One of the best ways to get to know a city is through its cuisine. Halifax serves up outstanding food tours that reflect the innovative talents of local chefs and artisans, as well as the fertile farmlands and vineyards of Nova Scotia. World-class seafood (especially lobster) is to be expected, but the diversity of cuisine, breweries and fine dining, may surprise you. One thing is certain: when your taste buds fall in love with Halifax, your heart will soon follow.
Read on for seven irresistible foodie tours of Halifax.
Alexander Keith's Brewery
Take a stroll through Alexander Keith's original brewery as actors dressed in period costume lead you back in time to learn about this famous beer, the famous brewery and the challenges of life in Halifax in 1863.
You would be hard pressed to find a Nova Scotian who doesn't know the name Alexander Keith. In addition to being a prominent businessperson and a philanthropist, Alexander Keith was twice elected and once proclaimed mayor of Halifax and sat in the Nova Scotia legislature for 30 years.
Despite these impressive achievements, his name is best recognised because of the beer that has been "brewed without compromise since 1820". Alexander Keith's has been in operation in Nova Scotia since Alexander created the recipe himself. When you've finished the tour, make sure you swing by the Red Stag Tavern to sample his finest ales.
Halifax foodie adventure
Beginning at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site with a behind-the-scenes charcuterie and spirit tasting session, the Halifax Foodie Adventure takes you deep into Halifax's history and culture - via your taste buds. From here, you'll explore Halifax's up-and-coming neighbourhoods, trendy eateries, and Halifax's official food at Johnny K's Donairs, a Halifax institution.
But it's not just about what's on the menu, it's about the people behind the food. Meet local culinary artisans and chefs who perfectly pair your delicious morsels with local wine, craft beer and spirits. From oyster tasting and cider pairing, to the best seafood chowder you've ever tasted, these are the true flavours of Nova Scotia.
Wines on the water
There's something about sipping wine aboard an elegant ship, watching the city lights flicker from afar, that makes time stand still. Add soulful music and mouth-watering treats, and you've got an unforgettable sensory experience. Relax on the top deck of the Tall Ship Silva as you sail across the Halifax Harbour on the Wines on the Water tour. Savour a five-course wine sampling, paired with delicious edibles created with locally sourced ingredients. Hear about the origins of each wine, from vine to barrel, and enjoy the foot-tapping tunes of a quintessential Nova Scotian fiddler.
Wet your whistle
Be part of the exploding craft beer scene in Halifax. Being the home of Alexander Keith, Nova Scotians take their beer seriously. Board the Halifax Food Tours' Beer Bus, and make your way around the city, stopping at breweries, cideries, brew pubs and beer bars along the way. If wine and spirits is more your style, take the Drink Halifax walking tour during happy hour, for locally inspired cocktails, wine lounges, and some of the city's funkiest bars.
South of Morris Street in downtown Halifax, affectionately known as SOMO, is a treasure trove of foodie delights. Settled in the early 1800s, SOMO is filled with charming architecture from the era, from elegant homes to working class cottages. Today, it's the city's most vibrant culinary hub, home to artisan cuisine and the Seaport Market. Take a SOMO Food Tour and sample gourmet pizza, hand-crafted chocolate, Shawarma, bakery treats and hand-roasted coffee, to name a few. Browse the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market and explore some of Halifax's most iconic 'hoods, such as Irishtown and the waterfront.
Aptly named, Night Out in Halifax, this bustling tour takes in the best of Halifax's colourful night life. Fuel up with an appetizer in the historic Schmidtville district and then eat your way through 'vintage row', past Artillery Place and the hidden cemetery, through the Spring Garden District, and finish up on Barrington Street. Along the way, you'll devour Japanese and Turkish classics, home-made Canadian comfort foods, and dishes served up by Halifax's most innovative chefs in some of the city's most longstanding establishments.
Culinary harbour cruise
The Halifax harbour is the heart and soul of the city. A cruise of the harbour and a degustation meal is a match made in heaven. Set sail on the Harbour Queen I, a Mississippi-style paddle wheeler, for a two-hour Ambassatours Dinner Cruise, where you'll travel through the Halifax harbour and along the scenic Northwest Arm. Take in the sights and flavours of the city as you listen to the guides share fascinating historical stories, including the tragic Halifax Explosion. A true Maritime feast follows, with a five-course meal served with classic Nova Scotian wine, perfectly staged against the setting sun over the glittering Atlantic coast.