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This years gift guide not only features great items for traveling and travel related items but specifically products made by travel bloggers themselves. Travel bloggers that I call my great friends as well. These products are made and loved by travel experts so they can really be trusted.

Ultimate List of Travel Gifts Made by Travel Bloggers

Speakeasy Travel Supply Scarfs

I have been a long time fan of Speakeasy Scarfs made by the wonderful Bethany and Randy of Beers and Beans. Not only are these scarfs beautiful, comfortable and warm but they are also functional. The scarfs have a hidden pocket where you can hide your passport, phone, money and more. Perfect for keeping your important things safe as you travel while also keeping you looking fresh. Also if you are a fan of my friend Adventurous Kate she has her own line with Speakeasy that you should definitely check out HERE. Buy yours HERE.

Food Inspired Hand Drawn Maps

My good friend, travel blogger and popular long read author Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads has created some deliciously tasteful maps. A lover of good food and all things travel she has created these unique maps that you can get as prints, Tees or totes! My favorite is definitely the Italy print, they make me hungry just looking at them! To buy yours HERE.

The Travel Hack Pro Cabin Case

Since 99% of the time I travel with carry-on luggage only, I am always looking for the best carry-on suitcase. The lovely Monica from TheTravelHack has now come out with her own that I can’t wait to get my hands on. This suitcase has some of the best features. There is an easy access laptop compartment, a water bottle holder and the best part, the top compartment. A lot of airlines these days have strict rules about how many bags you can bring on board. With this suitcase you can easily store your purse, liquids or extra small bag into the top of the case for easy access. This is such a smart idea! In the US buy it on Amazon here. In the UK buy it on Amazon here.

GloboTreks Fun T-shirts

Norbert from GloboTreks has been designing some really fun t-shirts. Some are travel related and some are dinosaur related. I love both things, who doesn’t. There are a few other designs as well so be sure to check them out on Amazon under GloboTreks. They are currently available in the US (here), UK and German stores.

A Guide to the Luxury Hostels of the World

When I started traveling I put my nose up at hostels and wasted a lot of money staying in hotels. I like many envisioned they were just full of dirty hippie backpackers who would steal your things. Then I actually stayed in one and quickly found out that I was mistaken. Hostels are basically the best thing ever, especially if you are traveling solo. Not only can they save you money, but you can also meet some of the best people while staying in hostels. Also all hostels aren’t just 14+ bed dorm rooms with no privacy, there are many these days that offer so much better. From private rooms with shared bathrooms or ensuites or even your own tiny apartment. There are endless options and wonderful hip, luxury like places to stay. But how do you find these beautiful hostels? You need to buy my good friend Kash’s book. “The Grand Hostels: Luxury Hostels of the World“. Kash’s book highlights 116 of the best luxury hostels in the world and can really elevate your travels. To buy a copy and learn more click here.

Give the Gift of Travel

One of the first travel bloggers that I ever met in person over nine years ago was Nomadic Matt. As one of the first and now one of the biggest travel bloggers in the world he has begun a foundation to give the gift of travel to others. Called Flyte, Matt teams up with various underserved schools and raises money to help send kinds on trips around the world. The trips focus on not only learning about new destinations and their cultures but also volunteering and allowing the students to share their time and talents to help local organizations. To learn more about this great program and to donate click here.

Ultimate Journey’s for Two: Extraordinary Destinations on Every Continent

My friend’s Mike and Anne of HoneyTrek have been on their Honeymoon now for over 2,500 days. Hardly leaving each others sides they have been all over the world together and know everything there is to know about couples travel. Check out their book with National Geographic – Ultimate Journey’s for Two to plan your next trip with the one you love. Even if you’re flying solo this year it is sure to inspire your next trip. To learn more and buy your copy click here.

Become a Travel Photographer

If you want to up your travel photography game then you should look into Laurence Norah’s of Finding the Universe “How to Become a Travel Photographer” course. As part of the Superstar Blogging courses this course will teach you everything from how to master your camera settings, to learning about composition, how to edit, the best apps to use and more. The course also features trade secrets from some of the best travel photographers in the world. To learn more about the blogging courses and to sign up now, click here.

