Down­town

The world is your oys­ter—or oys­ter bar— down­town, where pubs, clubs, don­airs and fine din­ing await.

The Coast - Food and Drink Guide Halifax - - Front Page -

AR­GYLE BAR & GRILL

The Ar­gyle is a bar that wears many hats: It’s a great brunch date, a killer desserterie, a red-hot pizza-maker, a bang­ing DJ venue with an oft-packed dance­floor—plus in the sun­nier sea­son it of­fers up side­walk and rooftop pa­tio ac­tion. 1575 Ar­gyle Street, 902-492-8844

AS YOU LIKE IT

This down­town Hal­i­fax cafe has been serv­ing hot cof­fee and healthy break­fast and lunch (and cater­ing) since 1978. Whether you’re pop­ping in for a quick dose of or­ganic and fair trade caf­feine, home­made baked goods and pip­ing hot soups or a hearty sand­wich (break­fast sam­mies are served all day!) there are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to sat­isfy your needs. 1660 Hol­lis Street and 5161 Ge­orge Street, 902-422-2525

ASAP MABUHAY BAR & GRILL

Chances are you didn’t know this place had seat­ing, but you’ve been lured down Blow­ers by the smell of its de­li­cious BBQ. Next time go in­side. A great lunch op­tion with an ar­ray of Philip­pine dishes on the buf­fet, and a late-night fave with Rocky’s fa­mous ke­babs. 5237 Blow­ers Street, 902-423-5547

THE AUC­TION HOUSE

Serv­ing up cold drinks and up­scale pub food out of an ac­tual former auc­tion house (it’s one of the city’s old­est build­ings, built in 1765), Grafton Con­nor Group’s Auc­tion House isn’t just a res­tau­rant, but a live mu­sic venue, too. An ad­mirable burger list, ap­pies like deep-fried cheese curds, Ir­ish pou­tine and cheese stout dip, cre­ative brunch op­tions and sam­mies, sal­ads and home­made desserts would tempt any menu-browser. 1726 Ar­gyle Street, 902-431-1726

BAAN THAI RES­TAU­RANT

Serv­ing au­then­tic Thai cui­sine to Haligo­ni­ans for more than a decade, Baan con­tin­ues to de­liver thai-rrific food. Menu items in­clude—but are cer­tainly not limited to; its on­line menu fea­tures de­li­cious pic­tures of dozens of dishes—more than half a dozen cur­ries like the ever-pop­u­lar red, green and yel­low va­ri­eties, along with chicken sa­tay, spring rolls, noo­dles, Pad Thai and Tom Yum soup. 5234 Blow­ers Street, 902-446-4301

BÂTON ROUGE

Lo­cated in the land­mark Morse’s Tea build­ing steps away from the His­toric Prop­er­ties, this chain res­tau­rant looks nothing like a big-box spot. With gi­ant wooden beams, old brick­work and a gi­ant pa­tio, the down­town lo­ca­tion is great in the sum­mer months for a beer and some fin­ger-lick­ing food. Along with fam­ily res­tau­rant clas­sics like spinach dip and club sand­wiches, Ba­ton Rouge serves up­ca­sual seared Ahi tuna sal­ads, pork back ribs and sir­loin steaks. 1877 Hol­lis Street, 902-407-0007

BEAVER SAILOR DINER

Hand­made noo­dles, bit­ter­sweet bub­ble tea and Asian fu­sion snack dishes make Beaver Sailor Diner so spe­cial. Cheery ser­vice and brand­ing don’t hurt ei­ther. 1820 Hol­lis Street, 902-932-9550

BISTRO LE COQ

A beau­ti­ful and invit­ing French bistro on Ar­gyle Street that blends the new with the old. In this lit­tle slice of Paris you’ll find French com­fort food on the menu, a great se­lec­tion of wines be­hind the bar plus solid ser­vice and friendly at­mos­phere around every cor­ner. 1584 Ar­gyle Street, 902-407-4564

BIT­TER END

If your night be­gins at the Bit­ter End, it’s sure to be a great one. This mar­tini bar and res­tau­rant has shaken and stirred over one mil­lion of its fa­mous cock­tails since open­ing in 2000, so they’re about as per­fect as they come. The food is home-spun and glob­ally in­flu­enced by chef Peter Wil­son, of­fer­ing dishes like Thai beef sriracha salad and pro­sciutto wrapped por­to­bello sa­tays. 1572 Ar­gyle Street, 902-425-3039

