There’s a reason Prince Edward Island is called “Canada’s Food Island,” and it has a lot to do with how passionate the locals are about their food culture and restaurants. You might know that PEI is home to some of the country’s freshest seafood and world-famous potatoes, but there’s so much more to it than that.

The restaurants

Every foodie community attracts great chefs and great restaurants and PEI is no exception.

The Claddagh Oyster House is the top ranked restaurant in the province on TripAdvisor, and it isn’t hard to see why. Enjoy oysters caught in a number of different locations across PEI, alongside fresh seafood and meat dishes

Blue Mussel Cafe is another fan favorite for seafood, serving up everything from chowder and crab cakes to their famous steamed mussels.

If lobster is your shellfish of choice, you won’t find better than those at Water Prince Corner Shop and Lobster Pound. Found on the corner of Water and Prince streets in a beautiful, classic blue-painted building, the restaurant has been pleasing local foodies for over two decades.

Moving away from seafood, Terre Rouge offers a modern dining experience, with comfort foods that will leave you full and smiling. Enjoy macaroni and cheese, ravioli or gnocchi at this fantastic Charlottetown spot.

Lastly, for food that comes with a side helping of art, plan a trip to The Dunes Studio Gallery and Cafe. Watch pottery being made, shop for local jewellery and crafts, and browse the extensive gardens before sitting down with a fresh-brewed coffee and delicious meal.

Food experiences

Of course, to be a real foodie hub, the scene needs to go beyond simple restaurants. In PEI, food is a way of life. That may seem like an exaggeration, but the many food experiences, festivals, and celebrations show just how true this is.

Take the Fall Flavours Festival, for example. This event, which runs throughout the entire month of September, is an incredible collage of authentic PEI island tastes, beautiful venues, celebrity chefs, guests, and hosts. Each year, the festival brings in world-renowned chefs and creates special events celebrating the best of PEI, with experiences ranging from intimate to crowd-pleasing.

One of the Fall Flavours signature events, the PEI International Shellfish Festival is definitely a shellfish lover’s dream. Hosted in mid-September, visitors can experience shellfish demonstrations and competitions with Food Network celebrity chefs. You’re guaranteed to get your fill of PEI’s quahogs clams, mussels, oysters, and lobster as they are served throughout the day. Then, at night, the party kicks into high gear with live entertainment and, you guessed it, even more shellfish!

What goes great with seafood? How about a nice wine? The PEI Festival of Wines features 250 wines from 13 countries for one weekend only in May. Savour a local PEI wine paired with oysters, cheese, chocolate or smoked salmon, and you might never want to leave.

If eating the food just isn’t enough, learn to cook and create amazing dishes with Prince Edward Island’s Culinary Boot Camps. Created by the Culinary Institute of Canada, there is wide variety of camps available, catering to all skill levels and interests. With over 40 boot camps offered throughout the year, this is a fantastic foodie experience during any visit to PEI.

Finally, if you like to eat what you catch, sign up for one of many local lobster or deep sea fishing excursions or head out on the hunt for oysters with a knowledgeable guide. It can’t get any fresher than that!

Originally published by Destination Canada

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