Adventurous Merch

Last but not least my very own travel themed merch in collaboration with my good friend Adventurous Kate. If you love all things travel then you need to have a favorite travel shirt! These novelty travel themed shirts feature the essential items you must have when traveling, the different types of travelers that exist, the best kinds of bubbly from around the world, how jet lag makes us all feel and more. We designed these shirts to be lighthearted and fun and think you will love them. We are selling these through Amazon and they currently ship to the US, UK and Germany. To buy them in the US click here, UK here and Germany here. Or search for “Adventurous Merch’ in your Amazon shop today.

Hopefully some of the items on this list has inspired gifts for the holidays for yourself or someone you love. If there are others that you recommend please share them in the comments below. Happy Holidays!

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Stranger Things and Halloween Horror Nights 2018 BEST TIPS - YouTube

For 28 years now every Halloween the Universal Orlando Resort has celebrated the season with Halloween Horror Nights. It started with one haunted house on three nights and has now become 10 haunted houses, five scare zones and more on 36 scary, fun filled nights. Not only is this year offering more nights of scares then ever but it is also featuring what is possibly one of their best haunted houses ever. The Stranger Things haunted house.

2018 is my third year being lucky enough to attend Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando. There is nothing like standing outside of the gates of Universal Studios waiting for them to open for HHN and for the craziness to begin. I have gotten to experience RIP Tours, I have seen how all of the amazing make up and “movie magic” comes together and have gotten to take a Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror tour.

I would now definitely call myself a HHN veteran. Because of that I want to share my very best tips for Halloween Horror Nights at the Universal Orlando Resort with you!

Best Tips for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando 1. Take an RIP Tour

Without a doubt this is the number one best tip if you are planning on going to Halloween Horror Nights. If you only listen to one tip that I give you, let it be this. The RIP tour is Universal’s version of a scary VIP tour and it is the absolute best. The RIP tour is more expensive then regular tickets and you are placed in a group of 12 as a public RIP tour. If you want however you can also book your own private RIP tour.

To book your RIP tickets now and to learn more click HERE.

The best part of the RIP tour is that you get to skip ALL of the lines for the Haunted Houses so it is possible to see all 10 in one night. You will also get to the see all scare zones, see the Academy of Villains show and more. This is ideal if you don’t have much time and are visiting from out of town. Without RIP access you probably will only get a chance to visit 3-4 houses a night because of the time spent waiting in lines.

The RIP tour is also great because of your knowledgeable guide. They not only know how to quickly get to each haunted house but they also can answer almost any question about HHN. They also give you overviews about what each house house is about before you enter so you can really appreciate them. The tour also provides you with a pre-tour reception, access to exclusive cash bars and an unlimited express pass for any of the rides operating at night as well.

2. If you don’t have an RIP ticket do this

If you can’t afford the RIP tour or it isn’t for you then these tips will help you make the most out of your night. For the day you want to attend Halloween Horror Nights get an all day park pass as well so you can be in the park already for when HHN starts. Staff will corral you into holding areas as the park switches from normal daytime to HHN magic. Then as soon as the gates open at 6:30pm for HHN you can head to the haunted houses and get in line before everyone else because you are already inside the park.

Be sure to also download the Universal Orlando Resort app HERE as it will give you estimates on wait times for all haunted houses. Going by the app you can hopefully better plan your route for the night.

3. Maximize your time

On various nights the park closes at either 1am or 2am. Universal has an unwritten rule that if you are in line for a house at the time when the park officially closes for the night that they will still let you see the haunted house that you are in line for at that moment. So plan your night accordingly and get in line before its too late!

4. Stay Hydrated

My first two years going to Halloween Horror Nights the weather cooled off a bit at night and it was quite pleasant. This year however it was mega hot and humid at night and it was quite the sweaty experience. Whether it’s hot out or not it will be a long night so make sure you stay hydrated. Grab a bottle of water, bring your own reusable one to fill up or even get the the unlimited Coca Cola freestyle beverage deal that gives you unlimited refills on coke products. For the adults in the group there are also a lot of speciality drinks and beer kiosks for HHN collector cups full of fancy Halloween punches and more.

