Bask in the glory (and sunshine!) of Halifax’s best patios

Whether it’s a quasi-German beer garden, trendy Italian resto, waterfront brewpub or rooftop party patio, Halifax has lots of great options for soaking up the sun’s rays while cooling off with a nice cold bevvy. There is something for everyone, from starving students to families to health nuts and beer nerds. These are Halifax’s best patios.

Bar Stillwell

1672 Barrington St, Halifax, NS B3J 2A2

Stillwell Beer Bar opened in 2013, and became an instant hit with their chalkboard menu of rotating craft beer. Fast forward to summer 2015: Stillwell pilots a patio project on the Halifax boardwalk using a shipping container for the bar. Taps rotate but they're always 100 per cent Nova Scotian – summery beers, wine, cold brew coffee, lemonade – Stillwell’s got it all. In true Biergarten fashion, there is small menu of locally made hotdogs, sausages and pretzels. This locals’ hangout is right in the middle of tourist central but it manages to blend the two worlds in beer-drenched harmony.

Your Father's Moustache

700-5686 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax, NS B3J 1H5

The award-winning patio at Your Father’s Moustache is the most bumpin’ in town. Overlooking Spring Garden Road, this patio has some definite people-watching potential. The food is just average but the “Pub Club” has a following and the wing night is popular on Thursdays. Cocktails are basic; taps are largely domestic but there are three house beers made by the brew pub downstairs.

The Wooden Monkey

1707 Grafton St, Halifax, NS B3J 2C6

For the best view of the Halifax cityscape, cross the harbour and relax on the Wooden Monkey’s Dartmouth patio. Known for healthy, local and sustainable food, The Wooden Monkey has lots of options for vegans and conscious omnivores, with consideration for gluten-free and other dietary restrictions. The drink menu is vast, ranging from teas and juices to sangria, cocktails, local wine and craft beer. There is even a Kombucha Shandy on the menu, so you can feel healthy while you drink!

Gahan House Halifax

1869 Upper Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 1S9

The Gahan House is situated right on the Halifax waterfront, in close proximity to hotels and office towers, so it can get pretty busy during peak dining hours. Your best bet is to go in the late afternoon and try to grab a table by the water. There are seven taps pouring Gahan’s Charlottetown-brewed beers, as well as a few house beers that resident brewmaster, Karen Allen, brews on site. There is an oyster bar stocked with PEI’s best, and a pub-style menu with decent burgers and seafood.

The Bicycle Thief

1475 Lower Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 3Z2

The Bicycle Thief specializes in “North American food with an Italian soul.” While they do have a burger and a lobster roll, the menu is largely Italian, with entrees ranging from $18 to $35. Their trendy waterfront patio also has a “Champagne Bar” - open every evening in the summer. You can sit at the bar and enjoy a glass of bubbly al fresco. The bar stays open into the winter as a “Fire and Ice Bar” specializing in warm, boozy drinks for those willing to brave the elements!

Niche Lounge - Supperclub

1505 Barrington St, Halifax, NS B3J 3K5

Niche Lounge sits just below street level at the base of Spring Garden and Barrington. This place gets props for having some of the best specials in town! Happy hour is every day from 4 p.m. to close (so basically all the time!) This is a magical time when well shots and 18 oz draft beers are $3.25 and house wine is $4! Select appetizers are half price from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. This patio is a go-to for those on a budget. There is even a big screen out on the patio where big sporting events are shown.

Argyle Bar & Grill

1575 Argyle St, Halifax, NS B3J 2B2

The Argyle might just have the sunniest patio on Argyle Street, available in both the sidewalk and rooftop variety. The rooftop patio has a limited drink menu (think buckets of beer and frosty daiquiris) and turns into a party venue on Thursday to Saturday evenings with DJs spinning (Thursday is the most bumpin’ night with the best drink specials). Downstairs, there is an impressive roster of craft beer. With Chef Luis Clavel manning the kitchen, the Argyle is upping their food game in a big way!

Boondocks Dining Room & Lounge

6 Government Wharf Rd, Halifax, NS B3Z 3P1

This Eastern Passage patio is located in Fisherman’s Cove, a restored working fishing village. You’ll find locals and tourists alike enjoying the waterfront sunshine, with a view of Lawlor’s Island and MacCormack’s Beach. Pub food is served, as well as lots of deep fried seafood, steamed lobster dinners and sticky toffee pudding. Accessible by the #60 bus route, this patio makes for an easy escape from the urban core.

Halifax has lots of great coffee shops. Your favourite java place is probably the one in your neighbourhood, where they know your name and what you drink (half-caf no-foam non-fat vanilla soy latte, right?). Maybe you have a go-to shop where you meet up with friends or hold meetings. Or maybe you are a coffee snob and only the best will do!
Haligonians love their pizza, but we’ve become accustomed to budget pizza shops that cater to hungry students, busy families, the post-bar crowd and people in pajamas. Salvatore’s and Tomavino’s have been quietly leading the gourmet pizza front for years but now a brave new Halifax craves local ingredients, authenticity, artisanal technique and a good wine pairing!
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