Cafe). One of the best parts about this restaurant is the gorgeous sunset views over the ocean as you enjoy your dinner. Be sure to request a window by the water. Owned and operated by Chef Shane Robilliard (previously of Fox Harb’r) and his wife Stephanie Thompson. They operate the restaurant as a causal bistro with food sourced as locally, sustainably and ethically as possible. The menu changes seasonally and when I stopped in I enjoyed a great lobster fettuccini and homemade chocolate fudge cake. If visiting on the weekend be sure to make a reservation in advance.
Wiley’s By the Wharf – 13909 NS-6, Wallace, NS
Jost Vineyards is one of the oldest vineyards in all of Nova Scotia. Located along the Northumberland Shore away from the more popular wine growing region of the Annapolis Valley. Jost is a part of the Devoinian Coast Wineries which also includes Gaspereau and Mercator Vineyards. In the Malagash area where they are located they grow hardy vines and grape varieties on 60 acres of land. Open year round their vineyard, wine shop and tasting room are a great place to visit while exploring the area. Stop in to buy some bottles or cans to go, try a flight or enjoy some tasty bites during the growing season at the Seagrape Cafe.
I recommend trying their award winning Tidal Bay wines, from the Nova Scotian appellation. Or grab some LÜVO cans of wine that are gluten free, vegan and all natural. Flavours include Rosé, Piquette + Peach, Piquette + Berry or my favourite Muscat + Mint.
Jost Vineyards – 48 Vintage Ln, Malagash, NS
Vista Bella Farm and Malagash Cidery
The Vista Bella Farm is home to an apiary, a heritage orchard with over 150 kinds of apples and other fruits and an artisanal cidery. They are the only large scale apple orchard on the Northumberland Shore and offer an apple u-pick in the fall months as well. Visit to pick some apples, grab some fresh produce from the farm store and sample a flight of delicious ciders in their tasting room. The Strawberry Rhubarb and Blueberry Maple ciders were both favourites of mine.
Vista Bella Farm – 2859 Malagash Rd, Malagash, NS
Seafoam Lavender in Seafoam, Nova Scotia is home to a gorgeous lavender farm. Not so much a food stop although they do sell lavender teas and shortbread cookies. They also sell amazing handmade products made with lavender like oils, soaps, body balms, face creams, scents and more. Visit for the gorgeous flowers in bloom, learn all about lavender and lavender oil production and do a little shopping in their store.
Seafoam Lavender: 3768 NS-6, Seafoam, NS
Where to stay Between Pugwash and River John, NS
While visiting the area between Pugwash and River John, NS I stayed along the ocean at the Cottages at Cambra Sands in Malagash, Nova Scotia. On property they have nine cottages and two houses for rent varying in size from 1-3 bedrooms. The cottages are located on a private beach front and have a shared playground and hot tub. The property is located not far from Jost, Tatamagouche and Fox Harb’r Resort. It is a perfect spot for a getaway for anywhere from two nights to two weeks.
Popular Spots to Dine in Tatamagouche
Without a doubt the town Tatamagouche is probably the most popular foodie destination the Northumberland shore of Nova Scotia. They are most known for the Tatamagouche Brewery, Tatamagouche Ice Creamery and the Tatamagouche Farmers Market. Also a 25min drive from the town is Sugar Moon Farm. Home to a sugar shack, maple woods with hiking trails and some of the best pancakes around. Be sure to book your visit in advance to the Sugar Moon Farm. There are a couple other places you should be sure to check out as well:
Appleton Chocolates in Tatamagouche is known for their hand dipped maple fondant coated in delicious French and Belgian chocolate. They are a family owned chocolate shop and source as many products locally as possible like their blueberries, coffee and maple syrup. In store you can find their truffles of various flavours as well as chocolate bars, chocolate caramels, chocolate bark, gift boxes, and more. Their maple and blueberry milk chocolate truffles were my favourite. Yum!
