Aside from seafood, donair may be the most popular item found on a menu in Nova Scotia restaurants. Donair beef is roasted and spiced, covered in a sweet tasting white sauce, and wrapped in pita bread. The name comes from the traditional Turkish döner kebab, but donairs are also frequently compared to gyros. As home to one of Canada’s oldest breweries, the country’s only single malt whisky, and no fewer than eight wineries, Nova Scotia certainly has no shortage of drinking options. Beer drinkers should ask for a dash of hot pepper sauce to be mixed with their brews as this ‘Nova Scotia beer warmer’ is a perfect way to make your insides tingle during the province’s cold winters.
Bars and Pubbing in Nova Scotia
Although Halifax watering holes are no longer required by law to serve food with their beer and live entertainment with hard liquor, old habits die hard and most bars in Nova Scotia still have pub food and music on their menus. Talented singers and songwriters are invited to bring their own instruments to ‘open mic’ nights at many pubs in Halifax, who pay participants to jam with food and drink. No other Halifax bar has as many beers on tap as Maxwell’s Plum English Pub (1600 Grafton Street, Halifax), whose drink menu features no fewer than 60 different imported beers from around the world. Taboo Nightclub (1739 Grafton Street, Halifax) provides a much more upscale ambiance, complete with pricey drinks and a strict dress code.
Most notable Nova Scotia nightlife outside of Halifax is found in smaller university towns like Wolfville, home to Acadia University. Despite its name, The Library Pub (472 Main Street, Wolfville) is anything but quiet, with an extensive drink menu and meals prepared with organic Annapolis Valley produce. The Anvil Beverage Room (10 Harborside Drive, Wolfville) holds ladies’ nights on Thursdays and broadcasts Monday night football games on giant television screens.
Antigonish’s Piper’s Pub (33 College Street, Antigonish) is the most popular watering hole among St Francis Xavier University students, many of whom do not descend upon this lively bar and its diverse live music until after midnight. Alcove Bistro and Lounge (76 College Street, Antigonish) serves late night pizza along with their drinks from Thursday to Saturday.
Dining and Cuisine in Nova Scotia
One of Halifax’s oldest and highest rated diners is the Ardmore Tea Room (6499 Quinpool Road, Halifax), which serves up traditional Maritime breakfasts like codfish cakes and baked beans alongside large portions of traditional diner fare. Chives Canadian Bistro (1537 Barrington Street, Halifax) uses only local and seasonal ingredients while preparing their more upscale twist on Maritime and Canadian dishes.
The Cactus Café (100 Townsend Street, Sydney), one of Nova Scotia’s finest Mexican restaurants, is among the most exotic offerings in Cape Breton’s largest community, Sydney. The more upscale Governor’s Restaurant (233 Esplanade Street, Sydney) serves steaks, seafood, and even vegetarian dishes by Sydney Harbor.
The small South Shore town of Liverpool also includes a fair number of recommended dining spots such as the Privateer Country Kitchen (344 Main Street, Liverpool), where visitors can enjoy fish with chips, fish cakes, and other traditional homemade favorites. The Woodpile Carvings and Café (181 Main Street, Liverpool) owners give hand-carved wood figurines to customers after they enjoy a cup of coffee or light lunch at one of Nova Scotia’s highest rated restaurants.