Catch of the Bay is a Real Find!

Visited On: August 16, 2013
Gluten Free Menu: No
Server Knowledge: N/A
Server Attitude: N/A
Variety of Gluten-Free Options: 1/2
Overall Gluten-Friendly Rating:
Price Range: $10-$15 per person (drinks and tax included)

Last weekend, Michael and I finally made it to Catch of the Bay at Masstown Market! We pulled into the market, and after a little wandering around, found the fish and chip boat at the far end of the parking lot. (It’s beside the fresh fish market in the lighthouse.) This little boat has been turned into a fish and chip “truck,” and has a patio with picnic tables built right around it.

After a quick glance at the menu (which does not specifically list gluten-free items), Michael and I each ordered a one-piece haddock fish and chips ($7.99) and a Diet Coke ($1.75). We grabbed our drinks from the cooler next to the order window, as well as some napkins and ketchup, and took a seat at a picnic table under an umbrella. We also had a new friend in tow:

This handy lobster buzzed to let us know when our food was ready. Mike went up to the window and brought back two boxes. Mine looked like this:

That is one big piece of fish! It’s lying on a bed of homemade French fries and accompanied by tartar sauce and coleslaw (both homemade and gluten-free).

Now, I grew up eating at John’s Lunch (pre-Celiac days, of course), which is widely considered to be the best fish and chips in the Maritimes. I would say that these fish and chips are better. For one, the chips are hand-cut, not made from frozen. The fish was lightly battered, very crispy, with a nice flavour, and not oily at all. The tartar sauce was incredible, with a perfect creamy, punchy balance. (I don’t even like tartar sauce!) At $7.99, the meal is an absolute bargain. Michael and I both completely cleaned our boxes out and tried to figure out how soon we could come back.

After our visit, I e-mailed Masstown Market to ask about other options as well as their preparation methods. Here is a list of the items that are gluten-free:

  • All fish and chips (haddock, cod, and flounder)
  • Fundy Feast Three (with fried fish and scallops)
  • Chips (French fries), lobster potato salad, coleslaw, and tartar sauce
  • Lobster dinner

What’s not gluten-free:

  • Kid’s haddock bites
  • Haddock and clam sandwiches
  • Onion rings
  • Shrimp and crab cakes (on their own and in Fundy Feasts One and Two, respectively)
  • Some specials, such as fish tacos

So how do they prevent cross-contamination in such a small space? Here’s how!

  • One deep-fryer is designated for items with gluten (and clearly labeled); all other fryers are kept gluten-free
  • Separate cooking utensils are used for gluten-free and non gluten-free items (including fryer baskets)
  • One counter is designated for gluten-containing items (such as sandwiches)
  • Strict hand-washing policies
  • Frequent cleaning and sanitization

Catch of the Bay proclaims that it’s “Nova Scotia’s gluten free fish and chips,” and it totally lives up to its promise.

Catch of the Bay at Masstown Market
10622 Highway #2 (Masstown, Nova Scotia)
902- 662-2816
Web Site:


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  1. #1 by Dave Klein on August 26, 2013 - 7:44 pm

    Yes, yes, yes, and YES!! Awesome post!!! Thank you for paying particular attention to the cross-contamination issue, which is always front and centre in my mind! I’ll make sure to drop by these folks when I get the chance!

    • #2 by glutenfree4hfx on August 26, 2013 - 7:54 pm

      I knew that this post would make you happy 🙂 definitely stop by before the season is up!

  2. #3 by Kim on August 26, 2013 - 8:33 pm

    My husband and I have driven from Halifax nearly every weekend to enjoy! I highly recommend the scallops as well.
    Catch of the Bay puts all other fish & chips places in NS to shame – regardless of their gluten free offerings…that just makes it even more incredible; and a place from which others could use a lesson or two 😉

    • #4 by glutenfree4hfx on August 26, 2013 - 9:18 pm

      Glad to hear that you have also enjoyed it so much! We are looking forward to trying the scallops 🙂

  3. #5 by Terry on August 27, 2013 - 12:01 am

    We also ate here on the weekend and were surprised at the quality and quantity of our orders.. super delicious f and c’s !
    Agree whole heartedly with your review and information about the kitchen operations to prevent cross contamination, with the exception of being told the fries were made by Cavendish not fresh hand cut..still great either way .
    Definitely a road trip destination for GF dining.

    • #6 by glutenfree4hfx on August 27, 2013 - 8:37 am

      Glad that you had such a positive experience too! I’ll have to double check on the fries, but you’re right – the most important thing is that they are GF 🙂

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