Appleton Chocolates – 261 Main St, Tatamagouche, NS
Chowder House Seafood & Spirits Restaurant
The Chowder House Seafood and Spirits restaurant on Main Street in Tatamagouche is a great place to grab some chowder, see live music and enjoy their patio in the summer months. Stop in for breakfast tacos, fish and chips or enjoy grilled salmon washed down with a local Tata brew. They also serve at least four different kinds of chowder. Not feeling seafood? Grab burgers, sandwiches and more.
Chowder House on Main – 265 Main St, Tatamagouche, NS
Where to Stay in Tatamagouche
One of the most well known places to stay in Tatamagouche is the Train Station Inn. The inn is made up of several vintage Canadian train cabooses and boxcars that have been converted into boutique accommodations. There is also a dining car as well. The train cars are located in downtown Tatamagouche along Waughs River just steps away from Creamery Square.
The Best Food Finds in Pictou, Nova Scotia
Pictou County Pizza
Pictou County, Nova Scotia is known for it’s pizza. The people that live there are obsessed with it and people come from all over just to try it. The biggest difference with Pictou County pizza when compared to regular pizza is that it has a brown sauce instead of red. This special pizza sauce is made from typical ingredients like tomatoes, onions and spices but then also uses chicken broth and flour which gives it it’s brown colour.
The Pictou County Pizza originates at the pizza shop in Stellarton, NS called Sam’s Pizza. The pizza was first created by two brothers from Greece. Over 50 years ago they moved to the area and opened Sam’s Pizza shop that still exists today. They were the first pizza shop in the area and now not only can you now buy their pizza sauce by the jar but tons of pizza places in the area make their famous Pictou County Pizza now as well.
This pizza is loved so much that they now ship it all over Canada and the US and it can be found pre-made in local grocery stores. Keep reading to see my experience with Pictou County Pizza while in New Glasgow, NS.
Mrs. MacGregor’s Shortbreads
One of the most popular places to visit in Pictou, Nova Scotia is Mrs. MacGregor’s Shortbreads shop. These particular shortbreads are a popular treat that can be found in shops around the province but call Pictou home. Visit their shop for various different flavour options from traditional shortbread to lavender and lemon, maple, skor, chocolate, whiskey and more. At their shop they also carry oatcakes and sell other great local made products. Be warned however you probably won’t leave without spending a good amount of money in there.
Mrs. MacGregor’s Shortbreads – 59 Water St, Pictou, NS
Not a place to eat but a definite stop on the foodie trail of the Northumberland Shore. Stop into Grohmanns knives when visiting Pictou, a Canadian made knife company famous around the world. From the best kitchen knives to hunting knives, outdoor knives, tools and more. Their handcrafted knives have been made here since 1957. If you’re a big fan you can even take a free tour of their factory as well.
Grohmanns Knives – 116 Water St, Pictou, NS
Where to stay in Pictou, Nova Scotia
The Heritage Quay Bed & Breakfast is by far one of the best places to stay when visiting Pictou, Nova Scotia. A quaint bed and breakfast that is beautifully decorated and located in the downtown area. The rooms offer mini fridges, TVs, wifi and comfortable beds. They also offer guests picnic options, and on special occasion host afternoon tea. For breakfast in the morning they serve several delicious breakfast options as well.
Heritage Quay B&B – 90 Front St, Pictou, NS
Highlights of the Best Food in New Glasgow
Blue Lobster Public House
The Blue Lobster Public House is one of the newest restaurants in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Owned by Nova Scotia Spirit Co. the restaurant and shop features all of their distillery products including their new vodka sodas. They have an extensive cocktail menu that I recommend you check out as well. Visit for the drinks, stay for the food. In the summer months they also have a great outdoor patio and picnic table and lawn area to relax on. While there I enjoyed the house made guacamole and chips and the classic smash burger and I highly recommend both. For a drink I had the Fisherman’s Sunrise: Fishermen Helper’s white rum, orange, pineapple, coconut. This was also quite delicious.
