Once again we find ourselves at the front end of another promising year, releasing the latest "25 Best Local Eateries" list. This 2017 list of winning eateries features no less than eight new entries, and with the exception of one, none of them are actually new. That just goes to show you how competitive the local food scene has become.
In all honesty, we could easily ditch this list and create an entirely new 25 Best list excluding all of this year's winners, and it would actually be a pretty fantastic. That's how far we've come here in Nova Scotia. But there is no intention to ditch. No, we're very proud of this list and each and everyone on it deserves their spot.
Before we proceed with this year's list of winners, we did want to draw attention to something. This year (2017) is the final year where our panel of hand-selected judges will have exclusive say on who makes the list of 25. Moving forward we'll now be listening to what you have to say, and your voice will be heard. All you need to do is sign up for The Curated Guide online and use the "User Rating" function within each food & drink listing. This function will be available to registered users only, and you'll of course have to wait until April 15, which is the official release date.
But enough of that. That's not why you're here. No, you're here because you wanna know who are this year's 25 Best Local Eateries. So get to it already!
Oh yeah, and a BIG congrats to all this year's winners!
Agricola Street Brasserie
Battery Park Beer Bar
Chives Canadian Bistro
Dee Dee’s Ice Cream
Eliot & Vine
Obladee Wine Bar
Robie St. Station
Salt Shaker Deli
Studio East Food + Drink
The Brooklyn Warehouse
The Kitchen Table
The Noodle Guy
The Old Apothecary
The Stubborn Goat
2 Doors Down
Agricola Street Brasserie (North End)
It’s all about French-inspired seasonal gourmet food at this warm neighbourhood restaurant with an open kitchen. Featuring robust, earthy dishes and charcuterie made in house, the rotating menu is consistently one of the best on the east coast.
2540 Agricola Street, Halifax
Battery Park Beer Bar (Downtown Dartmouth)
A gorgeous craft beer bar backed by the North Brewing and Brooklyn Warehouse geniuses. Think 15 taps of rotating east coast brews, a seasonal comfort food menu by Chef Mark Gray and friendly vibes inside or on the courtyard patio.
62 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth
Chives Canadian Bistro (Downtown Halifax)
Since 2001, Craig Flinn and his team have been plating and pouring the province’s freshest bounty from this regional treasure on Barrington. The season dictates the unpretentious menu and the décor—bistro casual with elements of nature.
1537 Barrington Street, Halifax
Dee Dee’s Ice Cream (North End)
Famed for its dense and creamy handmade ice cream (rum and raisin or Mexican chocolate, anyone?), social conscience, and unbeatable burritos, Dee Dee’s is a neighborhood beacon we hope never goes out.
5668 Cornwallis Street
EDNA (North End)
North end cool with downhome hospitality, EDNA is an upmarket but unpretentious bistro serving brunch, fresh seafood, wines and cocktails in a cozy atmosphere. Named one of Canada’s top new restos in 2014 by enRoute magazine.
2053 Gottingen Street, Halifax
Eliot & Vine (West End)
The name’s a nod to Hollywood, but the food and drinks are European-refined all the way. Both change seasonally, but the eats are always equally creative and delicious, the wine tightly curated. The space: slick and light-filled near the Commons.
2305 Clifton Street, Halifax
Grand Banker (South Shore)
When a South Shore resto has “Blue Rocks Fish Cakes” and Acadian-style stew, you know it takes fresh seriously. And when it comes with harbour views, Maritime hospitality and scrumptious comfort food, you know not to pass it up.
82 Montague Street, Lunenburg
Krave Burger (Spring Garden Road)
An old-school burger joint with a modern interior, Krave uses local, grass-fed beef that’s ground daily and grilled to soft, juicy perfection. Choose from about eight burger options, as well as hearty mac and cheeses, craft beers, milkshakes and more.
5680 Spring Garden Road, Halifax
Le Caveau (Annapolis Valley)
The perfect end to a Domaine de Grand Pre visit, Le Caveau is dining at its finest in this region. Relax on the pergola or inside, and let Chef Jason Lynch wow you with seasonally-inspired, well-crafted plates sprinkled with global flair.
11611 Highway 1, Grand Pré
Little Oak (South End)
Though this elegant, easygoing bar near the waterfront has just 33 seats, Little Oak’s small scale means big flexibility in its ability to craft constantly changing small plates, wines and cocktails. No two visits here will yield the same decadent flavours.
