A native of Halifax, James Gregor can usually be found hauling laptop around to various coffee shops. He can never decide what kind of coffee he wants, so he tries them all (though he prefers dark roast). If he's not in a coffee shop, he's probably in a bookshop, or on a plane to New York City. James holds a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University, and is also a fiction writer.
The Caesar is a true Canadian classic invented in a Calgary hotel in the 1960s. But this beloved Canuck cocktail is just as popular in Halifax as it is on the Prairies. The vodka flows freely, the Clamato juice is plentiful and there’s lots of pepper to go around. From downtown to the North End, sally forth and seek your perfect Caesar.
Halifax has a healthy food scene, but is still finding its footing with ramen; the selection is limited with stark variations in quality and diversity. Don't despair though – there are some wonderful places that have sprung up in the last few years where you're bound to find ramen to your liking.
Halifax is a town built for eaters and drinkers: Whenever a new spot opens, there's always plenty of interest in and debate around it. In order to hold your own as a restaurant here in Halifax, you have to do something tasty and interesting. This holds especially true for that cherished dish: The salad. All the traditional iterations are here, as well as succulent Cobb versions to citrus Caesar salads.
The difference between seafood in Halifax and seafood in other places is quite obvious: You're eating something that was often caught 10 minutes before. Being surrounded by the ocean has its advantages! Halifax has it going on with seafood – whether you're looking for a refined lobster bisque or down-home fish and chips. Go fish.
Ottawa is a city of landmarks, so it only follows that you'd want to eat on a rooftop to enjoy them all. From Italian to Brazilian to vegan to old-fashioned pub grub, you've got rooftop options galore in the nation's capital. Cross your fingers for good weather, find a spot, rustle up a menu and take it all in.
The ritual of afternoon tea is one of the anchors of civilization. In Ottawa, that civilization is going strong. You'll find a wealth of destinations where you can sit comfortably with a warm cup of tea. From the old-fashioned class of Zoe's Lounge to the modern rhythms of Fleur Tea House, it's a tea-lover's paradise.
The vegan wave is turning into a tsunami: new vegan establishments pop up on a regular basis, and inventive chefs make our heads turn with original recipes and inventive taste combinations. The era of making-do with a few blocks of tofu is long past, and Ottawa is right there in the game. Immerse yourself in its enviable vegan scene.
Despite the fabulous wine lists available at so many restaurants in Halifax, sometimes you just know you've already got the perfect pairing for that certain steak or risotto. Halifax won't let you down: from the elegant Onyx to the rustic Morris East, Halifax boasts some delicious "bring your own wine" spots you won't want to miss.
French cuisine is some of the most delicious out there. Who hasn't craved a sinus-clearing steak au poivre or some tartare with a fresh egg on top? When in Ottawa, there’s no need to resist the urge. From the casual to the elegantly formal, the city has no shortage of French restaurants. Bon appetit!
You've got your favourite wine and your favourite dish, and wouldn't it be nice if you could pair them? In Ottawa, you can do that. Since Ontario made bring-your-own-wine legal a little over a decade ago, it has become an option at many worthy establishments here. Go out and add your own wine to the wine-and-dine scene in the city on the canal.
While dining has been trending towards casual in the last few years, there are those who still like a fine-dining establishment. Thankfully, Halifax still has plenty of restaurants where the service and the atmosphere are relaxed and elegant. But the options also abound for those who don't need white table cloths but still want their food top-notch. Whatever you’re looking for, Halifax has your fine-dining needs covered.
For those who crave the comfort of something hot and sweet on a cold day, Halifax has you covered: Hot chocolate options here are countless. Take one to go at The Old Apothecary and stroll Barrington Street, or find a seat at the Fire & Ice Bar and get a little tipsy.
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