BLUENOSE II RES­TAU­RANT

This fam­ily res­tau­rant is as much a down­town Hal­i­fax land­mark as the fa­mous ship for which it’s named. No-non­sense ser­vice with home­style Mar­itime fare, Greek en­trees and a good diner break­fast make Bluenose a busy spot. 1824 Hol­lis Street, 902-425-5092

BOS­TON PIZZA, HAL­I­FAX

A pop­u­lar fran­chise and re­laxed sports bar at­mos­phere and a wide range of menu items, in­clud­ing pas­tas, burg­ers and of course, pizza. 1858 Granville Street, 902-422-8600

BUR­RITO JAX

Have you ever fallen for a bur­rito? A lot of food love sto­ries have started here, at the flag­ship Bur­rito Jax. With a wall full of Best of Food awards, this down­town hotspot wins over the lunch crowd with in­cred­i­bly fresh and flavour­ful bur­ri­tos, gluten-free bur­rito bowls and ooey-gooey que­sadil­las, but also woos many a nightowl, who af­ter a few brew are won­der­ing “Where­fore art thou, Jax Chicken?” 5215 Blow­ers Street, 902-406-0088

CAN­VAS RESTO LOUNGE

Can­vas’ at­mos­phere is ri­valled by its cre­ative plate pre­sen­ta­tion. This mod­ern, ca­sual-meets-up­scale spot is sort of like fine din­ing, with­out the fine din­ing prices, serv­ing up burg­ers, sand­wiches and ap­pies in­spired by the sea­sons, and a boast-wor­thy wine list and cock­tail menu. 1583 Brunswick Street, 902-425-4278

THE CAR­LETON MU­SIC BAR & GRILL

The cor­ner of Prince and Ar­gyle isn’t just the land­mark build­ing that was once the Car­leton Ho­tel, but a land­mark on the live mu­sic scene, too. Mike Camp­bell’s The Car­leton has been earn­ing its rep­u­ta­tion for great tunes and great times since 2008, win­ning Venue of the Year awards from both Mu­sic Nova Sco­tia and the East Coast Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion. Check out the brunch, crave the frites, stay for the songs. 1685 Ar­gyle Street, 902-422-6335

CHEERS BAR & GRILL

Cliff Clavin and Norm Peter­son would love down­town Hal­i­fax’s take on Cheers. There’s never a dull mo­ment at The Dome’s more ma­ture sib­ling bar, where you can take in karaoke with the le­gendary Jackie Smith (Mon­days), killer DJS and video par­ties and live mu­sic every Thurs­day through Satur­day. Sure, ev­ery­body doesn’t know your name, but the beers are cold, the com­pany’s great and the dance floor’s packed any given night. 1741 Grafton Street, 902-421-1655

DHARMA SUSHI

Hideki Ya­mamoto opened Dharma Sushi to hun­gry mouths back in 1995, and its been serv­ing up rock­ing rolls, fresh sashimi and de­lec­ta­ble Ja­panese cui­sine ever since. Now un­der the lead­er­ship of Dharma vet Ami Goto, the res­tau­rant con­tin­ues to ex­pand upon its de­lec­ta­ble dishes, of­fer cater­ing ser­vices and per­fect pa­tio sea­son. 1476 Ar­gyle Street, 902-425-7785

THE DOME

Those look­ing to dance usu­ally find them­selves on one of the four dance floors in this three level venue. This sprawl­ing maze of con­nected rooms fea­tures 10 bars and lo­cal and vis­it­ing DJS keep the floor packed un­til the wee hours with top 40, hip-hop, house and elec­tronic jams.. 1726 Ar­gyle Street, 902-454-9344

DURTY NELLY’S AU­THEN­TIC IR­ISH PUB

Durty Nelly’s was com­pletely de­signed and built in Ire­land and shipped over piece by piece to be re­con­structed in the heart of Hal­i­fax in 2009. The food ranges from tra­di­tional Ir­ish fare (lamb shanks, fish and chips) to more cre­ative ev­ery­day fare. So, stop by be­fore the Moose­heads or Rain­men, or af­ter a Nep­tune play, for din­ner and a drop of the dark stuff. 5221 Sackville Street, 902-406-7640

