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Now Open: Brazen Hall

Courtesy of Brazen Hall.

Courtesy of Brazen Hall.

Winnipeg’s craft brewing scene has exploded recently, with new breweries popping up all over the city. Brewpub Brazen Hall is the latest joy for homegrown hopheads. This well-designed Fort Garry spot styled with rustic wood, plush leather, and gleaming geometric fixtures opened to instant approval from pub lovers who now fill the space with lively chatter. A crisp blonde ale and peppery bière de garde are now on tap with more varieties brewing in the tanks on site. Superb suds are complemented by a fun menu of twists on pub favourites, like gussied-up burgers and wings, as well as filling pastas and brawny meat dishes.

  • 800 Pembina Hwy, 204‑453‑7980

Ottawa Pub Guide: Get Cosy in the Capital

By Emma Fischer

From the darkest winter day to the melt of spring, there are plenty of reasons to snuggle up at a fireplace and raise a pint! Feel the warm embrace of Ottawa’s cosiest pubs no matter the season:


Coasters Seafood Grill


Woody’s Pub

A self-proclaimed urban pub, they’re known for their wide selection of craft beer, but that’s not all they offer! Enjoy some of their classic pub fare or more multicultural dishes in one of their two main rooms. Cosy up in the lounge with not one, but two fireplaces and several comfy booths. Beat frosty weather with a frosty pint! 

330 Elgin St.

MacLaren’s on Elgin: Much more than just Ottawa’s premier sports bar, MacLaren’s is the place to take shelter from the storm. Sip on a cocktail while you play some pool, or catch the big game on one of their 80 HD televisions. With plenty of variety both on their menus and in the bar, your game plan should involve staying here long after the final whistle blows! 

301 Elgin St.

The Manx: Known for their craft beer and gourmet pub food, The Manx also boasts an incredible Scotch selection and legendary brunch. This basement pub is a little more hidden than most, but it’s the perfect underground refuge for an after-work drink or to wind down from a long day. Pop by on Sunday and Monday nights to live local music and sing your heart out on their special karaoke nights.

370 Elgin St.



The Lafayette: Having been around for 167 years, the Laff has been serving Ottawa before it was even Ottawa. They offer affordable food, drink specials and live music with free cover, which means more money for bevvies! The Laff has expanded their pub to its original size and now boasts a comfy fireplace area. Assistant manager Deek Labelle gets the last laugh: “We do our best to make our customers feel at home and comfortable at all times. We don’t believe in charging cover – we’d rather have your bum in a warm seat, sipping on a tasty beverage.”

42 York St.

Chez Lucien: Tucked away at the edge of the ByWard Market, this quaint bar looks small from the outside, but has three levels of cosy seating inside. Exposed brick, hardwood floors and a fireplace give this place a relaxed and comfortable ambiance. Come for brunch (it opens every day at 11 a.m.) and stay for dinner. This place is a few short blocks from more conventional touristy pubs, and far more authentic. Warm up even more with their Frida and Diego burger topped with jalapeños.

137 Murray St. 


Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro & Coaster’s Seafood Grill: This cellar bistro and wine bar is found in a historic, 19th-century building in the ByWard Market. Directly above are two sister establishments: Fish Market Restaurant and Coaster’s Seafood Grill. At Vineyards, sample from 200 wines and 250 different beers — there is definitely something for everybody. Pair your drinks with charcuterie or a cheese board, and enjoy regular live jazz musicians (they will warm your soul). If you’re literally looking for fire, head on upstairs to Coaster’s where you can settle in by the fireplace and enjoy delicious seafood while you sip on a cocktail.

54 York St. 

Hops of Fun: 7 Stops for a Refreshing Pint of Craft Beer



Photo Credit: Amsterdam BrewHouse

In Toronto, both supply and demand have noticeably increased over the past half-decade. Though corporate beers remain predominant, most respectable establishments now serve at least a couple of options for more discerning drinkers, and connoisseurs can look to any of the bars and brewpubs recommended below for some truly memorable beer-based experiences.

1 Indie Ale House is a straightforward name for a joint that specializes in decidedly non-standard bevvies. Look for rare releases like its “Fates and Furies” series—barrel-aged beers brewed using ancient techniques.