1475 Lower Water Street, Halifax (Bishops Landing)
Obladee Wine Bar (Downtown Halifax)
A small, unpretentious wine bar with smart, dedicated staff who can find you a wine whether it’s your first glass or you’re a practicing sommelier. Make sure to match your choice with a charcuterie or cheese board.
1600 Barrington Street, Halifax
Morris East (South End)
Your pizza search goes to a whole new level at this neighbourhood restaurant featuring a rotating cast of about a dozen locally-inspired, wood-fired pies. Pair it with a cocktail and a salted caramel tart, and that’s amore.
5212 Morris Street, Halifax
Robie St. Station (West End)
With global comfort food like bread puddin’ French toast, rosti topped with smoked salmon, and banh mi, Robie Street Station is reinventing diner fare inside a colourful, modern restaurant with big views of Robie and the Halifax Common.
2394 Robie Street, Halifax
Salt Shaker Deli (South Shore)
The menu is home-cooked gourmet—think seafood chowder, pad thai, thin-crust pizza—paired with ample craft draughts, while the atmosphere is casual, whether on the patio overlooking the harbour or inside the open bistro.
124 Montague Street, Lunenburg
Stillwell Beergarden (Spring Garden Road)
When an outdoor bar has 10 rotating local taps, barbecue eats and a dairy bar, it’s an easy sell. Especially when you know the Bar Stillwell folks are behind it. Double-fisting craft beer and ice cream never tasted so good.
5688 Spring Garden Road, Halifax
Studio East Food + Drink (West End)
Cambodian-inspired fare with bold flavours and big love for local meat, veg and drink. Highlights: pork belly steam buns at brunch, warm sushi or the Cambodian-Thai Love Curry at dinner, and Night Market Lamb Sticks late at night.
6021 Cunard Street, Halifax
Sweet Hereafter (Quinpool Road)
Decadence is the word here, from Sweet Hereafter’s interior—chandeliers, finely upholstered seating, royal wallpaper—to its multitude of rich cheesecakes (by the slice or whole), which include caramel praline, lemon blueberry and vanilla chai latte.
6148 Quinpool Road, Halifax
The Brooklyn Warehouse (West End)
The menu changes daily, but the food is always original and spot on, and that’s what made this tucked away, laidback bistro a standout and award-winner year after year. Farm-to-table isn’t a saying here; it’s the foundation.
2795 Windsor Street, Halifax
The Canteen (Downtown Dartmouth)
The location has changed but the food is still unpretentious and made with love in this bright 55-seater. Expect French-, Italian- and Nova Scotia-inspired seasonal fare for lunch, brunch and dinner; rotating local wines and beers always.
22 Portland Street, Dartmouth
The Highwayman (Downtown Halifax)
This modern, elegant speakeasy has a Field Guide pedigree, so yes, expect charcuterie and great cocktails, but think Spanish influenced sharing plates, mains and drinks, too. A good choice for late night sips and small bites.
1673 Barrington Street, Halifax
The Kitchen Table (North End)
Snag one of the 20 seats at Frédéric Tandy and Joe MacLellan’s Kitchen Table for an eight-course tasting menu starring local and foraged ingredients. Available Wednesday to Saturday, this could be the most unique dining experience in Halifax.
2157 Gottingen Street, Halifax
The Noodle Guy (Annapolis Valley)
Your search for quality, homemade pasta ends at this small restaurant and pasta shop usually making five pastas daily. The restaurant’s ravioli and soba options are always good choices, as are buying more sauce and noodles for later.
964 Highway 358, Port Williams
The Old Apothecary (Downtown Halifax)
Whatever ails you, The Old Apothecary has what you need: eclairs, salted caramel brownies, pies, cakes, bread, even a warm lunch. The croissants will bring tears to your eyes, and the bright, vintage couches will keep you around ’til you’re cured.
1869 Upper Water Street, Halifax
The Stubborn Goat (Downtown Halifax)
Though it can fit 170 people, the vibe is tightknit, no doubt boosted by upscale comfort food meant to be shared, and craft beer for any taste.
1579 Grafton Stree, Halifax
2 Doors Down (Downtown Halifax)
This Craig Flinn offspring boasts seasonal comfort food, local and international wines, craft beer, and original cocktails. It’s the younger sis to nearby Chives, and a healthy rival for showing off the best our region has to offer.