This pretty city on the sea is the largest in Atlantic Canada, and has lots to offer, but still serves it all up with a very small town feel. The culinary scene is excellent, and Halifax has a rich history as well as a vibrant cultural scene. There's too much to squeeze it all into 48 hours, but here's how to have a good go at it.
9AM THE COASTAL CAFE
Start your day with a hearty feast at the Coastal, a local favourite in the city's trendy North End. Check out the heart attack inducing "Elvis" - a buttermilk waffle sandwich with peanut butter, bananas and bacon, drenched in maple syrup; the "Wake and Bake" - baked orange and poppyseed pancakes with honey mascarpone and candied walnuts or any of their delicious interpretations of huevos rancheros. Portions are massive, and their coffee is really good.
10AM MARITIME MUSEUM OF THE ATLANTIC
Head down to the waterfront, where you'll find several attractions including the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, boats offering tours, seafood shacks, places selling locally made wares and tourist knick-knacks. Keep on walking to reach Bishop's Landing, a classy square of stores and galleries, then right at the end of the Boardwalk you'll find theHalifax Seaport Farmer's Market, where you can grab lunch and browse locally made goodies.
12PM THE WOODEN MONKEY
1707 GRAFTON ST. HALIFAX, NS B3J 2C6
At The Wooden Monkey, everything on the menu is absolutely delicious, and healthy too. Organic, locally sourced food rules here, and there's a great kids menu too.
2PM THE ART GALLERY OF NOVA SCOTIA
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has collections of local and international art, as well as some interesting folk art by local legand Maude Lewis (her tiny and brightly painted house was transported to the gallery after her death, and is very interesting to look at).
4PM SPRING GARDEN ROAD
Stop for a coffee and a treat at Steve-O-Reno's Cappucino. This hole in the wall coffee joint only takes cash, but is great, and much loved by Haligonians. Just outside you'll find Spring Garden Road, which is one of the city's best shopping streets where there are plenty of boutiques to splurge in (don't miss The Shops at Mills which is on the upper floor of this iconic Halifax department store, and Kick Ass Shoes).
7PM CHIVES CANADIAN BISTRO
Every meal starts with a brown paper bag of warm biscuits, served with bowls of molasses to dip them in, and then it just gets better and better. Chives is amazing, and whether you go for a steak, seafood, or whatever vegetarian disahes they are serving, you cannot go wrong. Be sure to make a reservation in advance.
10PM THE BITTER END
Stop for a nightcap (or hangout late into the night) at The Bitter End, where they have a huge martini menu, and there's usually a DJ spinning great tunes.
9AM ATHENS RESTAURANT
If you've a big appetite, you'll love breakfast at the Athens Restaurant in the Quinpool neighbourhood. You can get traditional breakfasts here, or ones with a Greek twist, and it is always good. If you like a challenge, order up the Hercules, which wouldn't be out of place on Man Versus Food.
10AM SEAPORT FARMERS' MARKET
If your looking for cool things to take home, a walk around the Seaport Farmers' Market will show you local foodie produce, handicrafts, and artisan booze. There are also a number of galleries and other interesting attractions around the market to explore.
12PM MORRIS EAST
The inventive pizza at Morris East is the best in the city, maybe because owner Jenny Dobbs bought the pizza oven back with her from Naples. They do great lunch specials, have fresh cocktails, and decadent desserts.
2PM POINT PLEASANT PARK
Heading now to the South End, visit Point Pleasant Park, where you'll stroll past several city beaches where people come to relax, and accompany joggers, dog-walkers, and you'll forget you're even in a big city. Here affords you a beautiful view over the Halifax Harbour to Dartmouth, the city that sits just across the water.
4PM THE HALIFAX CITADEL
Although Halifax was never actually attacked by the Americans, they built this fort to protect themselves way back in 1828. The views from the Citadel are superb, and the people walking around in period dress turn what could be a dry museum into a fun outing.
7PM CUT STEAKHOUSE
A visit to Cut Steakhouse is a carnivores dream. Choose your dry-aged steak from the selection, then have it cooked to your exact specifications, then devour. It is a little pricy (think $50 a steak, with sides extra) but downstairs is Cut Urban Gill, with a more bar style menu, but equally excellent.
10PM BISTRO LE COQ
Drop in at Bistro Le Coq for an old-fashioned cocktail or two. This very French looking, and feeling, little bistro is fabulous, and mixes up great cocktails, but has a fab wine and champagne list too.
WHERE TO STAY: LORD NELSON HOTEL & SUITES
1515 S. PARK ST. HALIFAX, NS B3J2L2
The Lord Nelson Hotel has a stately charm, great views over the Public Gardens, and is where visiting rock stars tend to stay when they visit Halifax.