Dip anything in butter and I will like it. So the Lobster in Nova Scotia was a guaranteed delicious experience for me. And better yet – we were there in lobster season.
Okay okay, truth be told – every month is lobster season in Nova Scotia. To prevent over-fishing, different districts within Atlantic Canada are able to set their lobster traps at different times of the year. That means you can have fresh caught, live lobster all year long in Nova Scotia Canada!
My First Lobster Experience Didn’t Go Well…I was 17
I still remember my first ever lobster experience – at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. I was 17 years old and thought it was my big moment to be sophisticated when my friend’s parents ordered us lobster. However I can’t say that I was in love with it at 17 years old. It was a bit more work than I was looking for. I didn’t really feel comfortable, as I didn’t know what I was doing. And then there was the icky factor of the innards that I was grossed out by.
Thank goodness that we get older and wiser. Somewhere in my late 20’s I lost all of my food hang-ups and decided that trying new things wasn’t icky – but good. It’s that attitude that has had me try foods around the world like guinea pig in Peru, rat and silk worms in Thailand, frog and baby duck egg in Vietnam, and lamb’s brain in Jordan.
Nova Scotia Lobster Trail
50,000 tonnes of lobster are hauled from Nova Scotia waters every year and there almost just as many ways to serve it! Break out your lobster crackers and get ready for a feast. On the Lobster Trail, you’ll experience traditional lobster dinners, lobster rolls and everything in between.
Collect stamps on a digital passport and be eligible to win seafood prizes as you travel throughout Nova Scotia. You can use the Lobster Trail map they provide to determine where to stop and get your lobster fix and stamps!
My Favorite Lobster Stops in Nova Scotia
Hall’s Harbour Lobster in the Rough
It was about time that I revisited Lobster again and there’s no better place than Nova Scotia to get your lobster fix. When my mom and I did a road trip around Nova Scotia, it gave up the opportunity to eat lobster…lots of lobster. When we arrived at Hall’s Harbor in Nova Scotia not only were we in for a beautiful view eating outside with harbor views of the Bay of Fundy, but we were also ready to try their famous Lobster in the Rough.
This is a hands-on outdoor eating experience.
First you choose your fresh, live lobster from one of the tanks based on size and then you walk the bin of lobster over via the ‘green mile’ to the cook who takes the bin from you and boils it up in Bay of Fundy salt water.
I must admit there was a tinge of guilt walking my lobster to it’s death, but it was quickly forgotten when I got my tub of melted butter and plate of cooked lobster brought out to the outdoor picnic table.
We feasted on our fresh lobsters while watching the Bay of Fundy tides drop in the harbor about 6 feet.
Rusty Anchor Restaurant on Cape Breton
The Rusty Anchor restaurant is right along the Cabot Trail so you can’t miss it especially with the giant fisherman statue outside! This is an iconic family owned restaurant with a killer view.
Take a seat on the outdoor patio and do some whale watching as you wait for your lobster feast. Sitting outside gazing out on the ocean eating lobster and drinking beer – it really doesn’t get any better than this.
Get Lobster Right off the Boat in Nova Scotia
In Guysborough at the DesBarres Manor Inn Chef Anna Nickerson, gave us the opportunity to get even more hands on. She had us cook our own lobsters!
The lobsters were purchased directly off the local fisherman’s boat earlier that day, and now a few hours after catching them, they were going to be our dinner.
How to Cook Live Lobster
We met Anna and some other DesBarres guests in the homey buttercup yellow kitchen to cook up our lobsters. As you would guess – it’s honestly pretty easy – boil water, add lots of salt, pick up lobster by the back, clip the rubber bands from the claws, put in water for approx. 14 minutes depending on the size, remove from water, make sure tail is curled, crack the claws, snip the underbelly part of the shell, put on a bib, and you are ready to feast!
We all had a great time though talking about the fishing industry in general as Anna’s husband was a tuna fisherman so we learned quite a bit about fishing in general as our lobsters cooked.
How to Eat Lobster? With Patience
That night I watched as my mom, who is scared of most things she’s not familiar with, slowly and methodically devour the lobster – an animal no farm girl from Nebraska should know anything about. The shell or having to work for it didn’t bother her in the least. In fact – her patience at getting every piece of delectable meat was impressive.
Other Ways to Get Your Fill of Nova Scotia Lobster
Can you ever have enough lobster from Nova Scotia? I think not! In addition to the numerous restaurants that serve lobster around Nova Scotia – there are some other ways you can overdose on that sweet meat!
Go to the South Shore Lobster Crawl Festival
February just happens to be the peak of the lobster season along the entire South Shore of Nova Scotia; from Barrington (the Lobster Capital of Canada) to Peggy’s Cove and every port in between – you can expect all kinds of lobster celebrations as part of the Lobster Crawl Festival.
Not only can you eat inordinate amounts of Nova Scotia Lobster in February, there are also a number of lobster experiences you can have during the festival too. From lobster snow sculptures to lobster beer, cooking classes to kitchen parties, wine pairings to art shows, fishery tours to “lobster” wool.
Learn about Nova Scotia Lobster with the Kilted Chef
Chef Alain Bossé, aka the Kilted Chef, is Nova Scotia’s lobster ambassador. I was lucky enough to meet him and soak up his Maritime charm and lobster knowledge recently. And yes…he always wears his signature kilt cooking!
He showed me how to cook a lobster as well as get it out of the shell, an art that he makes look easy!
If you can’t meet Chef Alain in Nova Scotia, then the next best thing is to join in on one of his live cooking episodes on Facebook. You can attend one of his live Nova Scotia cooking classes and learn about preparing all kinds of Nova Scotia delicacies.
After our lobster feast in Guysborough, my mom and I both agreed that it was the best lobster we ever had – maybe it was because it was so fresh, or because we had cooked ourselves. Whatever the reason – I think I would have loved Nova Scotia lobster even without the melted butter!
Disclosure – I was a guest of Visit Nova Scotia and Authentic Seacoast during my time in the region. However all of the opinions expressed here are my own.
By John August 22, 2013 - 3:59 pm
Great post and I love the pics. That Giant Lobster at Halls Harbor is probably the biggest I’ve ever seen.
I first tried lobster when I was in the army. I was 23, stationed in Uzbekistan and the Lobsters were so dry that they were curling up. Now that’s how I prefer my tails, overcooked, with tons of butter of course.
By Nancy D. Brown August 22, 2013 - 6:17 pm
Wow! What an awesome dining experience in Nova Scotia.