Root Cellars of Elliston – Elliston, Newfoundland and Labrador - Gastro Obscura
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Elliston, Newfoundland and Labrador

Root Cellars of Elliston

This small Newfoundland town has declared itself the “Root Cellar Capital of the World.” 

Like many small towns in Newfoundland, Elliston is exceedingly charming and can boast views of icebergs, whales, and puffins. But that’s not enough to stand out from many other charming towns with similar attractions. What Elliston does have? Root cellars. 

Root cellars are small spaces used to store vegetables, which are kept cool in the summer and warm in the winter by underground temperatures, which fluctuate less dramatically than the air temperature above. They’re not unique to Newfoundland, but Elliston did have an unusual number of well-documented root cellars. When the town named itself “Root Cellar Capital of the World” in July 2000, there were 133 in the area. 

In the ensuing years, some of those root cellars were removed by new development, the Town of Elliston admits. But there are still more than enough to poke your head into and get the idea. Plus, they look a lot like hobbit hills.

Know Before You Go

The Visitor's Center in town gives out a helpful map with root cellars marked on it.

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