We know good food in Nova Scotia! We like it local, in season. We enjoy the bounty of our harvest and of the sea. Sometimes we like it fancy, sometimes we like home cooking, but anyway we like it, we always like it fresh.
The food scene in Nova Scotia is an ecclectic mix of culinary creativity and tradition, you can find something for everyone. So, we've reached out to locals across our social networks to find out which restaurants they liked the best. And respond they did! There were too many restaurants to mention in one post, but we compiled a list of the ones that were mentioned the most. The results below are a mix of everything from fine dining to quaint bakeries to greasy spoons.
The Bicycle Thief
What to expect: North America food with an Italian soul
- The food is amazing and their location, right on the waterfront, makes it one of my favourites :) igers_novascotia on Instagram
- I have been there many times: "Insalatona" beyond compare, beef tenderloin as steak or burger, fantastic! My personal favourite, their seafood dishes, amazing; (they also have a lobster roll which I understand is great)... but on Friday or Saturday nights, get a reservation ASAP. Susan F-R on Facebook
Chives Canadian Bistro
Barrington St., Halifax
What to expect: Extraordinary casual dining, seasonal, local menu.
Locals said: Their creme brulee remains the yardstick against which we compare all others. And it's very kid friendly. @IronLady72 on Twitter
What to expect: Quintessential greasy spoon.
Locals said: John's Lunch in Dartmouth make the best fried clams around and the best coleslaw I've ever eaten! - Rhonda H on Facebook
The Coastal Café
Robie St., Halifax
What to expect: Creative breakfast, lunch and brunch.
Locals said: Coastal Café on Robie is simply delicious, and worth going there for their limited brunch times! Their menu is anything BUT limited! - Sophie R. on Facebook
EDNA (Eat Drink Nourish Always)
Gottingen St., Halifax
What to expect: A creative upscale bistro with communal dining (no reservations accepted or required). Open for dinner - brunch on weekends.|
Locals said: Duck confit from Edna's brunch menu is to die for! Crazy cool place to grab a bar seat and order up an oyster Cesar for $10.00 – Jessica N on Facebook
The Press Gang Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Prince St., Halifax
What to expect: Fine dining and one of the best oyster bars in the city.
Locals said: My favourite restaurant in Halifax! @miss_gabriellaL on Instagram
Cape Breton Island
The Bite House
Baddeck, Cape Breton Island
What to expect: Expect to make a reservation! This 12 seat restaurant fills up fast.
- Can't top a five course, expertly prepared, locally sourced meal in a century old farmhouse. @Barbatia on Twitter
- Sweet charming farmhouse setting. So so special. @Billyvette on Instagram
The Red Shoe Pub
What to expect: Delicious pub grub and usually some fabulous live celtic music.
- Red Shoe Pub in Mabou! The best Gaelic atmosphere in the whole Inverness County @gaeliccouncilNS on Twitter
- It's about more than food at the Red Shoe but what an amazing place! - Tom K on Facebook.
Lobster Pound and Moore
What to expect: Creative seafood dishes and world cuisine
Locals said: A hidden gem, cannot say enough about the food and staff. - Angela S on Facebook
Black Spoon Bistro
What to expect: Sandwiches, soups, salads and pastas - casual, modern atmosphere.
Locals said: I loved The Black Spoon in North Sydney. Black Pepper Strawberries were so good.
The Dancing Goat Café & Bakery
What to expect: Creative bakery with great breakfast and lunch. Gluten-free options!
Locals said: Great sandwiches, lovely atmosphere & fabulous coffee! - @beavgriz on Twitter
Salt Shaker Deli
What to expect: Casual, fun atmosphere. Scratch menu with local seafood and thin crust pizzas.
Locals said: Love the sweet tea and clam chowder.
What to expect: Fresh seafood and home cooked meals in a fun, retro atmosphere.
Locals said: One of our favourites was the Magnolia Grill in Lunenburg - scallops and fish cakes were awesome! Starr E-B. on Facebook
What to expect: Home smoked meats, fresh in season seafoods.
Locals said: Their delicious dedication to providing meals with Nova Scotia ingredients makes them a not to be missed restaurant! - Michelle S. on Facebook
Rose and Rooster Bakery
What to expect: Sweet roadside cafe with fresh bread and pasteries, great for breakfast and lunch to get a coffee and sweets for your seaside drive.
What locals said: Their classic Nova Scotia brown bread all toasted and buttered just melts in your mouth. - Cindy B. on Facebook
The Townhouse Brewpub & Eatery
What to expect: Locally raised meats, fresh seafood, great atmosphere with live music.
Locals said: The Townhouse Brew Pub and Eatery in Antigonish has amazing food; locally sourced, artistically rendered and truly unique. Not only is it the coolest pub to hang out in, it hosts fantastic musicians, has its own handcrafted beer, and is the centre social spot of our town. But the food! The food. You need to come for the food. (BBQ pork & apple stew, toasted cumin & coriander, wild nettles & ramps, baby turnip tops, maple sour cream.)
Not Your Mama's Kitchen
What to expect: A true farm to table restaurant.
Locals said: All their food is from local farms, great presentation, kind owners and a positive atmosphere! @_jchisholm on Instagram
Annapolis Valley and Bay of Fundy
Lavena’s Catch Cafe
What to expect: Delicious seafood - a fabulous way to end a day of whale watching. Make reservations, it gets busy!
Locals said: Reya Azami Lavena's Catch in Freeport. Scallops. Upscale coastal shack ambiance, and buttery scallops that're like eating fine, miniature seafood steaks in delicious broth. 'Nuff said. – Reya A on Facebook.
Wild Caraway Restaurant and Café
What to expect: Fresh, local, gourmet, creative... a beautiful fine dining experience.
- The Wild Caraway in Advocate Harbour. I would drive all the way from Halifax just to eat there. @LadyLeslie_
- We always book an overnight stay, and have a magical anniversary dinner. @smlowe5637 on Twitter
The Port Pub & Bistro
What to expect: Great pub food with an amazing patio view and local craft brews.
Locals said: Port Williams hands down! Whenever I go I don't leave only impressed with the food, but with the whole experience. The service is absolutely fantastic, and the patio experience just can't be beat. @cait_hudson on Instagram
Harbour View Restaurant
What to expect: A family restaurant close to the sea!
Locals said: Harbour View Restaurant, Parrsboro great family dining, Inexpensive and the food is so good, we will drive from Dartmouth to there just for lunch or supper. The view is great and then a walk along the beach just outside their door. – Daisy Mae on Facebook
Yarmouth and Acadian Shores
Rudder's Brew Pub & Seafood Restaurant
What to expect: Craft brews and fresh seafood!
Locals said: The best seafood; craft beer; Delish fish cakes w/spinach salad @jocecreative on Twitter
Do you have a favourite restaurant that wasn't mentioned? Tell us about it in the comments.