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Jul 1, 2012 05:00 AM

Gourmet & specialty groceries in Nova Scotia

We will be spending almost two months in Chester NS this summer and would like some recommendations as to where one can find gourmet and specialty groceries within an hour or so of Chester. This would include the Halifax/Dartmouth area and down to Lunenburg.

We found the various farmers' markets last summer. We also found Port of Wines, which I understand to be the only decent wine store.

We are particularly interested in any good places for freshly caught seafood and any good butchers.

TIA for any recommendations.

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  1. I would recommend Pete's for groceries. There is a location in Halifax, just off Spring Garden road. There is also a location in Bedford, which is where I usually shop. They have good meat at Pete's, but there is also a new butcher shop in the Hydrostone in Halifax, called Highland Drive Storehouse. There are also butchers at the Seaport Market, which I'm sure you discovered last year.

    The freshest seafood will be found on the back of a truck. They are all over the place, and it is the fishermen usually selling their wares.

    Port of Wines is definitely not the only decent wine store! Bishop's Cellar is nice, on the Halifax waterfront in Bishop Landing. Cristall and Luckett in Bedford is nice; it is beside Pete's, which I recommended above. Harvest Wines is also good. It is on the Bedford highway, where it shares a building with Clearwater

    3 Replies
    1. re: CanadaGirl

      Thanks for the tips. We will check them out later this week.

      1. re: CanadaGirl

        I was under the impression that the NSLC had a monopoly on wine and liquor sales in Nova Scotia. Or is it just expensive and difficult for someone to bring wines in to compete with the NSLC? Clearly there are competitors in Halifax but I cannot remember any in or around Chester.

        1. re: PiccoloVenezia

          There are a few privately owned wine stores in the Halifax area. They have different offerings than the NSLC, for the most part. They also have limited beer and liquor, but interesting. Not sure about Chester, but I doubt they have anything.

      2. In Halifax there's also the charcuterie Ratinaud on Gottingen Street for meats and doin't forget to visit the Seaport Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings. Plenty of ethnic shops about town and a cheese shop on Quinpool Rd. whose name escapes me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chilibeanpaste

          Cheese on Quinpool Road: could be Leicesters Deli and Cheese Emporium? I haven't been yet, but it's on my list...

          Ratinaud is better for pates and french-ish stuff. For straight up meats, I'd say that the new storefront in the Hydrostone area, Highland Drive Storehouse, is great for meat. I've had a few great barbeque experiences inspired by the offerings this summer.

          I have to agree with the other wine stores that CanadaGirl listed above - I often choose them over Port of Wines. There's also Premiere Wine and Spirits, just off Dresden Row in City Centre Atlantic. I'll usually choose Bishop's first, as I find the staff there great.

          Small grocery store with local food is Local Source on Charles St., just off Agricola. It's small and you can't go with a shopping list expecting to fulfil everything you're looking for, but carries a good variety of locally produced food.

        2. The Seaport market has a fishmonger and butcher who are both open every day in the week. Haven't bought fish there, but have heard good things. Getaway farms has FANTASTIC meat - I believe they supply Brooklyn Warehouse and Ace Burgers.
          While you're at the market, check out Foxhill milk, which is also open every day(except for Monday?) and has lovely un-homogenized milk and great yogurt. A lot of people only go to the market on weekends, but these places have regular storefronts in the building so are open every day.