12 New Spots to Savour On Canada’s Food Island in 2024

A new year is upon us and we’re SO excited to see what 2024 has in store!  One thing we know for sure, there will be all sorts of new food and drink spots for Islanders and visitors to discover on Canada’s Food Island this year.

In the interests of making sure you indulge in some delicious newness this year, we scouted out a boatload of the brand-spankin’ new and still shiny spots you ‘must’ check out in 2024.

You’re welcome! 

Brand Spankin’ New or Coming Soon!

If you love pastries, grab & go, gourmet sauces, and/or grandma-inspired cuisine, you’re going to LOVE the latest additions to PEI’s culinary scene.

Ada Culinary Studio and Grab & Go, Charlottetown

Chef Adam Loo is striking out on his own after spending more than a decade with Murphy Hospitality Group and making a name for himself as one of PEI’s best chefs.

Chef Adam’s new dining experience, Ada Culinary Studio and Grab & Go, is set to unfold in the heart of downtown Charlottetown in March 2024. Named in honour of his grandmother, we have no doubt that this new addition to Charlottetown’s culinary scene will deliver on Chef Loo’s vision:

“I hope every person who walks through the door here at Ada experiences what I experienced at Nana’s table: stories, lessons and laughs shared over an unforgettable meal.

Most importantly, she showed me how much it means to take care of the little things. No detail is too small to be forgotten. And that’s what we strive for – to take care of every little detail for you, our guests.”

Ruby’s Counter + Ruby’s Sauce Co., Kensington

Coreen Pickering and Duncan Smith, the folks behind the Ship to Shore restaurant are bringing a new dining experience to the little town with a big heart, Kensington. Slated to open in March, Ruby’s Counter will offer a drive-thru/quick-serve menu, a dine-in menu with breakfast and lunch offerings, and a grab-and-go cooler filled with deliciousness.  Foodies will also want to check out Ruby’s Sauces, a line of chef-crafted condiments including bacon jam, maple balsamic dressing, and cherry bomb BBQ sauce – yum! 

Coreen shared the inspiration behind the name of their new dining destination and sauce brand, and all we can say is – grandmas ROCK!

“It’s named after my late grandmother, Ruby, who had a passion for feeding her family and community with homestyle cooking for her family and community.”

The Cork & Cast, Charlottetown 

Many Islanders and visitors will already be familiar with The Cork & Cast. Since 2019, this formerly seasonal restaurant has served up fresh seafood, delightful Caesars and stunning views from its floating dock on the city’s waterfront.

Happily, Islanders and visitors can now enjoy The Cork & Cast experience year-round at their brand-new location on Victoria Row at 146 Richmond Street. Diners can look forward to a cozy ambience, paired with exceptional food and service and all sorts of fun on-site events, such as Nu Retro Dance. Partners in life and business, Doug and Rachel share the philosophy that drives their menu and customer service:

“Using family recipes and surrounding ourselves with staff that hold similar values of care, our mission is to create meaningful experiences for Islanders and visitors alike.”

Helen’s Pastry Co., Charlottetown

Helen’s Pastry Co. has been serving up delectable pastries and desserts since 2022, but it wasn’t until late last year that they opened the doors to their storefront location.  Today, customers can stop by the Shops of St. Avard’s at 8 Mount Edward and gaze in awe and delight at the blissful pastries pastry chef Helen and her team have created. Wondering why Helen’s name rings a bell? Her pastries and desserts have graced the plates of many a diner at the famous Blue Mussel Cafe and their sister restaurant, Slaymaker & Nichols.

“We take a great deal of care in the preparation of every item, and take pride in knowing that our clients, both large and small, are receiving top-quality desserts and baked goods at reasonable prices.” 

Still Shiny & Bright

2023 seemed to fly by at lightening speed, right?! If you didn’t get a chance to visit all the new and happening spots that opened up last year, no worries, they’re still here waiting to wow you! Here are just a few of the many spots waiting for your visit:

Knead a Brake, New Annan

There’s only one thing we love more than a food pun – a food pun and a bike pun ‘rolled’ into one! 

Kirsten and Raphael, partners in business and life, bring their passions for baking and bicycling to their rural location near Kensington. They’ve converted an old school house into a place where pastries and bike spokes intermingle.  We like to think this business boasts the perfect balance of indulgence and healthy habits. Make it a point to find your way to Knead a Brake,  perhaps on two wheels! 

“Having perfected her baking skills in Australia and learned alternative baking in Ottawa, Kirsten will wow you with beautiful and delicious treats. Raphael is there to support your various fitness needs from coaching, nutrition, running/cycling fitting and equipment servicing.”

Tide & Tales, North Rustico

Already one of the Island’s most charming fishing villages, North Rustico upped the ante this past year with the addition of Tide & Tales. This delightful seaside spot is one part cafe, one part bookshop, and all parts blissful. It’s the perfect invitation to slow down, soak up the seaside vibes, enjoy a cuppa and drift away with a good page-turner.

Tide & Tales operates seasonally, so check their website or socials for operating hours.

