Halifax Diaries Travel and Eats
With an ocean, rich in delicious seafood and a strong agricultural background, there are some great flavors in Halifax. And it’s no wonder the city’s bursting at the seams with great places to raise a fork or a glass and enjoy yourself! I’ve created this list with your taste buds in mind so you can experience culinary bliss while staying in this gorgeous city. Read ahead and start planning your own personal menu for your trip!
Picture Credits: Waterfront Warehouse Restaurant
Seafood is second nature at the Waterfront Warehouse restaurant. They offer an impressive oyster menu and a tank full of crab and lobster for any maritime selection you’d like. And for you landlubbers out there, they also have beef ribs and USDA Prime steak options too! Yum! Boasting chic and friendly settings, there’s no better place to relax with a pint than the patio. And I know few people can resist great food and a good nautical cocktail in the great outdoors! Bonus if you can kick back and enjoy the freshest seafood around without having to get on a boat either. They also offer floor space for up to 300 guests, which makes it a great place to host your next event too.
Picture Credits: The Carleton
The Carleton combines two of my favorite things – great music and amazing food! Housed in one of the city’s oldest stone buildings (built-in 1760) it’s a refreshing blend of historical and modern as well. Both an award-winning music venue and seriously delicious restaurant, this place makes for a great night. Talented chef Michael Dolente has made this place a foodie hotspot while live musical talent keep your ears happy too! It’s the perfect recipe for a night out with friends or that special someone sampling the culinary and musical delights of Halifax. Pro tip: Happy Hour is from 4-6 so be sure to get some super affordable bites and drinks before dinner! Their menu is filled with local and fresh pickings and is sure to please.
Picture Credits: The Old Triangle Irish Ale House
Rooted in a firm belief that the best things come in threes, The Old Triangle Irish Ale House’s motto of “food for the body, drink for the spirit, music for the soul” is alive and well. Created in 2000 it’s been bringing that playful Irish spirit to Halifax ever since. As soon as you walk into the place you’re transported familiar, yet far off place through the smell of the delicious food and the sound of live music. These people are truly passionate about enjoying the simpler things in life! Their menu reflects the focus on enjoying life with a wide variety of items for everyone as well. Seize the opportunity to enjoy some of everyone’s favorite things – food, drink, and music!
Picture Credits: Stubborn Goat Gastropub
Sometimes the only thing we want is comfort food, and there’s no shame in that! The Stubborn Goat Gastropub specializes in it in fact. How does getting comfortable with some lobster mac & cheese while listening to some great live music sound? It sounds amazing, of course! Well, this is a great place to do it. Be sure to bring your friends for a night of fun, music, and of course some great food. Lovers of cheese rejoice – you can add raclette to any dish on their menu for some cheesy bliss anytime you may need it. And let’s be honest, when don’t we need some more cheese in our lives right? However, if cheese is a little tough on your tummy, I recommend checking out their enormous beverage list too. Between the wines, beers, cocktails, ciders, spirits, speciality coffees, and beer flights everyone will be leaving happy!
Picture Credits: Good Robot Brewing Company
Halifax’s “Most Questionable Brewery” (in the best possible way), Good Robot Brewing Company has been letting their freak flag fly since 2015. Started by 3 former engineers with a love for beer and never growing up, it’s a seriously chill spot to kick back. And you may as well enjoy the brews while you’re at it! And with a pretty stellar list of on-tap and bottled beers, there’s plenty to enjoy for everyone. They also have a list of non-beer beverages as well for those who prefer to take a different path. And let’s not forget about the grub! A match made in… well I’m not sure where with their own Rumblefish Food Co., which serves up some delectable eats. A full menu with treats like duck spring rolls, fish tacos, and (pork) butt sandwiches go swimmingly with their beers too. And don’t forget to check out their creative and extremely fun brunch either!
Picture Credits: The Press Gang Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Celebrating their 20th year in business, The Press Gang Restaurant & Oyster Bar is a local legend in all things seafood. They focus on local, sustainable, and fresh ingredients in all of their dishes so you can taste the best of what Halifax has to offer. They also feature an extensive wine list including selections from local vineyards that go ever-so-well with their amazing food. History buffs will also enjoy this place as it’s housed in one of the oldest stone structures in Halifax, dating back to 1759! And as evident by their name, they’re also well known for their well-stocked oyster bar, which always features at least 3 farms on a daily basis. A true celebration of Halifax’s seafaring history, this pearl of a restaurant must not be missed.
