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Three Way Thursday: St. John’s

St. John’s, Newfoundland has long known hard times but with our developing oil industry we’re now starting to know some good times. So it makes sense that St. John’s is a city that can cater to any budget. Here’s how you can balance your budget in the far east of the Western world.

Budget $

Stay: HI City Hostel

With only a few hostels in the city, a budget backpacker doesn’t have a lot of options. For $33/night (plus tax) at City Hostel you get a bunk in a 4-bed dorm, linens, wi-fi, luggage storage and access to a common room and self-catering kitchen.
18 Gower St, (709) 754-4789

Eat: Long Dick’s Sausage Emporium

Long Dick’s is St. John’s first and only gourmet food truck. It’s had its share of problems with the city with permits and parking spots but customer reviews have been great. They specialize in grilled sausages and will gladly serve you one with a bag of Miss Vickie’s chips and a Coke in a glass bottle for $10. Can you handle 9 inches? Drop by and find out.
Currently parked on New Gower St across from City Hall

Play: Turkey Joe’s or The Rob Roy

If drinking a lot for a little is your goal, head to Turkey Joe’s on Friday for 3-4-5 night where you can get 3 beer or highballs for $5 between 10pm & 1am. The Rob Roy has the same deal on Thursdays. Try not to touch anything or pack some antibacterial wipes with you. If you just love dive bars swing by the Inn of Olde in Quidi Vidi. The pub is connected to the owner’s home and you’ll feel like you’re drinking in a friend’s basement. Between the vinyl floral table clothes, church hall stacking chairs and memorabilia of all types it’s tacky in the best possible way.
George Street

Mid-Range $$

Stay: Hometel on Signal Hill

Hometel on Signal Hill puts you halfway between downtown and the top of our famous lookout. Rooms range from $79-$189/night and include soaker tubs, internet, parking, breakfast and free long distance calls to anywhere in North America.
10 St Joseph’s Ln, (709) 739-7799

Photo: thesproutrestaurant.com/

Photo: thesproutrestaurant.com

Eat: The Sprout

Sometimes it feels like we have an embarrassment of riches in St. John’s when it comes to restaurants. I decided to go with the city’s only vegetarian restaurant for my mid-range pick. The atmosphere is casual and cozy and the food is all made from scratch. Entrées are in the $10-$15 range. The food is so flavourful, omnivores won’t even notice the lack of meat.
364 Duckworth St, (709) 579-5485

Play: The Duke of Duckworth

Best known these days as the pub featured on CBC’s Republic of Doyle, the Duke is a great place to hang out with friends, grab a pint, play a game of pool or watch the game. Be sure to snap a pic with the jester lamp in the corner.
325 Duckworth St, (709) 739-6344

Luxe $$$

Photo: http://www.ryanmansion.com

Photo: http://www.ryanmansion.com

Stay: Ryan Mansion

Steps away from the ever-confusing Rawlins Cross, Ryan Mansion is all about luxury. Their grand staircase was built in the same style and by the very same craftsmen who fitted the Grand Staircase on the Titanic. Prince Charles himself even dropped by for a visit once. Rooms run from $255-$1000/night for the Royal Suite.
21 Rennie’s Mill Rd, (709) 753-7926

Eat: Raymonds

Award winning restaurant, Raymonds, is the newest darling on the emerging St. John’s foodie scene. They’ve made a commitment to using local ingredients and change their menu often. The average entrée is in the $40 range. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, a 7-course tasting menu with optional wine pairing will run you $200.
95 Water St, (709) 579-5800

Play: Raymonds

With a 42 page wine menu (and those are just the house wines!) you really might as well just stay put after your meal. You’ll be too full to move anyway. Bottles range from $35 (Germany, Anselmann, Riesling, Kabinett, Pfalz, 2011) to $2500 (France, Château La Mission Haut Brion, 2000). If you want to move on though, check out the martini menu at the aptly named Martini Bar on George Street.

Do you have any favourite places in St. John’s? Which way do you like to travel?

2 responses to “Three Way Thursday: St. John’s”

  1. I love the advice about trying not to touch anything in the Rob Roy; beautifully put. Why does the food truck have so many problems with the city? There are food trucks out west here in Vancouver on nearly every street corner.

    • Because they need electricity rather than a propane fryer it’s been hard working with the city to set up access to power. He’s also had to change spots a few times and was towed earlier this winter because the city was snow clearing and the trailer was blocked in by ice. I would love to see food trucks catch on here but it’s pretty difficult to get one up and running.

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