The Merchant Tavern

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4.6
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818 Reviews
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CAN$30 and under
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Bistro
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Local Ingredients
  • Bar Seating
Welcome to The Merchant Tavern



The Merchant Tavern pays homage to hard-working people who appreciate fine fare and spirits. Using fresh ingredients from local purveyors and some inspiration, we create dishes that will make you feel sated.
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JK
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Really good experience. Food was pleasing, not outstanding but very good.

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SK
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

Great dining experience! Only negative is that this restaurant is very loud.

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OT
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Our experience was great with the exception of the food being a little salty.

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TB
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 3

I thought it odd that the water glasses were small. Water given was lukewarm and we had to ask for ice. Server game with a small glass of ice. When I ordered ice tea given a slim glass with ice. So basically if you buy a beverage you get ice. It was Thursday lunch time - surely everyone an be given a big glass of ice water.

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SL
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

As a frequent traveler in the travel and hospitality industry, I look for interesting places with friendly staff and great cuisine with ingredients that are sourced locally that showcase local flavours. I chose the Merchant Tavern for this reason and I had dinner guests. The place was bustling with patrons but upon arrival, I looked forward to being seated in the ‘Vault’ (aptly named as the building was a bank before being converted into a restaurant) and the restaurant called me ahead of time to ask if I’d be ok with it, Loved it as it provided us the privacy to chat audibly with attentive service.

Try the chef’s recommendations, the local mussels and any dessert with Newfoundland berries (or Patridge berries). Exquisite!

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OT
Atlantic Canada
3 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

My husband’s birthday. It was lovely, but he is a meat and potatoes man, so he felt there wasn’t enough on his plate.

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SM
Montreal
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 3

I was expecting more from the food and the service, expected from the wine specialist who was on point. My dish was too salty and the server didn’t really pay attention to my boyfriend and I even if the restaurant wasn’t very busy.

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DS
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Excellent food and great service. There’s something on the menu for everyone but the specials really are - especially the fresh seafood. A bit noisy bit lively and fun

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KM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent service; unique dining experience and the food was amazing

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OT
Ottawa
4 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

What an absolutely fantastic experience! The food was simply delicious, the cocktails and wine matched beautifully, the service was professional and friendly, and we’re definitely going to visit again...next time for brunch! Thank you so much for a wonderful dinner!!

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OT
Ottawa
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Another fantastic meal at the Merchant!

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 3

The server was rude and pushy. Reminded us three times that we needed to leave by 8pm for the next reservation. We felt rushed and our business was unwanted. $350 meal deserves better service. We did not have dessert or after drinks .. time was up.
We had a 5:45 reservation and waited a long time to get our appetizers.
It was embarrassing to take my visiting family from Ontario to experience this .

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OT
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Scotch egg wrapped in crab cake was beautifully done.

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OT
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Late Mother’s Day brunch. Eggs Benedict were INCREDIBLE. Servers were fabulous. We will be back

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KS
Edmonton
4 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Went there for an early dinner, I can not recommend this place enough! We started with the beef tartare, it was amazing. I had the pork, it was cooked perfectly and the sides complemented the meat perfectly. The price was fair for the quality of the meal. It is a must when in St John’s!

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CF
Orlando
43 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 3

Nice Mother’s Day brunch but need to consider more options for children, especially on these types of special occasions. My meal was delicious but the kids don’t enjoy anything too fancy..Server was fabulous!

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LA
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We got there at opening and got a perfect table with outdoor and kitchen view. Love the open concept kitchen. The food was spot on and all the plates looked amazing.

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B
Atlantic Canada
8 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Not disappointed! Bring the sister restaurant to Raymonds I had high expectations that were fully met ! Great food and service, a bit noisy when the place is full but to be expected . A sure bet!

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AP
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 2Food 1Service 1Ambience 4

Other reviews were mixed but we were willing to give it a go, as “overly spicy” and “too salty” can be subjective.

The evening started fine with tasty appetizers and great drinks. The mains were a little too salty (the chef should likely take that feedback as it’s mentioned on Yelp, Trip Advisor, etc).

It went downhill when my lobster meal was very over cooked and rubbery (at the table we agreed the other one was fine). I expressed this to the server and he took the meal away.

At bill time, I was charged $46 for the meal the server took away! After discussion with the waiter (and there was no management on site at 10:00 pm) he discounted the meal so I paid $23 for a meal that he agreed “was untouched” (it was indeed “touched” as I tasted it to discover the lobster was over cooked).

There are other spots in town - Fish Exchange, Exile and great little spots along Water Street.

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RD
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food was great and the staff were super fun. I lived watching the kitchen as well - I have never seen such a well-oiled machine. It was a beautiful time and I ate way too much but had a blast

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MP
Atlantic Canada
3 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 4

Love the Merchant....however the last two times my choice for brunch was sold out. This time there three things not available. No smoked salmon? Even I don’t run out of that at home.

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FE
Atlantic Canada
4 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Service, Food, Ambience all incredible. Great time. They made a very special occasion even more special. Thanks Merchant Crew!! The only hitch, when we arrived they had no record of our reservation, despite my reserving it through Open Table. Fortunately they had a table for us, but it was a little bit of an embarrassing inconvenience upon arriving. Open Table needs to work on their platform.