Blue Lobster Public House – 230 S Foord St, Stellarton, NS
East Avenue Dining
A great dining option in New Glasgow is East Avenue Dining which opened in 2019. Their menu offers a mix of seafood dishes, pub food and salads but also some great Asian dishes as well. While visiting I tried the Tamis Anghang a dish popular in the Philippines made of crispy fried marinated chicken, rice, Thai sweet chili sauce with bell peppers and onions. Served hot and a bit spicy this dish was delicious. The restaurant is also a lounge and often has great live music to enjoy as well.
While there be sure to also check out Viola’s Way next door. A town block dedicated to Viola Desmond, a businesswoman and Canadian Civil women’s rights activist of Black Nova Scotian descent.
East Avenue Dining – 200 Provost Street, New Glasgow, NS
As mentioned previously there are now several places that make Pictou County pizza including a local chain of pizza shops called Acropole. While in New Glasgow I visited the Acropole location for a pie and it was quite delicious. Locals later told me however that you must try the original from Sam’s. And if you are going to try it from Acropole you MUST order the combo pizza that comes with: green peppers, mushrooms and Brother’s pepperoni. I ordered the pepperoni, which I thought was great, but apparently the combo is far superior. Personally I didn’t notice too much of a difference between the Pictou pizza sauce and regular pizza sauce.
Acropole Pizza – 80 Provost St., New Glasgow, NS
The Shoebox Cantina opened in the summer of 2022 and features a great menu with a Mexican twist. When visiting be sure to try their bacon Caesar salad, PiriPiri Honey Chicken Sando and their tacos. Also if you are looking for dessert be sure to not skip out on the Spanish Toast. It’s not toast at all and is more like an even fancier creme brûlée and so delicious. The Blue Haze Lemonade was quite delicious as well and is one of several tasty mocktails that they offer.
Shoebox Cantina – 84 Provost St., New Glasglow, NS
Crossroads Country Market
The Crossroads Country Market is located about 10min from downtown New Glasgow. It is a market, convenience store, bakery and diner. Stop in to grab anything you need including some of the best Nova Scotian oatcakes in the province. Stay for a full breakfast or delicious burgers or grab them to go.
Crossroads Country Market – 9489 Sherbrooke Rd, New Glasgow, NS
Antigonish the University Town of Good Eats
The Townhouse, an unsuspecting english style pub with a rotating locally sourced menu. Everything is made fresh, simple and delicious. Enjoy your meal with a guest tap from a local brewery like the hibiscus gose from Half Cocked located just 5 minutes up the road. While there I enjoyed they house made chips with french onion dip that was so simple yet out of this world. I paired that with the previously mentioned gose and the cheeseburger with Monterey Jack, aioli, dill pickles and lettuce.
The Townhouse – 76 College St, Antigonish, NS
Peace By Chocolate
Peace By Chocolate is owned and operated by the Hadhad’s, a Syrian family who immigrated to Nova Scotia from Syria via Lebanon. Once chocolate makers in their home country with the help and support of the Antigonish community they were able to make chocolate again here in Canada. They are now a Canadian success story and have even been recognized by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Their original shop in the town was a small shed next to their house but in late 2022 they opened a brand new storefront in Antigonish on Main Street. They also have a gorgeous store on the Halifax waterfront and can now be found in stores across Canada. Stop in for a visit to the new shop or order online from their chocolate shop here.
Peace By Chocolate – 344 Main St, Antigonish, NS
Candid Brewing is a fairly quirky craft beer brewery located on College street in Antigonish. They have a storefront where you can grab merch and tall boys of their beer to go, or you can enjoy their taproom. Grab a flight or pint in their comfortable seating and couches or get a table closer to the stage when there is often live music. They are constantly brewing new batches with an ever evolving menu. My favourite was definitely the Electro Lite Mango Sour. Without a doubt they were one of my favourite craft beer breweries along the Northumberland Shore of Nova Scotia.