Picture Credits: Stayner’s Wharf Pub & Grill
Looking for fresh made and locally sourced food with live, local music? Stayner’s Wharf Pub & Grill is just the place! Well known for their pan-fried haddock, fish and chips, and seafood chowder this locale is beloved by visitors and locals alike. And with 13 beers on tap as well, what’s there not to like! Something special that’s not on the menu is the wide variety of live music they put on each week. With jazz, blues, soul, and pop on deck there’s no better place for an evening with friends and family. Be sure to check out their boozy brunch too for the best way to start your day! You can also check out their website to see the entertainment line up in advance.
Picture Credits: Foggy Goggle
Speaking of comfort food, the Foggy Goggle is known for serving up familiar and delicious dishes with a side of attitude. Keeping with the true Halifax spirit, this place is playful, laid-back, and serious about good food with the best ingredients. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free travelers, you will have absolutely no trouble finding amazing food here! They offer tons of options for guests with dietary restrictions that are (at least) equally as delicious as the standard versions. This gorgeous place is also known for hosting some creative and super fun events too! They have rotating daily specials to keep things interesting, including a Boozy Brunch on Saturdays. Just check out their website ahead of time to make sure you don’t miss out on things like Whiskey Wednesday or even Grilled Cheese Day!
Picture Credits: Halifax Distillery Co.
Searching for a more “spirited” side of Halifax? Then may I recommend Halifax Distilling Co. for your consideration. Opening in 2016 thanks to a fascination and respect for the art of distilling, this place is happening! Created by business and life partners Julie Shore and Arla Johnson it’s been sharing that love (and liquor) with Halifax ever since. Like any labor of love a lot of work goes into their products which makes this place a must-see. No visit would be complete without a distillery tour to learn about the long tradition of rum in Nova Scotia as well. And don’t forget my personal favorite part – the tasting bar! Being a big fan of any edible (or drinkable) piece of a place’s culture myself I know you’ll enjoy it too.
Picture Credits: Le Bistro By Liz
Owner Liz Ingram-Chambers has been bringing a taste of Paris to Halifax at Le Bistro since 2011. She imparts this love of old-world French cuisine by offering French-style comfort foods and favorites every day. Not only is the food comforting, but the atmosphere is comfortable, elegant, and welcoming. Regardless of how much you know about French cuisine, classics like boeuf bourguignon, coquilles St-Jacques, and croque monsieur are sure to have you humming “La Vie en Rose” in no time! And most of their items can be modified to accommodate food sensitivities so no one is left out too. A quaint and cozy place to bring friends and family, this place is simply magnifique! And who knows, maybe a trip to France is in the near future for you too.
Picture Credits: Stories Fine Dining
Located in Downtown Halifax, Stories Fine Dining is a great place for a cozy date night after a day of exploring a beautiful city. Their menu features the best of what the land and sea can offer with dishes including beef striploin, salmon, sea scallops, and duck. It’s amazing how amazing fresh ingredients can taste, right? Situated in an elegant-yet-relaxed atmosphere I recommend this place to cap off a long day of walking and exploring. After all, you deserve it! The perfect compliment to any good meal, their drink menu has something for everyone! They offer a wide selection of wine (white and red), along with local beers and a fine list of single malt Scotch. Whether you prefer surf or turf, this place will serve it up with simplified elegance.
Picture Credits: Rousseau Chocolatier Ltd
Specializing in handmade chocolates, confections and soft serve ice cream from scratch, Rousseau Chocolatier Ltd. is THE authority on all things chocolate. A Chocolatier with 15+ years of experience, Julien Rousseau is the chocolate-covered mastermind behind production. Locally and seasonally sourcing as much as possible, he’s known for a range of delectables! All of which can be seen through the viewing bay window for maximum drooling. Don’t forget the café serving locally roasted, fair trade espresso beverages either! Stop in to see favorites like artisan chocolate bars, caramel spreads, French macarons, and of course the handmade chocolates. All and any of which would make the perfect gift to a loved one or even yourself! If your idea of self-care involves chocolate like mine does, this is a must-see place along your way
Picture Credits: Little Oak Bar
The Little Oak Bar is a cute little place perfect for delicious wines and small plates. With a menu full of delectable morsels to choose from, I recommend getting a few and splitting with some friends (or not!). With a mix of items from the land and sea, you know everyone will be happy here! Whether it be for some afternoon sips and snacks, or evening drinks you’re sure to enjoy yourself. And what would a wine bar be without an extensive wine list? Check out the latest list and try something new since you’re on vacation! And don’t worry, they also offer a selection of beers and cocktails if wine isn’t your jam. Just ask your server for the best pairing recommendations too!
