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Halifax

Hot Dining: Say Cheesecake

Mango Coconut Cheesecake from Sweet Hereafter

Mango Coconut Cheesecake from Sweet Hereafter

For a slice of rich and delicious city-style cheesecake, stop into Sweet Hereafter on Quinpool Road. Sit back, relax and take in the funky décor. Scrumptious cheesecake flavours include apple pecan, white chocolate raspberry, ginger pear, triple chocolate. Gluten-free and vegan flavours available, too.

Things to Do With Kids in Halifax

Things to do With Kids in Halifax

Things to do With Kids in Halifax: see Theodore!

Things to do With Kids in Halifax: See Theodore!
Kids’ reactions are always priceless when they stroll down Cable Wharf and see the giant smiling tugboat in the big red hat. Theodore Too is a loving life-sized re-creation of the eponymous Theodore Tugboat of PBS fame. Hop on board for a tour that lets your kids live the Big Harbour adventures they’ve seen so many times on television.
• Theodore Too Big Harbour Tours, Murphy’s Cable Wharf,1751 Lower Water St., 902-492-8847, theodoretugboat.ca
Map and reviews (more…)

Ultimate City Guide: The Best Things to Do in Halifax

Things to Do in Halifax

Watching the Highlanders: one of the top things to do in Halifax (Photo: baekken)

MARITIME GOTHIC

With centuries of history, a city gets its fair share of mysteries and folklore. Explore the city’s more sinister side with the Halifax Ghost Walk. Meet the group at 8:30 p.m. at the Old Town Clock on Citadel Hill (just up from Sackville Street). Narrators lead you through historic Halifax’s nooks and crannies, sharing tales of pirates, ghosts and haunted houses.

WIDE OPEN SPACES

At the south end of the peninsula, Point Pleasant Park is a popular year-round destination. Ocean-side and woodland trails draw hikers, bikers and runners in any weather. The park also hosts productions of theatre al fresco with Shakespeare by the Sea throughout the summer. In the midst of the downtown on Barrington Street, the Old Burying Ground is a secluded historic cemetery. It’s also notable as the resting place of British Major General Robert Ross, who burned Washington, D.C. in the War of 1812. Uptown on Spring Garden Road, the Halifax Public Gardens are one of the finest Victorian gardens in North America. In the summer, its bandstand hosts Sunday afternoon concerts. Across the harbour, the Dartmouth Common is a green oasis with splendid views of the Halifax skyline.

CENTRE STAGE

The region’s largest professional theatre company, Neptune Theatre on Argyle Street, wraps up another season with another blockbuster. Continuing through May 26, Legally Blonde: The Musical stars Halifax-born Lindsey Frazier as Elle Woods, in a Broadway re-invention of the Hollywood hit.

LOCAL HARVEST

From Lonely Planet to the Montreal Gazette to The New York Times, Halifax draws constant praise as a premier culinary destination. In the Guide to Dining you’ll find listings for a tremendous variety of restaurants. And discover where Halifax’s talented chefs find their inspiration: the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road. Fresh-baked goods, savoury snacks, artisanal cheeses, award-winning Nova Scotian wine and produce aplenty—you’ll find plenty to entice.

TIME TRAVEL

Still the geographic (and emotional) heart of the downtown, the Halifax Citadel is Canada’s most popular National Historic Site.

In Halifax’s early days, citizens were notoriously unpunctual. The solution, courtesy of an early noble, was the Old Town Clock on Sackville Street.

You can shop and dine where privateers once stashed their booty in the Historic Properties.

Discover a long line of sports heroes—most recently, Sidney Crosby. Learn more: Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame on Duke Street.

Devastated in the Halifax Explosion almost a century ago, the area now called The Hydrostone has regrown as a stylish neighbourhood with unique architecture, quaint shops and world-class dining.

DAY TRIPPIN’

Centrally located, Halifax is an ideal day-trip base. Take a 45-minute drive east, and you’ll find the Memory Lane Heritage Village, a living-history museum that re-creates life in rural Nova Scotia as it was 70 years ago. Or, take a 45-minute drive west, and you’ll find the historic fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Its iconic lighthouse, perched on the rocks just above the wild Atlantic waves, is Nova Scotia’s most photographed site.

