Roots Rants and Roars My Food Hike might be over for this year, but our love for a delicious picnic, a gorgeous fall hike, and a perfectly curated playlist certainly isn’t! We spent two days enjoying this amazing fall experience and we’re already excited for next year!

A Roots Rants Roars backpack in grey and orange sits on a park bench with a blue picnic blanket tucked behind it.

Day 1: Charcuterie along the Grand Concourse

If you’re looking for a hike right within the center of the city, look no further than the Grand Concourse! For day one of our My Food Hike experience, we decided to pick up our Roots, Rants, and Roars picnic at Chinched (because, yum) and head out to the very nearby Waterford River T’railway.

A Roots Rants and Roars backpack with two packaged food items on a green picnic table. The Railway Coastal Museum and a train in the background.

It was the perfect choice for a leisurely Saturday stroll. If you’re planning on giving this one a go, start off at the Railway Coastal Museum on Water Street and follow the trail along the Waterford River until you get to beautiful Bowring Park.

An orange train car on a track with trees all around. Gorgeous fall colours are present.

One of the great things about this trail is that it’s not too challenging, making it suitable for families! It’s easy to spend the day at Bowring Park feeding the ducks, walking the trails throughout the park, having a delicious picnic and, if you bring the kids, hours of fun at the playground.

A woman and a small child happily feeding the ducks at the park.

It seemed like the perfect place to bring our Chinched picnic. Chinched has been a downtown mainstay for 11 years now and it’s easy to see why. Their focus on handcrafted charcuterie, traditional methods, and locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, makes them a meat lovers dream.

Even after a relatively short and leisurely walk, we couldn’t wait to dig in. And we were lucky because one of the best things about having a picnic at Bowring Park is the sheer amount of options you have available for the perfect picnic spot.

A wide shot of Bowring Park showing lots of greenery and picnic tables.

Park benches, picnic tables, grassy spots, you name it. It shouldn’t take too long at all to get set up, break open your insulated backpack, and dive in. This would also be a good time to get out your phone and start your My Food Hike playlist on Spotify!

An open Roots Rants and Roars backpack sitting on a blue picnic blanket covered bench. Wrapped food items from Chinched sit next to a container of pickles and a container of olives. You can see a gravel path and trees in the background.

We can probably all agree that good charcuterie is a meal, and somehow Chinched elevates it to a whole new level. When you open up your Roots, Rants, and Roars backpack, you’ll find a huge platter of house-made charcuterie items and accompaniments from Chinched. Ours included a satisfying spread of capicola, french onion pâté, greek salami, and spruce tip mortadella that was plenty for two to share. The silky and rich mortadella was our favourite.

Paired with a demi-baguette, housemade pickles, olives, compote, and mustard seeds, our meal was even more satisfying than expected. After topping it all off with two freshly baked cookies the size of your face, we certainly were, as they say, “chinched” after we finished.

The great thing about My Food Hike is the sheer simplicity of it. Head out on your favourite trail (or maybe one that you haven’t tried yet!), turn on the tunes, and dig into a delicious, perfectly packed picnic from your restaurant of choice. If you’ve chosen Chinched, you may decide to just go for it with your hands – it is charcuterie after all. For those who prefer a more civilized approach, you can always use the most adorable wooden forks you’ve ever seenprovided, of course, by Chinched.

Day 2: Italian Cuisine along Sugarloaf Path

For day two of our food hike in the St. John’s area, we went with a restaurant that’s been making a lot of noise with locals as of lateThe Little Sparo. Located downtown on Hill O’Chips in the Doubletree St. John’s Harbourview, this spot is becoming well-known for its authentic Italian feel, delicious food, and spectacular views.

A spectacular view of the coastline and ocean with sugar loaf trail in the foreground. Plenty of pops of fall colours.

Speaking of spectacular views…we headed out to explore Sugarloaf Path with our Roots, Rants, and Roars backpack (and a picnic blanket) in tow. This gem of a trail takes you from picturesque Quidi Vidi to the town of Logy Bay. This part of the East Coast Trail is known for its absolutely spectacular coastal views, and hiking it during the fall with pops of red, yellow, and orange everywhere you looked was quite an experience indeed.

After a leisurely stroll yesterday we were up for more of a challenge—and it’s a good thing we were! This gorgeous hike is rated moderate to difficult by the East Coast Trail, and they aren’t kidding around. Expect some rough and rocky terrain, exposed roots, and plenty of challenging areas, along this trail.

A very rocky section of this path, including exposed tree roots, rocks, and uneven sections.

But, trust us, the amazing views you’ll experience along the way will make the challenge worth it. Just be sure to wear your best hiking boots! Doing this hike during the fall is extra rewarding as the fall colours somehow make Quidi Vidi even more stunning.

There were plenty of places along the trail to stop for our picnic, and we chose to go with one of the spots that gave us the most spectacular views. We were surrounded by colour on all sides, including our Roots, Rants, and Roars backpack (what a perfect backpack colour for the fall season!).

Our backpack nestled on the ground on top of a blue picnic blanket. Colourful bushes in the background.

We were pleased to see a vegetarian option available when we ordered this picnic, and that’s what we selected! Our freshly baked ciabattas were stuffed full! Tomato, lettuce, cucumber, avocado, provolone cheese, and a light and flavourful sauce. The perfect picnic fare.

Close up of Little Sparo's sandwich with colourful hills in the background.

Let’s talk about sides. There’s pasta salad, and then there’s Little Sparo’s Casarecce pasta salad, made with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and arugula topped with a serving of Parmigiano-Reggiano that would make Rachel Ray proud. When we say the pasta serving was huge, we aren’t kidding.

Close up shot of Little Sparo's pasta salad, sandwiches, and container of olives.

The container of house-marinated olives was the perfect addition to this picnic, adding to the authentic Italian feel of our meal. A gorgeous Torta Caprese made with almond flour, dark chocolate ganache, almond crumble, and white chocolate shavings capped off the meal, and our day.

Three cardboard containers sitting on a picnic blanket. One has sandwiches. The other two each have a piece of delicious looking chocolate torta.

A fantastic weekend of delicious food, fall colours, and fun in the capital. Are you excited for next fall yet?

Published: October 22, 2021