In honour of Uptown Saint John's, Show Your Patio Love contest we decided to count down our top 5 favourite Uptown Patios perfect for those summer days and nights with friends, family, significant other and a cold drink. Be sure to let us know your favourite Uptown patio is in the comments below!
The first wine bar in Atlantic Canada describes itself as "a little bar with lots of wine." This fact is never more evident than on its patio. It is very intimate, only being able to comfortably hold about 7 people, however that just gives you an excuse to cozy up to your significant other on those warm summer nights. Where else could you enjoy fine wine, the night stars, and The Bay of Fundy!
Address: 42 Princess Street
Co-owned by one of Atlantic Canada's most well known Chefs, Jesse Vergen, the Saint John Ale House was recognized as Atlantic restaurant of the year in 2014 and has been featured on the FOOD Network show "You Gotta Eat Here." Experience the great quality and service while enjoying the entertainment of the Saint John Boardwalk like daily live music, one of the many festivals, or just the Bay of Fundy. Savour a delicious meal paired with craft beer, local wine, or artisan cocktails. Heck, why not try all 30 beer on tap by ordering a Giant Flight!
Address: 1 Market Square
Started in Charlottetown, Gahan is all about high quality food, great beer, and an unforgettable experience. Known for its amazing oysters and incredible beer, Gahan is the newest brewery to open Uptown. They didn't waste any time creating an amazing patio experience ether. Gahan Port City has two patios to choose from. The first is on Prince William St, beside the main entrance of the restaurant, the second is on Water Street attached to The Barrel Room. The Barrel Room name comes from a brewing process that sees the beer moved into barrels where it ages for six to eight months to give it unique and distinct flavours. Regardless of which patio you choose, great times and summer vibes will definitely be present.
Address: 87 Prince William Street
Revisit the 70's and 80's with classic Arcade and Pinball machines including Donkey Kong, Defenders, Pac Man, and Theater of Magic! Dance the night away to Micheal Jackson, Prince, Blondie, and other retro favorites on the largest patio in town complete with a bar and giant music video screen. Eighty Three will surely bring out the kid in you, regardless of your age!
Address: 43 Princess Street
When the owners of Five and Dime decided to add a patio they had one goal in mind, they wanted the newest, smallest, and cutest patio in Saint John. We think that Five and Dime nailed it. Make sure to include a visit to listen to the DJ spinning "Old School" vinyl, while you enjoy a artisan cocktail or craft beer on this patio big enough for yourself and your two best friends!
Address: 34 Grannan Lane
Bonus ! 14 1/2 Cafe + Bar
We know we only promised you 5 patios but we love 14 1/2 so much we had to throw them into this list. While not Uptown, its patio is one of the newest and largest patios on this list. This three-tier patio opened just this summer, and overlooks the reversing falls rapids. The Cafe is a quick service restaurant featuring summer favourites, gourmet hot dogs and hamburgers, and also some seafood. It also has a pretty great beer selection, including brews from Moosehead and Hammond River, among others. 14 1/2 is one of our favourite places to enjoy a beverage on a hot summer day and we think you'll love it too!
Address: 450 Fallsview Drive
Winegarden Estate Winery & Distillery is New Brunswick's oldest winery and distillery. They have been producing wines and spirits in Baie Verte, NB since 1991. For the last 18 years, Winegarden has hosted a community festival filled with wine, spirits, music, food, and an artisan and produce market.
Winegarden produces over 70 different products include grape, fruit, and sparkling wines, eau-de-vie, spirits and liqueurs. They have a huge shop and selection for purchase at the winery store. A couple of our favourites are l'Acadie Blanc, 25th Anniversary TM Sparkling, Rubina (a dry blueberry wine), and their sweet Maple wine.
1. Niagara on the Lake, ON, Winery Tours of Niagara
Just a short distance from Niagara Falls sits Niagara on the Lake. Famous for being the hub of Ontario's wine industry and the largest appellation in Canada. Celebrities, Athletes, and Wine Masters all call Niagara on the Lake home for their Vineyards, from Château des Charmes to Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery. With Winery Tours of Niagara, you will visit 4 different wineries, where you will sample and nibble while learning about what makes Niagara on the Lake so uniquely and proudly Canadian. Where else is Canada could so many people come to together in perfect wine harmony!
2. Toronto, ON, Drink Toronto
What can you say about Toronto, Canada's largest city, Home of the Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, Raptors, and TFC. It is also home to the most diverse population in Canada and has some of the most diverse food in Canada. From traditional Cantonese to 5-star fusion from celebrity chefs, on a Drink Toronto food and drink tour, you will discover the smells and tastes of Toronto for yourself. Whether its the beers and bites of College Street to a wine tour leading up to seeing Grease the musical in live production. Leave the over-hyped Instagram'd establishments behind and truly experience TO as a local!
3. Montreal QC, Mile End Food Tour
The Mile End is Montreal's top cultural & culinary destination. Discover its thriving foodie scene and artist community on Mile End Food Tour's three-hour food tour. You’ll get the chance to experience life as a native Montrealer, as you have over 6 different tasting of local Quebec wine, craft beer and Quebec staples of St-Viateur Bagel and Kem Coba. Just like in Toronto, it is so easy to fall into the trap of over-hyped restaurants. Mile End Food Tour, will definitely show you Montreal's hidden gems!
4. Quebec City, QC, Canada, Tours Voir Quebec
Quebec City is a rather unique city. One moment you are in Old Quebec City walking down cobblestone streets, the next you can be at the Videotron centre seeing a sold-out rock show. With Tours Voir Quebec you will get to experience Quebec City like a local. Through its 2.5 hour tour you will see the highlights of Old Quebec City and the picturesque Saint-Jean-Baptiste district. You will discover authentic Quebec culture at stops such as Le Moine Échanson for some organic wine, Le Snack Bar for the Quebec delicacy of Poutine, and "Crêperie le Billig" for a traditional crêpe. The guides are so "hands on" and genuinely care about their guests, providing everything from directions to dinner recommendations!
5. Moncton, N.B., TASTE THIS
Even with a little bit of "foodie" in your soul, this tour is a must do! On this three-hour guided excursion, you will enjoy tasty samples of local, traditional, and international dishes. New Brunswick’s culture extends far beyond its Acadian influence and seafood, welcoming ethnicity from all corners of the globe. The cuisine has evolved into a fusion of flavors we are certain will please your palate. Discover the stories of the restauranteurs and chefs that will inspire and fascinate you as you learn about the rich history of the beautiful cities and towns of New Brunswick. When you have a guide that truly lives within a community it shows, and that's what you can expect from TASTE THIS!
6. Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, TASTE THE TOWN
If you are a foodie and/or a history buff (which you must be if you’re reading this blog) then Taste the Town offers you the chance to get up close and personal with Charlottetown's best seafood and fish, craft beers, and all kinds of other Island products. Including hot spangled chip made from the islands red russet potatoes from the infamous Queen of Fries, Malpeque oysters, and Island blue mussels. Discover what makes Charlottetown a must see Maritime destination, as you enjoy a leisurely three-hour tour around historic Charlottetown.
7. Halifax, NS, LOCAL TASTINGS TOURS
Started in 2012, Local Tasting is the original Halifax food tour! Since then Local Tastings have strived to find innovative ways to show guests and locals what life in Nova Scotia is all about. Examine the history of Halifax and Nova Scotia through its culinary scene. During the tour your guide will showcase the culture and architecture while introducing you to the people who make up this amazing community.
8. Yarmouth, NS, YARMOUTH FOODIE WALKING TOURS
Yarmouth is steeped in rich history and is home to some of the freshest and best seafood in the world. Join your guide Carole on a mouth-watering foodie tour that features local beer, seafood, wine, sweets and even a personalized tasting tour of the Farmers' Market.
9. Annapolis Valley, Wolfville, NS, TASTE OF WOLFVILLE TOURS
Wolfville is a culinary hot spot in the Annapolis Valley with over 21 eateries to entice the most famished foodie. This tour will guide you through the abundance of culinary choice with a behind the scenes look at Annapolis Valley’s booming culinary scene. You will try truffles, munch on meze platters, slurp soup, cherish crêpes, sip cider, and so much more!
