If you’ve never been to Truro Nova Scotia, NOW is the time to go. Let me fill you in on what you’re missing.
Growing up in Nova Scotia I don’t think I had ever visited Truro. Despite it only being two hours from Kentville, it was never on our day trip list.
Yet in the last 12 months I’ve traveled to Truro four times!
I know you’re thinking – what is there that brings you four times?
Actually a lot.
Truro is booming and lots of fun businesses have opened in the last year.
And I think it may have the best cafes per capita in Nova Scotia – because I’ve included three that I love – all with different vibes.
Things to Know Before You Go to Truro
Truro is a small town in Nova Scotia, in 2016 the recorded population was 12,261.
It was originally inhabited by the Mi’kmaq and called Wagobagitik, which means end of the water’s flow.
Later it was also inhabited by French Acadians who left in 1755 during the Acadian Exodus.
Truro is also home to African Nova Scotians who are descendants of Black Loyalists and Black Refugees Many figure prominently in Canadian history.
And in recent years has become home to many immigrants from the Philippines, India and other countries.
Today the Mi’kmaq people continue to live in the area at the Millbrook and Truro reserves of the Millbrook – We’kopekwitk band. You can learn more at the MillBrook Cultural and Heritage Centre.
If you need to go shopping Truro has all of the big box stores on its outskirts, which means you can avoid a trip to Halifax.
Because many Nova Scotians hate driving to “the city” aka Halifax.
But the truth is that while Truro is considered a hub, a lot of people never venture downtown.
And that is a mistake.
Because unlike other Nova Scotia towns the downtown Truro region is thriving with small independent businesses.
And it also happens to have the best (my opinion) urban park in the province.
But more on that below!
Best Truro NS Restaurants + Cafes
There are lots of great independent restaurants in downtown Truro.
If you’re there during the week try to avoid peak lunch hours if you don’t have a reservation.
Nook and Cranny
From the outside this Truro restaurant looks like any other pub. But it would be my first recommendation. The burger, fish and chips and mussels are all fantastic.
A member of Taste of Nova Scotia, they are committed to serving local food along with Nova Scotia wine and beer.
Truro’s Salty Dog Brewing Company beer is a mainstay and includes a seasonal offer.
I really like the Salty Dog Blueberry Wheat, made using local blueberry juice.
They have live music and a great patio in warmer weather.
Jimolly’s Bakery Cafe
One of my favourite cafes in Nova Scotia with a great warm atmosphere.
The friendly staff at Jimolly’s Bakery Cafe make fantastic sandwiches with gorgeous bread.
If you don’t like coffee they have a mean chai latte and London Fog.
NovelTea Bookstore Cafe
It was devastating to hear the news that this Truro mainstay burned down. However, it is in a temporary home, open 7 days a week in the Farmer’s Market Building.
There are great coffee and tea drinks with fun literary references along with sweets and snacks.
It hopes to re-open later this year across the street from its old home.
15 Young St, Truro, NS B2N 3W3
Brew Beans Cafe
If you thought it wasn’t possible for Truro to have another great coffee shop Brew Beans proves you wrong.
The vibe is very different but I love the aesthetic. It’s light, bright and the menu has great items like rose or lavender tea lattes.
Staff is very knowledgeable and clearly love what they do.
If you walk in like I do and aren’t sure what to order they are really great at helping you find the right drink.
570 Prince St, Truro, NS B2N 1G2
Great British Grub
You can’t beat a pub that is THIS committed to authentic decor.
I popped in for breakfast and I advise dropping in before 9am because it’s a local favourite.
It has a large brunch menu with everything from the Full English breakfast to fish cakes and a full page of vegetarian options.
535 Prince St, Truro, NS B2N 1E0
Best Restaurants in Truro I Missed
- Red Knot Bakery Known for its sourdough and incredible croissants. I was crushed it closed for the day because of weather.
- Bistro 22 Don’t make the mistake I did and not get a reservation as this is a popular spot
- The India Hut This authentic Indian restaurant is at the top of my list the next time I visit!
Best Things to Do in Truro
I have not yet gone to the Tidal Bore Viewing Vistor’s Centre but I heard it’s great.
You can also golf in Truro, but you won’t find me there!
Without a doubt one of the best things to do in Truro. Victoria Park is 3000 acres of land that includes waterfalls, a gorge, ravine, river and Eastern Hemlock forest.
It is over 130 years old and I think the best urban park in Nova Scotia.
Trails range from flat to more challenging and so it’s good for all ages. During the summer there is an outdoor heated pool, playground and tennis courts.
