Saint John NB restaurant recommendations... [General]

2008 May 20
Going to Saint John NB next week for work. Anyone have some good restaurant/pub recommendations?



2008 May 20
Many many years ago I had a VERY GOOD steak at Church's Steakhouse. It was herb crusted or some such thing, and I think it was a signature dish of the place. Other than the crazy price (at the time, was $30 for a steak) it was quite tasty. Other than that, I remember reading that the live music pub scene is quite good there (Saint John, not Church's) now. When I was there, I went out to some arbitrary pub, and listened to some blues gentleman from the U.S. who favoured a stage costume of an orange jump suit. Very crazy... Let us know how your trip turns out!

2008 May 21
King of Donairs

2008 May 21
Hey X-13D .... Is the King of Donairs the same as the ones in Halifax ?

According to Wiki, "In Canada, gyros are sometimes sold as donairs, especially in and around Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John's, Newfoundland where it was first introduced to Canada in 1973." By King of Donars!

The picture is the one on the famous "Pizza Corner" in Halifax.

According to Wiki Travel Guide to Halifax , "Pizza Corner - 3 different pizza restaurants at corner of Blowers and Grafton. Good cheap pizza and donairs (Gyro-type wraps, often overflowing with meat and sauce). However, this area can descend into anarchy when the bars let out, and the restaurants often lock their bathrooms, even to customers.

Iv'e seen hords of cutomers at pizza corner at 2:00am singing ".... for I'm a drunken' man on a Halifax pierrrrrr .... the last of Barrett's Privateerrrrrs."

The Halifax (or East Coast) Donair is something quite unique. The 'fried' thick pita contains only sliced of 'kebob' meat, onions, tomatoes and sauce (which contains sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk and sugar).

Now back to Ottawa.

There was a place on Elgin St. that tried to sell a Halifax Donair a while back. Since they were unable capture the true Halifax Domair experience, they went under.

Does anyone know of any other Halifax Donairs available in Ottawa?

PS: Part of the Halifax Donair experience is stinking (and I mean reek) like the donair, while being hungover the next day.

PPS: King of Donairs (KOD) was also made a little more famous by their appearence in "The Trailer Park Boys".

2008 May 21
All I can say is that the "Halifax Donair Experience" is highly over-rated. Those things are terrible and a disgrace to the Greeks and Turks. No wonder Maritime Donair on Elgin went out of business - good riddance!

And for the uninitiated, I'm a proud Nova Scotian. But these things are not something to be proud of. Stinky ground beef and cheap garlic sauce. Yuck.

I saw the light after 2 years in Cologne where there is literally a "donair corner" every block - where you can get real greek Gyros and real Turkish donair. Made and served by real Greeks and Turks respectively (Germany's 2 biggest immigrant populations, by far. At least at the time)

2008 May 21
Oh how I wish that place on Elgin street had been more successful. They were the only place in Ottawa that did anything close to real Maritime garlic fingers. The McCain ones from the grocery store just don't cut it. Haven't found anything like them here in TO either!

2008 May 21
Hey Zy...

I undertand your opinion (and disgust) about the Halifax Donair. Your description of the thing being "Stinky ground beef and cheap garlic sauce" is bang on !!

The Halifax Donair does not try and represent a true Gyro or Doner or Kebob... I found that out through my travels in Greece. And it's certainly not gourmet.

It's Canadianized food !!! Like Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls are not truly Chinese food. An adaptation (good or bad) from one culture to another.

I too, am proudly from Nova Scotia and I only crave one once in a blue moon. Like many of the Ottawa Foodies out there that gets the occasional craving for a Big Mac etc. Once you get your fix you say.... 'Yeeesh ... What was that all about ?'.

Remember the postings on "Hang your foodie head in shame..." Link here ---> <---

Well... my head is hung low ... in shame.

Now... Does anyone know where I can get hooked up with a halifax Donair?

2008 May 21
Ha, ha, yeah, I used to do that for KFC but haven't in a number of years now :) And I think this time around it will stay that way.

2008 May 21
I remember that Maritime Donair place on Elgin. I always thought it was amusing that they decided to locate directly above one of the best shawarma places in town (that being Marroush). If someone not from the Maritimes was walking down Elgin, would they opt for a donair from some place associating itself with Atlantic Canada, or a shawarma place with a Middle-eastern-sounding name? I certainly had no idea that donairs had any association with the Maritimes, and found it an odd choice of name until I did hear about it. I remember having a donair from the Maritime place, but it didn't tempt me away from Marroush.