SeaShell Cafe, Malpeque

Craving a scrumptious brekkie?  If you’re in the Malpeque area (west of Kensington), OR Traveller’s Rest, you’re in luck. The OG SeaShell Cafe and its second location in Traveller’s Rest, both serve up a selection of classic breakfast fare that will fuel your day’s adventures. We’re talking classic eggs & bacon, buttermilk pancakes, French toast, and more. Plus, you’ll enjoy a free coffee with any food purchase.

The SeaShell Cafe in Malpeque operates seasonally (July and August), while their Traveller’s Rest location is open all year round!

Turkey Tavern, Cavendish

With an entire menu dedicated to showcasing the king of poultry, the Turkey Tavern turned a lot of heads when it opened at Avonlea Village in 2023. Setting aside the novelty of dining at a turkey-centric restaurant, we can confirm that the food at the tavern is DIVINE.

With a commitment to sourcing ingredients locally, you can be assured you’re enjoying the very best Larkin Farms’ turkey, PEI potatoes, and other root vegetables grown on the Island. Everything is cooked in-house, with no corners cut. We’re talking gravy that simmers for hours on end, stuffing made from scratch and the biggest, flakiest, most scrumptious biscuits you ever did meet. 

House of Spice, Summerside

The City by the Sea got a bit (or a lot) spicier in 2023 with the opening of House of Spice. This authentic Indian restaurant at 311 Market St., is owned and operated by the sweetest family and offers a wonderful array of dishes from their home country.  We’re talking Goat Curry, Chana Masala, Malai Chicken, Shahi Paneer and SO MUCH MORE!

Their naan bread alone is worth a visit!!!  Oh and did we mention that they recently launched a licensed tiffin service that’s available to customers in Summerside, Charlottetown, Stratford and Cornwall – what a fantastic way to enjoy Indian cuisine all month long.

North Shore Canteen, French River

Charming and idyllic, French River has often graced PEI postcards and tourism brochures. Now this quaint little fishing village is serving up a delightful culinary experience to pair with gorgeous scenery. It’s all thanks to the new kid on the block, North Shore Canteen, which opened its doors in 2023. Trust us, the name is a misnomer – there is nothing ‘canteeny’ about this chef-driven full-service seasonal restaurant that serves up an ever-changing menu of ​​fresh East Coast cuisine, with a focus on seafood.  Get ready to be impressed!

The couple behind the scenes at the canteen are owners-chefs Kelly and Alex:

“We are thrilled to begin offering curated dining experiences to Islanders and tourists alike in such a wonderful place as French River. We have devoted our careers to a focus on local and seasonal ingredients, developing a culinary style that highlights the flavours of the region and the products.”

Backwoods Breakaway – Tignish, O’Leary, Evangeline

2023 and 2022 were big year for Erica Wagner, the owner of Tyne Valley’s beloved burger joint, Backwoods Burger. Erica decided it was time to spread the burger love across all of Western PEI. Over the course of 12 months, she established not one, not two, but THREE new Backwoods locations, each nestled in the heart of rural community life – the rink.

Move over limp french fries and boring hotdogs, Backwoods Breakaway has a fresh new take on ‘rink food’ that everyone – young and old – will love. With a menu broken down into three sections – Burgers, Not Burgers, Snacks & Sides, there’s plenty to choose from including gourmet burgers, spinach dip, chicken nuggets, deep-fried pickles and rink fries.

We reached out to Erica and asked about her inspiration for setting up burger joints at local rinks:

“You know, we initially kicked off our breakaway burger business just for fun during the summer in O’Leary. But when winter rolled around, and we got a taste of the awesome community vibe at local ice rinks, we thought, ‘Why not give it a shot during the winter months too?’ It turned out those rinks were more than just places to skate – they were buzzing with life and became real hangout spots for folks in the winter. We loved being a part of that scene, serving up our tasty burgers. And soon enough, other rinks reached out, asking us to set up shop there too. It’s been a wild ride and we hope to expand to other rinks in the future!”

PEI Roti, Summerside

You can look forward to warm vibes and flavourful dishes at PEI Roti, one of Summerside’s newest culinary destinations. Serving up a menu of Caribbean and Indian fusion dishes, this sweet spot offers up a wide assortment of authentic dishes, including several vegan-friendly options. Menu items include Jerk Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, Curried Apple Rice Bowl (V), Beef Roti, Naanwich, and many, many more scrumptious options! 

Owners, Arti and Harold, are a wonderful couple with hearts of gold and a passion for giving back. All tips are donated to local charities and non profits that work at bettering the lives of Islanders.

“We are both originally from the island of Trinidad, lived in Toronto for 35+ years and now back on an island, beautiful PEI! We are so very excited to bring our heritage flavours to share with everyone. We look forward to seeing you and serving you consistently delicious and quality food “ 

There you have it, a baker’s dozen new food destinations to check out in 2024! We know our list is not exhaustive, so if you know of any other new food and/or drink spots on Canada’s Food Island that we can showcase, please shoot us a message on Facebook or IG and we’ll give them some social love too!

Written by Shannon Courtney of ShanCo Studio

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