The Best of Halifax is Downtown

November 05/15
The Best of Halifax is Downtown

The Coast’s Best of Halifax awards have become a badge of honour among businesses in Halifax and beyond. Those small but mighty little gold, silver, and bronze plaques signify that among The Coast’s large readership, you’re in.

As usual it’s clear that the Best of Halifax is Downtown. Here's a complete list of BoH-winning businesses Downtown for 2015 (click business name for more information):

2 Doors Down, 1533 Barrington Street: A fresh, modern style of casual dishes using a local and seasonal ingredient base. Can’t go wrong with a burger and kale Caesar salad.

Applehead Studios, 1658 Market Street: Home of the happiest wedding photographers in the world, Applehead Studio, Inc is Halifax’s only full time wedding photography studio, located in the heart of downtown Halifax. 

Argyle Fine Art, 1559 Barrington Street: A fine art gallery focused on featuring the work of emerging and established Atlantic Canadian artists.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 1723 Hollis Street: Our provincial art gallery- and free on Thursday evenings from 5-9pm.

Attica Furnishings, 1566 Barrington Street: Four floors of clean, contemporary style. Design services also available on-site.

Baton Rouge, 1877 Hollis Street: Life is about balance- sometimes you want a steak, and sometimes you want a gluten-free menu. Both available at Baton Rouge!

Bearly’s House of Blues, 1269 Barrington Street: Halifax’s best blues bar, complete with a recently re-vamped menu and a wide selection of drinks.

Bikram Yoga, 1567 Grafton Street: The hottest yoga in Atlantic Canada- 105 degrees, 90 minutes and 26 postures. 

Biscuit General Store, 1661 Argyle Street: A one stop shop for beautiful clothes, footwear, jewelry and fun and quirky gifts.

Bishop’s Cellar, 1477 Lower Water Street: Offering a range of delicious and exclusive wine, spirits and beer. Where else can you buy booze at 11pm on a weekend?

Boneheads BBQ, 1014 Barrington Street: An authentic Southern BBQ experience Downtown Halifax, made with local ingredients whenever possible.

Bowtique Hair & Makeup, 1668 Barrington Street: Find your happy at our hair and makeup Bowtique where you will be greeted by Chloe May & Beatrice Ophelia, officially doggy greeters of the salon.

Burrito Jax, 5215 Blowers Street: Made to order burritos. Enough said.

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, 1055 Marginal Road: Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia, is Canada's national museum of immigration. The museum occupies part of Pier 21, which operated as an ocean liner terminal and immigration shed from 1928 to 1971.

Chives Canadian Bistro, 1537 Barrington Street: Extraordinary casual dining. Ask them to show you the Vault!

Cyclone Group Fitness, 2-5187 Salter Street: When working out is as fun as it is at Cyclone, it doesn’t feel like work- and you will go back!

Da Maurizio, 1496 Lower Water Street: For over 20 years, da Maurizio has provided exquisite variations on Italian cuisine- also winner of Open Table’s Diner’s Choice award in 2015.

Durty Nelly’s, 5221 Sackville Street: A truly Irish experience in the heart of Downtown Halifax. Rib night Wednesdays are what dreams are made of.

Fireworks Gallery, 1569 Barrington Street: Catering to Nova Scotia’s locals and visitors since 1977. Also offers jewelry repair!

Frank & Oak, 1557 Barrington Street: Helping a generation of men live and dress well. Quality and attention to detail.

Freak Lunchbox, 1729 Barrington Street: Inspired by circus sideshows, roadside attractions and CANDY!

Fruition, 1209 Marginal Road: Using local and organic ingredients to create foods that satisfy your taste buds and nourish your body.

Gahan House, 1869 Upper Water Street: Enjoy the relaxed, unique atmosphere on the harbourfront- along with delicious food, handcrafted ales, and great service.

Garrison Brewery Company, 1149 Marginal Road: The 1929 character building houses an open-concept brewery, hospitality room and retail store, offering daily sampling, cold beer sales and private catered events.

Getaway Farms, 1209 Marginal Road: All livestock are 100% grass-fed and land is free from fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides. At Getaway, their business is soil, sunlight, grass, manure, and meat.

Gingergrass Thai and Vietnamese Restaurant, 1284 Barrington Street: Fresh herbs, vegetable and meats are used to prepare delicious and flavorful dishes.

Gio Restaurant, 1725 Market Street: Fine dining with a twist. Lunch, dinner and a beautiful bar and lounging area with a sommelier-selected wine list, dreamy cocktail and martini selection and the finest in spirits.

Grand Taj Restaurant, 5175 South Street: Authentic Indian Cuisine at its finest.