5. Wear Comfortable Shoes

You will be walking and standing a LOT. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes to keep your feet comfy. You will also be walking in the dark where you can’t exactly see where you are going. So be sure to wear closed toe shoes incase you bump into things or people step on your feet.

6. Don’t forget to Scream!

This one is easy for me, because when scary people jump out at me I just automatically shriek! But often I see people who are pretending that they are too cool to be scared and what fun is that? Relax, have fun, let yourself get spooked and scream at the top of your lungs at every chance you get. Trust me it will make your night a lot more fun.

7. See a Show and take a rest

Every year for Halloween Horror Nights the Fear Factor stage is taken over by an entertaining show just for HHN. This year is a performance by the Academy of Villains and described by them, the show is “a wicked mix of dance, acrobatics and theatrics, Academy of Villains is back for an all-new performance of pounding synths and neon lights.” It is a great show to see and it is also really nice to have a seat for 25mins after running around the park all night.

8. Check out the Tribute Merch store

This year located in the New York area of the park between the Jimmy Fallon ride and the Mummy is the is the Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store. A gift shop packed with all things HHN from shirts to sweaters to pins, mugs, hats and more. There is also a large selection of Stranger Things specific merch because of their haunted house this year. You can get Stranger Things hats, Eggo shirts, mugs, backpacks, socks and more. Half of the store has also been transformed into the Upside Down. Even if you aren’t interested in buying the merch, check it out just to see the Upside Down.

If you follow my best tips for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando I think you will have an amazing time! I highly recommend you go this year, especially to see the Stranger Things Haunted House. Words cannot describe how well done and awesome it is. Without a doubt it is my favorite house out of all three years that I have gone to HHN. For a sneak peek of it for yourself and more tips for HHN watch my video!

 Special thanks to the Universal Orlando Resort for hosting me on this visit. As always all opinions and views expressed are my own.

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For Ellen DeGeneres’s 60th birthday her wife Portia de Rossi gifted her with an amazing gift. The creation of the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund and the building of the Ellen DeGeneres campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. This will be built at Dian’s Karisoke Research Center in the Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda. To see Portia give Ellen this gift watch HERE. Continue reading for all of the info on how to see gorillas in Rwanda like Ellen DeGeneres.

photo credit Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

Inspired by her idol, Dr. Dian Fossey, Ellen will now get to continue on her legacy and help these beautiful creatures. Learn more about the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund HERE.

At the end of May 2018 Ellen fulfilled one of her biggest dreams. She visited Rwanda for the first time to see the endangered mountain Gorillas. Traveling with guides from the Volcanoes National Park, they hiked 3 miles up the steep incline of the extinct Mount Sabyinyo Volcano. They hiked until they found the Agaysha group of Gorillas and you could visit them too.

A post shared by Ellen (@theellenshow) on May 30, 2018 at 1:14pm PDT

How to See Gorillas in Rwanda Like Ellen DeGeneres

Seeing these beautiful animals in the wild isn’t just for celebrities and the rich, although it can be a bit expensive. However it is more than worth it for this amazing experience. I did this trip myself two years before Ellen and by coincidence we even saw the same Gorilla family.

Do you want to see Gorillas like Ellen did? Here are some of my best tips and info for doing so:

The Virunga Volcanoes Mountain range

Where Can you see the wild mountain Gorillas?

