Bell Island | Newfoundland & Labrador
Updated: Sep 23, 2019
"We'll rant and we'll roar like true Newfoundlanders, we'll rant and we'll roar on deck and below"
This beautiful and historic island is just a short ferry ride away from the mainland of Portugal Cove. The population has been on a steady decline since the closure of the iron ore mines in the 1960's. Only a little over 2,000 people live there today.
Although these closures were a hard hit to the economy and livelihood of the residents, a smaller footprint of human interference has preserved the island's natural beauty.
We were lucky to stay with locals and had the opportunity to see the island inside and out on ATV! We explored hidden community gardens and abandon mines, raced wild horses, got stuck in the mud and drank beers in a stranger's living room - which also happens to be the town bar.
Well, there's The Coffee Shop, Dicks' Fish & Chips and the Sub Shack - that's about it.
Thankfully, the only place to stay just so happens to also have amazing food...
Gracie Joe's @ The Grand Wabana Inn
^ French onion soup, fish cakes with seasonal salad and homemade vinaigrette, fresh caught fish chowder, flank steak smothered in a mushroom and onion reduction.
Chef/Owner Alfred Hynes makes the digs of this converted convent feel warm and welcoming. Plan on spending some time at dinner because he does it all. Alfred will be your waiter and chef.
All meals are from scratch and made to order. Everything is local and seasonal - just the way we like it!
Got a sweet tooth?
Us too. The Bell-Island Co-Op Bakery has been the only bakery on the island for 40 years! Bread is freshly baked and ready to pick up for supper.
There is also a new rivalry in town - Connie's Kitchen - literally located inside of Connie's kitchen.
^ The backdoor of Connie's house leads right into her kitchen where you will find these Canadian specialties - coconut snowballs, mint and rainbow marshmallow Nanaimos and crispy chocolate peanut butter bars.