It is no secret that the North End is quickly becoming the culinary hot spot of Halifax, as more and more restaurants and bars choose to open their doors in the city’s fastest growing district. Among the new additions to the neighbourhood is Unchained Kitchen, and for only having been open a few months, they have managed to craft up quite the menu.
When you think about New York City, what comes to mind? Is it the hustle and bustle, or streets crowded with yellow taxis and wide-eyed tourists? For me – New York City is all about pizza. Fortunately, with the opening of Rinaldo’s Italian-American Specialties, Haligonians no longer have to travel all the way to the big apple for a slice of the good stuff.
Have you ever eaten moss? I have, the first time I ate at The Kitchen Table. It was reindeer moss: light green and porous, like a loofah, with ramp powder, and fresh cream cheese. Chef Joe MacLellan told diners to eat it with their hands like chips and dip, because that’s how he’d do it.
When Jim and Diane Buckle opened Rhubarb, they had one idea in mind: bringing simple, wholesome, and delicious food to Peggy’s Cove. Located just a stone's throw from one of Nova Scotia’s most popular tourist destinations, Rhubarb Restaurant is serving up a fresh, seasonal menu sure to please locals and tourists alike.
It’s no secret - Quinpool Road has been in need of a great coffee shop for quite some time now. When Laura Draeger set out to open Dilly Dally Eats in June 2016, she had a vision - to bring fresh, local food to the neighbourhood. Inspired by her travels through Barcelona, Laura saw an opportunity to turn the former Second Cup space into a bright, inviting hub for the community to gather over delicious drinks and fresh food.
Halifax has a new noodle contender and it’s got Chef Jamie MacAulay leading the charge. In the north end, on Charles Street, is where you’ll find Water & Bone - a dedicated Ramen joint that MacAulay says was designed so the staff would enjoy the atmosphere just as much as the customers.
Today’s voyage takes me to The Nook on Gottingen, a north end coffee shop and eatery that has been doing their thing for quite some time now. Upon walking inside, I see weathered wood paneling, a deep collection of plants, and countless other Instagram-worthy features, and I instantly catch some good vibes.
Stepping into Scanway Bakery + Café, alive with the sounds of people chatting excitedly in languages from around the globe, I feel like I could be in any of the great cities of the world. As the sunlight washes over every inch of the exposed brick room, I know that I have found the perfect spot to escape the Halifax cold.
Today’s voyage takes me to The Press Gang Restaurant & Oyster Bar where I’m told that Chef Chris Bolt has some interesting things in store for me. Upon walking in, someone takes my coat while another pours me wine. Jazz standards play softly overhead. At first glance, I can tell that this place oozes and drips with age – literally (there’s an entire wall of candlewax).
With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to spend the big night, and I’ve got JUST the thing for you! When Chef Vedhas Deshmukh and his team from 2 Doors Down set out to create their incredible New Year’s Eve Menu, they had one thing in mind - you.
Just when I thought Barrington Street had reached the saturation point for bars and gathering places, I got word that 2 Doors Down Bar + Bites had opened their doors with every intention of becoming the new watering hole for the local downtown crowd. Chief mixologist Steven Cross is just getting off the phone as I walk in, so I take some time to look around a bit.
The newest project from RCR Hospitality Group focuses on an ever-changing menu of uber-fresh, sustainable seafood, and much of that philosophy is reflected in the restaurant’s interior, menu, and overall vibe. Most of the menu relies on the catch of the local suppliers that they work with and they are even recognized by the Vancouver Aquarium as being ocean-friendly.
If you have never attended an event held by the Canadian Progress Club, I can tell you one thing - they sure know how to throw a party. As I walk into the beautiful new space at the Pier 21 Museum for the CRAVE Food + Drink Experience, I know I am in for one heck of a night!
The self-described ‘purveyor of rare fare’ opened its doors on Canada Day this year with a simple message for its patrons: expect the unexpected. Award-winning Chef Luis Clavel seeks to bring classic childhood nostalgia evoking dishes to the table – but with a twist.
Making my way up the street where Dutch Village Rd snakes east towards Joseph Howe, I stumble upon The Anchor. Tucked away alongside the Fairview outpost of Freeman’s Pizza just minutes from downtown Halifax, co-owners Chef Richard Julien and Troy Arseneault have been working hard to bring new life to Fairview’s bar scene with this latest venture.
Starfresh Modern Diner in Burnside is a restaurant that switches up their dishes daily but promises one constant - smooth sailing for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free diners, all while keeping it exciting for carnivores like myself. If you call Burnside home but don’t think there’s enough fresh food, the owners are right there with you - it’s why they started this place up.
