The 2021 Nova Scotia Culinary Bucket List

Male and female holding whiskey glasses in a barrel cellar

Calling all lovers of local food and drink! Make 2021 a year to remember with this Nova Scotia Culinary Bucket List – a list of must-try meals, extraordinary culinary experiences, and fun challenges. Winter, spring, summer, and fall, check off as many things as you can while tasting your way around Nova Scotia. As you complete this challenge, you’re sure to gain an appreciation for all that our province has to offer!

1. Eat more Nova Scotia products

This year we encourage you to purchase local products as much as possible. Whether it’s produce, a sweet treat, or even a local beverage, the choice is yours!

Check out our Get Your Hands on Local page to source local products near you, our Guide to Get Your Hands on Local blog series to assist you on your next trip to the store, and follow @tasteofns on Instagram and Facebook for a weekly grocery list of in-season produce and other local items. In Nova Scotia, you can find an abundance of local products, year round.

2. Try a new recipe

Many of us can get a little too comfortable in the kitchen. Step away from your go-to meals and try incorporating a new recipe into the rotation every week. By the end of the year, you’ll likely discover some of your new favourite meals, snacks, and desserts! Need some inspiration? We have plenty of recipes for you to try, like this Roasted Carrot Salad from the Canteen.

3. Explore the Culinary Trails

Three women smile and enjoy beer from Shipwright Brewing Company at the wooden bar

The Nova Scotia Good Cheer, Chowder, and Lobster trails allow you to explore the province with your taste buds. Visit trail stops, enjoy a taste of local, and earn your stamps! Our challenge for you is earn stamps on all three of the trails. Are you up for an adventure? Visit the Culinary Trails website for more information and stay tuned for the 2021 launch of the trails this summer.

4. Take a Culinary Staycation

couple walks along the beach in winter in front of White Point Beach Resort

Staycations never go out of style. Every season provides new adventurous opportunities, make it your mission to experience it all! This year, book your overnight accommodations at Amherst Shore Country Inn, Argyler Lodge and Restaurant, Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa, Fox Harb’r Resort, Glenora Inn and Distillery, Inn on the Lake, Inverary Resort, Lane’s Privateer Inn, Liscombe Lodge, Silver Dart Lodge, Oak Island Resort, Pictou Lodge Beach Resort, Quarterdeck Beachside Villas & Grill, Chanterelle Country Inn, Castle Rock Country Inn, Old Orchard Inn and Spa, The Flying Apron Inn and Cookery, or White Point Beach Resort (pictured).

5. Experience a cooking class

Kitchen door's virtual cooking classes

Want to learn a new skill this year? This challenge is for you. Cooking classes can help teach you fundamental kitchen skills, new recipes, and give you the ins and outs of everything that goes into a delicious meal. Join talented local chefs from Kitchen Door as they offer virtual cooking classes throughout the year, or catch episodes of Chef Alain Bossé’s Facebook Live series: In the Kitchen with The Kilted Chef, among others.

6. Book a Culinary Package

A photo of a group of four people at Steinhart Distillery looking at owner/distiller Thomas Steinhart as he shows off one of their stills.

Winter getaways, blind tastings, picnics on private islands – you name it, Nova Scotia has it all. Visit our Culinary Packages page to pick your adventure and check this off your bucket list. It’s time to make some memories!

7. Enjoy a weekend brunch

On weekends, we brunch (and you should too!). In every region of the province we have restaurants offering brunch menus featuring fresh local ingredients. Make it a new Sunday tradition to explore these locations and experience what brunch dreams are made of or create your own brunch at home featuring Nova Scotia products (these Maple Bacon Crêpes feature local maple syrup, bacon, sausages, milk, and more).

8. Go picking for local fruit

Hand picking an apple out of an apple tree

Apples, blueberries, and strawberries, oh my! Nova Scotia produces an abundance of fresh local fruit which can be enjoyed in your favourite dessert or as a nutritious snack. It’s one thing to taste the fruit, but to pick it yourself is a whole new experience! This summer and fall visit a U-Pick at Country Magic, Noggins Corner Farm Market, Stirling Fruit Farms, Millen Farms, or Lunenburg County Winery.

9. Enjoy a traditional lobster supper

Shore Club Lobster Suppers

If you’ve never had a traditional lobster supper before, it’s time to get cracking! Try suppers from Shore Club Lobster Suppers, Capt. Kat’s Lobster Shack, or Hall’s Harbour Lobster Pound where you can personally pick out your own lobster, giving you a true taste of the Atlantic. If you’re looking to put on your chefs hat and prepare your own lobster, order it fresh from Clearwater Seafoods, Fishermen’s Market, Evan’s Fresh Seafoods, or Afishionado Fishmongers.

10. Visit a restaurant in every region of the province

red cap restaurant server with plate

In Nova Scotia we’re lucky to have restaurants who value local ingredients, community, and extraordinary dining in every region of the province. From Yarmouth to Cape Breton, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a taste of local. We challenge you to visit a restaurant in every region of the province! Visit our member directory and use our category system to find Taste of Nova Scotia member locations in every region.

11. Go on a wine tour (or beer, cider, spirits or mead!)

four people cheers with orange coloured wine on a patio on a sunny day

We know you can’t wait to check this one off! We’re dreaming of warm summer days at vineyards, sipping on delicious local wine made from the grapes that surround you. Book your tours now with Grape Escapes Wine ToursWine and Beer Tours of Nova ScotiaGo North Tours, Ambassatours, or the Wolfville Magic Winery Bus. If wine isn’t your drink of choice, there are plenty of tours that feature cider, beer, and spirits, and mead!

12. Taste your way around the Cabot Trail

Experience the natural beauty of the Cape Breton Highlands as you drive the famous Cabot Trail. What pairs well with spectacular views? Spectacular food! The trail has plenty of opportunities for pit-stops so you can truly taste your way around the island. Stop by The Dancing Goat, The Chowder House, Restaurant 100KM, and Restaurant Avalon for some delicious dining options!

13. Enjoy fresh local seafood on a patio

evan's chowder with ferry background

Summer isn’t that far away in the grand scheme of things – soon enough you’ll be able to enjoy fresh local seafood on a patio while feeling the warm rays of sunshine drape over you. Our mouths are already watering over these fish and chips from The South Shore Fish Shack!

14. Enjoy fresh shucked Nova Scotia oysters

Hand on Local Oysters

The world is your oyster! Step out of your comfort zone and live 2021 to the fullest – yes, by this we mean getting your hands on fresh shucked oysters. Already a fan? Nova Scotia is home to several different oyster farms including d’Eon Oyster Company and Bay Enterprises. Why not Taste your way around the province, through oysters?

15. Try every style of craft beer

Lagers, ales, IPAs, DIPAs, stouts, porters, and sours – our Nova Scotia craft brewers have plenty of options for you to choose from! (Note – if you chickened out on the fresh shucked oysters, Sober Island Brewing has an Oyster Stout which can possibly count toward that challenge).

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