Friendly Halifax - A Foodie's Paradise
Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Halifax has the reputation of being Canada’s friendliest city. It’s also a foodie’s paradise, with an impressive range of restaurants and eateries for every taste. Many destinations are within walking distance from the scenic harbourfront area. Here are my favourite picks from a recent visit.
Food Choices for Every Taste
The Press Gang Restaurant is a great spot for for dinner. Built in 1749, the Press Gang is housed in the home of Nova Scotia’s first judge. Oyster lovers - this is the place in Halifax to indulge your passion! One of the Press Gang specialties is fresh oysters from different regions, as well as an impressive selection of seafood, meat, game and poultry dishes.
We started the meal by sampling 4 different #oysters from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and were surprised at the subtle differences in salinity and flavour. The menu is extensive and whether you love seafood or are a meat-lover, you'll be happy. We started with a mouth-watering Langoustine Ceviche with octopus and micro-greens. I ordered Roast Elk, served with mushroom risotto and brandied cherries. It was tender, flavourful and lip-smacking good! The other main course was Slow-Cooked Beef Ribs. They were basically perfect; we couldn't imagine how they could possibly be any better. At that point, we were feeling very mellow and content, but we managed to share an impressive Pavlova for dessert, delightfully presented with fresh berries and flowers. Definitely a great place to kick off a weekend in Halifax!
Saturday morning I headed over to the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market. Established in 1750, it is the oldest farmers’ market in North America. There’s lots to see and do for the whole family, whether you’re looking for fresh-baked cakes and pastries, local seasonal fruit and vegetables, or a variety of crafts including woollen goods, art and fresh flowers. Two floors of fun, with a fiddler providing live music. There’s even a wine kiosk where you can purchase #NovaScotiaWines. It’s easy to pick up breakfast, lunch or a snack as you wander around and enjoy the ambience and expansive views of the harbour.
After the market, you can visit #GarrisonBrewing located next door for a tour and tasting, or visit #AlexanderKeith Nova Scotia Brewery on nearby Lower Water St., where actors in period costume demonstrate the historic brewery and the challenges of life in Halifax in 1863.
Another great option is to take a walking tour. We signed up with #LocalTastingTours for their “North End Craft Beer & Food Tour”. Our guide, Rachel Sheppard, led us through the thriving creative district in Halifax’s North End. Young entrepreneurs are making the neighbourhood a culinary destination. Traditional delis mingle with ice cream shops, patisseries, pubs and a fabulous artisanal charcuterie and fromagerie. You can easily wander and munch to your heart’s delight. This tour is a great way to spend a very leisurely afternoon exploring this thriving district.
It’s a good idea to pick up a copy of “#TasteofNovaScotia”, a culinary guide of restaurants, food experiences and products, or #TheCuratedGuide, a food and drink magazine in user-friendly format.
For our last evening, we ate dinner at The Bicycle Thief, a spacious casual-chic waterfront restaurant overlooking the harbour. There’s also a wrap-around outdoor patio. A giant playfully-painted lobster greets you at the entrance and a fun bicycle theme continues throughout. We started off with Mussels and Jumbo Shrimp, then enjoyed a delicious Lobster and Corn Chowder with smoked bacon. I chose Lobster Thermidor for my main course. That was a 5-star flavour experience! Every bite was rich, aromatic and succulent. The Pistachio Salmon was a big hit, too. Of course we enjoyed Nova Scotia wine with dinner. #LuckettVineyards #TidalBay suited our meal perfectly. By the time we waddled out of the restaurant, we were way beyond full.
As a #foodie and wine-lover, I found lots to enjoy in #NovaScotia. The variety of wineries and food destinations make it an ideal place for a holiday, whether that’s a romantic weekend away, a family holiday or a business trip. Spectacular scenery surrounds you at every corner. Nova Scotia really is Canada’s friendliest province, so plan a visit soon. A warm welcome awaits you!
Dee Dee's Ice Cream Cake Lady @HfxSeaportMrkt N.S. Wool @HfxSeaportMrkt
Mushrooms @HfxSeaportMrkt Garrison Craft Beer Bicycle Thief Restaurant
Jane Staples - Wine, Food & Travel Writer, Accredited Sommelier
Photo credits - Jane Staples, Jan Jarvlepp