Visiting Halifax and not trying any seafood is like visiting Paris and not visiting the Eiffel Tower. Our proximity to the ocean means direct access to the freshest seafood around, from black goby to bivalves. Speaking of the latter, our cold Atlantic waters produce particularly perfect molluscs and shellfish, including oysters.
There are many great places to sample this salty treat in Halifax, but here are five great choices:
5. The Five Fishermen
Located in one of Halifax’s most historic buildings, the Five Fishermen has been a Halifax institution for many years. The Grill, the more casual of the two restaurants in the building offers an oyster bar with a Oyster Happy Hour from 4-6:30pm daily. For $15 you can get six fresh local oysters on the half-shell, fresh cut lemon, grated horseradish and your choice of tequila lime, champagne cucumber or Asian dipping sauce, plus any 12oz draught or 5oz glass of wine.
4. The Press Gang
Just around the corner from the Five Fish is the Press Gang, another popular and historic Halifax haunt. Their menu offers a rotating selection of oysters from 10 different purveyors in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (the widest selection in the city, so they claim). At $3.25 each, the PG is a slightly higher price point than most Halifax restaurants, but their consistently high quality food and service is worth the splurge!
Saturday oysters&pints • 2-5pm $5 local beer & oysters, until the full menu goes on at 5pm. Also $5 feature wine and $5 Jameson. Try the locally made @cabbagepatchkimchi mignonette with your oysters. . . . . . . #restaurant #whiskey #eat #whisky #finedining #bar #oysterbar #food #restaurant #tasteofns #saturdays #food #halifaxnoisefood
A post shared by The Press Gang (@thepressganghfx) on
3. Shuck Seafood and Raw Bar
Shuck is a relatively new restaurant to the downtown scene, but is helmed by celebrated local chef, Luis Clavel (whose pedigree includes stints at McKelvie’s, Salty’s, Seasons by Atlantica and Iron Chef Canada) and shares a kitchen with Cut Steakhouse, another prestigious Halifax eatery.
They specialize in raw and lightly cooked seafood and offer many delicious “enhancements” to their oysters, including shuck liquid nitrogen mignonette, sea asparagus chimichurri and chipotle fennel hot sauce! A chef’s dozen is $32.
2. Lot Six
Also a relative newcomer, Lot Six has created a lot of buzz in a short time. Located on famous Argyle Street’s row of restaurants and bars, they offer a great variety of small, medium, large and sharing plates, including many types of delicious local seafood. They also offer a daily Oyster Happy Hour from 4-6pm, where you can suck back 6 oysters for $12 or 12 oysters for $20. TIP: The sun-filled back atrium offers the best ambiance.
The most amazing oysters and cocktails at @lotsixbar in downtown Halifax. Stop by for amazing service and choice of everyone’s favourite little shellfish! #drinkporn #drinks #drinklocal #yum #cocktails #mixology #bourbon #campari #benedictine #halifax #novascotia #canada #bartending #bartender #teampixel
A post shared by Jeremy Pagé (@jeremyjpage) on
Consistently voted one of the best restaurants in Halifax, EDNA regularly has various kinds of local oysters on their menu (during my last visit, they were from Sober Island on the Eastern Shore). The oysters are sold at market price, so costs can vary. Come for the refreshing oysters, stay for a creative and expertly prepared entrée, such as lobster escabeche with house made potato chips or halibut with roasted sunchokes.
Time your arrival carefully because they don’t take reservations and often have a line (particularly for brunch!).
Make the most of your Halifax vacation and add “eat lots of oysters” to your list of “must-do’s”. Pair with a cold beer on a sunny seaside patio, and watch your cares float away on the waves.