ECON­OMY SHOE SHOP

A Best of Food read­ers’ poll Hall of Famer, Haligo­ni­ans and vis­it­ing celebri­ties love schmooz­ing around the bar, hud­dling around the juke­box in the Di­a­mond or shar­ing an in­ti­mate se­cret or two up front. Both the ex­ten­sive bar and food menus high­light the Shoe’s rep as a great place to eat, see and be seen. 1663 Ar­gyle Street, 902-423-8845

THE FIVE FISH­ER­MEN RES­TAU­RANT & GRILL

In a build­ing that was orig­i­nally a her­itage Na­tional School and an art col­lege, the chefs at Five Fish­er­men are well versed in the art of pleas­ing cus­tomers. For over 30 years, pa­trons have kept com­ing for the fa­mous mus­sels, steamed and served with four sauces, and the fresh, beau­ti­fully pre­sented seafood. A mul­ti­ple win­ner for Best Seafood and a Wine Spec­ta­tor award win­ner for its ex­ten­sive wine list, the Five Fish has a rep­u­ta­tion that won’t quit. 1740 Ar­gyle Street, 902-422-4421

FLIPBURGER

A bright sec­ond it­er­a­tion of Clay­ton Park’s Flipburger, serv­ing up a cre­ative ro­ta­tion of burger cre­ations, thick and rich milk­shakes and boozy drinks from lunchtime ‘til late-night. 1565 Ar­gyle Street, 902-431-3547

FOGGY GOGGLE

The list of rea­sons why the Foggy Goggle tends to be packed is a long one. Of­fer­ing “com­fort food with at­ti­tude” its menu boasts made-from­scratch dishes like lob­ster mac and cheese, the Goggle Burger, Foggy Spuds, ve­gan and veg­gie op­tions, as well as a boun­ti­ful week­end brunch. 1667 Ar­gyle Street, 902-444-1414

FREE­MAN’S LIT­TLE NEW YORK

Con­tin­u­ing the tra­di­tion of uber-late-night food and drinks on Grafton Street is the sec­ond of three Free­man’s lo­ca­tions in town. Pizza is the star of this menu, but there are tons of op­tions to de­light both the post-bar crowd, and those eat­ing at reg­u­lar meal times. 1726 Grafton Street, 902-444-7008

FUJIYAMA RES­TAU­RANT

Yokoso: Wel­come to one of the best Ja­panese restau­rants in Hal­i­fax. Good sushi at great prices, Fujiyama is the kind of res­tau­rant where you can take your time and savour your meal. 5244 Blow­ers Street, 902-492-1133

GIO

Toss out any pre­con­cep­tion about ho­tel restau­rants: Gio has re­de­fined fine din­ing in ho­tels and in the city. Al­though it shares space with the Prince Ge­orge Ho­tel, it stands alone and apart from the oth­ers, with a chic, shim­mer­ing in­te­rior and thought­ful menu of cre­ative eats and cock­tails. 1725 Mar­ket Street, 902-425-1987

GRAFTON STREET DIN­NER THE­ATRE

If you’re wor­ried about un­com­fort­able din­ner con­ver­sa­tion, let Grafton take care of the en­ter­tain­ment at this live, in­ter­ac­tive the­atre. Choose sev­eral menu op­tions from a set three-course meal, while the tal­ented comedic team presents a ro­tat­ing sched­ule of pop-cul­ture par­o­dies. 1741 Grafton Street, 902-425-1961

THE GREAT WALL RES­TAU­RANT

The Great Wall could be con­sid­ered one of Hal­i­fax’s seven won­ders, turn­ing out sig­na­ture Can­tonese and Szechuan dishes such as ginger fried beef, salt and pep­per squid and Gen­eral Tao chicken for over 20 years. 1649 Bed­ford Row, 902-422-6153

HAL­I­FAX ALEHOUSE

A stone’s throw from Ci­tadel Hill, the Hal­i­fax Alehouse, sit­u­ated in a brick-fronted his­toric build­ing, pays homage to the past with tra­di­tional wood-heavy decor, live Celtic bands and cheeky bar-wench cos­tumes for the serv­ing staff. 1717 Brunswick Street, 902-423-6113

HAMACHI HOUSE

Hamachi House has cre­ated and ex­panded its unique sushi and Ja­panese of­fer­ings since 2001. The menu con­sists of fresh sushi, au­then­tic cui­sine and fu­sion cre­ations for the ad­ven­tur­ous. The din­ing-room fea­tures float­ing sushi bar and cre­ative un­der­wa­ter decor. Try the late-night Happy Maki Hour, fea­tur­ing fresh-rolled sushi, wine, mar­ti­nis and Sap­poro on tap. 5190 Mor­ris Street, 902-425-7711

