Best Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant: Heartwood
Full disclosure: I have never been to Heartwood. But when I asked some of the vegans at Dal Law where they all go, Heartwood came up frequently. I never plan on going there. I like food with taste. However, I took a look at their website and they have stuff that resemble pizzas, burritos, and burgers.
Best Campus Eats: Probably Mezza
In the past year, Dalhousie has gone through a major shakeup with the food vendors on campus. One of the new editions is a franchise of the popular Mediterranean food chain Mezza. While I have not had an opportunity to eat at the one in the Student Union Building, I have had a chance to eat at some of their other locations. Even better, it is probably one of the healthier options on campus. To eat, I would recommend their signature chicken shawarma plate – chicken, rice, a salad and a pita for about $10.
Best Breakfast: Ardmore Tea Room
The Ardmore Tea Room is cosy diner on Quinpool Road that provides all the breakfast staples for a very affordable price. If you want a stack of pancakes with a glass of orange juice, they will make that. If you want a classic American or English breakfast, they can also make that.
However, another place that you can go to if you want to be a bit more adventurous would be the Coastal Café. My recommendations would be the Elvis (a waffle sandwich with peanut butter, bananas, Montreal bacon and maple syrup) or the McCoastal (two fried eggs, sausage or bacon, Havarti cheese, coastal sauce and peach catsup on a English muffin).
Best Place to Take Your Parents: La Frasca Cibi & Vini
This restaurant on Spring Garden Road specializes in Northern Italian cuisine. La Frasca manages to fuse the best elements of authentic Italian food with Nova Scotia’s rich seafood tradition. Their strength is in their seafood linguine with fresh Nova Scotia scallops, pancetta and a nice light garlicky sauce. They also have a very nice wine selection.
Best Asian Food: The Great Wall
This Halifax classic has been long seen as its leading Chinese restaurant. Their large menu provides plenty of opportunities for sharing if you want to bring a group of people out for an inexpensive night.
If you are more of a fan of Korean fare, I could also recommend Seoul Restaurant. This place provides traditional Korean options as well as Korean-style BBQ.
Best Ice Cream: Cows
Since ice cream is not a winter food, it is not a serious issue that the Cows on the waterfront make the best ice cream around. The best way to have it would be two different scoops of ice cream, in a waffle bowl (made on site), drizzled with chocolate fudge sauce.
Best Baked Goods: Layers
Layers is a small South End bakery that only makes cupcakes. But they do a damn good job of doing it. They provide a rotating assortment of cupcakes depending on the day of the week. Popular flavours are cookies and cream, chocolate peanut butter, and red velvet.
Other places to check out are Grounded Coffee Bar in Historic Properties for their creative spin on the doughnut (and massive portion sizes) and East Coast Bakery for Montreal-style bagels.
Best Lobster Roll: Evan’s Seafoods
This unassuming restaurant in the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal makes a brilliant Acadian-style Lobster Roll. What makes it different is the sauce uses a butter base instead of mayonnaise. As a result, the role has a very rich and creamy taste to it, which sets it apart from its competitors. And don’t sleep on their fries either.
Best Specialty Grocery Store: The Italian Market
This shop in the North End is a combination of a deli and a grocery store that specializes in Italian food. While the deli makes good sandwiches, the grocery store provides a diverse selection of high-end pastas and homemade Italian foods that can be heated up in the oven for a tasty supper. My recommendation, if you’re willing to pay a little extra, is the fresh homemade pasta that you can toss in a pot for a few minutes at the end of the day.
Best Cheap Pizza: Alexandra’s Pizza
Alexandra’s Pizza fills an important role in any law student’s life. That is where can you grab cheap food that will fill you up when cramming for some important project. There are eight locations throughout Halifax so no matter where you live you can walk on in and grab a large slice for a cheap price. But if you have the time, go to Sicilian on Pizza Corner for the superior slice.
Best Expensive Pizza: Morris East
This is a contest between Morris East and Piatto since they both make pizza using an authentic wood-fired oven rather than a North American convectional oven. Both are similar in terms of price point and menu selection. However, Morris East edges out Piatto on the grounds that their ingredients are slightly better and slightly fresher than those at Piatto’s. However, neither is as good as authentic Neapolitan pizza – thank you supply management.