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The Middle Spoon

Hot Dining

Photo Credit: Emma Smith

LOCAL FAVOURITE
Go back in time at the True North Diner in Bedford Place mall. This 1950s-themed dinner dishes up burgers, fries, shakes, and more. The “Classic Diner” section of the menu highlights home-style fare such as meatloaf, liver and onions, chicken pot pie, fish cakes, and all-day breakfast.

 

BEER LOVERS’ TRIO
• At cozy RockBottom Brew Pub on Spring Garden Road, you’ll find six different beers brewed on site, plus a selection of other local beers, wines, and ciders. Pair with a tasty dish from the kitchen; highlights include pork-belly sandwich, lobster carbonara, pad thai, and more.
• Before the craft-beer scene exploded, there was The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street. This friendly neighbourhood pub features a broad selection of local brews, plus highlights from around the world.
• Don’t let the strip-mall exterior fool you. Jamieson’s Irish-House & Grill on Cole Harbour Drive boasts 16 taps pouring local beers (and the Irish offerings you’d expect) paired with traditional Emerald Isle pub grub.

 

HEAD OF THE CLASS
Every year, Where magazines across Canada present a series of awards feting Canada’s Best New Restaurants. When it came to picking this city’s representative last year, the Where Halifax team had an easy choice: Rinaldo’s on Windsor Street. This intimate, casual spot—run by two brothers—offers an array of Italian-American favourites. Old family recipes are the key; they’re the sons of the couple that founded Halifax pizza mainstay Salvatore’s in the historic Hydrostone neighbourhood.

 

DESSERT FIRST
If you’re the sort of person who skips dinner to save room for dessert, proceed directly to The Middle Spoon on Barrington Street and at Sunnyside Mall. This stylish spot specializes in decadent desserts paired with creative cocktails. It’s the ideal place to while away an evening with friends.

 

PIZZA PERFECTION
Intimate Morris East, just steps from the waterfront on Morris Street, pairs artfully crafted wood-fired gourmet pizza with creative cocktails and local beer and wine. Not venturing downtown? Visit the newer locations on Nine Mile Drive in Bedford West and on Vernon Street (just off Quinpool Road) in Central Halifax.

 

CASUAL FAVOURITES
• A Southern-style smokehouse tucked away in a tiny Barrington Street spot, Boneheads BBQ is beloved by locals. The menu includes all the slow-smoked mainstays you’d expect: ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and more. Indecisive? Try the mammoth (and ideal for sharing) Pit Boss Sampler and get a little bit of everything.
• Just around the corner from the Atlantica Hotel on Quinpool Road, Relish Gourmet Burgers offers creative takes on the classic burger and fries. The house specialty is the Halifax Explosion: a flash-grilled pineapple ring dusted in habanero powder, plus pancetta bacon, curried onion frites, and aged cheddar.

 

EDITOR’S PICK: CLASSIC CUISINE
At Mappatura Bistro on Spring Garden Road, just steps from the Halifax Public Gardens, co-owners Simone Mombourquette and Chef Terry Vassallo combine their experience working in several world-class restaurants to offer a dynamic Italian menu, showcasing farm-fresh seasonal ingredients. Local favourites include calamari, home-style pasta with hearty ragù, and fresh seafood (delivered twice daily). The carefully chosen wine list embraces the Old World aperitivo tradition, pairing each course with the vintage that best complements it.

Hot Dining

Dining_Glitter-Bean-Café

ALL THAT GLITTERS

Glitter Bean is a new queer-friendly (and welcoming to all) café, a block west of the Halifax Public Gardens on Spring Garden Road. Relaxed and funky, it offers organic fair-trade coffee, specialty drinks, baked goods, and snacks.

 

Dining_Fredie's-Fantastic-Fish-House
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

QUICK, CASUAL, TASTY

Fredie’s Fantastic Fish House on Oland Crescent in Bayers Lake is a local favourite for fish and chips. Light batter, fresh haddock, generous portions, friendly service, and relaxed diner atmosphere.

Bill Pratt—the restaurateur behind Cheese Curds Gourmet Burgers + Poutinerie and Habaneros Modern Taco Bar—recently unveiled Fish + Chix on Windmill Road in Dartmouth. Specialties include fried haddock and chips, tacos, Thai chicken bites, and the Captain’s Seafood Platter (with haddock, scallops, clams, and shrimp). 

