Prince Edward Island is world-renown for its shellfish, from those famous Malpeque oysters to its signature PEI blue mussels. Yet we came to PEI to get our fill of Canada’s most valuable seafood export: lobster! PEI is known for the abundant lobster found in the clean, cold Atlantic waters surrounding the island province.
Ever since plotting our trip, we began scouting out all the best places to try lobster in PEI. Yet we never realized there would be so many different ways to eat lobster here!
So we took on the tough task of reviewing a handful of the many lobster experiences in PEI. By the conclusion of our trip, we had to loosen our belts after thoroughly indulging on this delicacy for days on end while roaming around the the island. We now review some of our favorite lobster finds on PEI!
#1 Lobster Rolls in PEI
Lobster rolls are a summer staple on Prince Edward Island and an absolutely delicious one at that! These rolls are a quick and casual way to eat lobster in PEI. We visited Dave’s Lobster in Charlottetown to taste this island favorite.
We ordered right from the counter at this quick-serve restaurant. Located in Founder’s Hall in the heart of town, it makes for a convenient first stop in PEI because it also houses Charlottetown’s Visitor Center. For us, it served as a dual purpose to get an initial taste of lobster while sorting out our plans on the island.
Traditionally lobster rolls are served chilled. Sometimes the lobster is shredded and mixed with a heavy amount of mayonnaise.
But Dave’s version, called “The Local” comes packed full of a quarter pound of chunky lobster meat, with only with a tiny bit of mayonnaise, barely even covering the tender and succulent lobster. Instead of a shredded mix, we found entire claws and peices of lobster tail that you needed to bite into.
Fresh herbs add a bit of flavor to the sandwich, while diced celery provides some crunch. Finally the lobster roll is topped with sprinkle of chives and drizzled with lemon butter, before being loaded onto a grilled, buttered roll. Dave has set a new bar on how a great lobster roll should be. What an absolutely delicious intro to lobster in PEI!
But we didn’t stop there.
Dave’s Lobster also offers a more un-traditional, warm lobster roll. Called “Some Fancy,” the lobster is pan-heated in a lemon, butter, garlic sauce before being piled into a warm roll. It was like eating a lobster supper in between bread! Absolutely heavenly.
So which was better, the warm or cold lobster roll? That’s something we debated for a while, but couldn’t decide on a clear winner. Both of Dave’s lobster rolls were equally phenomenal.
We each ordered one lobster roll and split them so we could try both. But if you go to Dave’s solo, they also offer a half & half of each sandwich, so you can taste each of the two without having to share your meal.
We were obsessed with Dave’s lobster rolls from our first bite. So while on PEI we also asked some local islanders where else we can find some of the best lobster rolls on PEI. Here are a few suggestions they offered outside of Charlottetown, listed here by location:
- In Stanhope: Richards Fresh Seafood
- In Cavendish: Island Favorites
- In Souris: The Lobster Shack
- In Victoria: Lobster Barn Pub (which came VERY enthusiastically recommended by a passionate Charlottetown bartender)
#2 A Lobster Supper in PEI
Another island custom on PEI is to have a proper lobster supper at one of the dining halls in the province. The practice of feasting on the island’s prized seafood has origins of summer fundraisers in church basements. Yet lobster suppers have since grown into a big draw for visitors to PEI wanting to get a taste of this island tradition.
There are a handful of notable restaurants throughout PEI offering a proper lobster supper. We were warned to go hungry, because these lobster supper joints tend to really fill you up. They usually involve multiple courses, some of which are all-you-can-eat.
With a number of seemingly great options, we needed to decide where to dig into a lobster supper. St Ann’s was a mainstay in PEI, beginning in a church that grew into one of the most renowned places to get a lobster supper in PEI for 50 years. But they sadly closed their doors as of 2015. Nearby New Glasgow Lobster Suppers has since grown to be a favorite for dining hall style restaurants in PEI to get a lobster supper.
Yet, we were in PEI during a holiday weekend and wanted to avoid the crowds of people who flock to these popular restaurants during busy weekends. So we decided to try a lobster supper for lunch. That led us to Fisherman’s Wharf one of the few restaurants in PEI that offers a full lobster supper during lunch hours! Our strategy paid-off, as we got seated right away.
We headed the warnings to arrive hungry and even went so far as to skip breakfast. We were glad we did. As we were being shown to our table in the the huge yet homey restaurant, we walked past a 60-foot (18-meter) “salad” bar. But I use the term “salad” quite loosely because the long food bar contained everything from nachos to steamed mussels!
We didn’t hesitate on the latter, filling up bowl after bowl of freshly steamed Island Blue Mussels. We also went back for seconds of their thick & creamy seafood chowder, which was excellent with the restaurant’s fresh home-baked rolls. But we used some self-restraint in not making a forth trip to the gigantic food bar, and instead waited for that big bright red shell to hit our table. This was the main event.