2008 May 21
Candice, you can find Maritime garlic fingers at Pizza Delight ( There used to be one on Clyde Ave many years ago (where Denny's is now), after that the closest was in Smiths Falls. NOW the closest seems to be in Bancroft. Oh well, still closer than the Maritimes... ;-)

I think donair sauce is an acquired taste. I personally can't stand the sweetness of it and much prefer traditional greek and turkish fare. To each his own. :-)

2008 May 21
FF: thank you! I never knew there were Pizza Delight locations in Ontario... how I missed that I don't really know!

Hmm, looks like the closest location to me is in Cambridge. Now I need an excuse to go to Cambridge. hah!

2008 May 21
I guess we can declare that this thread has been completely highjacked! :-P

I have no Saint John restaurants to offer but I would recommend, if you're at all interested in beer, seeking out stuff from the Pump House brewery. The brewery itself is in Moncton, but I'd imagine you'd be able to find it easily enough in Saint John. The Blueberry Ale was briefly available here at the LCBO last year, but I've also had the Cadian Ale, which I really enjoyed, and the Scotch Ale - also interesting.

2008 May 21
Lets not forget about the great Halifax donair pizza - with sweet sauce! :|

Getting back on topic... I can't help you out Daft_Diner, I've never dined in Saint John. I will however second Inkling's recommendation on going to the Pump House brewery, they had some great ales there, most of which I forget now since I was in a drunken haze, but I remember lots of fruity-berry options like Blueberry.

Edit: I just noticed some mention of garlic fingers - the best can be found at Godfatha's Pizza in Kingston.

2008 May 21
Yes, the Blueberry is probably a like-it or hate-it type of beer. I personally like it and associate it with sitting around a campfire in Kouchibouguac National Park. Some others, like Cadian, are more traditional and straightforward.

You should take a look at the Canadian board on Chowhound too, if you haven't already, as there's been Saint John discussion there.

2008 May 22
Ironically enough, I just got back from Saint John on the long weekend! We went to Saint John Ale House on the harbour downtown...nice place to sit on the patio, if it's warm out, BUT the building is infested with mice! My sister had heard it through the grapevine about the whole building down there and she was right! All 5 of us saw a mouse even, and we were on the upper level inside. Too bad, since the resto is super nice, good food, good beer selections...

Supposedly Billy's Seafood Company downtown is a nice resto which serves lobster, and I'm assuming, other good fresh seafood. If you're looking to explore, make sure you go to the sea caves at St. Martin's and have lunch/dinner at the resto there!!!

Hope I'm not too late in this recommendation... ;)

2008 May 31
Ha! I came late to the party.

I just want to mirror Zym's sentiments: the three days we just spent in Berlin was almost always concluded with donair/gozleme/kebab of some sort. And not only because they're the only damn things open in Moabit after 7pm ;)

Delicious and inexpensive. And distinct enough from the shawarma you get here that I don't feel like I have to choose between the two.

2009 Feb 20
Golden Turtle (RIP) reminded me of this forum question. As stated, there's a place near the corner of Bronson and Gladstone that I don't even think has a name, but offers "Halifax Donair." I believe they used to offer "Indian Cosine" [sic] before that.

I'm way interested to see how it is. Has anybody tried it yet?

2009 Feb 20
Oooooooooooooooooooo Halifax Donair.

My take on East Coast/Halifax Donairs is above.

or click here:

and here:

So ya can see, I can get a Bic Mac Attack style hankering for one these once in a while.

And they do hold somewhat of a Down East nostalgia for me. (There's a new fourm topic: "What junky-type foods give you belt of nostalgia ?")

This makes me drewl ....

If I get one .... I'll certainly report back.

Now to remember that d@amn camera.

2009 Mar 4
If you want to taste a good donair check out this new place on 422 Bronson called Centertown Resto Bar. 613 231 1000. BEST DONAIR IN OTTAWA BY FAR!

2009 Mar 4
New User 1620 - why don't you change your name to 'Owner of Centretown Pizza'?

2009 Mar 10
Just wanted to say that the Halifax Donair is something to be proud of! I have one every summer when I go home. The other thing I always have is deep fried whole clams. Guess I miss the junkie food the most!