HFX SPORTS BAR & GRILL

With a beer se­lec­tion al­most as mam­moth as its wall of LED screens, the city’s big­gest sports bar is pretty far from your typ­i­cal sports bar. HFX Sports Bar & Grill of­fers up­scale pub food—from fish tacos to Philly cheeses­teak spring roll to chicken and waf­fles—drinks aplenty and a glitzy at­mos­phere in which to root for the home team (or clos­est ge­o­graph­i­cal ap­prox­i­ma­tion). 1721 Brunswick Street, 902-420-0015

KEE HEONG CAN­TONESE BAK­ERY

Fresh baked good­ies, both sweet and savoury, will tempt you to fill your pocket, purse and stom­ach, but make it you busi­ness to check out Kee Heong’s every day dim sum, too. With most items un­der five bucks— dumplings, steam buns, soups, ribs—you can feast like roy­alty for very lit­tle. 1532 Granville Street, 902-492-8888

THE KEG STEAK­HOUSE & BAR

There’s some­thing en­tirely sat­is­fy­ing in a juicy, well-cooked, but not well­done, steak. And The Keg de­liv­ers it every time. Win­ning Best Steak in the Best of Food poll for time im­memo­rial, we in­ducted The Keg into our Hall of Fame and gave it this meaty award to keep. 1712 Mar­ket Street, 902-425-8355

KO DORAKU

A sec­ond help­ing of Spring Gar­den Place’s prized sushi spot at Purdy’s Wharf. Best lunch deals ever. 211-1949 Up­per Wa­ter Street

LE FRENCH FIX PÂTISSERIE

Ge­of­froy Che­val­lier makes fine French pas­tries and the sweet­est look­ing mac­arons in this de­li­cious lit­tle cafe on Prince Street. Wash it all down with a cof­fee from Pig Iron Roast­ers or sign up for one of Che­val­lier’s bak­ing classes and learn how to make deca­dent desserts for your­self. 5233 Prince Street, 902-497-5308

LOCAS BIL­LIARDS

There’s a dis­tinc­tive Span­ish vibe at Locas, and its there you’ll find bil­liards—with co-ed leagues—and the bar set up for board games, chess, backgam­mon and darts. Check out its new, char­ac­ter-filled lo­ca­tion on Ge­orge Street. 5171 Ge­orge Street, 902-423-2522

THE LOOSE CANNON

The Scot­tish-style pub on Ar­gyle brings every­thing you’d ex­pect from a water­hole in Edinburgh: A “real place for reg­u­lars,” with draught beers, mul­ti­ple brands of do­mes­tic and im­ported beer in bot­tles and dozens of dif­fer­ent types of scotch, plus Amer­i­can and Cana­dian whiskeys. On the food front find fish and chips, Shep­herd’s pie and bangers and mash. 1556 Ar­gyle Street, 902-407-8797

LOT SIX

Named for the plot of land the build­ing was orig­i­nally built on, Lot Six comes to us from Press Gang fam­ily, with the hopes of push­ing palates mul­ti­cul­tur­ally in­flu­enced small plates, sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents, clas­sic cock­tails (cour­tesy of bar­tend­ing roy­alty Shane Bee­han and Jeff Van Horne) craft beers and hand­picked wines. That atrium, though. 1685 Ar­gyle Street, 902-428-7428

THE MAXWELL’S PLUM

If you’re on the hunt for suds, check out this Grafton Street leg­end, a big split-level beer bar. One per­cent fancy. Ninety-nine per­cent beer. Maxwell’s has the widest se­lec­tion of lo­cal and craft beer in Hal­i­fax—60 beers on tap. Check out the latenight food menu and cheap breaky. 1600 Grafton Street, 902-423-5090

MONGOLIE GRILL

The con­cept here de­scends back to the 13th cen­tury when Genghis Khan and his war­riors were fight­ing to es­tab­lish an em­pire. Hun­gry and tired, they would grill what­ever fresh food they could find. At Mongolie Grill cus­tomers choose from a va­ri­ety of fresh veg­eta­bles, meats and sauces that are then cooked fresh for their en­joy­ment. If your eyes are big­ger than your stom­ach be care­ful, prices vary with the weight of your dish. 1645 Granville Street, 902-406-4004

