Best of Dartmouth and Points East
My husband and I moved to Dartmouth almost two years ago, and we're trying more and more to spend time on this side of the bridge. Don't misunderstand; we still end up in Halifax two or three times a week, but our eyes are slowly opening to what's on offer here. A lot of Dartmouthians are hopeful that the new King's Landing development is going to bring with it more gentrification and development to the downtown. But that's years away. What's here now?
Anyone who spends time on this board should be at least passingly familiar with the best places to eat and the best places to find obscure ingredients from Halifax down to Liverpool. But the Eastern Shore deserves a little love, too. So I thought I'd start a list of recommendations for Dartmouth east to say, Sheet Harbour, and see what develops.
Tell me about your your love of Willy Krauch's smoked salmon (is the son's as good as the father's?), your best experience at that tiny East German place, the church lobster suppers in Chezzetcook. What's that tea room like near Lawrencetown Beach? Let's map out this area.
Two if By Sea Cafe — Very nice coffee, though the baked goods that made them famous can be a bit much.
Pho Hoang Minh — Tasty food, passable pho, delicious spring rolls, friendly service.
Fan's — Three cheers for Dim Sum!
Revana Pizza — We tried A LOT of take-out pizza to find the best in Dartmouth. When it's good, it's very good. When it's okay, it's still better than the other choices.
John's Lunch — Probably the best greasy spoon in Nova Scotia. Everything's crispy, the cole slaw is terrific, the staff are great. And everything's clean, clean, clean.
Dobbit Bakery — The challah makes a perfect post-beach dinner of mushrooms on toast, and the emphasis on whole grains is appreciated. I really admire what the owner is trying to do here. Nice little spot.
We just moved to the Eastern Shore last fall and we've found lots of great places to eat. I completely agree with John's Lunch and Two If By Sea. (I go to TIBS specifically when I want over-the-top baked goods!) I had a bad experience with hot and sour soup at Pho Hoang Minh - maybe I should try them again.
My favourite place for fish and chips in Dartmouth is a chip truck named Fran's that usually parks on King Street in Dartmouth. Incredibly fresh fish and clams, and they cut all their potatoes fresh on the truck. So good! (Yes, better than John's. John's has frozen fries and fresh cut ALWAYS trump frozen!)
- Tin Roof Mercantile has a great restaurant along with their beautiful gift shop. I was there last Christmas and the food was really great. Sandwiches come on thick slices of homemade bread. http://www.tinroof.ca/index.html
- Dobbit Bakery is great - nice to have organic bread and fair-trade coffee out here.
- Harbour Fish and Fries has really great fish and fried clams. Fries are frozen though. I don't remember seeing lobster rolls on the menu, but I love their fish so I never look at the menu!
- The Tourist Trap is another great breakfast/lunch spot to go along with their fantastic gift shop which features lots of local artwork and jewelry and organic beauty products. It's a little further down the #7 past the bridge in Musquodoboit Harbour but worth the visit. A tiny cafe, but everything's tasty and homemade. http://www.thetouristtrap.ca/cafe.htm
- For the kitsch value, and for really inexpensive homestyle food, there's also the Bear Den, across the highway from the old school right in Musquodoboit Harbour. The decor is intensely teddy bear related in a kind of yard sale aesthetic. Great if you enjoy kitsch! (Which I do!) I had a really fantastic lobster roll there last summer. They also have huge milkshakes that are almost more like smoothies - they put bananas and yogurt in along with the icecream.
- Family Fries. This is a 'blink and you'll miss it' kind of place, but a nice spot to grab a bite on the way to or from Clam Harbour Beach. Good fries, good fish, but again - it's most noteworthy for the kitsch value. The owner collects troll dolls and there are hundreds of them on display. Creepy! This is the kind of place that has pizza pops and donair eggrolls on the menu - but the fish and chips were top notch when we went there.