Five Can’t-Miss Halifax Bars

From bustling pubs to a secret speakeasy, Halifax is bursting with watering holes

Stillwell Beer Bar

It’s not hard to find a great bar in Halifax. Here are five of our favourites.

Wine and cheese

It’s all about wine, and foods to pair with wine, at Obladee, a small, casual spot located on Barrington Street and run by a brother-and-sister team. With restored 1930s terrazzo floor, and tables and bars made of Douglas fir from an old wharf, there’s lots of rustic charm in this 1910 building. Choose a glass of vino from the extensive wine list and pair it with a customized cheese and charcuterie board. Every few weeks, they pull something from the cellar that’s normally sold by the bottle only and offer it by the glass.

Heady hangout

Since opening three years ago, fans have flocked to Stillwell Beer Bar, a laid-back downtown watering hole, beloved for its devotion to craft breweries from the Maritimes and beyond, including hard-to-get-in-Canada brews. A social space with communal tables and plenty of drinking ledges, the bar’s minimalist decor features discrete nods (like candy-apple red resin table tops) to Stillwell, the Coney Island subway stop where the owners hashed out business plans for the bar. Try the fries, maybe Halifax’s best, from the snack menu. Come summer, look for Stillwell’s popular 200-seat, open-air beer garden and barbecue on bustling Spring Garden Road.

Celtic heart

With blazing fireplaces, wood panels, brick walls and cozy rooms, The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse is a deservedly popular Halifax landmark known for great food and drink as well as live folk music seven nights a week, no cover. The Prince Street pub is comprised of three buildings, but remains intimate thanks to its five separate rooms. Order a pint of craft beer. There’s a selection of seven Nova Scotia brews on tap and some classic pub grub such as curry chips with mushy peas.

Secret speakeasy

The Drawing Room, a speakeasy-style whisky bar located on the top floor of the stately granite and ironstone Henry House restaurant and pub, only opens Friday and Saturday evenings, so snagging a seat (preferably by the fireplace), feels special. The townhouse was built in 1834 and was once home to William Alexander Henry, a father of Confederation and former Halifax mayor. With much of the building’s original structure maintained, it’s like a trip through time, but with craft cocktails.

Authentic touch

If you’re looking for an authentic Irish pub head to Durty Nelly’s on the corner of Argyle and Sackville streets. The bar was designed and built in Ireland and reassembled in downtown Halifax. Celebrating its eighth anniversary last month with an interior refresh, the pub’s stock-in-trade remains good craic (atmosphere) with daily events that include live musical performances, ceilidhs, open-mic nights and trivia events. Settle in with a pint and a bowl of made-from-scratch seafood chowder served with Guinness brown bread.

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