Back in Bristol we generally eat a super-healthy diet. Over the years we’ve managed to find the best organic and local foods possible for our area. We are really quite spoiled for choice when it comes to health food shops in Bristol.
I have to admit I’ve been a bit concerned about how easy it will be to find the kind of quality food we are used to back in the UK, whilst we traveled. In terms of Nova Scotia, I needn’t have worried one little bit! We’ve been super impressed with the scope of fresh, healthy and locally grown food available here. And there are more vegetarian and vegan restaurants here than in Bristol, which is such a treat!
Here’s our top 5 vegetarian and vegan picks for Halifax and Dartmouth:
#1 Wild Leek, Halifax – Restaurant
We found this restaurant in a quick google search for vegetarian restaurants in Halifax, and it turned out to be our favourite. They’ve got a great selection of dishes, which all come with super fresh greens in the form of kale, broccoli, or salad leaves – which made us very happy as we can never have too many greens. It was the first time we’d heard of seitan bacon so, being the curious souls we are, we had to give it a go. Highly recommended! Not really like bacon, but really good anyway.
It’s a bit of a walk from the centre of Halifax, in the North End area, but well worth a visit if you are a lover of healthy, fresh food. When we first got to Halifax we walked from our hotel in the centre of town, which took us about half an hour. Another time we caught the ferry over from Dartmouth with our bikes and cycled there.
Local Source (see below) is also nearby along with a great bike shop, Cyclesmith. www.wildleek.ca
#2 Pete’s, Halifax – Healthy & Fine Foods Supermarket
This is healthfood heaven. a lot of the fresh produce isn’t organic, but they’ve got a great selection of packaged organic foods and superfoods, as well as natural shampoos, toothpaste, feminine hygiene stuff etc.
Pete’s also has a fresh juice bar and a fantastic salad bar, where you pick your ingredients and they mix it all up for you right there, with your choice of dressing. It’s really good value and they’ve got a seating area upstairs where you can sit and eat.
I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by how many organic and health foods you can get in the supermarkets, particularly the Atlantic Superstore, but for the more specialised ingredients Pete will have pretty much everything you need. www.petes.ca
#3 Local Source, Halifax – Local Produce
Mark and I love Local Source! When we first found it we bought an abundance of kale, jumping with freshness, the most DELICIOUS new potatoes, raw honey and some local apple smoked cheese. They don’t have a massive selection of stuff, but what they do have is really excellent quality and super tasty.
They have a cafe next door, Lion and Bright, which does nice coffee. We ate there too, but weren’t that impressed – it was quite expensive for not a lot and their sweet stuff was too salty for us. We’ve discovered that Nova Scotians (maybe Canadians in general?) put more salt in their sweet stuff than us Brits, and they don’t really do crusty bread. I love these little cultural differences! www.localsourcemarket.com
#4 Big Life Cafe, Dartmouth – Bakery and Cafe
Big Life’s delicious Lentil Burger, on a lovely soft seaweed and flax bun served with saurkraut, salad and alflalfa sprouts
At the Big Life Cafe in Dartmouth they do the BEST lentil burgers! I’m not usually a fan of lentil burgers; they fall apart. They’re often dry and taste overly wholesome. Not the Big Life Burger. They stack the tasty lentil patty between two halves of softly delicious seaweed and flaxseed bread bun, with lettuce, tomato, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, mayonnaise and mustard, before topping it off with a little homemade saurkraut.
The cafe itself is unpretentious – a slightly shabby-but-comfy space with diner style booths. They do good drip coffee (a.k.a. filter coffee) too, and a few sweet snacks, like quinoa brownies. www.biglifepizza.com
#5 Blue Apples, Halifax – Herb Store, Cafe & Yoga Studio
We loved Blue Apples. It’s run by lovely folk who were happy to spend time chatting to us about out-of-the-way places to visit in Nova Scotia. We were particularly excited about finding Blue Apples because they sold raw stuff.
It was a boiling hot day so Mark ordered one of their superfood vegan milks, only to discover it was a hot drink. We asked for it iced instead and it was delicious 🙂 I had raw ice cream made by a little local company and it was the best raw ice cream I’ve had (except my own, of course 😉 )