Complete with a stunning waterfront, ocean air, and a lively music scene, Halifax is a picturesque location. The city was built around one of the world’s largest harbours, leading to some of the freshest seafood around, and has a number of exemplary dining establishments committed to locally produced and sourced produce. Eat out downtown like a native Haligonian with this update of our previous list of the city’s best restaurants.
Agricola Street Brasserie
Brasserie, Restaurant, Canadian, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$
Agricola Street Brasserie boasts a magnificent menu of seasonal dishes with a French twist. Fill your plate with a portion of the delicious 12oz Delmonico steak served with a bérnaise sauce and jojos (potato wedges). The restaurant’s soaring high ceilings, arresting furnishings, bare-brick walls, and open kitchen make it a space worth whiling time away in. Its location in Halifax’s North End is where one of its signature cocktails, ‘the North Ender,’ derives its name. Take a sip or two and relax within the venue’s cool, laid-back atmosphere.
The Brooklyn Warehouse
Restaurant, Canadian, Contemporary, $$
The Brooklyn Warehouse’s delectable entrées and cordial atmosphere are undoubtedly responsible for its runaway success. Locally sourced produce is at the heart of this restaurant’s diverse dishes: fresh vegetables are regularly collected from the on-site garden. As well as the exemplary menu, a variety of rotating daily specials can be perused on an hanging chalkboard menu. Try the braised rabbit Provencal with olives, broccoli raabe, lemon couscous, and tomato jus. Tin ceiling tiles and chic hand-painted signs along with an airy three-season patio make this excellent eatery distinctly pleasant.
Cafe, Restaurant, Italian
With its outstanding Italian cuisine and gorgeous dining space, Halifax’s Da Maurizio restaurant offers guests an evening of unparalleled flavour. UK-born Executive Chef Andrew King has over 20 years of experience in the food industry and has bequeathed some exciting dishes to Da Maurizio’s prix fixe menu. For $39.95 per person, a delectable selection of delicacies is available for a three-course extravaganza. Savour the free-range chicken breast stuffed with goat’s cheese, spinach, and artichokes all roasted in the oven and served with a piquant basil, parsley, lemon, and caper sauce.
Economy Shoe Shop
The effortlessly hip Economy Shoe Shop gets its unusual name from the reclaimed neon sign hanging above its door, which had belonged to a Barrington Street shoe shop in the 1950s. Frequented by locals, celebrities, and tourists alike, the Economy Shoe Shop has a number of separate rooms featuring quirky decorations such as chandeliers, a jukebox, and even an indoor garden. The broad menu offers fare ranging from Thai red curry to Maritime seafood chowder as well as mountains of nachos. The Atlantic jazz scene runs amok every Monday evening as host Damien Moynihan introduces local guests and rare talents to eager patrons.
Restaurant, Bar, Butcher, Market, Seafood, Cocktails, Wine, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$
EDNA (eat, drink, nourish, always) offers a perpetually evolving menu of locally sourced food. Choose from the myriad of market-vegetable soups and salads, fresh oysters, and succulent butcher’s cuts. EDNA is renowned for its brunch menu, offering dishes like eggs Benedict with duck-fat home fries and free-range eggs. The restaurant’s interior is elegant and understated with antique flourishes: a long communal table sits at its centre, surrounded by painted metal barstools. The establishment is divided into a bar area and two intimate dining spaces. Reservations are not taken so be sure to arrive early.
Bar, Market, Restaurant, Canadian, Vegetarian
Go to Gio in Halifax for ‘fine dining with a twist,’ Open for both lunch and dinner, Gio’s cheerful atmosphere and arousing flavour combinations are sure to seduce even the most discerning of foodies. Browse the menu in the refined restaurant area – clean design with elegant furniture, abundant natural light, wood-clad walls, and cosy booths. Sink a tooth into the banh mi dish – roasted spice pork served on a fresh sourdough baguette with pickled carrot and daikon, cilantro, and ginger aioli. Gio also boasts an extensive bar and lounge area for visitors in search of a tasteful nightcap.
Restaurant, Canadian, Vegetarian
Located in the cosy downtown Halliburton Halifax Hotel, Stories is a multi-roomed eatery serving diverse regional cuisine and tasty cocktails. The elegant dining spaces are the perfect environ in which to feast on the East Coast fusion found on the restaurant’s menu. Try the succulent shepherd’s pie, replete with grilled red deer loin, braised boar shoulder, forest mushroom, and rich cave-aged Gruyère. Enjoy the elegance of the low-lighting and fresh flowers adorning every table whilst conversing with your dinner companion.
Restaurant, Japanese, Sushi, Asian, 0
Japanophiles should be sure to sidle across the threshold of Halifax’s best Japanese restaurant, Sushi Shige. Head Chef Shigeru Fukuyama has perfected the subtle art of sushi-making over 35 years. So adept is he that special requests are not only permitted but welcomed. The restaurant’s menu also offers a range of noodle dishes, salads and soups. The most adventurous of sushi devotees should give the Omakase dinner a go – a pick of the chef’s favourites served as a full-course-meal-for-one – be sure to make a reservation several days in advance.
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