In 2016 it was reported that there was less than 880 mountain Gorillas in existence, but in May 2018 during Ellen’s visit it was announced the population has now increased to around 1,000. These remaining mountain Gorillas can only be found in one small area of the world in Central Africa. They are located in the Virunga Mountains Volcano range and in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

More specifically many mountain Gorillas can be found on the slopes of the extinct Mount Sabyinyo Volcano. Mount Sabyinyo is also where the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo all meet, each sharing a piece of the mountain. The Gorillas are protected here and can all be found inside each country’s national park that meets at Mt. Sabyinyo. Virunga National Park in the Congo. Which is currently closed to tourists until 2019. Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

To get to Rwanda like Ellen, you will want to fly into the Kigali International Airport. There are many airlines that operate to and from Kigali so find the best routing for you. When I visited I flew on Turkish airlines from London Gatwick via Istanbul.

photo credit Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

Wouldn’t you pay anything for the chance to see this adorable baby Gorilla??

How much are the trekking permits to see the mountain Gorillas?

To visit the mountain Gorillas in any country you first need to get a permit since the animals are endangered and highly protected. You can not trek by yourself to see the Gorillas, you always need a permit, guides and trackers. The permit costs vary depending on the country but all fees go back into the local communities, to the guides, guards, trackers and other park employees. The funds also most importantly go back into protecting the Gorillas. The high costs are also said to purposefully discourage too many people wanting to visit and bother the Gorillas as well.

As of 2018 the one day permit for trekking to see Gorillas in Rwanda has been raised to $1,500 USD per person, year round. It is $450 – $600 USD per person in Uganda between low and high season and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo they are $200 – $400USD between low and high season. (**Virunga National Park in DRC is currently closed to tourists until 2019 learn more HERE.)

You can book your own permit for Rwanda HERE. If you are going with a tour company they might arrange the permit for you included in the fee of your tour. Make sure that is confirmed or not before you book your own. For more permits in Rwanda click HERE.

In Rwanda there are only 80 permits given per day so it is best to make sure you book your permit date well in advance of your trip. In total there are 10 Gorilla families that the park allows to be viewed each day with 8 guests max visiting each family for a maximum of only 1 hour. This helps to not only protect the animals health but also keeps them from being too accustomed to humans.

A post shared by Ellen (@theellenshow) on May 30, 2018 at 2:15pm PDT

Go with a Guide / Tour Company

You can visit the wild mountain Gorillas of Rwanda without a tour company, but trust me it will make your life a million times easier if you use one. They will arrange everything from helping you get your Visa upon landing in Kigali, Rwanda to picking you up at the airport, arranging your accommodations and getting you to the Volcanoes National Park. They can also secure your permit for visiting the Gorillas ahead of time.

The tour company that I went with is called Uberluxe Safaris and our tour included everything for a Gorilla Safari as well as visits to Kigali, Nyungwe Forest, Lake Kivu and trekking to see wild chimpanzees as well. Seeing the mountain Gorillas and traveling around this beautiful country was an amazing experience.

Remember also to have extra cash with you as it is always a kind gesture to tip your tour guides. Especially be sure to tip your Gorilla trekking guides and porters. A minimum of at least $20 USD each is a good suggestion and can go a long way.

Where to stay near Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

There are many hotels and lodges at various price points located in Ruhengeri, the town surrounding Volcanoes National Park. View some options HERE. While visiting I stayed at the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, which is an Ecolodge. The food at the hotel wasn’t anything special but the service was above and beyond.

Each room is it’s own small chalet with a large room and full bathroom. At night the staff built a fire for me in my own fireplace and also warmed my bed with a hot water bottle. That was the best.

The lodge also rents extra gear for gorilla trekking if needed, from rain jackets to walking sticks, ankle covers and even boots. The best part might have been when we returned to the lodge beat, tried and muddy after trekking all day. They welcomed our return and switched out our muddy boots for slippers. Within a few hours our boots were returned back to our rooms, cleaned and as good as new.

If you are lucky you might even catch a dance performance by a group of local students with a stunning backdrop of the Virunga Volcanoes.

For more information on how to see Gorillas in Rwanda like Ellen DeGeneres click HERE to find out my best tips for trekking to see wild mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

Bonus tips

Months before your trip research what kind of Visa your passport requires. Some countries might require one before arrival and carry various fees.

Gorilla’s can very easily catch our human viruses and colds. It is extremely important to tell your guide if you are under the weather so that no harm is done to these beautiful animals.

