The Best Breakfast Spots in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Argyle Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Argyle Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia | © Paul McKinnon / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Doug ONeill
29 September 2020

Spending the day at Lawrencetown Beach, Halifax locals’ favorite surf and swim spot? Or signing up for a three-hour walking tour of the historic waterfront? Then fuel up first on the best breakfast the capital of Nova Scotia, Canada, has to offer.

Some destinations reserve their signature dishes for lunch and dinner. Not so in Halifax. You’ll find lobster rolls, fish cakes and donairs – imagine a Greek gyros with a sweet white sauce – at the best breakfast spots in Halifax. Local chefs also flex their culinary muscles each morning whipping up new twists on time-honored standards, vegan, organic and Asian-inspired breakfast dishes to kick-start the day. Don’t fret – you’ll still find steak and eggs, too! Here’s where you can find best breakfasts in Halifax.

Start your day with a hefty meal at Ardmore Tea Room

Cafe, Canadian
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If the descriptive “tea room” suggests crust-free finger sandwiches and elegant teapots of Earl Grey, you’re in for a surprise. This landmark diner, which opened in 1958, leans towards hefty breakfast items that will last you beyond lunch, such as the Lumberjack Plate (2 eggs, 3 slices of bacon, 2 sausages, ham, spiced hash browns and toast) and the easily shareable vegetable and egg breakfast burrito – topped with cheddar and chipotle sour cream. Diners certainly get their money’s worth. The priciest item on the menu, the steak and egg breakfast burrito, is only CA$12.50 (£7). The other plus: the Ardmore opens at 7am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Savor a multicultural breakfast at Robie Street Station

Diner, Restaurant, Canadian, Coffee, Vegetarian, $$$
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Co-owner Heman Lee learned to cook in his father’s Chinese restaurant in Toronto before settling in Nova Scotia with his partner, Kayleigh Burns. Their Robie Street Station menu also draws on the couple’s culinary adventures in California. The duo opened Robie Street Station in 2014 and two years later launched El Chino Snack Bar right next door. Robie Street’s all-day breakfast menu is inventive. Cilbir, poached Turkish eggs with yogurt, is topped with chimichurri sauce. Order the rösti and you’ll be chowing down on potato pancake, smoked salmon, garlic yogurt and soft-poached egg.

Fuel up on energy-packed vegan dishes at Wild Leek Food & Juice Bar

Restaurant, Juice Bar, Contemporary, Vegan, $$$
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Kirsten Taggart underwent two significant life changes in 2008: she moved to Nova Scotia and went vegan. Five years later she opened Wild Leek Food & Juice Bar, offering a fully vegan menu, which includes breakfast burritos, quiches and fresh juices. A popular breakfast item – a nod to the ill-fated ship Titanic passengers buried in Halifax – is the Titanic burrito: seasoned black beans and sausage crumble, avocado, sweet potato, tofu scramble, chipotle sauce, spinach and pico de gallo with salad or potato wedges. At CA$16 (£7), it’s the top-priced item on the menu.

Choose from the tastiest crêpes at Portland Street Creperie

Cafe, Restaurant, French, Contemporary, Canadian
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Portland Street Crêperie
Courtesy of Portland Street Crêperie

A 10-minute ferry ride across Halifax Harbour, Dartmouth, which was amalgamated into Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996, is worth the trip just to savor the inventiveness of father-and-son duo Neil and Max Cook. Their crêpe selection features lemon sugar, Oreo cheesecake, fruit salsa, Nutella, ham and swiss, mushroom melt and a customer favorite, Bon Matin – a medley of bacon, free-run egg and cheddar with roasted garlic aioli. If traveling en famille, kids will love the Flatliner: peanut butter, bacon and banana. Gluten-free options are also available.

Get cozy with the locals at Dilly Dally Coffee Cafe

Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
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Laura Nicole Draeger, who’s alternatively known as “Cafe Owner” or “Lady Boss,” chose a cosy, community feel for her small cafe at the corner of Quinpool and Vernon. Regulars are known to line up when the door opens at 7am, hankering for eggs and toast, fried egg “sammies,” smoked salmon scramble, steel-cut oats, BLTs, ham and brie sandwiches, alpine muesli and beverages including berry berry lavender iced tea and chai latte. Draeger gets her coffee from a local small-batch roaster.

Treat yourself to a breakfast of champions at Elle's Bistro

Bistro, Italian
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How can you go wrong with 16 kinds of eggs benedict? Restaurateur Mary Elle Planetta has owned and operated this unfussy eatery since 2014. Substantial dishes dominate the all-day breakfast menu, which runs the gamut from breakfast poutine to stuffed French toast. Steak and eggs cost only CA$12 (£7). Hungry Hippo (three strips of bacon, two sausages and ham served with three fried eggs, toast and home fries) is $9.95 (£6). The lightest option on the menu? The One Egger: bacon, ham or sausage with one fried egg, toast and home fries.

Chow down in the Old World Hali Deli

Deli, Hungarian
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The kitchen in Victor Fineberg’s childhood home was perpetually stocked with lox, salmon, rye and challah bread – food he and his wife, Sybil, feature on Hali Deli’s all-day breakfast menu, which reflects Eastern European, Russian and Hungarian cuisines. Victor’s Big Breakfast includes three eggs, smoked meat, corned beef, salami with challah or rye toast, potato latke or hash browns for $11.99. Not so peckish? There’s the Oy Vey! Not so Hungry breakfast of two eggs, bissel (Yiddish for “little bit”) of potato hash, challah or rye toast for CA$7.49 (£4).

These recommendations were updated on September 29, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.