I've listed some good gourmet and mid-range dining choices. But there are also plenty of cheap eats in this seaside town. Roving chip trucks dispense fried fish in a flash cluster down by the waterfront in places like Church Hill Square and along Water Street.
Budget eaters should also wander uphill to the intersection of Lemarchant and Freshwater roads -- within a two-block radius, you'll find numerous and varied eat-in and takeout options. The undisputed king of takeout around here is Ches's Fish and Chips, at 9 Freshwater Rd. (tel. 709/726-2373), a chip shop where they've been serving up huge portions of fried fish, chicken wings, and burgers since 1958. They've made an effort lately to add healthy items to the menu, but come for the signature dish. Amazingly, the shop is open as late as 2am -- and they'll deliver, too.
For local microbrew, either hit the Fog City Brewing (tel. 709/726-4949) brewpub in the Avalon Mall or tour the well-situated Quidi Vidi Brewery (tel. 800/738-0165 or 709/738-4040) at 35 Barrows Rd. inside a former fish plant in scenic Quidi Vidi.
Calling All Coffee -- As you might expect, St. John's sustains a very healthy cafe culture. In addition to several outposts of the Green Giant (you know who you are), you can also furrow your brow artistically over a book or laptop at HavaJava -- the city's original gourmet coffeehouse, and one that stays open till 11pm -- at 216 Water St. (tel. 709/753-5282); Coffee Matters Too, at 321 Water St. (tel. 709/753-4562); the Lazy Dog Cafe, in the Avalon Mall on Kenmount Rd. (just off the Phillip Drive ring road); and the Jumping Bean Coffee Company (tel. 709/754-4538) at 47 Harvey Rd., very close to The Rooms historic complex.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.