Donate to the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund

If you can’t afford to visit, there are still ways you can help the Gorillas. Even the tiniest of donations to the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International can help a lot.

Click HERE to donate to the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund.

Click HERE to donate to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

If you want to donate and have some cool Gorilla gear too check out the Ellen DeGeneres Gorilla stuffed animals, t-shirts and more. (Currently shipping to US only). Shop them HERE in the EllenShop.

To save this post for later, pin it to pinterest.

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Casey and I when we briefly met at a Vidcon Samsung party

On April 6, 2018 Casey Neistat started a brand new vlogging series chronicling his daily life, the building of a new company called 368 ( located at 368 Broadway 368.nyc) and working together with his South African friend Dan Mace. Dan is newish to New York so as part of the vlog Casey has started “Casey’s 100 part series: Casey Neistat’s Guide to New York City“[sic].

Casey isn’t quite sure what 368 will be yet. At least he’s not giving all the info to his audience just yet. He plans on 368 being a creative space for smaller creators that he can help be their very best and do some great collaborations. This will be where he has an office, there might be video editing suites and they have already started creating podcasting suites in the basement. It would appear that Alexis Ohanian from Reddit and Jack Conte of Patreon will be involved in some way or another too. Stay tuned to his daily vlogs to find out more. (link)

Every so many episode’s of the new vlog, Casey throws in a new update to his “Casey Neistat’s Guide to New York City” and I figured I would chronicle them here. I am a big fan of New York and am excited to check out these recommendations myself for my next visit. Especially all of the great recommendations on where to eat.

(I don’t have his permission to do this, but hope he doesn’t mind.)

Casey Neistat’s Guide to New York City

A post shared by Bubby’s (@bubbyspieco) on Oct 17, 2017 at 4:28am PDT

The Best Breakfast in NYC

Tip #1 from 368 episode #10 – His Billion Dollar Idea

Casey’s favourite breakfast restaurant which he claims to be the best breakfast in New York City. He didn’t mention the name of this place in the video, but through research across various social media channels and the use of Google maps I believe it is called “Bubby’s”. Located at 120 Hudson St, New York. The pancakes looked great! Food and Wine was also in search of this breakfast spot and pancakes and wrote an article about them here.

The Best Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown NYC

Tip #2 from 368 Episode #16 – Big Wong

“There are no hookers in Chinatown but this is where the great Chinese restaurants are, it’s where you buy your counterfeit handbags, it’s where you get fruit, and bongs. Chinatown! You can get anything in Chinatown.” ~ Casey

Casey says the best restaurant in New York’s Chinatown is called Big Wong at 67 Mott St, just south of Canal St. Funny name, but great restaurant.

photo Kate Storm

Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village

Tip #3 from 368 Episode #23 – Dan Screwed Me Over

Washington Square Park, in the Greenwich Village part of Manhattan is a great place to visit and just hang out. Listen to buskers performing live music from piano to guitar and even huge xylophone, people watch and check out kids on their scooters and skateboards. Enjoy the water fountains and be warned there are weed dealers in one of the corner of the park.

Unofficial tips

Sometimes Casey recommends a great place to visit without “officially” including it in Casey’s Guide to New York City. I’ll add his unofficial suggestions here.

Think Coffee

Located at 350 Broadway. Casey’s favourite coffee shop. He likes it because it’s a nice and calm spot, great for meetings, and the staff is really chill. They also have great snacks like sandwiches and vegan muffins. Casey says it is the best cup of coffee you will get within a 10 block radius of 368.

A post shared by The Ainsworth (@theainsworth) on May 9, 2018 at 5:26pm PDT

$1,000 Gold Chicken Wings at The Ainsworth

In episode #30 of 368 Casey finds an Insider video featuring a mountain of chicken wings that are covered in 24 karat gold and cost $1,000 US dollars. The sauce is a gold pigmented butter mixed with a buffalo honey sauce for flavour. Topped with gold dust of course. The location is near by so he goes and gives this outrageous food a try along with Sean Evans from the famous Youtube show Hot Ones (link). Covered in gold dust they look almost inedible, but from the reviews they seem to taste great.