Halifax Alehouse, 1717 Brunswick Street: A toast to Halifax tradition. Live entertainment and specials.

Henry House, 1222 Barrington Street: British-style watering hole serving local & imported beers & classic pub grub in a stately setting.

HFX Sports, 1721 Brunswick Street: With two levels of screen you'll be able to relax and enjoy the game without missing a second of the action.

Indochine Banh Mi, 1701 Barrington Street: A unique fusion of Asian-inspired flavors that will satisfy the palates of ethnic food lovers, vegetarians and those seeking a healthy alternative to traditional fast-food.

Layers, 1276 Barrington Street: Beautifully designed and handcrafted cupcakes and wedding cakes.

Turbine by Lisa Drader-Murphy, 1869 Upper Water Street: President and owner of the Turbine and the Lisa Drader-Murphy labels. National Fashion Columnist for FineLifestyles Magazine and 2005 Progress Club Women of Excellence award winner in the category of innovator/entrepreneur, Drader-Murphy has been a designer for the garment design and manufacturing industry since 1990.

Locas Billiards, 5171 George Street: Open 7 days a week until 1am, complete with mezzanine to overlook the action!

Lot Six Bar and Restaurant, 1685 Argyle Street: Enjoying a delicious cocktail in the atrium under a starry night sky in one of Halifax’s newest gems is an experience not to be missed.

Lower Deck, 1887 Upper Water Street: The music flows as freely as the ale and good times are guaranteed.

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, 1675 Lower Water Street: The oldest and largest Maritime Museum in Canada. The largest site in Nova Scotia that collects and interprets various elements of Nova Scotia’s marine history.

Maxwell’s Plum, 1600 Grafton Street: A local watering hole featuring an extensive variety of draft brews and casual eats.

Mezza Lebanese Kitchen, 1558 Barrington Street: Food is made to order with fresh ingredients. 

Morris East, 5212 Morris Street: A creative neighbourhood restaurant. Gourmet pizzas and other imaginative foods, cocktails & wines.

Mountain Equipment Co-op, 1550 Granville Street: Canada's leading retailer of clothing, gear and services for outdoor activities. Your purchases support Canadian environmental causes.

Neptune Theatre, 1593 Argyle Street: Atlantic Canada's largest regional theatre- don’t miss A Year with Frog and Toad Holiday Musical, on from November 24 to January 3, 2016.

Niche Lounge, 1505 Barrington Street: 4pm happy hour EVERY DAY until close.  

Noble, 1563 Barrington Street: Get that secret password, whisper it to one of the servers at the Middle Spoon and be taken to a new world where delicious cocktails and jazz are plentiful.

Noggins, 1209 Marginal Road: Noggins Corner Farm combines the latest agricultural technology with the farming instincts of a family who is deeply rooted in the land.

Obladee, a Wine Bar, 1600 Barrington Street: Carefully selected wines, knowledgeable staff and delightful ambience.

Ocean Optometry, 5240 Blowers Street: Take care of those peepers in style! Eye exams, fine eyewear and great service.

Pacifico Bar & Grill, 1505 Barrington Street: Spacious and modern club with high energy DJs and late night dancing.

Pearl & Daisy, 1869 Upper Water Street: Soaps and other products inspired by the beauty of coastal living. Pearl & Daisy products capture these places with special blends of essential oils distilled from fresh flowers, fruit and plants.

Piatto Pizzeria + Enoteca, 5144 Morris Street: Piatto use ingredients and procedures regulated by the Italian governing association so you experience a "true" pizza like you would find in the energetic pizzerias in Naples, Italy (but without the airfare).

RCHMND, 1876 Hollis Street: For the stylish dude. 

Reflections Cabaret, 5187 Salter Street: DJ shows, cheap drinks, late night dancing and an eclectic crowd make Refs a venue not to be missed in the sea of Halifax nightlife.

Remedy Spa, 1546 Granville Street: Remedy is truly a space where you can spoil yourself (and your pals!) rotten. Complete with facial bar, liquor license and a wide selection of products.

Ristorante aMano, 1477 Lower Water Street: Italian food and a beautiful waterfront setting. Perfection.

Sailor Bup’s Barbershop, 5281 Sackville Street: Home of the original beard oil in Nova Scotia.

Saint Lou’s Gentlemen’s Barbershop, 1869 Upper Water Street: Well-tailored haircuts at the relaxed yet timely pace of a barbershop. It's as much about the music and friendly vibe as it is about getting a trim

Sawadee Tea House, 1871 Granville Street: Over 375 of the world's finest loose leaf teas sold locally and through sustainable, organic, and fair trade practices.

Scanway Catering & Pasty, 1505 Barrington Street: Have you seen these donuts? There’s a lot of other stuff too, but you’ve gotta see these donuts.