 

Hot Dining: Viva Italia

 

A delicious pasta dish from Cafe Chianti

A delicious pasta dish from Cafe Chianti

Café Chianti on Barrington Street serves up a hearty menu of Northern Italian fare with fresh seafood, lamb and duck dishes. Their extensive wine cellar includes varietals from Chile, Spain, Argentina, South Australia and, of course, Italy.

Da Maurizio on Lower Water Street, three-time winner of the CAA Four Diamond Award, is known for its impeccable service, wine list and northern Italian menu. Indulge in antipasti such as Scampi Alla Marchese or Muscoli Alla San Remo. And don’t forget the desserts like tiramisu, sorbetti, and trio di brulee.

Hot Shopping: Be Crafty

The Loop Craft Cafe

The Loop Craft Cafe

Visit The Loop Craft Café on Barrington Street and pick your favourite colourful yarns from the shelves. This spot has a large selection of wool, crochet hooks, knitting needles, embroidery kits, colourful thread, patterns and more. Local products include spindles, glass buttons and needle felted animal sculptures.

For a creative spin, drop by Dartmouth Yarns. Located on Queen Street in Dartmouth, this store has the knitting tools you need, whether you’re a beginner or pro. Choose from a wide selection of yarns, knitting needles and more. Looking to start a new project or hobby? They also have kits for making bangles, yoga socks, silk purses, scarves and hats.

Hot Dates in Halifax: May

Beauty and the Beast plays a five-show engagement May 24-26. Photo: Joan Marcus

Beauty and the Beast plays a five-show engagement May 24-26. Photo: Joan Marcus

May 9:  Acclaimed roots singer/songwriter David Myles, fresh off a collaboration with rapper Classified, plays the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

May 10: Steve Patterson, host of The Debaters on CBC Radio brings his This is Not Debatable tour to Halifax. 

May 12: The Saint Cecilia Concert Series wraps up another season of celebrating classical music with a matinee concert at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts on Chebucto Road. Musician-in-Residence and cellist extraordinaire Shimon Walt performs, joined by his colleagues in the Rhapsody Quintet. Their varied repetoire includes a show-stopping rendition of the rock standard “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

May 15: One of the godfathers of outlaw country, Merle Haggard is enjoying a renaissance of late, releasing a string of critically acclaimed songs. He performs at the Halifax Metro Centre.

May 17 to 19: Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Blue Nose Marathon has plenty for both experienced runners and newcomers to the sport, including a youth run, a 5K and a 10K. The full marathon begins at the Old Town Clock on Sackville Street on May 19. It runs past Halifax Citadel, through the North End, back through the downtown along Barrington and Hollis streets, around Point Pleasant Park and back up to the Clock.

May 24 to 26: The classic Disney fairy tale Beauty and the Beast comes to life, as the touring version of the Broadway production plays a five-show engagement at the Halifax Metro Centre on Duke Street. Young fans will love the opulent costumes, detailed sets and familiar music.

 

Editor’s Choice

May 27 to June 9: The Scotia Festival of Music, Atlantic Canada’s largest annual celebration of chamber music, returns with a roster that reads like a who’s-who of chamber-music scene, including conductor Kenneth Woods, pianist Lynn Stodola, violinist Robert Uchida, cellist Denise Djokic, trumpeter Richard Simoneau, Composer-in-Residence Tim Brady and many more.

 

 

Hot Dining Halifax: Sweet Eats

The Middle Spoon Desserterie & Bar

Halifax’s first desserterie and bar, Middle Spoon on Barrington Street, is the perfect place for those with a sweet tooth. Indulge in fresh desserts like Chocolate Lava Cake, Peanut Butter Pie, New York cheesecake or a create-your-own sundae. The cocktail menu is just as decadent with choices including the Ruthless Ruby, Obsession and Pretty in Pink.

Fans of cheesecake will love Broadway Cheesecake Co. on South Park Street. But these aren’t your traditional flavours. Try tastes like apple caramel, Baklava, cherry crumble, chocolate banana rum and Reese Peanut Butter Cup. Or you can sample the pies or cupcakes. The menu also serves a selection of savoury sandwiches.