Do not fret however if you fear you may never be able to afford these as the $1,000 price tag is for 50 wings. (Casey didn’t spend that much either). If you want to go in just to say you did it and to get that instagram money shot then definitely go for the $45 for 10 wings option.

Described on The Ainsworth’s site as “Foodgod 24K Gold Wings – Gold dusted, 24-hour brined, gold coconut butter-chipotle honey, gourmet bleu cheese. available in a 10 piece, 20 piece and 50 piece (accompanied by a gold bottle of Ace of Spades champagne).”

There are multiple Ainsworth locations, Casey enjoyed these in the East Village at 64 3rd Ave (at East 11th St.)

This is an ongoing list that I will update each time Casey posts a new recommendation, stay tuned.
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Best Lobster Rolls On Nova Scotia's South Shore - YouTube

Nova Scotia lobster is some of the best lobster in the world and in February 2018 it was celebrated with the first ever South Shore Lobster Crawl. From Peggy’s Cove to Barrington, Nova Scotia there were many of lobster related events and activities as well as a lot of lobster to be eaten in many different ways.

The most popular feature of the South Shore Lobster Crawl however were the lobster rolls. With 13 of them being featured up and down the Atlantic coast for the lobster fest, I went in search of the best lobster rolls on Nova Scotia’s South Shore.

Before I tell you my favourites, lets learn a little bit about lobster in Nova Scotia.

When is Lobster Season in Nova Scotia?

Many people might be surprised to know that it is always lobster season in Nova Scotia. The biggest lobster season in Nova Scotia is on the South Shore in sections 33 and 34 from the last Monday of November until the 31st of May. These sections also land over 40% of all of Canada’s lobster. Part of this area, known as Barrington, is also the Lobster Capital of Canada. Throughout the rest of the year the fishing season rotates around to other areas in the province and Atlantic Canada.

To see a map of all of the lobster season dates and locations in Nova Scotia and the Atlantic provinces click HERE.

When is the Best Time to Eat Lobster in Nova Scotia?

If you ask me, I would say any time is the best time to eat lobster. Most commonly though, the summer months and around the Christmas holiday season until the end of February are the most popular times to eat lobster in Nova Scotia.

The lobster prices fluctuate depending on the time of year and weather events as well. As of winter 2018 Nova Scotia lobster prices are about $12-$13 a pound in the grocery stores and around $8 a pound from the fishermen directly.

What Makes a Good Lobster Roll?

The best lobster roll buns and lobster roll bread are ones that are fresh. Roll, bun, bread, you name it, if it’s fresh and combined with fresh meat, a dab of mayo, sprinkled with some green onions, and maybe a little bit of celery then you have a winner in my opinion. If the fresh lobster roll bun is also lightly toasted and slathered with a bit of garlic butter, then even better. Keep it simple and it will be delicious.

While traveling around the South Shore of Nova Scotia in search of the best lobster rolls, I kept coming across the same brioche lobster roll. This roll/bun was oblong in shape, soft, fresh, and buttery. I quickly learned that they were from the bakery, Boulangerie le Vendéenne in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. I was in love with pretty much every restaurant that I visited that used one of these for their lobster roll.

Make sure you enjoy one of their lobster roll buns when you visit Nova Scotia. You can even order a fresh package of them for yourself as long as you call a day ahead. They are located just off of Highway 103 at exit 11 in Blockhouse / Mahone Bay. Their address is #7651 on Highway 3, phone number 1-902-531-3090. You can find them on Facebook HERE.

Ultimate Guide to the best Lobster Rolls on Nova Scotia’s South Shore

Enough about lobster itself, lets get down to where you can find the very best lobster rolls on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. As mentioned above for the South Shore Lobster Crawl there were 13 lobster rolls to taste and I tried them all. All of them were pretty decent, but I have now selected my top five favourite lobster rolls. These are the MUST eats if you are visiting.