MOR­RIS EAST

Mor­ris East fo­cuses on wood-fired piz­zas and sea­son­ally fresh in­gre­di­ents. The in­ti­mate 37-seat eatery’s reg­u­lars will note that the menu changes de­pend­ing on what comes avail­able at the farmers’ mar­ket: Piz­zas with peach, pro­sciutto and goat cheese one month, pear, wal­nut and crispy sage the next. Head here for sea­son­ally in­spired cock­tails and amaz­ing desserts. 5212 Mor­ris Street, 902-444-7663

NEW ASIA RES­TAU­RANT

For­merly the North China Res­tau­rant, the New Asia con­tin­ues on with a tra­di­tion for fine Chi­nese cui­sine. Whether you are look­ing for a lit­tle lunch in the way of clas­sic Cana­dian - Chi­nese or more ex­otic Szechuan or Can­tonese sta­ples, there is some­thing for you to try. 1252 Hol­lis Street, 902-444-7866

NO­BLE

The stealth­i­est of cock­tails bars opened within the Mid­dle Spoon Desserterie with­out many peo­ple know­ing it. Mod­elled with a speakeasy vibe, and a fo­cus on culi­nary cock­tails, No­ble sat­is­fies the palate with cool jazz, an­tique decor and that feel­ing that you’re in on a big se­cret. Oh yeah, you’ll need to tell the pass­word to a Mid­dle Spoon server to be granted en­trance. 1559 Bar­ring­ton Street, 902-407-4002

THE OLD TRI­AN­GLE IR­ISH ALE HOUSE

Look un­der the Celtic knot and you’ll find a pub-tas­tic triad of rooms: the Snug, the Pour­house and Tigh An Cheoil. The Old Tri­an­gle is ded­i­cated to cre­at­ing an au­then­tic Celtic ex­pe­ri­ence, with tra­di­tional menu op­tions, live mu­sic, danc­ing and pints a-pourin’. 5136 Prince Street, 902-492-4900

PAVIA GALLERY, ESPRESSO BAR & CAFE, AGNS

The fourth—and flag­ship—lo­ca­tion of the gallery and cafe serves up Floren­tine espresso, baked treats, sand­wiches and great taste in stel­lar lo­cal art. 1723 Hol­lis Street

PG’S CAFE

Home-cooked hot meals, sand­wiches and sal­ads make for af­ford­able lunches you’d swear mom and dad cooked for you. 1266 Hol­lis Street, 902-429-8806

PI­ATTO PIZZE­RIA + ENOTECA

A cel­e­brated thin-crust pizza place in St. John’s, New­found­land, Pi­atto is just as loved in Hal­i­fax. The Ves­pas in the high-ceilinged din­ing room sug­gest a com­mit­ment to things Ital­ian, Pi­atto’s Ver­ace Pizza Napo­le­tana cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (a seal of ap­proval from a group of pizza mak­ers in Naples) proves it.lunch deals here shouldn’t be missed! 5144 Mor­ris Street, 902-406-0909

PRESS GANG RES­TAU­RANT & OYS­TER BAR

Fit for an officer of the high­est rank­ing, the Press Gang is a Hal­i­fax fine din­ing in­sti­tu­tion, sit­u­ated in a 1789 his­toric build­ing. The menu is ex­ten­sive, promi­nently fea­tur­ing lo­cal seafood, and the seated oys­ter bar is per­fect for lighter meals and for sam­pling the Gang’s su­perb wine list. 5218 Prince Street, 902-423-8816

REFLECTIONS CABARET

This no-la­bels club brings in in­ter­na­tional DJS, great lo­cal and vis­it­ing bands, hosts theme par­ties and drag shows, and caters to any­one as long as the goal is to have fun. If you are ready to break a sweat, Reflections is call­ing for you. 5187 Sal­ter Street, 902-422-2957

ROUSSEAU CHOCO­LATIER

France-born choco­latier Julien Rousseau-du­marcet and his partner Nathalie Morin up and moved to Hal­i­fax and brought us hand­made cho­co­lates, gourmet brown­ies, fresh mac­arons and a crazy good hot choco­late. 1277 Hol­lis Street

