Where to find Halifax’s most creative craft cocktails

Some may be surprised to hear that Halifax is known for its rock star bartenders, but it shouldn't really come as a shock, since Maritimers are known to fancy a drink. The fact is that the Nova Scotian capital boasts seriously creative bartenders who are producing some of the country's most cutting-edge craft cocktails. Nestled in the downtown core, there are endless options for tasty and inventive libations in Halifax.

Bitter End Martini Bar & Restaurant

1
1572 Argyle St, Halifax, NS B3J 2B3

This martini bar and restaurant has won countless awards ever since it first opened back in 2000. The Bitter End is most locals’ first choice when heading out for a celebratory drink, or a cocktail before dinner elsewhere. The vibe is hip, young (but not too young – you can still find suit-and-tie-clad business people at the bar) and definitely modern. Have a snack too – the food is just as good as the drinks.

The Bicycle Thief

2
1475 Lower Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 3Z2

Known as one of Halifax’s best fine dining restaurants, The Bicycle Thief prides itself on hiring only the most talented bartenders. In fact, some of the most well known mixologists in the region got their start at The Thief. In the summer, they have a scenic outdoor bar overlooking the harbour. I recommend trying one of their special cocktails of the day – they rarely offer the same drink twice.

Agricola Street Brasserie

3
2540 Agricola St, Halifax, NS B3K 4C5

This large, perfectly decorated, two-storey restaurant has the atmosphere of a prohibition-era watering hole, with a touch of French sophistication. The huge long bar is an ideal place to stop in for a drink after work or before dinner. When it comes to cocktails, the Ginger Snap (made with Johnny Walk Red, ginger beer and lemon) is a personal favourite, but honestly, they’re all good. Visit during happy hour between 4:00 and 6:30 pm from Monday to Saturday to enjoy discounted prices on beer and wine.

2 Doors Down Food & Wine

4
1533 Barrington St, Halifax, NS B3J 1Z4

Aptly named 2 Doors Down – because it’s literally two doors down from its sister restaurant, Chives – this restaurant is more commonly known for its gluten-free dishes and small plates. However, one look at their Instagram account and you can tell they’re mixing up some amazing new cocktails each and every day. I love this restaurant, and you will too, especially if you’re a bourbon fan.

Lot Six Restaurant&Bar

5
1685 Argyle, Halifax, NS B3J 2B5

Open since June 2015, this new-ish cocktail lounge and tapas bar is home to one of Halifax’s most famous bartenders: Jeff Van Horne (you’ll recognize him by his signature mustache). As far as craft cocktails go, you can’t do much better than Van Horne’s masterful concoctions. If you’re a spirits snob or a mixologist yourself, this is – hands down – the place for you.

Field Guide Restaurant

6
2076 Gottingen, Halifax, NS B3K 3A9

If you’re looking for top-notch drinks and locally inspired food, search no more. Field Guide is a no-pretence, friendly spot that nails each and every classic cocktail – and then some! Do yourself a favour and order the donair steam buns to snack on over drinks. They’re dangerously addictive, and a neat twist on the classic Halifax street food.

The Middle Spoon

7
1559 Barrington St, Halifax, NS B3J 1Z7

Sometimes you just want dessert and drinks, right? Locals with a sweet tooth love this cute and contemporary bar. Nightcaps and cheesecake are their speciality, serving up old standbys with a little something extra. They actually have another location in Bedford (just around the basin) that is every bit as good.

Prince George Hotel

8
1725 Market St, Halifax, NS B3J 3N9

Stay with me – this isn’t your average lobby bar. The cocktail program at Level is off the charts, with boozy combinations and spirits that you’ve never even heard of. They don’t discriminate either: gin, vodka, bourbon, rum, whiskey, tequila… pick your poison! Don’t be turned off by the hotel location – these drinks are a step above the rest.

The Henry House Ltd

9
1222 Barrington St, Halifax, NS B3J 1Y4

Located on the third floor of Henry House, the Drawing Room is upscale, swanky and sophisticated. Although it’s considered by many to be the most exclusive and classically elegant cocktail lounge in Halifax, there is absolutely nothing traditional about the drinks they serve. The bartenders will dazzle you with unimaginable surprises. Be warned: the menu here is a little pricey, so prepare your pocketbook.

The Press Gang

10
5218 Prince St, Halifax, NS B3J 0B1

A Halifax institution, this high-end, fine-dining establishment has been around for a long time, and deservedly so. Eat here if you’re an oyster or seafood fan, and wash it all down with a classic martini or the signature Press Gang Punch (for the rum lovers). For most Haligonians, The Press Gang can really do no wrong, and you’re sure to agree.

If you’re up early, you deserve to be rewarded with a great breakfast. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day (or at least that’s what they say!). Whether you’re in the heart of downtown or out in the suburbs, there are lots of delicious breakfast spots in Halifax to choose from, and a few that even specialize in early-morning fare.
When it comes to planning a business lunch, finding the perfect spot can be a challenge. You need a place that’s not too noisy, with reasonable wait times and efficient service. And of course, it’s an added bonus if the food and atmosphere impress the people you’re meeting with, whether they’re colleagues, partners or clients. These Halifax restaurants have been tried, tested and approved by the city’s movers and shakers.
Not to be too morbid, but if I was on death row, my last meal would definitely be Thai – it’s my favourite type of cuisine on the planet! The first time I ever had Thai food just so happened to be in Halifax, and I’ve been completely hooked ever since. Thai fare is very popular in the city, so you’ll never be too far from a steaming plate of pad Thai or a bowl of spicy green curry.
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