The latest addition to Quinpool Road is a story of love: for food, community, and the finest ingredients Nova Scotia has to offer. The brainchild of Nicole Tufts and Sonia Mota, Riot Snack Bar was first envisioned as the answer to a local food scene that had gone stagnant from a lack of creativity.
Let’s be real - I love Japanese food, and I like it quick, so when Kitsune Food Co. opened its doors a few weeks ago, I knew I had to go. Brought to you by Ami Goto (formerly of Dharma Sushi) and her partner Eric McIntyre, this new Izakaya-style gastropub on the corner of Agricola and Young will have you savouring every last bite. Although certain ingredients just can’t be sourced from Nova Scotia, the duo does their best to ensure that they are using local products as much as possible.
On the corner of Gottingen and Cornwallis stands The 244, a quaint little takeout place that aims to feed the neighborhood with simple, laid-back comfort food. The name is a nod to the address of a restaurant called the French Casino that stood on that same corner in the 1950’s.
As of May 23rd, a new contender has come to the downtown strip and its name is The Barrington Steakhouse & Oyster Bar. With its grandiose golden lettering on the outside, this is a place that has repeatedly caught my eye. It may only require a few strides to pass the front, but that’s all it takes to plant a lasting impression – and even then, there is much more to it than first meets the eye.
Opening just over three months ago at the end of April, Eliot and Vine is a relatively new restaurant on the Halifax scene. Self-described as a restaurant that specializes in European cuisine, Eliot & Vine is the perfect place to take a fancy first date, treat the family to dinner, or even grab a casual bite with friends.
Open Tuesday-Sunday from 4PM to midnight (2PM to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays), Highwayman Restaurant & Bar finds itself nestled on the Barrington strip alongside many other notable destinations. Its front signage hanging over the sidewalk features the figure of their mascot – the highwayman (of Alfred Noyes fame).
This week’s voyage takes us to enVie, a vegan kitchen in the heart of Halifax’s North End where owner/proprietors Diandra Phipps and Cory Urquhart have set up a true clean-eating experience enhanced by local produce and a commitment to the freshest ingredients possible.
Anyone who has been out and about in Halifax will notice its most recent addition to Spring Garden Road. Known by many Haligonians for pioneering a menu that features a large variety of local craft beers and flavourful bites, the Stillwell Beer Bar on Barrington Street has just made it even easier for thirsty downtown roamers to cop a cold beer - it’s pretty hard to miss.
Korean-born chef Alex Oh first discovered his fascination for Japanese cuisine while working at a restaurant in the town of Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. With this newly found passion, Oh set out to make something of himself, cutting his teeth as an aspiring young itamae (sushi chef) in Thailand, Korea, and then Canada.
Let’s face facts – most people do not often think of the Bedford highway as a culinary hotspot. While on the surface it does not appear that way, we feel it is our duty at The Starving Sailor to bring to your attention the remarkable assortment of hidden gems this city and all its neighbourhoods have to offer. So let’s be frank – there is a lot more on this stretch of Oceanside highway than first meets the eye.
Located in Halifax’s historic downtown district near the corner of Prince and Barrington St., you’ll find Elle’s Bistro - one of the most easygoing and welcoming restaurants I’ve had the pleasure of visiting so far. Upon walking in, I am greeted by owners Mary "Elle" Planetta and Pete Slipp alongside their adorable 2-year-old son Jacob. The walls of the bright open space are adorned with vibrant pieces from various local artists.
Tucked away on Queen Street just a few steps from the Central Library, you’ll find Lemon Tree, a charming and lovable Turkish casual dining restaurant. Gino and Muli, husband and wife and owners of the quaint restaurant, moved to Canada about 15 years ago from their native Turkey. Likewise, the name of the restaurant also originated in Turkey, having been inspired by a small lemon tree that stood outside their home overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
I have been living in Halifax for the better part of three years now and having recently moved to the North end, I’ve been keen to explore the new flavours of the neighbourhood. La Piazza, located at 6430 Chebucto Road (at the corner of Kline) was near the top of my list because, well… pizza, and *spoiler alert* - it did not disappoint! Even if you don’t happen to live in walking distance, La Piazza is definitely worth checking out.
5 years ago, a New Zealander named Mike Noakes rounded up his belongings and hopped on a plane to Canada. Next thing he knew, he had landed in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Although he was immediately shocked by the cold weather and the abundance of fluffy white stuff falling from the sky, there was something else that truly blindsided him. No matter where he looked, he could not find a decent meat pie.