SCANWAY BAK­ERY + CAFE

There’s than beau­ti­ful cakes and sweets to peep at here, Geir Si­mensen and Ray Bear team up to merge this dessert haven with a cafe—of­fer­ing up sand­wiches on fresh-baked bread, cof­fee, dough­nuts, Ital­ian ge­lato, al­co­holic bevies and a rooftop pa­tio that ranks among the city’s best. 1567 Grafton Street, 902-425-0386

SEOUL RES­TAU­RANT

A fresh source for Korean and Ja­panese cui­sine be­tween Hol­lis and Granville, of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of Korean dishes in­clud­ing bul­gogi, gam­jatang and kim­chi ji­gae. En­joy an elon­gated evening meal here by cook­ing up your own Korean bar­be­cue. 5170 Duke Street, 902-404-3414

SHAWARMA STOP

This is a fan­tas­tic place to grab lunch or din­ner, and is es­pe­cially great for a late night snack, con­sid­er­ing its hours. Friendly staff bring the per­son­al­ity, while hum­mus brings the flavour. A great veg­e­tar­ian tofu op­tion, too. 1588 Ar­gyle Street, 902-422-0068

SI­CIL­IAN PIZZA, DON­AIRS & SUBS, PIZZA COR­NER

Reg­u­larly voted the best pizza slice in the city by Coast read­ers, the Si­cil­ian shines like a light to down­town denizens in need of late night sus­te­nance. One of the pizza joints that has made Pizza Cor­ner a mecca to the hun­gry boasts a staff that’s among the most pa­tient in town, tol­er­at­ing count­less drunken re­quests for more don­air sauce and de­liv­er­ing each slice with a smile. 5245 Blow­ers Street, 902-423-5555

SMOKE’S POUTINERIE

This On­tario-based eatery, of­fer­ing 22 kinds of pou­tine, has found the per­fect home in Hal­i­fax, on Pizza Cor­ner—our par­adise for late-night food lovers. Brace your­self for a whole lotta every­thing. 5236 Blow­ers Street, 902-422-6762

SPLIT CROW PUB

The Crow is one of Hal­i­fax’s old­est pubs, but it doesn’t act its age. Pop­u­lar with stu­dents, tourists and week­end rev­ellers alike, the well­worn hard­wood floors are filled with stomp­ing feet thanks to the bands who bring the house down daily. Take a gan­der at this menu of eats and plenty of lo­cal mi­cro­brew to en­joy, or par­take in the prac­ti­cally fa­mous power hours. 1855 Granville Street 902-422-4366

STO­RIES FINE DIN­ING

You’ll note the el­e­gant set­ting at The Hal­libur­ton Ho­tel, but there’s also a dis­tinc­tive Cana­di­ana mood to Sto­ries’ of­fer­ings, which in­clude ro­dand-reel striped bass and roast duck ma­gret and other dishes cre­ated by chef Scott Vail that’ll make your mouth wa­ter upon read­ing them. In the sum­mer, the gar­den court­yard is glo­ri­ous with fo­liage, and in the win­ter, the crack­ling fire­place is your best din­ing com­pan­ion. 5184 Mor­ris Street, 902-444-4400

STUB­BORN GOAT GASTROPUB

Food and drink scene vet­er­ans Joe Mcguin­ness and Kyle Drake (Durty Nelly’s), Geir Si­mensen (Saege Bistro) and Ryan Dubois have teamed up to bring cre­ative, lo­cally minded flavour to Hal­i­fax’s down­town. Com­fort food, wood-fired piz­zas, wine and loads of craft beer fill out the Stub­born Goat Gastropub’s stick-to-your-ribs menu. 1579 Grafton Street, 902-405-4554

SUSHI SHIGE JA­PANESE RES­TAU­RANT

With vet­eran chef Shigeru Fukuyama at the helm, Sushi Shige of­fers ex­cel­lent ser­vice, fresh sushi and some of the best Ja­panese dishes in the city. Or­der off the large menu noo­dle, maki, ni­giri and sashimi op­tions. Or go for the chef’s se­lec­tion Omakase din­ner, a cre­ation so spe­cial you need to re­serve it in ad­vance. 1532 Granville Street, 902-422-0740

SUSIE’S SHORTBREADS

Stop by for one (or likely more) of Susie’s 100+ cup­cake flavours ro­tat­ing daily and its 15 flavours of shortbread cook­ies, or deca­dent de­lights like cheese­cake ba­bies, cup­cake truf­fles and milk­shakes. Purdy’s Wharf, 1949 Up­per Wa­ter Street, 902-406-7075