 

Dining_Middle-Spoon

SOMETHING SWEET

If you’re the sort of person who eats dessert first, go directly to The Middle Spoon on Barrington Street and at Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. Sweet offerings abound; experience the rich creamy goodness of the peanut-butter pie. PS: There’s also a fine selection of cocktails, wines, and Nova Scotian beers.

 

Dining_Old-Triangle

WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILIN’

For a classic pub experience, visit The Old Triangle Irish Ale House on Prince Street. This boisterous spot is known for its sidewalk patio, live Celtic music, and menu jam-packed with pub favourites like curry and chips, Irish stew, and pan-fried haddock. The bar boasts local and imported beers and ciders (with mandatory Irish offerings such as Guinness, Harp, and Kilkenny) plus one of the finest selections of whiskies around. 

 

Dining_Rinaldo's
Photo: Caitrin Pilkington

PIZZA PERFECTION

Morris East has expanded with new locations uptown on Quinpool Road and in Bedford West, but you’ll still find the mothership a block from the waterfront on Morris Street. Visit the intimate little dining room for delicious wood-fired pizzas showcasing fresh local ingredients.

Family-run Rinaldo’s on Windsor Street boasts all manner of Italian-American comfort food and the pizza hits the bullseye every time. We recommend the Pizza Samuele with pepperoni, roasted garlic, mozzarella, Grana Padano, and ricotta. 

On the Halifax Waterfront in Bishop’s Landing, Ristorante a Mano is another pizza mecca. If you’re an old-school purist, try the Margherita. This traditional Italian specialty looks deceptively simple with San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and nothing else but tons of Old World flavour.

 

Dining_Festival-of-Wines
Photo: NS Tourism

WORLD OF WINE

Running from September 25 to 29, the Festival of Wines is de rigueur for lovers of the grape. Highlights including wine dinners at Chives Canadian Bistro and Cut Steakhouse, an exclusive tasting at Casino Nova Scotia, a gala with Symphony Nova Scotia, and Grand Tastings at the Cunard Centre, featuring some 350 wines from around the world. 

 

Dining_Little-Oak

GOOD THINGS IN SMALL PACKAGES *Editor’s Pick*

Looking for a pleasant nook to while away an evening with friends? Intimate Little Oak on Lower Water Street is just steps away from the waterfront boardwalk. It boasts a small and dynamic menu showcasing global influences and seasonal ingredients, a huge (yet artfully chosen) wine list, and a selection of craft beer and ciders.

Hot Dining

Dining_Rockbottom

5 FOR BEER LOVERS

—Stylish Stillwell on Barrington Street is a must-visit for craft-beer aficionados, with 12 taps plus cask and bottled brews.

—Dartmouth’s Battery Park showcases the local-beer scene: 13 different beer on tap, plus local craft cider.

—At Rockbottom Brew Pub on Spring Garden Road, you’ll find seasonal and flagship beers brewed on site, plus a selection of other local beers, wines, and ciders.

—Before the craft-beer scene exploded, there was The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street. With dozens of brews from around the world on offer, you’ll find something for any taste. 

—Don’t let the strip-mall exterior fool you. Jamieson’s Irish-House & Grill on Cole Harbour Drive keeps locals coming back for craft beers (and the Irish offerings you’d expect) paired with traditional Emerald Isle pub favourites.

 

Dining_Fredie's

MARITIME CLASSIC

It’s not on the waterfront, but Fredie’s Fantastic Fish House, tucked away in Bayer’s Lake on Oland Crescent, is among your best bets for a traditional feed of fish and chips. The tiny casual diner boasts friendly service and huge portions. Try the perfectly fried fresh Atlantic haddock or hearty chowder.

 

Dining_Little-Oak

GOOD THINGS IN SMALL PACKAGES

Looking for a pleasant nook to while away an evening with friends? Intimate Little Oak on Lower Water Street is just steps away from the waterfront boardwalk. It boasts a small and dynamic menu showcasing global influences and seasonal ingredients, a huge (yet artfully chosen) wine list, and a selection of craft beer and ciders.