2 Though relatively new, Bloordale’s Burdock has already established itself as a microbrewery and resto-bar to watch. Eight taps pour its “approachably experimental” offerings while the kitchen serves gourmet comfort fare.

3 Still a foodie favourite, Bar Isabel is also very well known for its craft beer list, which, among other things, has many bottles from top-tier Quebec brewers Trou du Diable and Dieu du Ciel.

4 Toronto hipsters’ beers of choice come from Bellwoods Brewery, which offers exceptional drinks—the Farmhouse saison and Witchshark IPA are both classics—in its brewpub and bottle shop.

5 Amsterdam Brewhouse is a massive Harbourfront hub—with three lakeside patios—for enjoying beers by Toronto’s oldest independent brewery. Try a flight of four beers, or see what’s new in the tanks.

6 Family-owned Bar Volo is one of the city’s more venerable spots for craft brews. Can’t decide from among the 100-plus taps and bottles? Its house line of cask-conditioned ales are always intriguing. (Volo is closing it’s Yonge Street location in September; a new location is yet to be announced.)

7 Just outside the Financial District, Beerbistro entices area hot shots with brasserie-style fare and a massive selection of everything from local lagers to trappist ales.

October Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

Held in cities across Canada, the Gold Medal Plates competition showcases top chefs, battling to crown gold, silver and bronze culinary teams. On October 29, eight Nova Scotian chefs will compete in Halifax, including Chef Terry Vassallo of Café Chianti, Chef Bee Choo Char of Gio, and Chef Mark Gray of The Brooklyn Warehouse. Visit www.goldmedalplates.com for tickets.

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At Stories, the intimate restaurant located at The Halliburton hotel on Morris Street, Chef Scott Vail’s inspired menu changes with the seasons. His mainstays include local game, lamb, seafood, and housemade charcuterie.

A staple of Halifax’s West End dining scene for more than 30 years, Athens Restaurant on Quinpool Road boasts a menu of flavourful classic Greek dishes, including lamb souvlaki, moussaka and calamari. The space seats about 150 people and is a popular breakfast spot on the weekends.

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Baan Thai on Blowers Street has a fresh menu and colourful furnishings from Bangkok. Choose from any number of curries, Pad Thai or a special all-you-can-eat lunch buffet on Fridays. The delicious menu offers spicy noodles, cashew chicken, shrimp cakes and spring rolls, plus much more.


Photo: Kelly Neil

Photo: Kelly Neil

Chef Andrew Farrell of 2 Doors Down is making his mark on Nova Scotia’s dining scene, creating soulful recipes like deep-fried mac and cheese, and traditional potpie using fresh local ingredients. Find the restaurant in the heart of the downtown on Barrington Street.

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• Downtown on Prince Street, the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse is a large, three-room pub with live entertainment nightly and no cover charge. A great place to relax with friends, the Old Triangle has a classic pub menu and serves weekend brunch.
• Celebrating one year on Halifax’s brewpub scene, Gahan House is a popular destination in the picturesque Historic Properties. Choose from a range of Gahan’s own handcrafted beers on tap, including blueberry ale and Sir John A honey wheat ale.

10 Delicious Banff Restaurants

Photo: Courtesy of the Fairmont Banff Springs

Photo: Courtesy of the Fairmont Banff Springs

By Where Staff

New on Banff’s Dining Scene

The newest restaurant at the Fairmont Banff Springs is 1888 Chop House. The trendy chop house concept is juxtaposed with elements from the past such as railway artifacts and a name that evokes the hotel’s opening year. Before your meal, take a seat at the cocktail bar that overlooks the Castle in the Rockies’ lobby.


Canadian Rockies’ Best New Restaurant 2014: Tavern 1883

Photo courtesy Tavern 1883

Photo courtesy Tavern 1883

By Afton Aikens

It was a year of casual restaurant openings in the Canadian Rockies, and Tavern 1883’s award winning house-ground burgers (beef, elk, lamb, tuna and quinoa) got us hooked. Built from an early 1900s home, the Tavern has a charming mountain cabin atmosphere and a fun, welcoming vibe with live music twice a week and a DJ on weekends.


Hot Dining: Late Night Bites

When you’re in the mood for an evening snack, we’ve got a few places that will fit the bill.

The Traditional Poutine from Smoke's includes hand-cut yellow fleshed fries, fresh Quebec cheese curds, and their signature homemade gravy.

