Halifax for a few days
- pescatarian May 12, 2008 07:10 AM
I am going to be in Halifax for a few days later this week. It's my first time there (visiting friends and running Bluenose). I'm looking for suggestions of good, casual, cheap eats to try out for when I'm walking around during the week during the day. I'm also looking for suggestions for places to take my friends for dinner one night. Any cuisine - prefer casual, family run type places to fancy.
Any suggestions are appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
My top recommendation for a nice dinner out is It's All Greek To Me on Quinpool Road. Casual Greek dining, with great food, service and value. You can make it a "dressy" evening if you choose, but jeans are not out of place. Don't let anyone talk you into Opa -which is more of a "see and be seen" place and doesn't come close to All Greek. I also recommend Armview Diner on Chebucto, which has become more upscale than its former diner name suggests, but still casual. The best casual cheap eats include Shiraz on Hollis - don't blink or you will miss it - near the Westin Hotel for Persian food, Turkish Delight on Spring Garden Road near the Public Gardens, and the Spartan or the Ardmore on Quinpool for diner food. I also heartily endorse Pete's Frootique on Dresden Row or in Bedford, both for groceries to take back to your hotel and the amazing salad bar.
Don't forget the farmers market in the Keith's brewery (if that's where it's still running)
Check out Tarek's too...but i actually disagree with the Opa! recommend...i like the food there. I liked Athens too.
Agree with the Pete's Frootique mention...in Bedford...also check out the pizza place, italian, sushi and juice bar that's right outside (and Crystal and Luckett's for wines if your budget allows !!)
I'm thinking though that you're looking for "within walking distance". Salty's and such down on the waterfront are not too bad. Spring Garden Road area though has loads of places...if you check out Pete's also check out the Italian Market one street (or so?) back.
I hear the Halifax Ale house is also not too bad.....but i'm a fan of the Old Triangle.
You can also hop a cheap ferry to take a quick ride over to Dartmouth to try some of the places there, like Celtic Corner.
I also recommend Celtic Corner (pub grub) in Darthmouth, ate there two weekends ago and was impressed.
Other places to check out in the North End are Sweet Spice (Jamaican food), Brooklyn Warehouse (cafe with good food according to my wife) and Coastal Coffee, probably the best brunch/breakfast in town.
Just got back from my first trip to Halifax - World Hockey Championships, you know (Go Canada Go!). We were staying at the Westin at the south end of downtown. Walked past the Shiraz a number of times - would never go in, it looked so ratty. A couple of Italian places around the corner (Cafe Chianti and Tommassino's, if memory serves) looked interesting but we never tried them. We did have dim sum at a Chinese spot on Hollis nearby Shiraz, and I found it quite good.
We did visit Opa!, and thought it was fine, if not exceptional, Greek fare. Also tried Salty's down on the docks, but it's decidely more expensive. Had breakfast at the Bluenose on Saturday, and quite enjoyed it the simple (bacon, eggs, sausage, etc.) and not very expensive fare. They were offering a lobster dinner special for $25.99 - whole lobster, salad, spuds, etc.
Had the steak special at Maxwell's Plum - $5 with a coupon from the hockey! - and it was quite tasty (they marinate it beer, apparently). I'd have gladly paid the $10 regular price.
Most of the fast food places in the downtown area are pizza/pita places. We had donairs in two or three spots, and found them quite tasty everywhere. My fave was a place kitty-corner from the King of Donairs - cheaper, tastier, and a huge plate that I couldn't finish.
The Midtown grill is apparently an institution but we only had drinks there. The food looked substantial if simple - meatloaf covered in gravy, fries, burgers, etc. Just around the corner is "Bubbles", named after the character from the Trailer Park Boys. The menu looked like standard pub fare, except for the fried pepperoni, which we didn't get a chance to try. Interesting decor though - worth having a drink there at the least.
Cora's has an outlet on Dresden Row off Spring Garden, and we enjoyed our breakfast there. The Spring Garden area has a lot of restaurants, but most of them are relatively expensive.
I really enjoyed Halifax - have a great time!
