My husband and I were celebrating our first wedding anniversary this year and we wanted to have a fun getaway. We were looking for somewhere close that would justify only being there for a long weekend and somewhere we’ve never fully experienced together. May sound like a weird destination for a romantic getaway, but we hopped on a Porter flight to Halifax.
I search for beautiful/unique Air Bnb’s like it’s my job, I follow Air Bnb hashtags on Twitter and Instagram and follow the ‘Best of’ Air Bnb accounts. It’s a fun little hobby I have. I found a cute spot on the north end run called Urban Garden Flat run by owner Terry, who left a little message board out for us wishing us a Happy Anniversary with snacks and local beers. I would highly recommend this place as it was beautifully decorated, had everything you could ever need and the price was right. Check them out at this link here: https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/31846253
This little place happened to be located in a foodie’s paradise. Close to fun spots Fortune Doughnuts (2306 Gottingen St – www.fortunedoughnut.com ) and Vandal Doughnuts (2150 Gottingen St – www.vandaldoughnuts.com) (man, two spots so close together, but I obviously had to try both) We had a chocolate berry doughnut at Vandal and a Dunakroo’s donut from Fortune, a classic snack from my childhood, yes please! Both locations had tons of really unique options like Vandal’s unicorn poop (filled with meringue) and a Boston cream donut decorated to look like a possessed cat at Fortune.
There was also another great place for grab breakfast on the run at which was LF Bakery (2063 Gottingen St – www.lfbakeryhalifax.com ) . We stopped here to grab lattes, chocolate pepitos and a ham sandwich for our little road trip to Peggy’s Cove. We always trust in the locals and the line up here was out the door! We were given many suggestions from other people who were also waiting and they did not lead us astray. The pepito was flaky and buttery, the chocolate inside was divine. We really savoured it and it was worth the delay in getting on the road. My husband said the fresh bread his sandwich was made on was out of this world. If you’re planning on check this place out, go early.
If you’re still looking for something sweet, Terry, the Air BnB owner recommended we stop by Dee-Dee’s ice cream ( 5668 Cornwallis St – www.deedees.ca ) , a short walk away. We arrived to another small lineup, which we didn’t mind as its sure sign of a good thing. There were many flavours to choose from but we landed on banana cardamom (tasted exactly like banana bread!) and caramel ripple. It was a great afternoon snack to enjoy with the sun that decided to finally peek through the clouds.
Since we were there for our anniversary, we decided to treat ourselves to a fancy dinner out. Normally, we don’t really require all the bells and whistles of a fancy schmancy place, but it seemed like everyone we talked to recommend this place for a date night. Located right by the Halifax harbourfront, The Bicycle Thief (1475 Lower Water St - www.bicyclethief.ca ) is a romantic restaurant that boasts about their North American dishes with an ‘Italian soul’. The service here was incredible, Leo ordered the pistachio honey crusted salmon and I enjoyed the beef short rib, cooked to perfection and falling off the bone with some mashed potatoes and asparagus. We shared an insalata panzanella with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, garlic croutons and fresh mozzarella (still thinking about it, to be honest) and saved room for dessert with decadent chocolate coconut pie and blueberry cheesecake. The atmosphere here was perfect and I bet the patio would have made for an even more romantic meal by the water, just wishing we had better weather for our visit! If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate a special occasion, this would be the place.
We were sort of bad tourists and waited until we were on our way back to the airport to try some famous Halifax Donair. We missed the popular haunts downtown and headed to Basha’s Pizza Donair’s and Subs in Cole Harbour, Darmouth after spying some great Yelp reviews (www.bashapizza.weebly.com) It was cheap, cheerful and delicious for a last meal before leaving. I can see why this dish is so popular! I would be happy to try more places around downtown Halifax during out next visit.
Another great stop if you decide to leave the city and drive about 45 minutes to Peggy’s Cove is Shaw’s Landing (6958 Peggy’s Cove Rd, West Dover) with a logo out front reading ‘Lobster and Beer – Enough Said’ who can go wrong? My husband was talking about having some fresh lobster from the moment the plane landed, so he ordered one along with clam chowder and fried clam (he was very excited, what can I say?) I stuck with the classic fish and chips with tartar sauce and coleslaw. Shaw’s Landing has a great back patio overlooking the water, we watched fishing boats go by, reeling up lobster traps, geese swim past with their babies following close behind and enjoyed the sunshine. Quality of the food was amazing, you can’t get anything fresher. I’m not really a fish person, but I enjoyed my meal.
Looking for a drink now? Well, you’re in luck. Halifax is drowning in craft breweries. There was one a 2 minute walk from our Air Bnb. Propeller Brewery (2015 Gottigen St – www.drinkpropeller.ca ) is Nova Scotia’s bestselling microbrewery. We struck gold, and happened upon them during a cask night where we were able to try Galaxy Dry Hopped with Sabro and Mosaic. I also indulged in some Spooky Sour Saison while Leo, a lager man, stuck with Common, a California Style lager.
Propeller has a great property, a large area upstairs with plenty of seating and games, and downstairs was a really fun pinball and arcade game bar. Nothing goes together better than sipping on some great beer and shooting some pixelated deer on the old school Buck Hunter.
We also loved quirky brewery Good Robot ( 2736 Robie St – www.goodrobotbrewing.ca ). Dog friendly patio, serves great food inside, and lots of selection and guest taps. They also have what’s called a Crappy Hour, which they sell off the ‘worst selling’ brew of the day for $5 a pint. We arrived during the dinner rush, so took a seat on the patio even though unfortunately for us, it wasn’t really patio weather. Their answer to the chilly weather was to offer up blankets. Did the trick for me. We stayed for a round and a flight. We had an interesting flight filled with jalapeno and lime zest infused lagers, a fruity pilsner made with sweet tarts and a stout with peanuts and chili.
Unfiltered Brewing (6041 North St www.unfuckingfiltered.com ), a short walk away, was a bar with a fun/bad attitude. There’s a flag behind the bar that reads ‘This Place Sucks’ and writing on the wall of the bathroom that reminded you to “turn off the fucking lights”. They had a good selection of bar snacks, peperettes, cheese boards, ramen noodles, dill pickle chips, and a great punk music play list. I had one of my favourite beers ever from the trip, Hoppy Fingers, which is a hoppy APA. Wish I spent a little more time here, but we had to fly as the Raptors game was about to start at a bar down the street.
If you’re in the mood for some cider, Chain Yard Urban Cidery (2606 Agricola St –www.chainyardcider.com) had a great patio and rotating selection of guest and house ciders. We didn’t stay too long as we were hopping from place to place, but would recommend Foundation, an off dry cider and Intrepid, a dry cider.
The last brewery we were able to stop at was Garrison Brewing ( 1149 Marginal Rd –www.garrisonbrewing.com ) They’re located right by the Halifax Farmers Market and a staple in the area. They had a great tap room and I couldn’t resist sampling their sour selection even though it was only 11:30am (thanks for not judging me, guys). I could see this place being packed at night, I really loved the set up and there was so much room to sit and hang with your drinking buddies. It also looked like there was sort of a music scene there with tons of posters on the walls of the different artists making appearances. Loved the sour’s enough to bring some back home in my suitcase. (I’m looking at you Sour to the People!)
Hope this gives you an idea of what to expect on the craft beer scene in Halifax. We didn’t even get close to covering them all but we can always save that for another trip.
If you have any recommendations on what I should drink or eat next time around, please leave them below!
Until next trip!
Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.