10. Saint John, N.B., Canada, UNCORKED TOURS
How could we have a list of the top food & drink tours without including ourselves! We have several tours to choose, from the Seafood City Tour where you will have some of the best seafood and fish in the Maritimes, to the Saint John Brewery Tour where you will sample some of the best craft beer in New Brunswick. Our Uncork Saint John Tour is the tour that started it all. This tour features the oldest continually operating six days a week market in Canada, some of the best Salmon in the Maritimes, craft beer, artisan cocktails and history of Canada’s oldest incorporated city. We even have an Uncork Saint John early edition. If you have an early departure time we even an Uncork Saint John early edition that started at 10:00 am and wraps up around noon. You'll swap out some of the alcohol for some local coffee and treats. All daily tours are $69+tax(CDN) and last about 2-2.5 hours. Regardless of what tour you choose you will surely discover the spirit of New Brunswick.
We've received a few emails lately from people wondering what this whole "Brunch & Brew" thing is all about, so read ahead to find out what you can expect when you join us for Batch 03 on July 29th.
What is Brunch & Brew?
As craft beer continues to grow in popularity, along with home brewing, we started to wonder if beer drinkers would be interested in finding out how a small, working brewery creates their beer. So we asked, and you said "Yes!"
Brunch & Brew allows us to bring small groups into Big Tide Brewing to learn about the brewing process from Brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos while enjoying a delicious 2-course brunch and LOTS of beer.
Do I have to get up early?
Good beer takes time, and effort, and time. In order to give you the best experience, we start the brew early and have you to join us at 10:00 am. We'll give you lots of water and coffee (and beer if you want it) and a continental start of fresh fruit and baked goods to kick-start your day. The food and beer will come out pretty steadily for the next 3.5 hours.
What do we do?
Brunch & Brew is the opportunity for you to ask all the brewing questions you've been wondering about. When you arrive, the grain will already be added to the mash tun and there will be an opportunity to learn about the brewing equipment and help with getting the mash fully infused. There will be various 15-minute workshops featuring the 4 main ingredients of beer. As well as brew housework including sterilizing equipment, harvesting yeast, transferring wort, and cleaning. For our last activity, the group will choose the beer style for the next Brunch & Brew.
Upon arrival, there is a continental breakfast with tea and coffee ready for you. You'll enjoy a 2-course brunch featuring mini pancakes and eggs Benedict. You will receive 20 oz of beer as a flight throughout the day, along with a ticket for a pint of your choice that can be filled whenever you're feeling a little parched. In addition, you'll receive an invitation to your beer's launch party that includes a pint of the beer YOU helped brew.
How big is the group?
Big Tide's brew house is fairly small, so group size is limited to a maximum of 12 participants. Make sure to book early!
Will I get dirty? What should I wear?
Brewing is less glamorous than you might think, but it's a ton of fun! That being said, you should wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty. Closed-toe shoes (anti-slip are best) are required for doing any work in the brew house.
If you like this, check out all of our beer tour options!
There are a few things you should know about a lobster boil in New Brunswick. First and foremost, it is an integral part of the upbringing, for only about half our population. The other half still can’t figure out what all the fuss is about. The second thing you should know is that in NB, very few of us eat a lobster in a restaurant, why would we? As children we learn that the best lobster is always made at home and celebrated as an event.
Lobster hasn’t always been the high flying, jet-setting crustacean it is today. Can you imagine the first person to pick one of these guys out of the shallow waters and decide to eat it? Me neither, but am I glad they did.
There was very little representing a lobster fishing industry until the decline of shipbuilding, when many people turned to fishing as a new source of income. When the first Europeans arrived in the 1600s, lobster could be found on the shore at low tide and caught by hand. You could throw a net into the shallow water and be sure to catch a few. What a difference 400 years makes. Lobster continued to be so plentiful through the first half of the 20th century that it was considered low value, and a poor man’s food. Lobster was regularly ground down for fertilizer.