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DS
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had appetizers at home as the earliest available reservation we could get was for 8:45. As such, we shared the chicken wing appetizer and halibut entree. Both were very good and I look forward to having them again.

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L
Orlando
6 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

The Merchant Tavern is an exceptional place to eat in St. John’s.
When you walk in, you instantly realize the effort, and pride, that are taken into account in every aspect of this business.

The atmosphere is a perfect mix quaint home style charm, and modern cleanliness and modesty. You are made to feel comfortable...almost at home, while being a guest of honour.

The service was just as impressive.
I felt like Mark (?) and I have been friends for years, and he’s just there to make my night amazing.
It was our 6th anniversary...and he made us feel special, without overdoing it at all.

The food...oh god the food!

Amazing doesn’t do it justice.
Every ingredient is thought out and used with purpose. Every bite was an explosion of flavour.
The additions all sounded spectacular...but, other than the best arancini I think could possibly ever have been made, we stuck to the menu.
We were not disappointed. Not at all.
Our server answered our few questions, and gave some good suggestions.
It was one of the best meals of our life. And that doesn’t come lightly, as we have had some unbelievable meals (Wolfgang Puck, Mark McCrowe, Raymond’s, Paris in general, etc.).

The dessert was just as good.
Their Tetley Tea ice cream should be sold by the tub...and the s’mores milkshake was a pleasant surprise, especially since s’mores were the favour we gave to the guests at our wedding, 6 years ago.

Overall, one of my all time favourite dining experiences.

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CK
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Ray Bonia's pancake stack was divine. My sister had the eggs benedict, and she also raved about it. Everything down to the Americano, and even the drip coffee was awesome! Will definitely return for brunch. Service was also amazing, as usual at the Merchant Tavern.

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GM
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Overall a good dining experience with excellent service.

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SL
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

Loved the seafood appetizer and duck breast.... Lamb pasta.....not at all low flavor and way to starchy.....

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LF
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Had the best time with a friend from out of town who was just blown away by the experience. Food, service and atmosphere were perfect and we left so happy.

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t
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This was an excellent dinner that was only made better by the attention and warmth of the staff at Merchant. Pasta, steak, calamari, fish tacos and duck were all tried at our table and each were some of these best we’ve ever tasted. Appreciate the kind gesture of the waiter to present glasses of champagne to our guests who were celebrating their anniversary.

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N
Orlando
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Food was great. I had the grilled pork, my husband had the steak. Cod taco was also delicious. Service was perfect. My only complaint is tables are too close together. So much so that our server literally could not stand on the side of our table but had to talk behind us over our shoulder. Also noise levels are boaderline too high to gave a conversation without shouting. Overall though, its a beautiful restaurant.

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RW
Atlantic Canada
5 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

Not my first time there. Always a great meal. The only negative was the service. When we had it, it was good. However we didn’t get much of it.

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JG
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Love this restaurant and the food they serve. Always noisy and a bit cramped at times but if you have a reservation it normally isn't an issue. The fact that it's in an old bank is always a conversation starter. Well worth it.

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DS
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 4Ambience 4

We were celebrating our daughters’ completion of another term of engineering and were in high spirits, expecting a great dining experience. The sommelier, Daniel greeted us and looked after us very capably throughout the evening. Our waitress (name escapes me) informed us of the specials for the evening...4 appetizers...but no entree(s)! We each ordered a pasta dish and two orders of beef tartare to start. The waitress forgot one of the appetizers so I had to wait another 10 plus minutes for mine to arrive. The tartare was quite good (minced vs. thinly sliced) but needed some lemon wedges (which I requested and received). My entree was a rabbit and kale ragout over casarecce pasta...there was a huge amount of pasta that was heavy and starchy, and the rabbit was unnoticeable with the preponderance of kale and the over the top rosemary element. Very disappointing considering the meal was nearly $150 before tip and we ordered no drinks...we ate less than half of our entrees and chose to leave 2 of the 3 leftovers behind...the beef ragu rigatoni was decent and most was eaten...the lamb casarecce was quite salty and actually considerably better the following day after being microwaved. The time in the fridge softened up the pasta to a more desirable texture. Too bad it wasn’t served that way. We simply gave up on the rabbit...way too much rosemary!

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KD
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Fabulous!! They never missed a beat!!
Awesome food!! Great wines! Perfect

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n
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This place never disappoints! Great service and fantastic food

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CF
Orlando
44 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

Out with a friend. Food came very slowly but we weren’t in a rush so all good!

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P
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 4Ambience 4

Cocktails and service were great. Food was disappointing compared to my previous visits. The fish (halibut) came out quite salty (mainly in the batter I believe) and just a tad overcooked. Also, the lamb casarecce we ordered turned out a bit salty for my taste. It's the first time I tried this type of pasta so I can't compare it to any casarecce I've had before.

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EC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Consistently good and great atmosphere. We have become regulars.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Great food! One the best cod cakes we have ever tried.

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AM
Calgary
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Knowledgable servers, good food, and great cocktails. Be prepared to spend more money than usual.

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