Halifax Must Sees/Eats
I'm planning a trip to Halifax April 12-15th. I know this isn't really "peak" season for NV, but I was hoping you folk could give me some good recommendations for must eats, and must sees. I'm looking for the foods that are the most unique to the maritimes, or would be particularly better than they would be elsewhere!
Also, are there any places that I can purchase lobsters, flash frozen and have them shipped home?
Tried to reply to this earlier but it didn't work, so i may have forgotten a few things !!! I am not a Halifax local, but a regular visitor, and i've had some great eats in the city, both cheap and $$$
As for the lobster...you can get those packaged and ready to go right in the Halifax airport, either live or frozen.
If you get in early enough on saturday, head to the market in the Keith's brewery building (which also does a fantastic and fun brewery tour btw)...you'll get local wines, beers, spirits, cheeses, chocolates...you name it. Great fare in my opinion !!!
If you have a vehicle available to you, i suggest heading to Peggy's Cove for a fantastic view and experience, and afterwards, dropping into the restaurant there for a bowl of chowder...one of the best i've ever had. Lots of other good things on the menu too .
I hear good things about Bish but i've never been. I liked the seafood at McKelvie's, plus it's right across the street from The Old Triangle, a great Irish pub for food and good music and such.
I don't eat meat anymore, but i hear the donairs on the east coast are very different than those served out west and in other places, at least in the sauce.
Lots and lots of great places along the waterfront.
Most people include the Citadel in their "must see"s but i don't think it's open to the public yet??? Perhaps a local could fill you in better.
If you're interested in Celtic Music, I think im_nomad's mention of The Old Triangle is probably worth making a note of. They have decent food and frequent musical performances (www.oldtriangle.com). There is also the Celtic Corner in oft forgotten Dartmouth (http://www.celticcorner.ca), an easy ferry ride from downtown Halifax and less than a 5 minute walk from the ferry terminal (just bear in mind that the last ferry back to Halifax leaves at the ridiculously early hour of 11:30pm). The ferry is the cheapest way to get a harbour tour of the city!
I've had mediocre meals at Bish (although it's been awhile since I've been back), never eaten at McKelvie's but have a (possibly unfair) impression that it's a tourist trap. They have a fun oyster bar at The Press Gang (although it's not cheap), and Sebastian's Bistro on Spring Garden Road is a french restaurant that does a lot of interesting fish dishes (http://www.sebastiensbistro.ca).
There are a lot of other posts on this board that praise a number of well established fine eateries in Halifax (Il Mercato, Fid, Janes, Chives), you should take a look through any number of posts from the last year or so. A couple of places I haven't seen mentioned much on this board that are worth thinking about:
Sushi Nami Royale - www.sushinami.ca/ -- downtown on Dresden Row, they have amazing sushi which is very artfully presented. there is a lot of sushi in the city, but this is my current favourite.
Morris East - www.morriseast.com/ -- pizza from a wood fired oven (don't think pizza, think, great dinner with interesting fresh ingredients)
Coastal Coffee - Agricola Street (can't find their website): a little out of the way but this place serves amazing brunch, I believe every day. It's hard to get near the place on the weekend, so if you have a weekday morning you want to try brunch, you might be better off.
Oh and im_nomad is definitely right about checking out the market if you are here on a saturday morning. There is the Keith's brewery tour there but if you're interested in local microbrews you could check Garrison or Propellor. Both brew in penisular Halifax and may have tours (I'm not sure).
the Cabot Trail is probably farther away than you think it might be, if you are trying to cram in as much as you can in three days. Just to get to the turn off to head to Cape Breton from Halifax is an hour, then add another few hours to that to get there...never mind wandering.
O'Carrolls is another irish music haunt that serves food, a bit pricier than The Old Triangle. I second the mention below for the Celtic Corner in Dartmouth, and also in that area is Le Perla for Italian, that i've not tried but hear good things about. I have eaten at CC and remember mostly, the bread pudding, which i always order if it's on a menu. yum. Pogue Fado is another place you may find good music....alot of people head to the Lower Deck, but i think that's a bit of a tourist trap too. I'm from Newfoundland, and The Old Triangle reminds me the MOST of the irish pubs back home. On sunday afternoons (or they used to) have irish dancers as well.
As for the local breweries, yes a definite !! It's worth your while ( if you're into hot and spicy), to find the Jalapeno Ale from Garrison. That stuff rocks with a sharp cheese as an appetizer.
To those mentioned here, i'd also add Opa! , Sweet Basil, and as i mentioned on another post for cheap eats, Tarek's. There are some fantastic Thai restaurants in the area as well.
I second the mention of the Dartmouth Ferry as a cheap way to get a harbour tour !!! However, if you can manage it, and it's running....for $10 the Tall Ship Silva is a great harbour tour, and it includes often, live music. We had a blast when we went.
If you are up for an hour drive away, head to Wolfville for a Grand Pre winery tour, and also to Fleur del Sel, which again i've not tasted, but friends and relatives have raved about it.
I'll post more if i think of it.
I'd recommend the Radisson Suites Hotel (and no i do not work there), particularly depending on how many "we" are in your party. It is my first choice when staying in the city. It was the closest to the Dartmouth ferry, just down the hill from the Citadel, walking distance to the market, Keith's brewery, Spring Garden road and lots of restaurants. I'm thinking it's also pretty close to the Neptune Theatre, and walking distance to the Art Gallery Nova Scotia. Right around the corner is the Old Triangle Irish Pub which is also right across the road from McKelvie's, another place i enjoyed a very good meal.
They also have an impressive continental breakfast there, the Radisson i mean.