The lunch options in Halifax lean towards pubs with Gaelic names, beer-stained carpets and deep-fried menus. If you’re looking for something a little more salubrious, here are three spots for a good-value mid-day meal.
A short walk from the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal, Renée Lavallée’s sandwich shop draws legions of Haligonians across the harbour during the lunch hour. Some would even swim those icy waters for her Crobster, a soft roll piled high with big chunks of lobster and sweet snow crab lightly bound in truffle aioli, grainy mustard and dill. You’d be hard pressed to find a better lobster roll in Canada. All breads are made in house, like chewy bagels that are stacked with silky lox, juicy tomato and thick smears of tobiko-spiked cream cheese. On your way out grab a coffee at the excellent Two If By Sea Café.
66 Ochterloney St. (Dartmouth), 902-425-9272
Indochine Banh Mi
There are two downtown locations of this casual Vietnamese restaurant with counter service and compostable plates. While the one on Barrington Street is closed on weekends, the other, which is just off the shopping strip along Spring Garden Road, is open for business all week long. There are some excellent vegetarian options, like grilled tofu, charred and soft, in a Saigon sub with pickled veggies and incendiary bits of green chili. The “ultimate bowl” features cold rice noodles and shredded iceberg topped with moist lemongrass pork, a crispy spring roll and a pair of plump shrimp. The dressing could use more punch, but it’s nothing a squirt of Sriracha can’t fix. To drink, try the spicy ginger beer from Propeller, a local brewer.
1551 South Park St., 902-407-1222;
1701 Barrington St., 902-407-1222
Around the corner from the breathtaking new Halifax Central Library – which you really must see – this bright, cozy pizza joint runs a $20 prix fix special that’s one of the best lunch deals in town. It starts with a glass of the house wine or beer and a little salad of spirited greens with shaved fennel, carrot and Grana Padano. You get a nine-inch, thin-crust pizza, be it a classic Margherita with bright tomato sauce, gooey mozzarella and fresh basil, or the inventive white pie with grilled chicken breast, smoky rashers of Oulton’s bacon and tangy ranch dressing. To finish, there’s a tiny, buttery tart shell filled with salted caramel sauce.
5212 Morris St., 902-444-7687;
plus 1 other location