A city always has its exciting key tourist attractions to visit – those places that make all the guide books and ‘best of’ lists. But if you want an authentic trip, are new to a city, or just don’t get out much, you’ve got to find out where the locals spend their time. Those places that have the best music, or fries, or the coldest beer – the places that keep people coming back for more. So after you’ve explored Citadel Hill and the Seaport Farmer’s Market, here are ten other ‘can’t miss’ places:
Java Blend – 6027 North St.
My vote for the best coffee in the city. They roast their beans on site, which helps ensure freshness and top flavor. Not only does the taste put other major chain coffee shops to shame, but their insanely cheap pricing sweetens the deal even further. While I would suggest you make it to their flagship location, many coffee shops in Halifax use Java Blend beans, so there’s a good chance if you’re having a great cup of coffee in Halifax, it started here.
Johnny’s Snack Bar – 6204 Almon St.
Classic diner food. Cooked by a sweet elderly couple and served by their sons, Johnny’s is the best hangover cure you’ll find for $8.
Stillwell – 1672 Barrington St.
Stillwell is not a Halifax secret anymore, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a place that locals love more. With a constantly changing tap list of craft beers from around the region – and beyond – it’s the perfect place for after work drinks, Saturday night drinks, Sunday afternoon drinks … For the summer, Stillwell has also opened up the Stillwell Beer Garden, the ultimate place to spend time outside in the summer. Good beer and great sausages on the Halifax waterfront – there’s not much better.
Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market – 2 Ochterloney St.
The first time I visited the Alderney Landing Farmers Market, I didn’t expect to be so impressed. With the ‘main’ market in Halifax being the Seaport Farmers Market, I assumed there would be a smaller selection of goods and vendors available. I was pleasantly surprised. Boasting your market favourites – veggies, fruit, fresh bread and preserves – Alderney Landing also has a solid selection of food to go and other surprises. Perhaps best of all, if you’re coming from Halifax you can take the Dartmouth ferry, which is always a great way to start any day.
Sweet Pea Boutique – 1542 Queen St.
Halifax is the biggest city in the Maritimes, so naturally it’s become a bit of a shopping destination. While a lot of tourists might make their way to one of the shopping malls, locals know the best finds come from our solid selection of independents. Need the perfect dress for a wedding, girls night, date night [insert your special event here]? Sweet Pea has you covered. Bringing in limited amounts of the same style, you can ensure that you’re going to have something original and beautiful, all for an affordable price. It doesn’t hurt that the staff is comprised of the loveliest group of ladies who are always there to help.
Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique – 1658 Market St.
Featuring work from Nova Scotian artisans, as well as the best of those abroad, Inkwell is my go-to stop when I need a card and generic just won’t do. With cards for all occasions, as well as prints, textiles and other beautiful gifts … that you might just want to keep for yourself.
Ace Burger at Gus’ Pub – 2605 Agricola St.
While the craze might be all about burgers covered with heaping gourmet toppings, Ace does your traditional burger right. With minimal toppings, you get to focus on the quality of the burger (local beef!), and the atmosphere of Gus’ – a dive bar that has had a new life breathed in to it with the addition of Ace.
Propeller Brewery – 2015 Gottingen St.
If you’re visiting Nova Scotia, don’t waste your time visiting the big breweries. Sure, grab a Keith’s if it feels right – but the locals will be choosing something from our craft brewers. A favourite in my house is Propeller Brewery. They’ve got a good array of beer to choose from, and you can get your growler filled for $1 less on Wednesdays (that’s 1.89 L of beer for $9). Not a beer drinker? They make a mean root beer, too.
Moksha Yoga – 1512 Dresden Row
Maintaining a regular practice keeps me sane. While there are many great studios in Halifax, Moksha is the one for me. I love hot yoga, but more than that I love the awesome staff that always greet me when I arrive. I couldn’t ask for a better yoga family.