Saint John City Market For First Timers

April 17, 2019

Whether you're an adventurous foodie or not, trying out something new can be intimidating. Don’t worry - you're not alone. That's why we're here.

Discover Saint John teamed up with Chef Jesse Vergen to highlight some of the amazing restaurants in our city. ‘For First Timers’ is a video series where we show you what to expect from the moment you walk in the door to what you should order and everything in between.

We also want to share the incredible people behind the restaurant doors and their culture. You may have heard the rumour that Saint John is quickly earning a reputation for fantastic dining and it’s because of the talented folks that choose to call Saint John home.

Without further ado, let’s talk food.

Let’s visit the Saint John City Market (47 Charlotte St, Saint John, NB), open Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm, and Saturday, 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. It’s difficult not to mention the City Market when talking about Saint John. It has been around since 1876 and before it was built, there was an outdoor market in this same location. The roof of the market resembles the shape of a ship’s hull (we were a shipbuilding city after all). And you'll notice you're walking up or down hill to visit all the vendors - that's why you will often hear people talk about the top or the bottom of the marketBefore the big chain stores and malls hit the city, the market was the hub for all produce and meat in the area. You can still see evidence of this by the hooks on the centre stalls.


Old Photos

Nowadays, it is the perfect spot in the middle of Saint John for local food, coffee, souvenirs and more. Every morning the market opens with the ringing of their historic bell - which made Jesse’s bell ringing dreams come true. 



The Saint John City Market is one of the more diverse food courts on the East Coast serving up flavours from all over the world.


Jesse shared some of his favourite stops when he visits the City Market.


1. It’s best to start your visit with a Moose-sized coffee from locally-owned Java Moose to sip while you check out everything the market has to offer. After you pick up some local produce from Baleman’s, grab a Chicken Chimichanga (with sauce) from Taco Pica -- specializing in Guatemalan, Mexican and Spanish food. 


Java Moose

2. Jesse stopped in to Jeremiah’s to ask for their ‘biggest, best sandwich ever’ and they definitely delivered on that request. Check out the video to see what we mean! Their lunch menu features a number of tasty sandwiches and soups. From the Deli find meats,cheeses and salads you can purchase by the pound. They are best known for their roast beef and baked ham cooked daily on site. 



3. If you are craving some Asian flavours, make sure to try the Spicy Korean Ramen from Kim’s Korean Food. It’s Jesse’s favourite Ramen in the city! #GetYourHotNoodsOn



4. For all of your fresh seafood needs, you simply must stop at North Market Seafood


North Market Seafood, formerly Lord’s Lobster, is a Saint John institution. It has become a trusted source of fresh seafood served up by a knowledgeable and experienced team of fishmongers.


Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or something to take home for supper, North Market Seafood will take care of you. They're happy to be your local fish market and an important link between fishers, farmers and the people who purchase their locally-caught and locally-grown products. They’re proud to offer local, sustainable seafood — straight from the source including Acadian Sturgeon & Caviar.


And then, head to Dean’s Meats for grass-fed beef and some famous Dulse. Jesse describes it best in the video but Dulse is edible red seaweed chock-full of nutrients.



5. If you want to take your Dulse tasting to the next level, Slocum & Ferris has a ‘Sea Ceasar’ and a D.L.T.. Both meals featured toasted Dulse and are vegetarian.


A popular eatery and café, Slocum and Ferris is one of the oldest businesses in Canada's oldest farmers market. It was founded in 1895 by George W. Slocum and John D. Ferris, who left Queens County, New Brunswick to become produce dealers in Saint John. Both were of Loyalist agricultural background, with the Ferris family coming from New York and the Slocums from New England. The partners maintained links with the farmers of the Saint John River Valley, who sent them produce downstream by riverboat. Slocum and Ferris did not buy the goods outright, but took a commission instead, calling themselves "commission merchants". In the second-floor office above the shop there is still a folio-size ledger from the 1910s recording the firm's transactions in fine cursive script.



There is much more to experience at the iconic Saint John City Market - we highly recommend you check it out! Every visit is unique with full-time and seasonal vendors.


Saint John City Market

47 Charlotte St, Saint John, NB