Hot Shopping Halifax: Sugar Fix

Sugar Shok Candy Boutique

If you’re craving sweets, check out Sugar Shok Candy Boutique. Located on Portland Street in Dartmouth, this funky spot opened last fall. It features a large assortment of classic candies, bubble gum, cake pops, chocolate and more. For something a little different, treat yourself and try the ChocoBacon (yes, chocolate dipped bacon). The store also has party accessories, funny greeting cards, neat knick-knacks, gifts and candy bouquets.

Susie’s Shortbreads is the place to be for cake and cookie fans. Located on Dresden Row and Bayers Lake, this sweet spot has a daily cupcake menu jam-packed with flavour. Try the lemon zinger, white chocolate raspberry or peppermint patty, to name a few. The red velvet is only on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so plan your week accordingly. Gluten-free and vegan options are also available. Prefer a cookie? Bite into a toffee chocolate chip or coconut vanilla.

For a quirky candy store experience, check out Freak Lunchbox. First founded in Halifax in 2001, this popular shop can be found on Barrington Street and the Bedford Highway. With circus-themed décor and colours galore, it’s a great place for kids—and kids at heart.

Hot Dining Halifax: Pizza Perfecto

Pizza at Piatto. Photo: Paula Bugden

The taste of Napoli makes its way to Halifax at Piatto Pizzeria + Enoteca on Morris Street, the only VPN-certified pizza in the Maritimes. Try a slice of Neopolitan-style pizza, all made with fresh ingredients including San Marzano tomatoes grown in the volcanic soils of Mount Vesuvius, and baked in a wood-burning oven. Pair it with an Italian wine.

Tomavino’s on South Street offers a relaxed, romantic atmosphere and great pizza, too. Pick up a six-inch pizza or a half nine-inch pizza with Caesar salad for lunch. For dinner indulge in the pizza vongole with baby clams, artichoke hearts, fresh roasted garlic, Parmesan and Alfredo sauce. Vegetable lovers can savour the pizza primavera with tomato sauce and three veggies.

For night owls, visit Freeman’s Little New York on Quinpool Road. Open seven days a week until 5 a.m., Freeman’s menu offers New York-style pizza with choices including Manhattan, BBQ chicken, Philly Cheesesteak and Greek.

 

Editor’s Choice:
Jennie Dobbs, owner of Morris East on Morris Street, takes some of the best local artisanal products and transforms them into creative dishes for every palate. Lunch and dinner menus include organic salads, unique appetizers and sandwiches and thin-crust pizzas baked in the wood-burning oven. The menu for Saturday and Sunday brunch offers wood-fired eggs, house-made bagels, and vanilla pear soufflé pancakes.

Hot Shopping Halifax: Metal Works

Pendants and other jewellery are available at Aiktens Pewter.

Handmade pewter collectibles, décor, tableware, jewellery, ornaments and more are the specialty at Aitkens Pewter in the Historic Properties on Upper Water Street.

Close by on Lower Water Street is Amos Pewter, where you can watch pewter being cast and learn about the company’s award-winning designs. Buy a gift or something for yourself on site.

Hot Dining Halifax: Go Greek

Enjoy greek dishes at Ela Greek Taverna

Treat your taste buds to flavourful cuisine at Athens on Quinpool Road. Chicken souvlaki on a bed of fresh veggies, baked lasagna, bruschetta and calamari are just a few on the list. In the mood for breakfast? Drop by for french toast, or bacon and eggs. The restaurant also just celebrated 30 years.

Craving a specialty dish? Visit Ela Greek Taverna. With locations in Bayers Lake and Dartmouth Crossing, the menu includes stuffed tomato and peppers, vegetarian mousaka, braised lamb and more.

Hot Dining Halifax: Small Bites, Big Taste

Pair a wine with a delicious cheese and charcuterie board at Obladee.

If you’re planning a special night out with friends or a date, visit Obladee on Barrington Street. The atmosphere is a mix of classy and casual. With a focus on smaller dishes and tasty wines, the menu boasts a wide selection of reds, whites, sparkling, pink and bottles from the cellar. Sip on some Blomidon from Annapolis Valley, or try a glass of pinot noir from New Zealand. Also pair your drink with appetizers, including a variety of cheese and charcuterie boards.

Chic style and fine dining sum up Onyx on Spring Garden Road. Treat yourself and choose from the new small plates menu, including focaccia balls, spicy lobster risotto, Quebec cheeses and more. The restaurant also has a long list of wines, cocktails and champagne. Celebrities Sir Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger have even dined here.