Superior salads in Halifax

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.

Epicurious Morsels

5529 Young St, Halifax, NS B3K 1Z7

The calm sophistication of Epicurious Morsels makes it one of the big draws of the Hydrostone neighbourhood. White tablecloths and red banquettes, along with an impeccably mannered staff, leave you serene and ready to indulge in one of the many delicious salads on offer here, several of which – like the pear and Roquefort, and the shrimp, avocado and mango – are made to order. However, The Cobb is the standout. Packed with blue cheese, egg, turkey and bacon bits, it's a delicious delicacy that's truly to die for.

The Wooden Monkey

1707 Grafton St, Halifax, NS B3J 2C6

Look for the historic brick house with the yellow wood accents on Grafton Street. Inside you'll find a comfy, inviting space with views of downtown, largely constructed from wood recovered from buildings downed by Hurricane Juan in 2003. They pride themselves on local ingredients here, making salads like the roasted chickpea salad or the sweet apple salad – with daikon and scallions – extra delicious. For those who lean macrobiotic, vegan or gluten-free, the staff here are wonderfully accommodating.

The Stubborn Goat Gastropub

1579 Grafton St, Halifax, NS B3J 2C3

A two-tiered, appealing and busy spot in downtown Halifax, The Stubborn Goat may have, at certain angles, the look of a sports bar. However, the food is a cut above, with traditional favourites brightened up with fresh new spins: For example, the watermelon ricotta salad features port-soaked watermelon, while the arugula Caesar comes with sourdough crostini and crisp anchovy. Gluten-free options abound, and there are plenty of wonderful drinks to go with whatever you order.

Morris East

5212 Morris St, Halifax, NS B3J 1B4

Well-known for their wood-fired pizza and weekend brunch, Morris East is also a great spot for a salad. Located on a pleasant block of historic buildings, the space is small but comfortable. The exposed brick and piping give it a simultaneously rough, industrial and polished feeling. The Caesar salad is a real stand out here – the addition of lemon confit in the salad makes it delightfully tangy. If Caesar salads aren't your thing, try the shaved salad, made from shaved root vegetables, shaved onion and cilantro.

Armview Restaurant & Lounge

7156 Chebucto Rd, Halifax, NS B3L 1N4

There is a lot on the menu at The Armview, but the salads more than hold their own. There's always some ingredient here that punches through and makes the dish sing in your mouth: The baby spinach salad has grilled pear and honey-sherry vinaigrette, and the quinoa salad has cilantro, lime and seared scallops. The vibe is retro-diner and friendly, and certain nights of the week feature DJs and musical performances.

Ristorante a Mano

1477 Lower Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 3Z4

Walking along Halifax Harbour’s boardwalk? Turn into Bishop's Landing and grab a seat at the loud but appealing Ristorante a Mano. Large circular tables are packed together, the ceiling is low and there's not much to absorb the noise, so raise your voice and get into it. This is traditional Northern Italian fare, and the stand-out dish is the warm roasted chicken salad with pancetta – the grated pecorino gives it a nice kick. If something lighter is called for, the red beet salad with hazelnut is a great choice. All the salads here are available as appetizers or mains.

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.
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.
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