Special occasions should be marked at special places. Whatever the nature of the occasion, however many people are celebrating, you’ll find a great option at one of the following restaurants. Check out this list with everyone joining the celebration and choose the location together. That way everyone can start getting excited together, and the anticipation will be just as fun as the night itself.
DaMaurizio is great for a fancy night out for Italian, white tablecloths and all. They have an extensive wine list that stretches across the globe, including seven different Champagnes (actually from Champagne; they also have other sparkling wines). They also have two private rooms, one for 12-20 people and one for 30-45, so if this special occasion is a group one, you can get some privacy. Enjoy a quieter, elegant atmosphere and celebrate in style.
Address: 1496 Lower Water Street
The Press Gang Restaurant and Oyster Bar
The Press Gang has 235 different kinds of whisky, a selection of oysters from 13 different locations in Atlantic Canada, and the bar is open until late. The food is in the high range in terms of budget, but they give fantastic value for every dollar. If your celebration is just between you and your significant other, beyond the bar they have two-person tables set into little ‘caves’. Quick note: if you have children with you, “pumpkin time” is 9pm for little ones.
Address: 5218 Prince Street
The Foggy Goggle
The Foggy Goggle is great for celebrating any time of the day. Whether you want to start the day off with a celebratory brunch or you end your night here with appetizers and local beer, this is a great place for any occasion. The staff are great, and the menu allows for any preferences. It’s a lowkey location, just waiting to be imbued with the atmosphere of your choice.
Address: 2057 Gottingen Street
The Stubborn Goat
Go to the Goat when you have a big group, or when you’re celebrating in a small group/couple, ready to be surrounded by others in a party mood too. They have a great selection of local food and drinks, seasonally appropriate, and they even have a great non-alcoholic drink menu (creative juice mixes are the best!) With a bar upstairs and downstairs, and tables in every configuration in both places, you can find a place to hang out no matter who you are and what you’re celebrating. And if you want, you can even book it for a private event!
Address: 1579 Grafton Street
Dee Dee’s is best known for its ice cream, and there’s good reason for that. They make their own ice cream, churned in small batches, and their flavour profile is extensive, from Vanilla to Orange Star Anise. But they also have burritos, quesadillas, and chili. The best time to enjoy Dee Dee’s is the summer, of course, but they’re open year-round, so if you want to mark an occasion with great ice cream and good food in a casual atmosphere, head to Dee Dee’s.
Address: 5668 Cornwallis Street
A Mano’s is a great option for mid-range priced, high-class Italian food. Right on the Waterfront, A Mano’s can be a romantic night, a birthday outing, or anything in between. If you have a group of ten or more, you can do the Italian Feast, which lets you share dishes around the table in a traditional family style. If the weather isn’t frightful, finish the evening with a walk, or better yet take a walk along the Waterfront to the restaurant, working up an appetite for the great food and drink.
Address: 1477 Lower Water Street
Le Bistro by Liz
A French bistro with great prices and white tablecloths, Le Bistro by Liz lends elegance to any meal. The Parisian atmosphere keeps things casually special, and the food and drink are the same. This is a great place to start an evening downtown, with the movie theatre just up the street, or you could come here after a walk through the Public Gardens, a wonderfully romantic part of Halifax (as long as it isn’t prom week, then it just seems like a bunch of escapees from a royal court have descended on the place). And if you enjoy music with your meal, check out their live music schedule.
Address: 1333 South Park
Having celebrated a few occasions at this bar, I can confirm that it’s a fantastic celebration zone. Their focus on local beer (brewed on the premises) makes it an interesting place to drink, while the menu gives you lots of great options. They have open mic nights on Friday if you like providing your own music for your celebrations, and live music on Saturday if you don’t. They have fantastically big booths, so if you have a big party this is a great place to enjoy one of their nightly specials and toast to a special occasion.
Address: 5686 Spring Garden Road
Sushi Jet has one major menu point: all-you-can-eat sushi. They have dozens of different options, and you can have as much as you want; you just have to eat everything you get (or you pay for that item separately), so make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach. It’s a great place to go when you’re hungry and really love sushi, and the bigger the group, the more things you can try and share. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, and the sushi is out of this world.
Address: 5518 Spring Garden Road
La Frasca Cibi and Vini La Frasca is great for a lively night out. They have great mid-budget ranged Italian food, liquor from around the world and a big range of local options, and great service. The restaurant itself can be noisy, so it’s great when you’re ready for a night out with the gang to laugh and talk into the night. If you’re looking for a quieter evening, you can always take advantage of their takeaway option.
Address: 5650 Spring Garden Road
Niche is a sports bar, a restaurant, and a lounge all in one. Whether you’re there before (or during) a game, enjoying an evening on the patio in the summer, Niche welcomes you with open arms. They have food from breakfast to dinner, all of it reasonably priced with options for sharing at every meal. And if your celebration includes going to a club, Pacifico waives cover for Niche customers.
Address: Spring Garden at Barrington Maritime Centre
2 Doors Down
2 Doors Down is an offshoot of Chives (which is 2 door doors up from them, hence the name), but it has successfully crafted its own identity over the last seven years. Focusing on local, seasonal ingredients, they also boast an extensive custom cocktail and wine menu. With a great kid’s menu, this is a wonderful option for a family celebration. And if you have a large group, you can always rent out the 2 Doors Down Bar & Bites private space.
Address: 1533 Barrington Street
EDNA’s is where you go when you want to enjoy a wide variety of dishes. With something for everyone on both the food and drink menus, Eat Drink Nourish Always (EDNA’S) is perfect for either a couple with different tastes or a whole group to go together and celebrate without arguing over where to go. Best of all, EDNA’s offerings are very reasonably priced, making it a celebration destination that won’t be too hard on the budget.
Address: 2053 Gottingen Street
La Piazza Pizza is a popular food choice for celebrations from hockey game wins to birthdays, but sometimes you want it to be a bit more elevated. Enter La Piazza, a pizza-focused restaurant with wood oven pizzas options from Vegan to Seafood. If pizza isn’t for everyone in your group, they have lots of other options for appetizers and entrees. They have a robust liquor selection, and desserts like chocolate fondant and strawberry shortcake. The pizzas are easily big enough to split, so this is a great place to bring friends and toast for the occasion.
Address: 6430 Chebucto Road
Because Salty’s has an upstairs and a downstairs, it can provide two very different celebration experiences. Downstairs is lively and open, perfect for a summer’s night on the water (just remember to bring a sweater if you want to eat outside, the temperature can change in an instant). Upstairs is more formal, with white tablecloths and a lovely view of the Halifax Harbor. Whichever you’re considering, they both have great food and staff that will make your night very special. Try one of their stunning desserts, or if the timing is right you can walk over to Cow’s for ice cream. Like A Mano’s (at the other end of the Waterfront), taking a walk before or after your meal adds the special magic of the Waterfront to your celebration.
Address: 1877 Upper Water Street