The friendly waitress dressed us with bibs to protect us from us from the collateral damage of getting sprayed as we cracked the shells to get to that succulent lobster. The lobster came out plump and tender as we ripped into its claws and tail. We savored each piece of lobster as we dipped it into drawn butter before hitting our mouths. Delicious!
At this point, desert was an afterthought. But there were still loads of sweet options to choose from to conclude this overly indulgent meal. A falling apart slice of lemon meringue pie seemed like the perfect way to be a bit more gluttonous. It was!
We give Fisherman’s Wharf a good review and recommend it to those looking to try a lobster supper on PEI. Go for lunch to avoid a more crowded dining experience with potential wait times. Instead, a lingering lunch here can make for a pleasant afternoon. And if it happens to be raining, a long lobster supper lunch can be a great rainy day activity on PEI. (It was for us.) Just be sure to arrive hungry!
#3 A Floating Lobster Boil
After eating so much lobster, we wanted to get a more hands-on experience with it. Embarking on a floating lobster boil was the perfect opportunity to do just that! So we jumped onto the Fundy Cruiser with Island Boat Adventures to partake in this certified Authentic PEI Experience.
On a bright sunny afternoon Captain Chancey navigated us through the Charlottetown Harbour, which made for a scenic cruise across the blue waters. Sailboats floated by. Grand mansions loomed above PEI’s notable red cliffs. And seagulls soared overhead. It was as if we had charted a course right through a PEI postcard.
After about a half-hour of this leisurely cruise across the harbor, we arrived at a buoy and proceeded to haul in a lobster trap. Captain Chancey has a few pet lobsters here, so he can teach his guests the trade of lobstering.
But this was a hands-on classroom out in the open harbor. It was fun for us to put our newfound knowledge to practice, as we measured and banded the lobster claws just as local PEI fisherman do. We also learned practical info that we can use back home, such as how to tell if a lobster is healthy & fresh, how to pick out a good lobster, and even how to cook a lobster ’til perfection.
The pet lobsters we had hauled from the trap lived to see another day, as their starfish-covered home got lowered back down into the sea. But Captain Chancy was prepared with a separate supply of fresh live lobsters to boil up, that would ultimately become our lobster supper out on the water.
The lobster boil began, using a pot of boiling water right on the side of the boat. While we waited for the lobsters to be cooked, Captain Chancey treated us with the island’s other notable seafood: raw PEI oysters!
Freshly shucked right on the boat, the oysters became a delicious appetizer. They say PEI has the best oysters in the world and after sucking a few right from the shell, we would have to agree. We slurped them down and tossed the empty shells right back into the same ocean waters they originated from.
But as we became momentarily distracted by the deliciousness of the oysters, we realized the lobsters were finished cooking. A bath of ice and cold water was used to halt that process and help insure the precious lobster meat doesn’t become overcooked and chewy.
Before we all dug in, we received a final lesson from Captain Chancey on how to crack the lobster and how to easily find all the morsels of lobster meat. We licked our lips as it was once again time to feast!
Is it possible that lobster tastes better out on the open water? Maybe it’s a psychological effect. But dare we say that lobster most definitely is more delicious when eaten in the ocean breeze atop the lapping of waves. From trap to table, it certainly doesn’t get any fresher than this!
For us, the Floating Lobster Boil was a fantastic grand finale to all of our lobster experiences on PEI. We left not only with full bellies, but with an newfound understanding and appreciation for this island staple. Yes, the lobster was delicious. But it was the entire experience out on the open waters that made this such fun way to eat lobster in PEI.
Here’s a short video we put together that brings to motion our Floating Lobster Boil experience:
Even More Ways to Try Lobster in PEI!
These were our top three lobster eating experiences while roaming around PEI. But there are countless restaurants and other opportunities to try this island delicacy while in Price Edward Island.
For those camping in PEI, a popular way to eat lobster is to do your own beachside lobster boil. For anyone with the equipment and know-how of campfire cooking, this can be a great way to have a lobster experience in PEI. Simply go to a local seafood market to pick-up some fresh lobster and boil them up!
For a true authentic island experience, keep your eyes out for flyers around town advertising lobster supper fundraisers at local churches. St Ann’s may have closed, but we were told that churches around the island still hold lobster suppers during the summer. They tend to be geared more for locals, but visitors are welcomed with open arms. So keep an eye out for those church bulletins while on PEI!
Or you can even try lobster poutine! This takes Canada’s classic dish of poutine to all new heights. Instead of only cheese curds and brown gravy atop the fries, you can find renditions covered in lobster and cheesy goodness. This is an overly-indulgent way to eat lobster in PEI! The Chip Shack in Victoria is particularly known for its lobster poutine, although it can be found a variety a places around the island.
How Do You Like Your Lobster in PEI?
If you’ve been to PEI before, what do you think is the best place for lobster in the province? Or which of these ways to eat lobster would you choose when visiting the island? Drop us a line in the comments! We’ll always be looking for more ways to eat lobster during our next visit to Prince Edward Island. And with so many more places we haven’t tried yet, we’ll most certainly to back to continue eating our way across the island!