There’s nothing pedestrian about the restaurants and bars on Water Street. What was first a way to help out downtown business owners during the outset of the pandemic in the summer of 2020 has become one of the best reasons to peruse the shops, bars and restaurants along Water Street. Now in its third year, the strip of Water Street between Adelaide and Prescott Streets that comprises the Pedestrian Mall is a wonderful walkway free of cars and full of delicious things to eat from June 30 to September 5, 2022.
Here are just a few of the restaurants that have expanded their offerings right out the door and onto the street, to their patios adorned with colourful umbrellas and sparkling string lights.
The Merchant Tavern
The patio at The Merchant Tavern is a little small — but they more than make up for it with the big flavours in their crudos, pastas and five-course tasting menus. The crew from Merchant are also behind The Merchant Crab Shack & Grill, the massive patio just up the street in front of the Bowring Building at 277 Water Street with shrimp rolls, whole lobsters and seafood towers.
The Adelaide Oyster House
With an ever-changing menu of globally-inspired dishes and a fantastic cocktail list, there’s always a great party vibe on The Adelaide Oyster House patio, not to mention an array of shucked-on-the-spot oysters shipped in from across North America, and their famous kobe beef lettuce wraps and El Camino drinks.
Blue on Water
The patio adjoining Blue on Water is made from driftwood, giving it a beachy feel, but the dishes served up for lunch and dinner aren’t rustic. Think fried chicken tacos with mango salsa, seafood chowder, scallop risotto and seared yellowfin tuna.
The Celtic Hearth
You cannot miss the bright red exterior and awning of The Celtic Hearth. This Irish-inspired pub and restaurant is open 24 hours a day, offering up large breakfast, lunch and dinner options which range from giant toutons topped with omelettes, salmon benedicts and fishcake breakfasts to cod au gratin, cheeseburgers and fish and chips.
Yellowbelly Brewery and Public House
There are not one, but two patios to enjoy at the Yellowbelly Brewery and Public House, plus a selection of their craft beers and ciders brewed on site. Fare that pairs well with beers is the name of the game at Yellowbelly with a lunch and dinner menu ranging from giant pretzels and nachos to wood-fired pizzas, gourmet burgers and their signature salt and vinegar chip crusted fish and chips.
The Gypsy Tearoom
Open daily for lunch and dinner, and on weekends for brunch, The Gypsy Tearoom patio offers up delicious soups, salads and sandwiches along with an international array of entrees like NL dressing crusted cod, seafood spaghetti, and butter chicken.
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.