When I found out that Swoop Airline was now offering super-cheap flights from Hamilton to other provinces, I knew I had to look into it. Luckily for me, they were offering the best deal ever with flights around $70 between Hamilton-Halifax each way. Woo-hoo! Of course, I had to take them up on this offer, and explore the Nova Scotia food scene. With the help of Airbnb, a few bookings later we had a pretty cheap vacation on our hands… as long as I didn’t go wild on the seafood! 😉
During our trip, we travelled across the Nova Scotia coast-line – the west side – dining on the local specialties while we were there.
Here’s what we tried, by city and location:
Halifax is famous for their donairs (as the first place in Canada to offer them), and the food is actually the city’s “official” food. We tried Johnny K’s Authentic Donairs while there and we were not disappointed. Tons of roasted meat is piled high on a sub or wrap and smothered with sauces, tomatoes and onions. I would eat this so much if I lived in Halifax.
The Ardmore Tea Room has been in Halifax since 1958, and the dishes and prices still reflect that. (Maybe not quite, but for what you get the price is amazing!) We went there for a few simple dishes, but they seem to be famous for their breakfast. *This place is cash only, so make sure you hit the bank beforehand.
Goldwater Seafoods / Goldwater Lobster Shack in the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market was one that I knew I had to try while there. I struggled a little bit finding this one, since it’s off to the side of the market, but once I found it – oh yeah, so worth it. Goldwater does a fresh seafood bar with stuff to take home, but they also offer fresh Lobster Rolls with a side. I got a roll piled high with a tomato cuke salad on the side. I LOVED this meal.
Good Robot Brewing was another great find (thanks Instagram); not only do they have a sweet outdoor patio area, and amazing brews like Goseface Killah and Pink Flamingo, they partner with Rumble Fish Food Co. to create some amazing dishes. We tried the Pan Fry Haddock and Pork Butt Sandwich, which seemed pretty snazzy for a brewery, but we sure weren’t complaining!
Where we stayed: Private apartment in house with cove view
Extras to see: Halifax Waterfront / Pier 21 / Halifax Farmers Market, Citadel, Maritime Museum, Point Pleasant Park.
Rhubarb was a restaurant that was suggested to me by friends online. It was just past the tourist-area of Peggy’s Cove, so it wasn’t too hectic and busy. Also a great patio overlooking the water and friendly service. We tried the haddock fish and chips and white wine and garlic Mussels. For the cost, the portion of mussels was HUGE. They also had in-house made caramels, so we had to try these too of course.
Extras to see: Peggy’s Cove lighthouse + Harbour, Peggy’s Cove tidal pools: a path just off from the parking lot, Swissair flight 111 memorial, Lunenburg
The Shanty Cafe in Yarmouth was a cute little find for breakfast. I came across it after seeing their awesome reviews on google. They offer classic dishes at good prices, and the exterior of the building feels like it’s something right out of Ireland. The best part about The Shanty Cafe is that they provide meaningful employment to individuals who face barriers to employment as a result of disability, mental illness, age, language, literacy, etc. I love this!
Where we stayed: Spacious room, queen bed, ensuite
Extras to see: Cape Forchu, Cape Saint Mary
I could not go to Digby and not eat scallops, so I found myself some pan-fried scallops at The Crow’s Nest. There was a great upper deck patio overlooking the water, plus a cute interior and a good little shopping strip in town. (The bookstore in town, Crooked Timber, has around 60,000 books in their stock!)
Extras to see: Maud Lewis Replica House
Seafood Chowder was one of my must-haves for the trip, and since our trip was coming to an end, I went on the search for it in Wolfville. Paddy’s Brew Pub has famous chowder, so I went with that. Big chunks of fish, scallops and shrimp were in the creamy broth. Just what I needed!
Apparently, they also brew their own beers at this location.
Middleton / Kingston
While we stayed in Margaretsville, The Big Scoop was a nearby joint to find some tasty homemade eats at super good prices. Established in 1974, it seems like this is the family go-to in the area and despite being a strange time to eat when we visited, the place was still full. We got basics like a Turkey Dinner and Chicken Fingers, but it was just what the doctor ordered. They have a pretty extensive menu, so anyone is sure to find something they would like. At the cash they also had handmade Dulse, which I was hoping to try while in Nova Scotia. Definitely an acquired taste, but it was so different from anything I had tried before, and I do love new experiences!
Where we stayed: Private bed & bathroom for two on the Bay of Fundy
Extras to see: The Look-Off, Blomidin Provincial Park, Medford Beach, Houston’s Beach
This was my Piece de Resistance of the trip, I couldn’t go to Nova Scotia and not have a proper Lobster meal. I had researched heavily to find the best lobster dinner in the area and came across Hall’s Harbour Lobster Pound. I feel like this was the most *Nova Scotia* feel of the whole trip. Despite being sunny during our drive there, when we got to Hall’s Harbour there was a thick fog across everything, amazing views of the Bay of Fundy, and the most picturesque little harbour; which the restaurant sat on. You order your meal inside the gift shop, for me: a small Lobster Dinner with potato salad. The woman behind the cash handed me a bucket with my live lobster in it, and I had to carry him to the kitchen. Poor dude, but I thanked him for his service of feeding me! Then you take your seat either inside or just by the water, and await your meal. With the roll, potato salad, and melted butter, this meal was everything I hoped for and more. (There’s also a great little pottery shop just next door, make sure to visit it!)
All in all, this was one of my fave trips yet. I can’t wait for my next visit to the east coast and Nova Scotia.
Have you been to Nova Scotia and Halifax? What was your favourite restaurant or food item that you tried?
*This post is unsponsored; thoughts and opinions are my own.