TA­BOO NIGHT­CLUB

Next door to Cheers you’ll find this up­scale nightspot “where adults come to play.” It’s a stylish en­vi­ron­ment sup­port­ive of club-go­ers

look­ing to chill out or groove un­til the wee hours, fea­tur­ing bot­tle ser­vice, pri­vate booths and a dance floor brought to life by reg­u­lar DJS. 1739 Grafton Street, 902-454 9344

TALAY THAI

The in­cred­i­bly pop­u­lar Talay of­fers friendly ser­vice, a bright lo­ca­tion and great am­bi­ence, but re­ally, it’s all about good food. Hot, sour, sweet, salty and bit­ter—all five taste el­e­ments of Thai cui­sine are rep­re­sented in flavour­ful abun­dance. Ad­dic­tive and de­li­cious. 1300 Hol­lis Street, 902-404-3700

TONY’S DON­AIR & PIZZA

With nearly 40 years in the busi­ness, Tony’s has ex­panded its em­pire to the down­town core. The menu still fea­tures all the favourites that Haligo­ni­ans know and love—in­clud­ing those fan­tas­tic don­airs, piz­zas and a few veg­e­tar­ian op­tions. 1735 Grafton Street, 902-407-8669

TOOTHY MOOSE CABARET

The huge set of antlers that over­look Ar­gyle Street is kind of hard to miss. Seek out the crazy-eyed, lit­eral toothy moose head to find the Toothy Moose, a cabaret that caters to a late-night crowd seek­ing beer, cock­tails and live mu­sic. 1661 Ar­gyle Street, 902-407-3170

TRI­DENT BOOK­SELL­ERS & CAFE

The com­pet­ing great scents of used books and freshly roasted cof­fee meet in the mid­dle at Tri­dent, a re­main­dered book seller since 1992. Great for cof­fee dates, alone time and cram ses­sions too, this long­time down­town fix­ture spe­cial­izes in on-site gourmet roast­ing. 1256 Hol­lis Street, 902-423-7100

VERANO FOOD PUR­VEYOR

The sun shines all year long at this bright new 36-seater res­tau­rant, which brings break­fast and brunch, and Latin Amer­i­can lunch op­tions to Hol­lis Street. 1871 Hol­lis Street, 902-407-5550

WILLY’S FRESH CUT FRIES & BURG­ERS

Burg­ers, cheeses­teaks and veg­gie burg­ers are pretty im­pres­sive fare to be com­ing out, fast and fu­ri­ous, of this nook-sized down­town food win­dow, but it’s re­ally all about the pou­tine, baby. A mul­ti­ple win­ner in The Coast’s Best of Food awards, Willy’s knows how to make fries, curds and gravy jive just right. 5239 Blow­ers Street, 902-406-3365

THE WIRED MONK

Per­fect for writ­ers, ro­man­tics or those who just need a quick bite to eat, this li­censed neigh­bour­hood cafe has plenty to of­fer, with or­ganic slow-roasted cof­fee and teas, baked goods and pani­nis, samosas, of­fered in a re­laxed, com­fort­able set­ting. 5147 Mor­ris Street, 902-422-2219

THE WOODEN MON­KEY

Ve­g­ans, veg­gies and car­ni­vores can all join hands: There’s some­thing for ev­ery­one at this res­tau­rant—per­haps the only place in town where a sei­tan en­tree is at home with free-range chicken and beef. Make a toast over lo­cally brewed beer and wine with the re­as­sur­ance that your Arc­tic char was caught by non-in­va­sive means. 1707 Grafton Street, 902-444-3844

WORLD TEA HOUSE

A lo­cal fam­ily tea house ded­i­cated to pre­serv­ing the earth and its peo­ple on a global level. By pur­chas­ing its mul­ti­tude of leaves—black, herbal, oo­long, roi­boos—you are sup­port­ing tea plan­ta­tions that par­tic­i­pate in or­ganic grow­ing and fair trade. 1592 Ar­gyle Street, 902-422-8327

YEH! FROZEN YO­GURT AND CAFE

Serve-your­self frozen yo­gurt is a strange fit with the rest of Pizza Cor­ner, but in the warmer months it re­mains packed with peo­ple pump­ing their own desserts nightly. 1560 Grafton Street, 902-429-1616

Beaver Sailor Diner. LENNY MULLINS

The Old Tri­an­gle. LENNY MULLINS

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