You won’t often hear me say this, but it’s not always about the beer. In fact, in this case, it’s about the clams – marvellous mollusks from PEI, served and savoured at the treasured island establishment, Clam Diggers. And if you don’t believe me, believe renowned Canadian chef (and islander) Michael Smith, who raves about the place.
Located in Cardigan on the island’s east end, near Brudenell provincial park and about 45 km from Charlottetown, the ‘beach house and restaurant,’ which has also been called a waterfront pub, is known for its seafood – a veritable best of the best in a Canadian mecca for ocean bounty.
Familiar Food Network contributor Smith – now an innkeeper on the island and cookbook author, and who has in the past served as ambassador for PEI tourism at events in Toronto, where I’ve met him on a few occasions – was quoted in a recent article by Jeremy Reed as going so far as to call the “steamers” served at Clam Diggers “the epitome of perfection and simplicity.” They are served in white wine, butter, garlic and cream, and Smith says, “I’ll fight ya for slurping rights at the bottom of the bowl.”
Also lauded by patrons are the fried clams, as well as other local favourites and Clam Digger classics like haddock and chips, fried scallops, mussels, lobster roll, crab cakes, maple salmon, and, of course, lobster (in season). Some of the items are served together in combo “bake” plates.
Not a seafood fan? Not to worry, there are also burgers, sandwiches, and wraps, salads, pasta, steak, even poutine and mac & cheese.
And accompanying local craft beer (Gahan) on tap, including during afternoon happy hour (3-5 p.m.), is pub fare like wings, nachos, sweet potato fries, and fish tacos.
Any of the choices can be enjoyed indoors or, better still, out, on a large patio deck, overlooking the water, where guests can watch fishing and lobster boats glide by and catch the harbour lights and sunset in the evening, or wander on a lighted boardwalk. Indeed, the restaurant’s well-deserved motto is: “Come for the food, stay for the view.”
Located at 6864 Water St. in Cardigan, Clam Diggers is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., 9 on Fridays and Saturdays
With glass purposefully in hand, we at Travel Industry Today continue our series on some of the planet’s best bars, patios and rooftop venues. For more articles in the series, click here:
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