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The Sou’Wester

Hot Dining

COFFEE TO THE PEOPLE
Glitter Bean Café is a worker-owned 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.

Ribfest Halifax

PERFECT TIMING
Visiting Halifax for Canada Day? You’re just in time for the final day (July 1) of Ribfest Halifax. Head to the Halifax waterfront on Lower Water Street for a feast of ribs (and lots of other barbecue dishes and sides) from local favourites like Boneheads BBQ and vendors from around North America. Live entertainment and free admission (pay per serving). The event is a fund raiser for the Rotary Club of Halifax.

Photo: Tammy Fancy

ON THE ROCKS
For five decades, The Sou’wester has been serving up local seafood and Maritime hospitality alongside the wild North Atlantic in Peggy’s Cove. Perched upon the rocks with a spectacular view of the ocean and the village’s iconic lighthouse, this is an ideal spot to try East Coast essentials like fish and chips, boiled lobster (fresh from the tank), and scratch-made gingerbread.

CATCH OF THE DAY
Just steps from the waterfront, Shuck Seafood + Raw Bar on Salter Street offers lightly cooked and raw fare, sustainably harvested and locally supplied. The culinary team treats the quality ingredients with artful care and respect; the raw menu feature scallops and an array of local oysters, plus crab, lobster, shrimp, and much more. Pair with a selection from the eclectic wine list, featuring local offerings and international imports.

MARITIME FEAST
The Shore Club Lobster Supper in Hubbards is an essential Nova Scotian experience. From Wednesday–Sunday, enjoy a huge feed of fresh Atlantic lobster in the relaxed and historic setting of the Shore Club, one of the province’s last old-fashioned dance halls. The menu also includes all-you-can-eat mussels, plus vegetarian, steak, chicken, and kids’ meals.

Highwayman Restaurant & Bar

BY THE BOOK
The Watch That Ends The Night pairs an ambitious name with an ambitious concept. The Dartmouth waterfront spot is a cocktail and wine bar with a kitchen headed by Mark Gray (Gold Medal Plates winner 2016) and focused on developing a new Canadian cuisine through curing and fermenting local seasonal ingredients. It’s named for Hugh MacLennan’s 1958 novel, sharing an aesthetic with the same North American late-modern tastes.

Highwayman/Katie Tower

JUST THE TWO OF US
With its French-inspired seasonal menu, Agricola Street Brasserie has helped turn the North End into Halifax’s hottest dining destination. Artfully prepared seasonal dishes, including fresh Atlantic seafood, pair with Nova Scotian wine and beer. Foodies flock to Highwayman Restaurant & Bar on Barrington Street for Spanish-inspired sharing plates and original cocktails. This cozy, up-market option serves a menu of seafood, cured meats, cheeses, and more. Save room for a decadent dessert and something from the carefully-curated wine list.

Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse/Visionfire/Bruce Murray

BARBECUE BOSSES
Halifax restaurateur Bill Pratt—the man behind local favourites Habanero’s and Cheese Curds—joins forces with Prince Edward Island’s Upstreet Brewing at Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse on Windmill Road in Dartmouth. The menu includes the brewery’s distinctive craft beer (made on site) and Southern barbecue staples aplenty: pulled pork, brisket, cheddar-and-beer sausage, and more.

Hit the Road

Hit-the-Road_Planters-Ridge

There’s a lot to see and do in Halifax, but on a glorious summer day, it’s hard to beat the allure of a road trip. Whatever your taste, you’ll find an attractive destination near Halifax

By: Trevor J. Adams

SEASIDE RAMBLES

About a 45-minute drive west of Halifax on Route 333, you’ll come to the historic fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Ramble amongst the homes, fish sheds, and small local businesses, and you’ll see fishermen preparing for their next excursion on the wild North Atlantic, just as their ancestors have for generations. Perched on the rocks above the ocean is the village’s iconic lighthouse, one of the most-photographed sites in Nova Scotia. Here you’ll also find The Sou’wester, a friendly family restaurant that has been serving boiled lobster, seafood chowder, and fish and chips for five decades. (The home-style gingerbread is a local favourite).

Hit-the-Road_Peggy's-Cove
Photo: Tammy Fancy

Continue west on scenic Route 3 for about 130 kilometres, and you’ll make your way through the picturesque seaside villages of Chester and Mahone Bay. Your final destination on this itinerary is Lunenburg. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town is noted for its distinct historic architecture, and large assortment of world-class restaurants, galleries, and boutiques. It’s also the home port of the Bluenose II schooner, which graces the Canadian dime. While here, be sure to visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. Meet retired fishermen and learn about the East Coast’s fishing heritage from a plethora of exhibitions and artifacts.

 

Hit-the-Road_Clam-Harbour-Sandcastle-Competition
Photo: HRM

EASTERN ADVENTURES

Nova Scotia’s wild and rugged Eastern Shore is the perfect destination for hikers, kayakers, and beach lovers. About an hour’s drive east of the city on Highway 107, you’ll come to Clam Harbour Beach. This giant sandy beach is a local favourite, offering spectacular ocean vistas, good (albeit a bit chilly) swimming conditions, and balmy ocean breezes. On August 12, it hosts the Clam Harbour Sand Castle Competition.

Also in this area, you’ll find Memory Lane Heritage Village in nearby Lake Charles. This living-history village re-creates life in a 1940s-era rural Nova Scotian village, with several carefully restored buildings and expert guides and interpreters. It hosts special events throughout the summer, including the Atlantic Canada Harmonica Festival on August 11. And while you’re there, try a traditional meal in the cookhouse.

 

Hit-the-Road_Meander
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

EPICURIAN ESCAPADES

Heading northwest from Halifax on scenic Route 1 will lead you to the fecund Annapolis Valley. It’s known as “the breadbasket of Nova Scotia” and you’ll see why, with lush farms, orchards, and vineyards everywhere you look. En route, take a short detour into Ashdale and you’ll discover the charming little Meander River Farm craft brewery. It’s a great place to discover unique Nova Scotian beers and other farm products. (Phone ahead, hours vary).

Back on track to the Valley, you’ll next come to the Avondale Sky Winery & Restaurant in Windsor. Located in a restored church, this little gem of a spot offers a variety of wines, with tasty food pairings in the restaurant. Also in Windsor, you’ll discover the Schoolhouse Brewery, another small spot serving local (English-style) brews.

As you continue, keep an eye out for the many markets and produce stands (often a simple table at the end of a farm’s driveway) selling seasonal local produce. And history buffs will want to make a stop at Grand-Pré National Historic Site to learn about Nova Scotia’s early Acadian settlers.

The next major town you’ll come to is Wolfville. Just before you hit the downtown, you’ll come to Luckett Vineyards, one of the many wineries in this region. There’s a wine bar on site, and it hosts special events throughout the season. Also in Wolfville is Paddy’s Pub, a neighbourhood favourite brewpub serving house-made beers and hearty pub food.

There are many more wineries, breweries, and restaurants to explore in this region. If you decide to stay longer, drop by a visitor-info centre for a free guidebook.