Smoke’s Poutinerie
An after-bar staple, here you get fries smothered in gravy, cheese, chicken, beef, or even veggies.
407 Dalhousie St., 613-789-2873

Zak’s Diner
Open 24 hours, so you can order breakfast morning, noon, or night.
14 ByWard Market Square, 613-241-2401, and 499 Terry Fox Dr., 613-435-5483
www.zaksdiner.com (more…)

Hot Dining: Gourmet Pub

Burgers, thin crust pizza, and mac and cheese are all on the menu at The Berryman Pub.

Where to go when a discerning diner meets a sports fan and they want to grab a bite? Head to The Berryman Pub. This upscale pub, which just opened in July 2011, has 13 high definition big screen TVs spread throughout the bar and dining room. As co-owner Mark Berry says, “There’s not a bad seat in the house to enjoy a quality meal while watching the latest sports action.” The menu yields both classic items (fish and chips, wings, The Big Berryman Burger), as well as some fun surprises (thin crust pizza, gourmet mac and cheese, a maple butter pork chop). There’s a certain expertise behind the offerings, and we know why: this local eatery is the sister restaurant to The Great Canadian Pub in Paris. Very cool, non? 478 Bank St., 613-421-7675.

Hot Dining: Limited Edition Beer

The Deviator Doppelbock by Cameron's Brewing in Oakville.

Sick of ordering the same beverage time and time again? Looking for something to really make you “buzzed” with excitement? Look no further than Cameron’s Deviator Doppelbock, a seasonal beer available until early spring. Right now you can only get it on tap in Ottawa at Restaurant E18hteen and the Wellington Gastropub, but there are more locations to come – and for good reason. This dark beer boasts a 7.1% alcohol content as well as a warm, full-bodied taste and colour with subtle undertones of toffee, caramel, and coffee. Its richness will fill you up (and also warm you up during a cold Ottawa winter). Don’t miss your chance to try this distinctive-tasting beer before the Deviator Doppelbock disappears with the snow. — Erin Morawetz

Hot Dining: Where to See Skaters on the Rideau Canal

We round up the best spots to grab a bite with the added enjoyment of watching skaters on the Rideau Canal.

Skaters take a snack break at the BeaverTails counter.

BeaverTail Shacks
Located on the Rideau Canal Skateway, you can skate up to the window, order one of these delicious Canadian treats, and grab a spot on a picnic bench without ever leaving the ice. Be honest: isn’t one of the main reasons you go skating here to have a BeaverTail and a hot chocolate after?
Several locations along the Rideau Canal. www.beavertailsinc.com

Canal Ritz
This Italian restaurant boasts one of the most scenic views of the canal and is located right near one of the entrances to the skateway, so after you’re done your meal it’s easy to lace up your skates and join in on the fun. Rather watch? Snag a seat by the big windows and curl up with a specialty coffee.
375 Queen Elizabeth Dr. (at Fifth Avenue), 613-238-8998. www.canalritz.com

Canal Oak
Part of the Royal Oak Pubs chain, this unique two-storey location is situated near the Pretoria Bridge, which crosses over the canal. Order a pint, relax by the fire, and enjoy some colourful people watching. It’s also a top spot to head after you’ve traversed the ice and need to refuel.
221 Echo Dr., 613- 234-3700. www.royaloakpubs.com

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: Campbell River, British Columbia

The beautiful view at Dick’s Fish & Chips

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is our series highlighting the best local restaurants across Canada. Today we are featuring top restaurant picks in Campbell River, British Columbia, which sits midway up the inland side of Vancouver Island.

Have a tip for your city? Let us know on Twitter or on Facebook.


Shot in the Dark is so named for a heart-speeding double espresso dropped into a cup of coffee—it’s a local favourite amongst those on their way to work. You won’t find anything too off the beaten breakfast path (menu options include eggs Benedict, omelets and two eggs), but the people watching will show you a slice of island life.

Shot in the Dark, 940 North Island Highway, Campbell River, B.C., 250-287-7414 (more…)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: Saint John, New Brunswick

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is our series highlighting the best local restaurants across Canada.  Have a tip for your city? Let us know on Twitter or on Facebook.  Today we are featuring top restaurant picks in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The patio at Saint John Ale House.