Fall in St. John’s is fast and furious. High winds blow turning leaves off the tree and sweater weather is short-lived. Luckily Newfoundland’s fall harvest is replete with chanterelles and other local mushrooms unique to the island, along with moose and tons (and tons) of root vegetables and our restaurants take full advantage of the bounty. Try these St. John’s restaurants for a taste of fall.

Exile Restaurant and Lounge

Located inside the stylish JAG Boutique Hotel at the far west end of George Street, the rock-themed Exile offers a menu filled with locally inspired dishes that have a worldly influence. At dinner, the pad thai brussels sprouts with toasted peanuts start off the evening with a bang, while for lunch the Moose Masala features a rich curry moose stew served with date chutney, turmeric rice, naan and grilled veggies.

Blue on Water

The name says it all at this Water Street Restaurant. In addition to Blue on Water’s menu filled with local seafood and a global-inspired menu, the seasonal dishes offer a taste of fall in St. John’s like the steamed mussels with garlic, shallots, white wine, cream, cherry tomato, and fresh herbs. Or the duck breast sitting atop a bed of gnocchi, green peas, caramelized onion, red wine jus, and parmesan.

The Gypsy Tea Room

As one of the flagship restaurants in the Murray Premises this eatery and lounge offers up a wide range of dining options, but nothing says fall like a good soup and The Gypsy Tea Room always has a few bubbling away. Whether it be their soup of the day; their potato, leek and bacon soup; or the spicy roasted red pepper soup topped with goat cheese and herb oil (all of which go great with a side of their sweet potato fries) there’s a lot to warm your belly.   

Hungry Heart Cafe

The menu at Hungry Heart Cafe is always changing with the seasons — in fact, it changes week by week according to what’s fresh and delicious. The Rawlins Cross restaurant focuses on local produce and grows a lot of their own, so their taste of fall might include a roast turkey panini with partridgeberry apple jam and queso fresco, linguine with chanterelles, Jerusalem artichoke and garlic cream sauce, or a moose burger with manchego cheese served with a fresh salad.

Gabby Peyton is a food writer, restaurant critic and culinary historian based in St. John’s NL.

Researching food has become a lifestyle for Gabby. After completing an MA in Art History at the University of Toronto in 2012, she moved to Halifax, NS and ate her way through the city, documenting it on thefoodgirlintown.com a blog devoted to (mis)adventures in travelling to eat. She completed a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of King’s College in 2015 and has worked in a variety of editorial roles in Toronto, ON and St. John’s, NL. Now she dines out constantly in St. John’s — Gabby is the city’s restaurant critic for The Telegram and her other bylines include CBC, Atlantic Business Magazine, USA Today, and Eater. Her series on Food Bloggers of Canada‘s website explores the history of iconic Canadian foods and she is passionate about community cookbooks.

A long-time sufferer of persistent wanderlust, Gabby is always planning the next big trip. She has visited more than 15 countries, spent three seasons working on an archaeological dig in central Turkey and surfed on the Gold Coast of Australia. She is passionate about architecture, spaghetti carbonara and Newfoundland food.

Published: September 22, 2022