Les Hay Babies are a folk trio based in Moncton, New Brunswick. Their most recent album, La 4ième dimension (version longue), came out in 2016 on Simone Records. They gave us a tour of their hometown highlights. Location photos by Matt Williams.
SDV Vintage (327 Mountain Rd.)
The only one of its kind in the region, SDV Vintage still stands as one of my favourite vintage stores... ever! Vintage clothing being my passion, aside from music, I always visit any store I can find when on the road. But it's always great to come home to SDV.
The store holds a great selection of men's, women's and gender neutral clothing, from casual wear to ball gowns. The "boudoir" changing room located in a beautifully lit sun porch makes you want to stay there all day and play dress-up. The owner, Stephanie, being very passionate about her work and art, will guide you to the perfect pieces. SDV Vintage is a great for gifts, local art, themed parties or just to dress as your true unique self.
Spin-It Records & Video (467 Main St.)
The Spin-It Records store is lovely from the first walk in. The smell of buttery popcorn as you walk through rows and rows of movies arranged by directors leads you into the gamer side, then onto the record store. The record selection is pretty phenomenal, and it's the best place find your local cassettes.
At the very back of the record store is where I personally spend my time. It holds Moncton's largest pinball selection, so far. The employees are super chill and sometimes when the boss ain't looking they might challenge you to a nice pinball match.
Calactus (125 Church St.)
Calactus isn't new, but it's definitely the tastiest, most comfort-foodiest vegetarian restaurant I've ever eaten at. I'm not even a vegetarian. I haven't came close to finding anything like it anywhere. It's like veggie-Indian-Acadian-Mexican fusion. If more restaurants like this would exist, touring would be way easier and I'd probably become a vegetarian. The Big Marc Burger is a classic, but the Mustafa Melt is one of my favourites.
Laundromat Espresso Bar (382 St. George St.)
The Laundromat Espresso Bar could sound misleading, because no laundry gets done here. (Ironically, you'll have to go to Greg's Coffee Stop for that.) The Laundromat Espresso Bar is a ten-year-old staple guaranteed to be filled with friendly people from different walks of life. Boy, does it feel good to know you can be away for a couple months, then land here and know for a fact nothing has changed.
Here, on top of meeting new people and conversing with whomever, you can drink a pretty good coffee, have homemade sweets or salty cheese, have a tea, play chess, read a book or drink till you can't think. There's also a fridge in the back where you can take your time to choose an imported beer, or go straight to the bartender/barista and have whatever everyone else is having. I would suggest a first-timer to try the Espresso Martini or go get food from Notre Dame de Parkton next door and bring it in!
Notre Dame de Parkton (376 St. George St.)
Best sandwich spot in town! This restaurant is owned and operated by three brothers we all know and love. Before opening the shop, they smoked their own bacon — all kinds of amazing flavours — and would sell it at the Farmers Market on Saturday (I believe they still do). It was such a hit, they've opened a restaurant featuring their bacon/smoked meats. What I like about this place is the different "classic" sides you can get with your meal: baked beans, tomato soup, potato salad, etc. There are no fries in this joint.
Walking in the door, you might hear some Captain Beefheart or Motown hits. The brothers have style! Inside, you'll see a mix between Acadian folk art and remnants from an old church in Parkton; hence Notre Dame de Parkton. For those of you who are wondering, Parkton is an old neighbourhood in town where the boys grew up, it's been populated by a lot of Acadians. It's always great to see Moncton locals start their businesses here, not to mention on St. George St. The location is walkable from downtown and a few doors down from the Laundromat Espresso Bar. There are no flashy signs to find the place, just a basketball net hanging above the door. If you're looking for a beer and a real meatball sub, you've found the place.
Les Brumes du Coude (140 Botsford St.)
This is a new-ish, amazing restaurant in my favourite part of town, located on the corner on St. George and Botsford, inside the historical Aberdeen Cultural Centre (that place alone deserves a write-up). Brumes du coude is French-inspired fusion cuisine with touches of Acadian/Maritime delicacies. The menu is ever-changing and so are the cocktails. It's a great place for lunch, supper and weekend brunches. This place is a real treat for true foodies. You'll enjoy the decor and cool vibes, not to mention get to see art exhibitions in the cultural centre while you're waiting for your table.