Five Tasty Food Festivals in Newfoundland and Labrador
Celebrating with good food is a vital part of everyday life in Newfoundland and Labrador. From hearty community suppers to rollicking kitchen parties, food (and music) are always key components of a good time here. And occasionally, we take the time to create a whole festival as an excuse to let someone else do the cooking.
Here are five delicious festivals and events that are worth travelling to because they go way above and beyond the ‘run of the mill’ food event.
Roots, Rants and Roars Fall Festival
In the fall, the town of Elliston teams up with Newfoundland and Labrador chef’s to play host to a one-of-a-kind culinary event. The Roots, Rants and Roars festival features rising stars from the local and national culinary scene, along with some of the province’s finest entertainers. With such a unique natural setting as backdrop (Elliston is known as the root cellar capital of the world), you’ll have an engaging culinary experience that will connect you with our people, the land, and the sea. It typically kicks off with the Cod Wars, an event that pits top chefs off against each other with their signature cod dishes. The festival’s flagship event is the Food Hike, when renowned chefs set up along some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the country.
The Gathering: Fire, Food, and Music
Photo: Adam Hefferman
The Gathering is a distinctive event that focuses on celebrating our unique culture and cuisine. Led by comedian and Newfoundland native Shaun Majumder, this multi-day festival is a real rural Newfoundland experience. Camping adds a certain festival-like atmosphere to this event, which has an intimate feel to begin with. Filled with culinary delights, intimate cooking and dining experiences, and supplemented by talented musicians, comedians, and storytellers, the festival typically takes place during late August in Burlington, Green Bay.
Songs, Stages, and Seafood Festival
This is a festival that celebrates the sea and its direct contribution to our sense of place. Ours is a culture carved by the sea – it shapes our words, our music, and is naturally infused into our food. Usually held in May in Bay Roberts, Songs, Stages, and Seafood is a five-day journey of discovery designed to appeal to your sense of sight, smell, sound, touch, and of course, taste. It features locally sourced dishes, award-winning chefs, and traditional music. With tastings, demonstrations, workshops, hiking, music, and dancing, the festival is not to be missed.
During the hiking season, Bay Roberts hosts guided walks, including local favorites such as Mussels & Music and Toutons & Tunes. Both tours are leisurely interpretive walks that go along the Shoreline Heritage Walking Trail to the Red Fishermen’s Shed where you can experience traditional music and freshly cooked toutons – or mussels depending on the tour. These guided tours typically take place on Thursday or Sunday from June / July through October.
This awe-inspiring festival takes place every June in the St. Anthony area – a place known for iceberg viewing, whale watching, and exploring the historic land of the Vikings (at L’Anse aux Meadows). It’s the perfect backdrop to gaze at these larger-than-life spectacles as they put on a show. The Iceberg Festival celebrates the annual arrival of icebergs to this region, which plays host to the longest iceberg season in Newfoundland. This unique festival includes events such as Iceberg beer tastings, a Great Viking Feast, traditional Jiggs’ dinner, and the Iceberg Chef.
Lighthouse Dinners, Point Amour Lighthouse
This isn’t a festival per se. But dining in Atlantic Canada’s tallest lighthouse is something that hasn’t been experienced for more than 50 years, so it’s a food-inspired event that deserves to be on the list. Exclusive Friday night opportunities are available to dine at the Point Amour Lighthouse located in southern Labrador. The three-course dining experience pairs locally sourced food with historical performances and interpretations depicting the lives of the few select families who were lighthouse keepers for more than 150 years. Without a doubt, stories told around the dinner table at Point Amour Lighthouse were (and are) lively and full of adventurous tales reminiscent of our maritime heritage and a history that has always been intimately linked with the sea.
Are you gut-foundered yet? Click here to start planning your trip to one of these delicious festivals and events.