Candid Brewing – 88 College Street, Antigonish, NS
The Wheel Pizza and Sub Shop
Everyone will tell you that you can’t go to Antigonish without getting a pizza or slice from the Wheel. A literal institution in the town that has been around for decades. Probably at it’s best in the middle of the night on a weekend when all of the inebriated St. FX students are coming in for a slice and they are pumping them out hot and fresh. The last time I enjoyed some was after the Summerfest concert and it was beyond tasty and a great way to finish off your night out.
The Wheel – 382 Main St, Antigonish, NS
Waffle Bus Stop Inc.
Located right next to St. FX the Waffle Bus Stop makes delicious sandwiches and desserts with waffles. There are various options from grilled cheese waffles to Eggs benny waffles and more. When I visited however I just HAD to try the donair waffle. Made with a leige waffle with donair meat, onions, tomatoes and donair sauce it was great. Donair sauce is already sweet so adding a sweet waffle to it really worked. I would highly recommend the donair waffle to everyone that visits.
Waffle Bus Stop Inc. – 18 College St, Antigonish, NS
Justamere Cafe & Bakery
A cafe, a bakery, a bar, the Justamere Cafe does it all. Located unsuspectingly near the big box stores in Antigonish about a 12 minute walk from Main street. Justamere has a delicious breakfast menu and is a great place to visit for lunch as well. While there I had their Justa-schmear bagel with lox. Made on their house made enormous bagels topped with copious amounts of spinach, salmon, capers, onions and cream cheese. It was quite delicious and I also enjoyed it with their own version of timbits. Stop in and grab a bite or check out their bakery selections from fresh bread to cookies and frozen pies to take home.
Justamere Cafe & Bakery – 137 Church St, Antigonish, NS
Steinhart Distilling is an award winning distillery in Arisaig, NS just outside of Antigonish. Makers of fine vodka and gins using as many locally sourced products as possible. Originally famous for their maple vodka be sure to grab a bottle or do a taste test while visiting. In their tasting you room you can have a flight of liquors which includes one mixed cocktail. I went for the Sweet Carolina cocktail which was made of pineapple juice and maple vodka. It was insanely delectable. Be sure to also enjoy the stunning view of the Northumberland Shore of Nova Scotia from the top of their driveway before you leave.
Steinhart Distilling – 5963 NS-245, Arisaig, NS
Knoydart Farm Cheese
Knoydart Farm Cheese is a family owned grass-fed certified organic dairy farm in Knoydart, NS. On their property they have a cheese house that you can visit that has a self serve fridge. Visit the farm, peruse their current available selection in the fridge, leave your cash and be on your merry way with tasty, local and fresh cheeses, curds, milk and more. My personal faves were the aged cheddar and poppy seed garlic cheddar cheese.
Knoydart Farm Cheese – 7037 NS-245, Knoydart, NS
Where to stay in Antigonish
While visiting Antigonish, Nova Scotia I stayed at the Maritime Inn Antigonish. Located right in the middle of the town on Main Street they are the perfect location with most restaurants and shops just a short walk away. The Maritime Inn has several room options from doubles to Queens, Kings and even an executive Suite with two bedrooms. The on site Main Street Cafe off of the lobby also offers a good breakfast menu and all day food options. Great for dining in, take-out or room service. Visit their website here to book your stay in Antigonish.
If you are looking for a newer more modern accommodation option near Antigonish then check out the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham. Great for business travellers or people just passing through or good for visitors as well as long as you have a car.
My foodie trip along the Northumberland Shore of Nova Scotia was in the fall. A few seasonal places were already closed at that time so there are more places that I need to go back and visit and enjoy. However if you follow these suggestions you will be sure to have a tasty adventure.
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