Picture Credits: Compass Distillers
When we have a drink or make a cocktail we all want something local and handcrafted in our glass. If you agree I know you’ll love Compass Distillers! They take their care for each ingredient and produce something that’s truly magic. You don’t have to take my word for it either, they’ve won a number of awards to back them up too! Nestled into the distillery you’ll find the bar, which is a gorgeous place to enjoy the fruits of their labor… With some elegant and expertly-crafted cocktails! The bar also features a great view of the distillery through the large glass windows. It’s a lot of fun to watch experts at work while sipping away! I’d recommend the spirit flight if you’re looking for a good way to try a variety of their products too. Check it out and see what all the buzz is about!
Picture Credits: Dilly Dally Coffee Cafe
A quaint and cozy independent cafe, Dilly Dally Coffee Cafe is the perfect place to enjoy one of life’s greatest joys – great coffee. And that’s not all this cute cafe offers with local, small batch, market to table coffee, food, wine and beer also on the menu. Their baristas are also stars since they were voted the best in the city by The Coast and Metro Halifax! They have a good selection of items for vegan and gluten free lifestyles too. Walking in you’ll feel a warm welcome right away whether grabbing a quick coffee or enjoying a meal and staying for awhile. Walking out you’ll be wondering why most businesses aren’t as colorful or as focused on making life a little happier for everyone. Don’t walk past this slice of paradise!
Picture Credits: Studio East Food
Studio East Food is a restaurant for those with ethically, sustainably-sourced food close to their hearts. Studio East Food takes locally sourced food to a whole new level. They are one of the only Oceanwise certified restaurants in Nova Scotia and feature only sustainable seafood. Even cooler however, is their farm called Kisik Ridge which they’ve opened in 2018 in line with their farm-to-table mission. From the farm they offer a special type of pig called Mangalitsa which are referred to as the “Kobe beef of pork.” Because of the interchange between animal and plant life, you can rest assured there’s no need for commercial fertilizers at all. Along with sustainable seafood and meat, they also offer a large variety of plant-based meals as well! They believe that environmental impact is as important as the food on the plate, a vision we can all get behind!
Picture Credits: Brightwood Brewery
This labor of love, Brightwood Brewery was created and nurtured by founders Ian and Matt ever since they were brewing in Ian’s basement. Now a beloved brewery and a part of the local community, it’s been providing quality brews to the area ever since. With their new brewery celebrating their 1st anniversary, now’s the perfect time to visit and see what’s brewing. No stop would be complete without trying their Rosé IPA, trust me on that one! Their taproom (called Brightwood Market) came out of a need for a gathering space for the community. True to purpose it’s a superb place to spend some time either chilling out, or sampling the brews on tap with friends. What more could you ask for really?
Picture Credits: Cafe Taiyaki 52
Cafe Taiyaki 52 are masters in a playfully delicious Japanese treat that can’t be missed. Taiyaki is Japanese for the delightful cousin of a waffle that’s shaped like a fish and filled with sweet or savory fillings. A comfort food potentially dating back to Tokyo in 1909, it’s now a staple in an area known for its fishing villages! Just as important as the pastry, the filling shares center stage at Taiyaki 52 with a multitude of fillings for every style. From sweet fruit fillings to savory pulled chicken fillings that go way beyond the traditional sweetened red-bean paste. The creative minds at work here have really modernized and adapted this treat for Canadian taste palettes. There’s nothing fishy about these delightful additions to the Halifax food scene! And as you might have guessed, they’re a HUGE hit with the kiddos so be sure to introduce them to this adopted tradition.
Picture Credits: 902 RESTAURANT AND CATERING
Take a trip to the sun-drenched Mediterrean with the amazing food at 902 Restaurant & Catering. One of my absolute favorite styles of cooking this place features the best of Mediterrean fare like roasted lamb, shawarma, hummus, and more. This restaurant is a welcome addition to the food scene in Halifax with their fresh food and friendly staff too. Whether you’re familiar with the cuisine or not, I highly recommend sinking your teeth into 902. And you may even go back for seconds! Look through their impressive menu online for full descriptions of their dishes, including whereabouts in the world they’re from. I’d recommend this place for anyone looking for the fala-FULL Mediterrean experience right in Halifax!