Fun & Fabulous

4 things people from Halifax need to explain

The capital of Nova Scotia has some explaining to do about the nightlife and seafood — plus a few other important things
north-and-south-halifax

Haligonians (yes, that’s what we call people from Halifax) have a lot to say, and it’s no wonder why! Visiting Halifax is like visiting a gem perched on Canada’s east coast. It’s the beauty of the Maritimes lined up with a city that is prime for growth in the coming decades. Who wouldn’t want to take a load off here?

Looking for someone to explain the essential aspects of Halifax to you? Whether you come from near or far, here’s what you’ll hear from the locals.

1. The seafood really is that good

halifax-seafood-restaurants
Ron Cogswell

Believe it or not, being right next to the Atlantic Ocean has its perks. Ever heard about how much better the lobster rolls are in Halifax? What about the oysters, the mussels or the clams? It’s all true! When you come to Halifax, you have to eat seafood — it’s just the way it goes. Locals admit that one exception might be trying a Halifax donair, but they’ll explain later on.

Favourite seafood spots: With a ton of seafood restaurants holding top nods, locals frequent Salty’s and McKelvie’s Restaurant.

2. Ever heard of a kitchen party?

kitchen-party-halifax
Nicole Bratt

A bit of a new-fangled terminology for anyone not from the east coast — kitchen parties are a way of life for the people of Halifax. Residents on this side of the country are known for being friendly, and a kitchen party typically describes any gathering that includes music, beverages and a rocking time. Referred to as a kitchen party because folks rarely leave the kitchen, locals like to say it might be because the food is just too good to go.

Best kitchen party tip: If you’re not hosting the kitchen party yourself, an east coast playlist will win you top nods at any of these festive and fun celebrations.

3. The last call means the second dinner

famous-halifax-donair
Morgan Garnet

Known as “the ultimate college town,” Halifax nightlife is quite popular among locals. After a night of drinking, any Haligonian will tell you that you need to find yourself at a pizza joint. This is where you can find a fresh slice, some falafels or the classic Halifax donair — which is something of a Maritime twist on the Turkish donair. Served in a pita with a garlic sauce that is to die for, shaved beef, tomato and onions — this is a late-snack that has been keeping post-pub bellies full since introduced to the streets of Halifax in the 1970s.

Favourite donair spot for after-hours: What locals refer to as “pizza corners,” some of the Nova Scotia travel forums recommend the King of Donair and Tony’s Donair.  

4. Halifax is a bit of a north-south love affair

north-and-south-halifax
Doug Kerr

If you want to understand Halifax geographically, just split the city into north-enders and south-enders. Otherwise, you may become confused. The north end of town is known for being a bit rough and tumble, but on the cutting edge of all the up and coming stuff happening in the city. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the south end is more developed and gentrified — where you’ll find more reputable shops and fewer boutiques. Both areas are growing in their unique ways, and when you come for a visit, exploring either end is always a fun experience.

Favourite north and south end activities: When checking out the north, visit all of the trendy boutiques both new and old. When visiting the south, check out the historical sites such as Citadel Hill.

When visiting Halifax, you’ll rarely feel out of place. The inclusiveness is in part due to the friendly nature of the people who call this city their home. If you need directions or an idea for something fun to try, chances are it’ll be offered up with a smile — just make sure to keep your listening ears on and your wits about you!

Max Specht
Max Specht

Nothing makes Max Specht happier than telling people where to go and what to do—and not in an authoritative sense. He prides himself on being a tour guide par excellence and has the recommendations to prove it.