 

Dining_Middle-Spoon

DESSERT FIRST *Editor’s Pick*

If you’re the sort of person who skips dinner to save room for dessert, proceed directly to The Middle Spoon on Barrington Street and at Sunnyside Mall. This stylish spot specializes in decadent desserts paired with creative cocktails. It’s the ideal place to spend an evening with friends.

 

Dining_Bramosa-Pizzeria

PERFECT PAIR

Bramosa Pizzeria & Beer Bar on Quinpool Road is the ideal spot to indulge in the classic beer and pizza pairing. Local craft brews pair with signature creations like the Tuscan Sun (white sauce, hot banana peppers, pineapple, sun-dried tomatoes, green olives) and Lombardy’s Fire (smoked bacon, jalapeño, pineapple). Free delivery on the Halifax Peninsula (on orders over $15) after 4pm.

 

Dining_Boneheads-BBQ

CASUAL FAVOURITES

—A Southern-style smokehouse tucked away in a tiny Barrington Street spot, Boneheads BBQ is beloved by locals. The menu includes all the slow-smoked mainstays you’d expect: ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and more. Indecisive? Try the mammoth (and ideal for sharing) Pit Boss Sampler and get a little bit of everything.

—Just around the corner from the Atlantica Hotel on Quinpool Road, Relish Gourmet Burgers offers creative takes on the classic burger and fries. The house specialty is the Halifax Explosion: a flash-grilled pineapple ring dusted in habanero powder, plus pancetta bacon, curried onion frites, and aged cheddar.

Hot Dining: Steak expectations

By Trevor J. Adams

STEAK EXPECTATIONS
Succulent steak and top-notch service are hallmarks of The Keg. Visit the popular chain in Halifax in the heart of the downtown on Market Street.

As the name suggests, Primal Kitchen on Brenton Street is a carnivore’s haven, boasting local meats smoked, cured, and butchered inhouse. The 35-ounce bone-in prime rib for two, paired with truffle fries, is a guaranteed date-night all-star.

The Barrington Steakhouse & Oyster Bar gives the classic chop-house experience a 21st-century spin. You can’t go wrong with a classic New York striploin paired with a couple of big, juicy, fresh Atlantic scallops.

The Keg.

The Keg.

CASUAL FAVOURITES
A Southern-style smokehouse tucked away in a tiny Barrington Street location, Boneheads BBQ is beloved by locals. The menu includes all the slow-smoked mainstays you’d expect: ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and more. Indecisive? Try the mammoth (and ideal for sharing) Pit Boss Sampler and get a little bit of everything.

Boneheads BBQ

Boneheads BBQ

Just around the corner from the Atlantica Hotel on Quinpool Road, Relish Gourmet Burgers offers creative takes on the classic burger and fries. The house specialty is the Halifax Explosion: a flash-grilled pineapple ring dusted in habanero powder, plus pancetta bacon, curried onion frites, and aged cheddar.

A SHORE THING
The Shore Club Lobster Suppers in Hubbards are a must for Nova Scotian visitors. Enjoy a huge feed of fresh Atlantic lobster in the rollicking and informal setting of a community supper at one of the province’s last old-fashioned dance halls. The menu also includes all-you-can-eat mussels, with vegetarian, steak, chicken, and kids’ meals

FEELING CRAFTY?
Take a break from the bustle of Spring Garden Road in the subterranean refuge of the Rockbottom Brewpub. The menu offers all the pub grub you’d expect, but the house-made craft-beer is the real draw. Locals love the zesty IPA and rich oatmeal stout; keep an eye out for the brewer’s latest seasonal creations. But why play favourites? A sampler tray is a tasty way to experience all the newest brews.

Rockbottom Brewpub

Rockbottom Brewpub

HOW SWEET IT IS 
If you’re the sort of person who skips dinner to save room for dessert, proceed directly to The Middle Spoon on Barrington Street and at Sunnyside Mall. This stylish spot specializes in decadent desserts paired with creative cocktails. It’s the ideal place to while away an evening with friends.

Hot Dining: Soothe a Sweet Tooth at the Middle Spoon

If you’re the sort of person who skips straight to dessert, be sure to visit The Middle Spoon on Barrington Street. The “desserterie” specializes in decadent desserts and cocktails. The Peanut Butter Pie draws rave reviews.

The Middle Spoon, Photo: Michelle Brunet