If you have the energy take the Jacob’s Ladder challenge which is 175 stairs to the top.
Truro Farmer’s Market
And if you can go on a Saturday the Truro Farmers Market Cooperative is a great place to start.
Besides produce there are lots of great local preserves, baked goods, kombucha, beer, wine, mead, cheese and more.
15 Young St, Truro, NS B2N 3W3
I love that Nova Scotia is putting so much emphasis on walking and cycling trails.
The Cobequid Trail is an 18-km trail that runs from Truro to Cobequid Bay through woodlands, marshlands and shaded brooks.
You can see the Salmon River and salt marsh as well as catch the tidal bore twice a day (check tide times).
It also has washrooms that are clean!
It is part of Canada’s Great Trail and also the Blue Route, which is 3000km of connected bike routes in Nova Scotia.
Truro Craft Beer
Downtown Truro may be small but it is mighty, with two great craft breweries:
Truro Brewing Company is a female owned craft brewery that opened in February.
This is a must stop for craft beer connoisseurs as they are a full mash brewery, they take the time to brew from scratch.
Focusing on quality and the artisanal process, they have a fantastic spot downtown with 5 beers on tap to make for the perfect flight.
Salty Dog Brewing has more great beer options on tap for growlers and flights.
I love that they experiment with seasonal flavours like jalapeno peach and blueberry wheat.
Downtown Truro is full of local independent businesses. It’s a great spot to shop for gifts and clothing. A few of my favourites are:
My Home Mercantile
This shop is dangerous because you’ll want to buy everything. You need some time here to see all of the fun products.
Where do I even begin!
Fantastic cookbooks, food, candles, gift cards that aren’t lame, Maritime inspired clothing, home decor and more.
What I like about My Home Mercantile is that it’s not the same mass produced junk you see at every souvenir gift store in Nova Scotia.
There are some really interesting, fun items. I really wanted to buy the “Salty” sweatshirt or shirts that were in partnership with CBC, but reminded myself we’re sliding into warmer weather and to wait for the fun tank tops.
10 Inglis Pl, Truro, NS B2N 4B4
Anther and Apiary
Another fantastic shop in Truro that opened in 2020.
A local beekeeper opened this boutique which has natural skincare products using honey, beeswax products and infused honey.
Committed to the environment, there is also a refill program for popular products like natural deoderants, bath soaks and calendula salve which rescues hands suffering from daily hand sanitizer.
And while this shop is fantastic for gifts, I don’t think you can leave without buying something for yourself.
8 Dominion St, Truro, NS B2N 1G3
Kabitenyos Filipino & Asian Variety
Even if you’ve never had Filipino food it is worth stopping in. A family run store that opened in 2020, Ron has lived in Truro for ten years and is so helpful.
There are lots of local Filipino baked goods, frozen meals, groceries, and you’re going to want to try the imported chips and snacks.
They also sell Asian ingredients that you may not be able to find outside Halifax.
Pro tip: bring a cooler and buy the ube ice cream and thank me later!
572 Prince St, Truro, NS B2N 1G3
Take it Outside
“Inspired by Outsiders…” what I love about this store is that getting outside doesn’t mean going on an eight hour hike.
This shop isn’t intimidating, there are lots of great clothes and gear if being outside simply means heading to the cottage or patio.
But if you consider yourself an adventurer you can also head next door to the sister store Trail Shop.
65 Inglis Pl, Truro, NS B2N 4B5
Okay so not technically one of the best things to do IN Truro but rather outside. Masstown Market is a must visit when in Colchester County.
On one side the market is full of fresh produce, groceries, a great spot to buy plants and a cafeteria style restaurant with good seafood chowder.
But don’t forget to cross the street to the new building which houses the Butcher and Creamery.
If you love cheese this is a must visit and I was really impressed at the diversity of meat as well.
It has high quality popular meat, sausages etc along with things that can be more difficult like goat and oxtail.
10622, Nova Scotia Trunk 2, Debert, NS B0M 1G0
Where to Stay in Truro Nova Scotia
Willow Bend Motel
As much as I like visiting new hotels I really appreciate when businesses just upgrade what they have.
The Willow Bend is a steal with motel pricing and newly renovated interiors.
277 Willow St, Truro, NS B2N 5A3
Weather in Truro
Like most of Nova Scotia, weather in Truro is warmest from June through September but temperatures rarely venture into 30C.
But it’s also fantastic in winter with lots of opportunities for winter activities like snowshoeing, cross country skiing at Victoria Park or on the Cobequid Trail.
You can also downhill ski at nearby Wentworth.