#5 The Fo’c’sle Tavern in Chester, Nova Scotia

The Fo’c’sle Tavern is the oldest rural pub in Nova Scotia dating back to 1764. Their lobster roll is unique in that it is actually served on a croissant. I have had this lobster roll a few times and it is always delicious. Sometimes there can be a tad too much mayonaise for me, but that has never stopped me from finishing one. The croissant adds a nice buttery taste to the lobster and is always jam packed with meat.

#4 Captain Kat’s Lobster Shack in Barrington, Nova Scotia

Before you even step in the door of Captain Kat’s you know you are in for a treat because of the huge lobster hanging over the door. Inside the decor is full on lobster with lobster lights strung about, boat decorations here and there and even a Captain’s table for eating. They also feature a fresh lobster tank with some unique lobsters for you to see. There are lobsters with funny patterns, insanely blue lobsters and even HUGE lobsters.

Their lobster roll was packed with lobster meat almost making it tricky to eat, it was quite appealing to the eye and quite tasty. The bun was toasted nicely and it was a good mix of lobster meat, mayo and other toppings. The one thing that I wasn’t too fond of though was the spinach used instead of lettuce. It just wasn’t the right texture for me for a lobster roll. Delicious none the less but I would just ask for no spinach next time.

#3 Mateus Bistro in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

This was the first lobster roll that I tasted on my lobster quest and it was AMAZING. This is partly a winner because the lobster is served on a brioche roll from the above mentioned Boulangerie le Vendéenne. It is mixed with a house made aioli that had a nice taste of pepper, lemon and garlic to it. The lobster is then combined with red onion, red pepper and topped off with some micro greens. Slightly messy to eat, but worth it.

As this was my first stop I later realized that I needed to go back a second time to get some extra footage. On my second visit however the lobster roll wasn’t as fantastic as the first time unfortunately. Somehow a chunk of lobster roe got into my roll and the micro greens had a few bits of dirt on them that threw me off. At least I know it was fresh! Every place has its off day though right?

#2 Kiwi Cafe in Chester, Nova Scotia

I had never been to the Kiwi Cafe before and honestly wasn’t expecting too much from this lobster roll. I was surprised however to see that it is featured on their menu year round. The lobster was served to me on a toasted and still warm brioche lobster roll from the Boulangerie on a fish shaped plate with just a simple side salad.

The menu described it as being mixed with dill mayo but I hardly tasted the dill at all. It was lobster, lightly mixed with mayo on a buttered and toasted brioche roll. The lobster was incredibly fresh, probably the freshest tasting of any of the lobster rolls that I ate. I would definitely go back here again and again.

Their ANZAC cookies are great too!

#1 Port Grocer in Port Medway, Nova Scotia

Without a doubt the Port Grocer lobster roll is the best lobster roll on the East Coast. It was so simple, yet so delicious. The lobster was extremely fresh, having been just picked up from the nearby wharf that morning. It was tossed in a small amount of mayo, on a lightly toasted brioche roll from the Boulangerie, and slathered with garlic butter. It was garlic heaven.

The Port Grocer lobster roll was almost like eating lobster on top of garlic bread. It was out of this world. It was probably the simplest of all of the lobster rolls too. Served with just a tiny fruit cup on the side.

Honourable mention goes to the lobster rolls at the U-Cook Lobster at Peggy’s Cove and the Quarterdeck Beach Grill. Also it sounds weird but you have to give the lobster beer a try as well. Hell Bay Brewing Co. will be making their South Shorer Lobster Ale again for next years Lobster Crawl and Saltbox Brewery will be bringing back their Crustacean Elation beer for the summer. Yes lobster infused beer, to learn a bit more about it click HERE.

To see more about my lobster adventures during Nova Scotia’s South Shore Lobster Crawl watch my video:

 

To learn more about the Lobster Crawl and to plan a visit for the next one check out LobsterCrawl.ca

If you LOVE LOBSTER please give this post a pin!

Thank you to Visit Nova Scotia for having me take on this monumental task. As always all opinions, views and full bellies are my own.

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