Top 5 Seaside SNACK SHACKS
The waterfront is the centre of life here in Halifax – it not only supports our naval and maritime industries, provides port for dozens of cruise ships each year and an entry point for cargo from around the world, but it’s also a scenic and vibrant place to visit. I recommend a waterfront walk to all tourists; it’s definitely a must-do.
While you’re wandering taking in the scenery and busker performances, you can stop to refuel at one of many seaside snack shacks, offering a variety of delicious treats and refreshing drinks. You can find a full list of all waterfront vendors here, but these are my Top 5:
This company has grown fast – with 6 (soon to be 7) locations cropping up in only 5 years! Their philosophy is “always fresh, always to order”, so each meal is cooked to the customer’s needs when they order it and you can definitely taste the difference. Your order may take a bit longer to finish as a result, but to me it’s worth it. I mean, what’s better than fresh fish on an Atlantic Ocean waterfront?! (Snack on: The fish taco).
BeaverTails is basically a Canadian institution and the Halifax waterfront location is a wharf-eats staple. A BeaverTail is a long, flat slab (beaver tail-shaped – get it?) of fried dough covered with toppings. They are delicious and – trust me – filling enough to share with a friend. You can’t really go wrong with any of their topping options, which vary from cookie crumbs, fruit, Reese’s pieces, apples and cinnamon. I have even heard tell of the legendary “PouTail”, i.e. a BeaverTail with poutine on top. Use your imagination! (Snack on: Chocolate Banana).
At this shack, it’s “all about the pig”, meaning every dish uses bacon in some way (genius, right). They get really creative with their combinations and clearly have fun with it, offering delicious sandwiches (such as the “Gourmet Porkabella”), bacon ice cream, and even chocolate-covered bacon pops. Their prices are very reasonable, so you don’t have to spend a lot to bring home the bacon. Why not get “piggy” with it on your next waterfront visit? Ok, that’s it for pig puns, I promise. (Snack on: the bacon ice cream milkshake)
Smoke’s is another place that has fun with food and offers many different combinations depending on your tastes. Their gravy is scrumptious, they use authentic Quebec cheese curds and offer daily specials that make the most of seasonal ingredients. They also cater (poutine party, anyone?). If you’re feeling ambitious, you could always take your Smoke’s poutine and plop it onto your BeaverTail to make your own “PouTail” (see above)! (Snack on: Clam Strips poutine).
Cows is at the other end of the wharf from the rest of these shacks, but it’s one of my favourite places to grab a snack on the waterfront. The chain started in Prince Edward Island in 1983 and has grown into a hugely popular company. Not an ice cream person? You should still stop by their store to check out their hilarious cow-pop culture-themed t-shirts (this year’s designs include “Heifenberg” and “Cownton Abbey”). The waffle cones are to die for and the ice cream is super creamy, apparently due to the high “butterfat” content (16%). So, you may not want to make this dessert to your Smoke’s poutine but you should definitely visit at some point. (Snack on: Wowie Cowie).
It’s a good thing the waterfront is so long and picturesque because you will need the exercise after eating all those delicious snacks! Seriously, though, there is always something to do and see on the Halifax waterfront, not to mention gives you a great sense of our history and what we are all about. So, make sure you take some time this summer for a seaside stroll…and perhaps a snack, too.