Halifax’s pulse beats the loudest downtown, where the waterfront and the Seaport Farmers’ Market act as the anchors and the iconic Citadel Hill presides over it all. In between is a grid of streets packed high and tight with historic and modern buildings testifying to the city’s 200-plus years and 21st-century hopes. Here craft beer bars and classic pubs reside alongside fine dining restaurants, bistros with seafood caught today and unbeatable late-night takeout.
SPRING GARDEN ROAD & SOUTH END
Bordering downtown and extending to the tip of the peninsula is the South End, a colonial time capsule meets cosmopolitan hub. Think award-winning Thai and Japanese restaurants near Turkish and Persian gems. Think of a craft beer garden by old-world Italian restos and old-school burger joints. And think of the city’s newest meeting place: the Central Library, a five-floor glass living room with two cafés, including one on the top floor with breathtaking views of the harbour.
HALIFAX’S NORTH END
The North End is a tight-knit community with strong African-Nova Scotian roots where craft breweries and farm-to-table restaurants share streets with urban gardens and colourful row houses. This is where the city’s trendsetters go to play, an enclave for artists, baristas, bartenders and chefs looking to tap into the neighbourhood’s built-in grit while forging something new. This is Halifax at its most creative.
QUINPOOL ROAD & WEST END
Underrated no more, the West End has Quinpool Road, one of the most diverse culinary streets in the Maritimes, and the Windsor and Cunard Streets hub, which is quickly becoming a gastronomic haven in the city. You’ll find everything from sushi to Korean barbecue here, a vegan restaurant to an Italian-American godsend, hip cafés to a Cambodian-via-Nova-Scotia dream of an eatery. This is also home to The Brooklyn Warehouse, a laidback bistro that tops many locals’ best-of lists.
Ten minutes by ferry from Downtown Halifax, this burgeoning neighbourhood with a stellar weekend farmers’ market is beginning to boom. Young creatives are moving in, and with them have come upscale comfort food eateries, a craft beer bar, a crêperie and cafés with beans roasted nearby. The hood’s blue-collar character is still worn proudly here, however, which hopefully stays put as the community continues to grow.
This fertile trough near the Bay of Fundy is where gently sloping vineyards, small farms and backroad gourmet eateries dot the landscape. Have a taste of the Valley’s fresh bounty on Saturday mornings at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market and then head out into the fields to see and toast to where it comes from. A good place to start is at a few of the 10-plus wineries found here, many famous for their award-winning sparklings and bright, crisp whites.
Classically Nova Scotian, the South Shore is all about rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, picturesque fishing communities and some of the freshest seafood in the province. For the best views, follow the meandering Lighthouse Route from Halifax to see why this is one of the top coastal destinations in the world. When you get hungry, stop into Lunenburg or Mahone Bay for a taste of the province’s most acclaimed restaurants.