Sicilian Pizza, 5245 Blowers Street: The last man standing at Pizza Corner. Home of the big slice.

Smoke's Poutinerie, 5236 Blowers Street: Cloggin’ arteries and fillin’ bellies since 2008. Open late every day!

Spirit Spa, 200-5150 Salter Street: Spirit is about helping you look and feel your best. It's about taking care of yourself with services designed to help you recharge, relax and beautify.

Stillwell, 1672 Barrington Street: Great music, great snacks and great craft beer in a beautiful, contemporary space.

Strange Adventures, 5110 Prince Street: One of Canada’s award winning and oddest comic book stores.

Susie's Shortbreads, 2-1949 Upper Water Street:  At Susie’s, they only use real butter in our recipes, they crack every egg, they measure every cup of flour & sugar, they zest & juice real lemons, and you can pronounce every ingredient they use.

Talay Thai, 1300 Hollis Street: Authentic and award-winning Thai food. Get the spicy noodle!

Taz Records, 1521 Grafton Street: With over thirty thousand new and used records and CDs, and hundreds of new arrivals every week, you’ll never get bored browsing these bins.

Tempo Food + Drink, 1875 Barrington Street: A contemporary, urban open kitchen eatery situated street side with a convenient Grab + Go section for lunch.

The Battered Fish, 1751 Lower Water Street: Always fresh, always to order. Fresh seafood on the waterfront.

The Bicycle Thief, 1475 Lower Water Street: The Bicycle Thief exudes a relaxed, come-as-you-are feel, in an atmosphere that blends Old School style with New School attitude.

The Bitter End, 1572 Argyle Street: Martini Monday is not to be missed. Over one million martinis sold!

The Board Room Game Café, 1256 Barrington Street: Hundreds of games are available to play or buy at this cheery cafe serving beer, coffee & snacks.

The Carleton Music Bar & Grill,1685 Argyle Street: Casual Canadian cuisine in the heart of downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Carleton is also one of Canada's premiere 'listening rooms' and has featured a who's-who of the Canadian (and international) music scene.

The Five Fishermen, 1740 Argyle Street: The Five Fishermen is known for its Nova Scotian Seafood, Alberta Angus beef and an array of Chef-inspired menu items, prepared with uncompromising quality.

The Flower Shop, 1887 Granville Street: Watch out for sales on arrangements, and brighten up your winter with some beautiful bouquets.

The Great Wall, 1649 Bedford Row: Dim sum Sundays! Lunch specials! Voted Best Chinese Food in Halifax in the Coast since 1999.

The Middle Spoon, 1563 Barrington Street: Great desserts, awesome drinks - AND a secret speakeasy in the basement (shh).

The Old Apothecary, 1549 Barrington Street: One of Downtown Halifax’s newest gems, offering pastries, coffee and High Tea events.

The Old Triangle, 5136 Prince Street: Pub menu, live music 7 nights a week and gluten free and vegetarian options.

The Prince George Hotel, 1725 Market Street: A wide array of hotel amenities and guest services ensure that you have everything you could possibly need and more.

The Smiling Goat, 1475 Lower Water Street: Espresso bar serving delicious fresh brewed coffees, espresso, latte, cappuccino, flat white, americano, cortado, mocha and macchiato.

The Stubborn Goat, 1579 Grafton Street: The Goat has an extensive selection of drinks, amazing food and a great atmosphere.

The Westin Nova Scotian, 1181 Hollis Street: This AAA/CAA Four Diamond Halifax hotel features an ideal location near the scenic harbour. Steps from world-class Halifax attractions, it's an ideal place to savour the sights and sounds of this beautiful city. 

The Wooden Monkey, 1707 Grafton Street: A restaurant with a conscience. Local. Sustainable. Organic. NS grown meat. Gluten Free. Vegetarian.

Two if By Sea, 1869 Upper Water Street: Embrace indulgence in the form of coffee & big ol' pastries.

Urban Cottage Antiques, 1819 Granville Street: Treasure hunting.

Venus Envy, 1598 Barrington Street: Anyone who’s turned off by traditional sex shops will find Venus Envy a welcoming and informative place to get cool and sexy stuff.

Willy’s Fresh Cut, 5329 Blowers Street: You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten Willy’s poutine on Pizza Corner at 2am.

World Tea House, 1592 Argyle Street: Specialists in Organic and Fair Trade Loose Leaf Teas.

Yuk Yuks, 1181 Hollis Street: Live, uncut comedy. Everyone needs a good laugh!


Kudos to those who own bragging rights to the same categories several years in a row. Much admiration to new businesses who dethrone reining category champions- it’s a good sign for your future!