The Wooden Monkey on Argyle is an excellent choice. They mix traditional Nova Scotian fare(seafood) with organic and alternative foods(vegan, gluten-free). The combination is quite delicious. The atmosphere is cozy and unpretenious. Be sure to try a bottle of organic wine as well. http://www.thewoodenmonkey.ca/.
For Thai food, I recommend Chaa Baa on Queen St. I ate there last night and was thoroughly impressed with the food. It was only half full for late on a Friday night but I did notice former Gov. General Adrienne Clarkson sitting at the table directly next to me enjoying a late meal with some friends. The atmosphere at Chaa Baa was very casual and welcomng as well.
If you want Indian I would recommend the Taj Mahal on South St. It's more upscale but it is by far the best Indian food in Halifax. Anyone who recommends Curry Village, the only other Indian place, is out of their mind. They put the same sauce on every dish there! If you want to take your friend outs, Chaa would be the most casual, Wooden Monkey can lend itself either way and Taj is definitely upscale but I don't think that it is reflected in the prices which is why I don't mind eating there. Also, Hamachi House for sushi is the best in Halifax.
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. The standouts for the 5 days I was in Halifax were as follows:
I love Cabin Coffee - I didn't try Uncommon Grounds, which I hear is good also, but I liked the vibe at Cabin Coffee and the coffee was very good. I resisted the Cinnamon Buns which looked great, but I did have a breakfast bar which was good. I also enjoyed a smoothie and a greek salad, along with many lattes over the week. If it was in my nabe, it would be a regular haunt for me.
We went for Thai food at Chaa Baa the first night and last night. It was delicious. Much better than any Thai food I can find in Toronto. I enjoyed Spicy Vegetarian Noodles, Ginger Vegetables, and Papaya Salad (delicious and spicey).
We went for a fantastic Lebanese feast one night in Dartmouth at Kbabji: http://kababji.ca/images/platters.pdf. We had the Mezes tasting menu, which is described on the link and for $25 is great value. The food was delicious and filling and takes about 3 hours for them to serve. At the end of the night we were even treated to dancing with the regulars.
We went for a traditional fish and chip at John's lunch. I gorged myself on the seafood platter. The scallops and haddock were soooo fresh and delicious. Worth the calories.
We also went for a good brunch/lunch, post-run, at Brooklyn Warehouse. I had the Brooklyn BLT, which was good, even though they didn't give me the egg, over easy, as requested, but the food was delicious anyways and the service was pleasant.
We didn't make it to It's All Greek To Me - maybe next time!
Thanks for the useful report. I just wanted to chime in on Chaa Baa. I had lunch there last week, my 3rd visit there, and it is superb. I tried the cucumber soup, which was not at all what it sounds like, being a thin but flavorful broth with pieces of cucumber, green onion, lime leaves, glass noodles, and some ground pork semi-balls. Red curry chicken followed and oh my, was it good. Hotter than what I typically associate with red curry but that is not a problem for me. The service and decor are also very good. I could eat there every day, I swear. Love their food.
re: Greg B
yep, second and third the mention for ChaBaa...tried it just this past weekend and it was divine...not one selection dissappointed even remotely. Started with the crispy fried noodles with shrimp (can't remember the name of the app), then had the squid in padang (?) sauce, and the vegetables with cashews. And of course the Singha beer !!
Will definitly return.
None for Port Hawkesbury but 2 (or maybe 1.5) for Antigonish which you'll drive through on the way (about 45 minutes from PH).
The Dragonfly Cafe - http://www.dragonflycafe.ca I was there probably a year and a half ago for brunch on my way between Halifax and Cape Breton .. it was nice, contemporary brunch style and decent coffee. They don't seem to do dinner.
Mother Webb's - which is just next door to the above (and both are right on the highway), this is my .5 suggestion as I haven't actually eaten there, but it looks like its the sort of place that would be good for an entertaining meal out. I've no idea of the quality of the food - but it certainly seems like it would be an experience. Their web site might make for an good explanation. http://www.motherwebbs.com/
You may want to post a separate thread for this as non-Halifax folks would likely have better ideas and might not find your question in this Halifax centred thread.