Halifax is a university town full of frugal students and, as an alumnus of University of Kings College, I know how to stretch a dollar. One of the best things about the city is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. Here’s a list of fun and affordable places to eat and drink on your next trip to Halifax.
Eat like a Nova Scotian
The East Coast is known for its seafood, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay for expensive lobster to have a real Maritime meal.
Halifax has lots of restaurants that offer great fish and chips at a great price. Try George & Lito’s Dinner (2186 Windsor Street) where they serve fresh battered haddock and delicious hand cut fries, along with several local ales on tap to wash it all down.
If you’re up for a drive, visit Fisherman’s Cove (30 Government Warf Road) in Eastern Passage, where you can watch the fishermen come in with their daily catch and buy their fish on site. A boardwalk winds along the scenic shoreline, offering great ocean views, and boat rides to McNabs Islands are available.
Try the fish and chips at Wharf Wraps; my grandmother swears it’s the best around.
Bud the Spud
Stop for a quick lunch at the iconic Halifax chip truck, Bud the Spud. Located in front of the public library on Spring Garden Road, the truck sells hand-cut french fries made from Prince Edward Island potatoes for under $5.
I promise, you’ll never look at fast food fries the same way again.
Have a Picnic in the Public Gardens
Looking to sit back and relax? The Halifax Public Gardens (5711 Sackville Street), a Victorian-inspired garden located in the heart of the city, is just the place.
The oldest public garden in Canada, the park boasts 17 acres of rare flowers and trees, historic statues and sparkling fountains. Take a stroll down the winding gravel paths and walk past ponds, beautiful gardens, fountains, statues, sprawling green lawns, and a variety of bird life.
Unfold a blanket and have a picnic lunch. The gates are open to the public from May to November, dawn to dusk, with no admission.
Bonus: If you’re there on a Sunday, enjoy free live musical entertainment from the bandstand located in the centre of the park.
Grab a Drink on Monday Night
If your trip to Halifax includes a Monday night, you’re in luck. For some unknown reason, many of the bars and restaurants in the city offer half-price Monday night drink specials, making “Martini Monday” the most popular day of the week in Halifax.
Try a classic cosmopolitan martini at the Fireside Bar & Restaurant (1500 Brunswick Street) or head to the up-scale Bitter End Martini Bar (1572 Argyle Street), voted best martini in Halifax six years in a row by local publication The Coast.
If you’re looking for something not shaken or stirred, Mexican restaurant Mexicali Rosas (5472 Spring Garden Road) offers “Margarita Monday”, with no cover, live entertainment, and dangerously delicious half-price strawberry margaritas.
If all those drinks make you brave enough, venture down the street to Cheers Bar (1741 Grafton Street) for some Monday night karaoke—the infamous scene of my one and only karaoke attempt: Stop by the Spice Girls, complete with dance moves. I blame the martinis.