Six Takeout Places Making Halifax Canada’s Next Dining Destination

Written by Karen Burshtein

Friendly, laid back Halifax is starting to make its mark on the culinary map with some seriously world class restaurants. It’s also a city made for great takeout, with endless year-round waterside destinations for picnics on the beach or in the harbour. Not to mention, Halifax is also a university town; while Dalhousie University fills the city with students to feed, takeout is on every curriculum. Let’s not forget the city’s claim to takeout fame – their two most famous culinary offerings – the lobster roll and Halifax Donair (the unofficial snack of the city).

We’ve compiled a list of 6 spots where locals and in-the-know visitors go for great takeaway. These hot spots are sort of insider secrets, for now…

Dave's Lobster Rolls

If you have only one meal in Halifax (and we wouldn’t wish that on anyone) then it should be a lobster roll from this waterfront takeout stand. Locals are very passionate about their favourite lobster roll joints, but it’s no surprise that Dave’s can be found on the vast majority of “best-of” lists. Dave’s hits home runs with rolls filled with generous and meaty chunks of fresh caught cold lobster mixed with mayo or warm lobster with butter, lemon and garlic. Rolls come with a side of Maritime-made potato chips, the perfect meal to take to the harbour for the ultimate Maritime takeout experience.


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Economy Shoe Shop

The Economy Shoe Shop Café & Bar, aka The “Shoe”, has been a Halifax hangout since not long after it opened on Argyle street in 1995. It’s an art and music hub with jazz nights being a highlight. The menu’s long list of casual favourites such as vegan friendly Buffalo Brussels Sprouts, wings, dirty burgers with sweet potato fries, and nachos are all popular takeout meals. They do a fantastic egg sandwich with add ons like broccoli and cheddar for breakfast on the go too.

Ori Foods Dartmouth

This postage stamp sized eatery in the Halifax suburb of North Dartmouth has a loyal takeout clientele who line up or call ahead for creative comfort food throughout the day. While pastry chef Zoë Bartel creates delicious crème brûlée, storm cookies (to stock up when the coastal winds pick up), and raspberry cream puffs, Chef Lachlan Culjak takes care of lunch and dinner. A savoury fave is Albacore tuna marinated in a spicy citrusy ‘tiger’s milk’ served with nachos. Daily and seasonal specials can include a smoked meatloaf sando with cheddar, spicy mayo, slaw, and BBQ chips on toasted milk bread or a shrimp roll with spicy remoulade and coleslaw on a milk bun.


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Buta Ramen

Buta Ramen ladles out a huge selection of satisfying and delicious Ramen to a loyal clientele. Great broth-based ramen options include a vegetarian Shitake Shoyu, a spicy garlic miso with buttered Chashu chunks, and Tonkotsu pork broth with Chashu. Really good ramen is not always easy to find, especially in a smaller city like Halifax, but this local gem is a winner dinner.


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King of Donair

King of Donair (or KOD as the locals call it) is a classic place to get the Halifax version of an iconic Greek and Turkish street food snack. The Halifax donair was introduced by a Greek immigrant restaurant owner in the 1970s who tweaked the Southern European snack to suit local tastes. Spit roasted shaved beef, tomatoes, and onions are doused with Halifax’s signature tangy, sweet donair sauce – a concoction of sweetened condensed milk, vinegar, and garlic. Today, you’ll find Halifax Donairs in many snack bars and casual eateries (including pizzerias) across the city, but King of Donair serves up the best and the most gloriously messy Donairs. Don’t forget to grab lots of napkins! 


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Two if by Sea

Two if by Sea is a downtown Dartmouth takeout staple famous for their buttery croissants in a variety of iterations – like filled with quality chocolate for a delectable pain au chocolat or served as a savoury breakfast sandwich, to name a few. There’s typically a croissant of the week on the menu, like the roasted red pepper and goat cheese, for example. You can also try a croissant-based sandwich riffing on a Big Mac, served with ground beef, cheddar, onions, pickles, and house-made Mac sauce, topped with sesame seeds and another pickle. Portions are so huge that even if you’re dining in their cool lofty space, you’ll probably be taking half home. 


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