Romance and food go together–everyone needs to eat, and why not do it with someone you love? Halifax has many options for romantic dinners, but I’ve narrowed it down to 15 on the Halifax Peninsula. There are two kinds of restaurants on this list: cozy and elegant places for intimate dinners, and fun spaces where you can get to know someone new. Wherever you are in your relationship, you’ll have a lovely night with your significant other at one of these places.
The Press Gang Restaurant and Oyster Bar
In one of the city’s oldest structures, this high-range restaurant has a smaller menu than some of the others on this list, but they do everything incredibly well. They source fresh oysters from all over Atlantic Canada at their oyster bar, featuring at least 3 farms every day. They have Whiskey Night on Tuesdays, which is a great chance to try one of their nearly 100 different kinds, and there’s live music every Friday and Saturday night. The Press Gang is open until “late”, which can mean the wee hours of the morning, making this a great place for a long, fun night out, or one last call before heading home.
Address: 5218 Prince Street
This place is a mid-range budget restaurant with great food. It’s open for business all year, so in the summer it’s a perfect place to end a walk on the Halifax Waterfront, and in winter it’s a cozy place to warm up. For more privacy go upstairs, where there are tables tucked in nooks and a spectacular view. Even the view at night is interesting—it looks like the ferry is sailing by right next to the window.
Address: 1877 Upper Water Street
At the other end of the Halifax Waterfront is A Mano’s, a mid-range budget Italian restaurant. They will often have events surrounding the holidays, so it’s a great way to share date night with others in a similar mood. The atmosphere is fun and elegant at the same time (a true achievement), and they have something on the menu for everyone. And if you don’t want to dine in for date night, they have takeaway for nearly everything on the menu, including their fabulous desserts.
Address: 1477 Lower Water Street
Foggy Goggle The Foggy Goggle is a fantastic spot to get to know each other. The menu is mid-range with many dietary and allergy concerns addressed, it’s cozy and fun, and the staff are great. This is a great place for the first couple of dates–good food and drinks to keep the conversation going, and easy on the budget. It’s also a great place to go if you want to explore the North end, or just walk down Gottingen to try out one of the two doughnut stores (Vandal’s Doughnuts and Fortune Doughnuts).
Address: 2057 Gottingen Street
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Brooklyn Warehouse is mid- to high range in terms of budget, but you get value for every dollar you spend. This bistro is beloved by Halifax all around, and the neighbourhood feel of the place makes it fit right into this part of town. Brooklyn Warehouse is committed to sourcing local ingredients for their food, and they serve several local beers and wines. This is a great place to start exploring restaurants outside of downtown Halifax for a special occasion.
Address: 2795 Windsor Street
Le Bistro by Liz
The winner of multiple local and travel agency awards, Le Bistro by Liz is casual elegance at its most reasonable. With live music on offer and a fantastic French cuisine menu that is in a mid-range budget, Le Bistro makes you feel like you’ve stepped into Paris. To complement this, the décor also has a Parisian flair, with red-checked tablecloths and French wall decorations. And if Paris is known for anything, it’s for romance.
Address: 1333 South Park
The Henry House
The Henry House has an upstairs and a downstairs, and both have their own charm. Upstairs is more of a restaurant, downstairs is a pub, and they both serve great food. Upstairs is casual elegance; downstairs has small cozy booths and open two person tables to choose from. For both floors, it’s a mid-range budget and a wide-range menu for both food and drink. It’s pub food with over 20 great local beers to choose from, a great place for either a first date or one of the first few.
Address: 1222 Barrington Street
The Bluenose II
The Bluenose II is a lower-range restaurant with astounding food; they even have a lobster dinner at a very reasonable price (it’s a better deal when it’s lobster season, of course). Every course has reasonable priced options with portions great for sharing, and it’s generally quiet and peaceful. It’s downtown Halifax and a great place to stop after work, or to spend a first date getting to know each other. You’ll definitely want to stay for dessert—everything is out of this world.
Address: 1824 Hollis Street
Krave Burger Krave might not be the first thing you think of when you think of romance, but it’s a great low-range place for the first few dates. It’s close to the Park Lane theatre (so great for before-movie food), the burgers are fantastic and so is everything else on the menu, and the staff are great, which makes for a fun atmosphere to get to know each other in. Krave is obviously focused on the burgers, but they have a huge variety of options, including gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan. They also have some beer on tap, if you’re not in the mood for pop or a milkshake.
Address: 5680 Spring Garden Road
Morris East has a small mid-range menu and does everything right. There are lit candles at every table, wood pizza ovens, live music events, and there’s options for every palate and dietary need. They will often have special prix fixe menus, and their cocktail menu includes some delicious mocktails. There are three Morris East locations, two on the Peninsula and one in Bedford, and they’re all lovely places for a quieter night out (or musical, when there’s live music).
Address & Phone: 1984 Vernon Street (902-444-7669), 5212 Morris Street (902-444-7687), 620 Nine Mile Drive (Bedford) (902-444-7671)
This high-range Italian restaurant is Italian food at its finest. With a wine list spanning four continents and a menu with options for everyone, Da Maurizio is for special occasions for sure, but well worth the price. They even have white tablecloths, which according to my mother makes it feel even fancier. Located in the Brewery Complex, a recognized Historical Place in Canada, it’s another restaurant close to the Waterfront, giving you the option to work up an appetite with a walk before, or to stroll around after your meal (weather permitting…or maybe not if you’re a fan of romantic rainy atmosphere).
Address: 1496 Lower Water Street
La Frasca Cibi and Vini
La Frasca is a mid-range Italian restaurant with great food. They have cozy tables towards the back and the front tables give a great look out the big front windows. The atmosphere is sparkling, with friendly conversations going on all around. The wine list is extensive, and the food ranges from big hearty meals to small-yet-satisfying appetizers. It’s a great place for a lively dinner with good food and wine, and it’s close to everything Spring Garden has to offer. Like A Mano’s, they also offer takeaway.
Address: 5650 Spring Garden Road
Rock Bottom Rock Bottom is a mid-range bar on Spring Garden Road with fantastic food and a cozy atmosphere. They have nice high booths, beers brewed on-property, and specials every night of the week. They have an Open Mic night every Friday, or if you’re not musically inclined yourself you can come on Saturdays for live music, starting at 8:30. There’s even Trivia on Tuesday, making this a great casual date place, with something different to check out every night of the week.
Address: 5686 Spring Garden Road
The Stubborn Goat
The Stubborn Goat is one of the most fun spots I’ve ever been to. Tucked away on Grafton Street, this place is great all-year round. They have seasonal outside seating (they have deck heaters to keep you cozy on chillier summer days), and lots of tables and room at the bars inside. Another place that’s open until “late”, it’s a great place to hang out, choose from their huge drinks menu, and keep the food coming—they focus on local suppliers, so you’re having a lovely night out and supporting local businesses!
Address: 1579 Grafton Street
The Keg Steakhouse and Bar
The Keg is a premier Steakhouse chain in Canada, and its Halifax location lives up to its reputation. Their steak is obviously what they’re best known for, but they also have a great variety of appetizers. You can add to your steak dinner, with options like shrimp, sautéed mushrooms, and bleu cheese crust. If you want to sit on the bar side, you have access to all appetizers while you’re having a drink. This is a high range in terms of budget, so save the dinner for a special occasion and try out some appetizers and drinks on the bar side when you’re enjoying a regular date night.
Address: 1712 Market Street
By: Adrienne Colborne