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Voyages: Stillwell Beergarden

Voyages: Stillwell Beergarden

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.

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If you didn’t catch the hint, I’m talking about Stillwell’s brand new Beergarden, which has thankfully shown up just in time for summer. For a joint that has managed to fill all of its seats and then some within the first few hours of opening, it’s no surprise that this new Haligonian watering hole is this summer’s most anticipated hangout.

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Here’s the formula: a wide selection of beer, gourmet food, and a stunning patio to enjoy it under the sun, all in the bustle of downtown Spring Garden. It’s got a pretty neat token system for buying food – you purchase your tokens at the bar ($3 a pop) and order in front of the grill. The food items vary in size and price, ranging from one to three tokens.

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Open every day that the weather is nice from noon until 10 PM (midnight on weekends), one has every reason to think that any time is a convenient time to grab a beer. Coming in, you’re greeted by a sea of faces. Right now, this is one of the most visibly happening hotspots in Halifax’s downtown area, so you are pretty much guaranteed to run into someone you know. The casual and communal layout echoes the spirit of a classic biergarten – something simple, something quick, and something you would gladly lend a few hours of your day to.

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Let’s have a look at some of their dishes:

First one up today is the Elote – a popular Mexican street dish that consists of smoked corn on the cob with Tijuana spice, lime aioli, and ricotta salata cheese. Talk about a dish to sink your teeth right into (don’t forget to bring a toothpick).

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The Cold Rice Noodle is served up next as the cook calls out my name. The dish is comprised of vermicelli noodles with a maple soy glaze, sriracha, fresh cilantro, bird’s eye chili, grilled leeks, and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds. Each bite that I take is a build-up to the flavor-loaded finish. It’s a deceptively spicy experience but unlike other dishes, this one is served cold, and that’s just a nice touch for a summer snack.

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Finally, I finish off with some Asian-inspired barbeque – the Yakitori Wings are smoked and come topped with Atari mayo, green onion, and black sesame seeds. While this savoury dish comes skewered, I don’t hesitate to get my hands involved, and before I can take the time to adore this three-token snack, I’ve already finished.

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Halifax has plenty of places to grab a beer and some snacks, but Stillwell’s new Beergarden offers something beyond that. Not only is it on one of the most accessible corners in the downtown core, it also offers a diverse selection of food, locally-sourced craft beer, and is located right on one of downtown Halifax’s most prominent bus routes. Grab a beer, order some food, sit down, and let the atmosphere take over – summer is officially here.

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