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Two if By Sea

May Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

BEST IN BEAN

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•A favourite place for downtown coffee aficionados, The Trident on Hollis Street roasts its beans on-site, offering an array of hot drinks, loose tea and pastries. After you recharge, browse the eclectic mix of used books.

•Veteran coffeehouse Java Blend on North Street has been in the bean business since 1938 and roasts all of its coffee on-site. Unique coffee memorabilia and an old (but still working) coffee roaster add to the cozy, laid-back feel of the café.

•In Dartmouth, Two if by Sea Café is the go-to spot for coffee fiends, offering not just fabulous coffee but also indulgent fresh-baked croissants that can stand in for a meal. The café has a second location on the Halifax side in the Historic Properties near the Halifax Transit ferry terminal.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

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Offering French-inspired cuisine, Bistro le Coq on Argyle Street has the atmosphere of a Parisian bistro, with an ornate tin ceiling, elegant artwork and plush booths. Service en français is always available. Choose from tasty French classics like steak frites and glazed duck. There’s an extensive list of wines, with many served by the glass (including champagne). For dessert, try the layered Nutella crêpe cake.

SAVOUR SPRING

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The brainchild of award-winning Chef Renée Lavallée, The Canteen on Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth serves up flavourful sandwiches, salads and take-out dinners. Lavallée changes the menu daily to highlight fresh local ingredients. Breadmaster Jessica Best bakes all the bread on-site, including tasty gluten-free options.

SPLASH OF LIFE

Photo: Janice Hudson

Photo: Janice Hudson

A newcomer on Halifax’s vibrant diner scene, Robie Street Station has become the it-spot in Central Halifax for all-day breakfast and comfort food with a global twist. Colourful murals and local artwork decorate the charming eatery, located near the Halifax Common on Robie Street. Hit up Robie Street Express next door for a coffee and fresh baked-goods to go.

IN VINO VERITAS

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A stylish yet intimate space, Obladee on Barrington Street offers a range of stellar, hand-chosen wines, including special local vintages. Try the monthly cellar wine special: staff uncork top red and white vintages for customers to enjoy by the glass. Pair your choice with charcuterie from the local artisanal producers.

May Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

NEW DIGS

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After 10 years in business, Onyx moved recently to a sleek new location on Argyle Street, boasting a new wine bar and an expanded kitchen. The chic, award-winning resto bar specializes in small-plates and inventive cocktails. Executive Chef Tahir Salamat, voted this year’s Culinarian of the Year by the Nova Scotia Association of Chefs and Cooks, brings a unique global influence to the menu, showcasing fresh local flavours, including Northumberland rack of lamb and charcuterie from Oulton’s Farm in Windsor, Nova Scotia.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

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A bright and colourful eatery showcasing repurposed and vintage décor on Gottingen Street, Edna offers a unique dining experience ina revitalized part of the North End. Sit at the communal dining table that seats 18 for a fun group-dining atmosphere. Share some fresh oysters or order a customized charcuterie board showcasing fresh local ingredients. Open daily for dinner and weekend brunch, also offering late-night tapas from Thursday to Saturday.

BRUNCH IT UP

Chef Geir Simensen, Saege Bistro

Chef Geir Simensen, Saege Bistro

•Craving a fresh croissant and a cheerful atmosphere? Visit Two if By Sea Café on Upper Water Street in Halifax’s Historic Properties and Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth. Drop in for a fresh cappuccino or nosh on a variety of baked goods, including a fresh pain au chocolat or a prosciutto and cheese croissant.

•A staple of Halifax’s brunch scene, Saege Bistro near the Halifax Gardens on Spring Garden Road, boasts a bevy of colourful brunch dishes, including Norwegian waffles, panko-crusted crab cakes, and over six decadent options for eggs benedict. Try the butter-poached lobster or the mushroom and brie.

POUR A PINT

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The Henry House on Barrington Street is your go-to spot for a relaxed night out. The building dates back 1834 and inside you’ll find pub fare classics like pan-fried haddock, tasty burgers, house-made baked beans and fish cakes. On the drink side of things, choose from an extensive list of beer, including five local ales from Granite Brewery.

HIT THE HIGH NOTES

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The Carleton Music Bar and Grill on Grafton Street is an ideal spot to enjoy a night of live music with friends. Nosh on comfort food staples like steak and frites, seafood chowder or lobster mac and cheese. This award-winning live-music venue hosts sold-out shows of top local and national bands, while the bar offers a range of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails.