Guest Post by: Jody Robbins December 22, 2015
Kitchen parties aside, it’s no secret Nova Scotia is one delicious destination. From the lush orchards of the Annapolis Valley to the seafood that anchors the shores, fresh and local is a way of life here. Whether you’re hankering for surf or turf, here are 7 dining experiences you’ll want to tuck into when next visiting this maritime hot spot.
With a focus on locally sourced comfort food, there’s always something sizzling at this neighbourhood bistro in Halifax’s north-end. Buzzing with an eclectic crowd drawn to the ever changing menu and inventive cocktails, this is a joint where everyone feels at home, even vegans. While it’s a coveted spot in the capital for dinner, brunch shouldn’t be overlooked, not when freshly baked goods made by the owner’s mother are on the menu.
Most people come to Pictou Lodge Beach Resort for the laid back vibe and cozy cabins that cradle that Atlantic. Yet it’s Oceanside Dining that sets this seaside resort apart from other holiday destinations. Chef Carey, an instructor at Nova Scotia Community College hand picks his best students to work alongside him during the summer season. With a farm to fork focus, the dining room easily surpasses the 60% local ingredients criteria set out by Taste of Nova Scotia. The result is perfectly executed dishes bursting with local flavour. Try the Lobster Eggs Benedict or the house-made Agnolotti.172 Lodge Road, Braeshore, Pictou
Intimate and elegant, this casual fine dining restaurant is the ultimate date night destination. Attentive wait staff encourage diners to linger over their meal in one of two candlelit bijou dining rooms. Sip a glass from one of Halifax’s best cellars, while munching on Asian influenced scallops shrink wrapped in rice paper. Or sink your teeth into bison carpaccio served with truffled grilled cheese. End your meal on a sweet note with the clever Tahitian vanilla panna cotta accompanied by drunk and sober berries.
5183 Morris Street, Halifax
You can’t go to a province known for its seafood and not crack shells, now can you? Lobster suppers are a tradition not to be missed, and the Shore Club is just as popular with locals as it is tourists. (Even Charles and Di dined here back in the day!) Dinner begins with all you can eat mussels, followed by a freshly caught Atlantic lobster, unlimited salads and dessert. It’s not fancy, but it is scrumptious, honest fare you’ll throw back while sitting at long banquet tables. You’ll likely begin your meal not knowing your dining companions, but we’re pretty sure you won’t leave a stranger.
Located along the picturesque Lighthouse Route, getting to this bakery is half the fun. A ferry whisks you to this breakfast and lunch spot housed inside a Victorian-era building formerly used as a sea-trading centre. There’s no shame in ordering seconds of their delectable baked goods, as the grains used are hyper local and freshly milled. With an extensive collection of locally made preserves, you’ll want to snap up a few edible souvenirs, too.
Chives Canadian Bistro
From pasta to charcuterie to ice cream, almost everything is made with local ingredients at this from scratch restaurant focusing on Canadian cuisine. Meals start with a maritime tradition – buttermilk biscuits served in a brown paper bag and drizzled with molasses (not butter!). If the Ricotta Gnocchi with fresh Digby Scallops is on the menu, you’ll want to order that, but as this restaurant works with local farmers to showcase the best of the season, expect menu items to change frequently.
1537 Barrington Street, Halifax
The South Shore Fish Shack
The vista from this casual eatery in postcard pretty Lunenburg is reason enough to chow down here. Sit at the outdoor patio and gaze upon the shimmering sea, as Bluenose II holds court in the harbour. It’s a tough call deciding between a lobster roll, fish and chips or the fried clams, but you ought to go with the latter. Many seafood joints will try to fool you by serving up clam strips. Not here. You get plump, juicy morsels of Digby clams served on top a mound of freshly cut fries. Expect to waddle out stuffed, but happily so.
108 Montague Street, Lunenburg
Where are your favourite spots to eat in the Maritimes?