I’ve been living in Halifax for four years now, and every weekend without fail I find myself gazing longingly inside Tempo Food + Drink as I make my regular half-buzzed trek up Duke St. after a Saturday well spent at the legendary Split Crow Pub. While I've decided to lay off the beers today, it is with more than just a little excitement that I stroll up to the front door on this nippy but sun-splashed late March Tuesday ready for one of my favourite kind of adventures.
I’ve been pumped to hit up Battery Park Beer Bar & Eatery ever since I saw their crowdfunding campaign back in August 2015. I’ve also been following Chef Mark Gray and his team since his days helming the kitchen of my long-time love Brooklyn Warehouse, so it’s safe to say I’m walking in with high expectations.
Down on Spring Garden Road in the heart of Halifax’s downtown shopping district sits La Frasca Cibi & Vini, an authentic Italian eatery serving up the type of rustic fare native to the north-eastern region of Friuli. By hanging a branch over the door to inform travellers of excellent food and vino, a “frasca” signifies a testament to tradition.
Café Chianti has a reputation for serving up exquisite regional Italian cuisine, respecting the old country with traditional ingredients, and sourcing only the highest quality local meats and produce. This respect for tradition combined with both modern and localized influences have enabled Café Chianti to remain a powerful force in the Halifax dining scene for many years.
If you’re not familiar with Persian food, it originates from Iran - yet pulls from many other styles of cooking. You can taste the influences from Turkey, Italy, Greece, and other familiar traditions. These bold and warm flavours are unique, but give you the same feeling that a big bowl of spaghetti or your mom’s Sunday roast gives you.
A brand new restaurant called Black Sheep has recently opened on Dresden Row and it’s making waves across the city for its all day brunch and creative renditions of tapas-style small plate flare. The brainchild of former Gio Chefs John House and David Woodley, Black Sheep strives to provide customers with upscale dining creations in a casual and friendly atmosphere.
Have you ever found yourself walking along Quinpool Rd and wondering about that mysterious place next to the former King’s Palace? One thing is for certain... it is not a tattoo shop. In fact, it's the furthest thing from it, so do yourself a favour and pop inside. By the time the sweet scent hits you, it will be too late for second thoughts.
So you think you know Argyle Street? Well, think again. Hidden away in a historic building just north of Prince Street is a delightful restaurant by the name of The Auction House. With "auctions" happening several times a day on a delectable dish or drink ,the restaurant has a unique concept that pays homage to a 19th century auction house that operated out of the building.
Calling all barbecue buffs of Halifax! Do you find yourself dreaming about succulently smoky meat slathered in spicy-sweet sauce and served alongside mountains of fresh-cut fries and heaps of crisp coleslaw? Well then, stop acting like a bonehead and run, don’t walk, to the corner of Barrington St. and Inglis for an experience you are not soon to forget.
Down in Barrington Street's historic heritage district, enthusiasts of the sudsy stuff flock to local craft brew sanctuary Stillwell for their daily fix. With a deep selection of bottles and an eclectic blackboard tap menu of 12 small-batch beers that are refreshed on a daily basis (sometimes twice a day), Stillwell's mission is to expose Haligonians to new and exciting flavour profiles through opening up a dialogue for exploring the wide and wacky world of artisanal brews.
Teeming with a lively collection of bars, boutiques, and the acclaimed Neptune Theatre, locals know Argyle St. to be one of Halifax’s most popular entertainment hubs. The four-block stretch lays claim to an assortment of stops and shops that are distinctively unique to Halifax - one of the finest examples coming in the form of the authentic French eatery, Bistro Le Coq.
Located just 5 minutes north of the famous Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, Jim and Diane Buckle’s Rhubarb Restaurant in Indian Harbour, NS is a must-visit destination for residents of the HRM and tourists alike. Just beyond the dining area is a large outdoor deck with stunning views of St. Margaret’s Bay that is available during the summer months, and likely sees a lot of traffic considering that the place is packed at 1 PM on a Sunday November afternoon.
If you find yourself in constant pursuit of the ultimate brunch, then your search officially ends here. Kayleigh Burns and Heman Lee’s Robie St. Station is not only serving up some of the most interesting and creative breakfast plates in the city, they also do a mean lunch. From their Turkish inspired poached egg cilbir to their spicy gochujang topped bi bim bap burger and everything in between, Robie St. Station is making waves in the Halifax culinary scene.
In my search to find the newest and most exciting culinary destinations Halifax has to offer, I decide to get in touch with the most reliable source any city has – its locals. After many conversations with Haligonian foodies and industry folks, word on the street is that I should start by checking out a buzzing new establishment from Ceilidh Sutherland and Chef Dan Vorsterman called Field Guide HFX.