Today, the best way to enjoy lobster is like a local does, freshly boiled in salt water. So scroll down to find out everything you’ll need to enjoy your next lobster boil on the beach.
What you’ll need:
Lobster – we start with 2 lobster per person, but whatever floats your boat *We recommend getting your lobster from North Market Seafood. Located inside the Saint John City Market, NMSF has been serving Saint John some of the freshest seafood for over 60 years!
Lobster pot and cover (AKA corn boil pot or turkey fry pot) – at least 25L, all metal, can be put on the fire, use the included strainer if you have it, it will make your life so much easier!
Saltwater – either pull it from the sea, or add 1 cup of salt to your pot of water
Bricks and a grill – you’ll want to build a bbq for your boiling pot. The space beneath the pot should be at least 1 cubic foot to allow enough room for your fire, coals, and stoking
Shocking tub – a large plastic or metal tub filled with fresh water, shouold be large enough to hold all your lobster after cooking
Bag of ice – for the shocking tub, keep in a Styrofoam cooler until it’s time for the lobster to come out
Long BBQ Tongs
Large metal tool – we use an old axe, you need the cold steel to keep the pot from boiling over
July 1, 2018 marked the 151st Canada Day celebrations, traditionally celebrated in my circles with beaches, BBQs, and bonfires. This year we went a little crazy and joined up with the Fundy Paddlers to canoe and kayak through the Reversing Falls at slack tide.
Uncorked Guide Monique is an avid paddler in the summer and skiier in the winter. If you have the chance to take one of her tours, you'll be amazed at how knowledgeable and active she is. She is the most outdoorsy of our guides, and loves to share stories and photos of her adventures.
We met at the Power Boat Club at 4:30pm for a safety briefing, then put the boats in the water. I've kayaked on the river before, always with the plan to stay away from the rapids! Slack tide was quickly approaching, so we had just 20 minutes to paddle into position at the start of the run, the top of the rapids.
The Reversing Falls Rapids may just look like a river, not knowing which way to flow, but just below the surface is another story. We can't see it now, but there is close to a 200ft dropoff at the Reversing Falls Bridge. This "waterfall" was created 12,000 years ago when a retreating glacier dropped a morraine near the Irving Nature Park (now called Manawagonish Rd) that blocked the flow of the river. This forced the river to cut a new channel which created a 200ft waterfall as the meltwater from the retreating glacier poured out to sea. Over time, sea level rose, and the waterfall was covered. Today, the rapids we see are caused by the tide and river rushing over the edge of that ancient 200ft cliff.
As slack tide approached the water became still and calm. Our leader blew his whistle and shouted "It's time!" With only 20 minutes we started to paddle. Slow at first, but we managed to find a rhythm. We travelled quite quickly in front of the mill, the brewery, and under the bridge. We narrowly avoided a collision with Split Rock while attempting a photo shoot with Cracked Canoe, our beer pairing for the trip.
In the end, we all made it through, mostly dry, and excited to be in the Harbour. We took out at Fort Latour, where indigenous Maliseet and Mic Mac travellers have stopped to rest, trade or wait for the tide to change for thousands of years. Can't wait to do it again next year!
Uncorked Tours Celebrates 5 Years in Saint John
This year also marks 5 years since Uncorked started offering food and drink tours in Saint John. In that time I've been fortunate to welcome thousands of guests on tours in Saint John, and throughout New Brunswick.
To celebrate our continued growth and to share our love of Saint John, Uncorked Tours will be offering our friends and family rate to anyone working in the tourism and hospitality industry, and your friends and family. We want to make it easier for you to show off the City and enjoy Saint John as much as our visitors do!
We'll be visiting tour partners with promo codes and information is going out in an email this week to all Discover Saint John and SJ Hotel Association members. To redeem your code, book your tour online and enter the promo code to receive your $20/person discount. These codes will be valid for any daily tours reserved during the month of July. Promo codes will be available to all Discover Saint John members.
At Uncorked Tours we're all about sharing the fabulous food, wine, beer & spirits being produced in the Province of New Brunswick.
It is our pleasure to share some of the awesome experiences you can have while living or visiting the province.