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Halifax’s 12 best breakfasts

From low-end to high-class, find the breakfast that fits you right.

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Breakfast at Mary's Place on Robie Street. Photo: Jessica Emin

Breakfast at Mary's Place on Robie Street. Photo: Jessica Emin

Halifax has an abundance of lovely places for breakfast and brunch, ranging from the affordable, no-nonsense, greasy spoon, to the place that makes its own jam and infuses its hollandaise sauce. This list of the best Halifax breakfasts will help decipher where to crush your cravings.

On the Run 

German breakfast platter at Norbert's Good Food in the Seaport Farmers' Market.

German breakfast platter at Norbert’s Good Food in the Seaport Farmers’ Market. Photo: Jessica Emin

Handheld or just packaged up, these small restaurants and cafes will fill you up when you want to get around, or eat in bed.

  1. Food Wolf, my favourite Halifax food truck, is in the kitchen at the Mayflower Curling Club for the winter months, but during Spring, Summer and Fall, it serves up brunch beside the Brewery Market on Lower Water Street. The food is so good it sells out almost every brunch, so get it early for twists on eggs benedict, or huevos rancheros. The Food Wolf changes up its menu often, and is inspired by international cooking, so fussy eaters be warned. Check its website and social media for location, schedule and times.
  2. Steve-O-Reno’s Cappuccino has true to-go options that don’t require a fork. Its classic breakfast sandwich on english muffin, and the eggs and soldiers (soft poached eggs with toast dipping sticks, in a cup) are easy to grab if you’re on the fly in downtown Halifax, or on the way to a weekend activity. Warning: Grabbing coffee is quick, but food can take longer than expected, don’t park illegally because it might not be an in-and-out kind of thing. 7:30am to 1:00pm Monday to Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm Saturday, 8:30-3:00pm Sunday.
  3. Norbert’s Good Food is hearty and wholesome. It is located at the Northernmost end of the Seaport Farmers Market, and is supplied by Selwood Green Farm. The vegetables served are organic and local, and the cheese, meat, eggs and dairy are always from neighboring local vendors. I’d suggest either the OMG Egg Croissant Sandwich or the German Breakfast Platter, which is like a sweet and savoury morning charcuterie board. The wait on weekends can be longer, so take the time to get a few groceries in the meantime. Closed Mondays. 

Cheap Comforts

The early bird special at the Ardmore Tearoom on Quinpool Road.

The early bird special at the Ardmore Tearoom on Quinpool Road. Photo: Jessica Emin

Morning done right, with everything you need, and no fancy trimmings. These restaurants usually have a breakfast special, and it is not frowned upon to put ketchup on everything.

  1. Mary’s Place Cafe was a second thought one morning, because The Coastal, across the street, was full, and I’m glad it was. Mary’s is a perfect little dinner, with small booths, and usually just one server. The service is without flair, but smiling and efficient. The menu is a mixture of Americana and middle Eastern fare, which is ideal if you can’t make up your mind whether to get a breakfast special, a cheeseburger, or Tabouleh; just get them all. 7:00am to 8:00pm all-day breakfast.
  2. Elle’s Bistro is mostly a diner-style, eggs and toast, kind of breakfast spot, but there are a few menu items that are out of the ordinary, like a breakfast sandwich with two potato latkes as the buns, stuffed full of jalapeno and egg. Finish off breakfast with Elle’s delicious cheesecake. 7:00am-7:00pm all-day breakfast.
  3. The Ardmore Tea Room has, hands down, the best breakfast special in town. Before 11am on weekdays a hearty two-egger with toast and choice of meat is $3.99. Pair that breakfast with a huge milkshake served in the bucket sized metal blending cup. 5:00am to 8:00pm all-day breakfast.

Crowd Pleasers

Les Oeufs Hiver at The Coastal on Robie Street.

Les Oeufs Hiver at The Coastal on Robie Street. Photo: Jessica Emin

These are the best places to go if you’ve got a self professed high-brow eater and a toast and coffee only at the same table. Diner-style meets herb garnish. The menu usually gives the choice of basic or more elaborate plates.

  1. The Coastal has elevated my idea of breakfast food and could almost inched its way into the next breakfast category (morning art), but there are a few details that make it less ideal if you’re looking to get a full-service meal. The restaurant space is tiny, and being one of the most popular breakfast options in Halifax means that the lineups can be long. Once inside, with a secured first-come first-serve table, orders are placed at a cash, paid-for, then brought to you. Despite what can seem like jumping through hoops, to tired or hungover non-morning folk, the payoff at The Coastal is big. The Coastal’s menu is creative, changes with the seasons, and has a handful of foolproof signature dishes like The Elvis (a waffle sandwich with bacon, banana and peanut butter) and Huevos Rancheros that could rival those in Mexico. So, in short, fancy food, not fancy atmosphere; worlds collide. Closed on Wednesdays.
  2. The Foggy Goggle, a cozy basement bar and restaurant, has great food for everyone. Its menu boast something for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters. The breakfast pizza and chocolate banana French toast are heavenly, the faint smell of yester-eve’s beer and the carpeted floor bring it down to earth. 9:00am-3:00pm Saturday and Sunday.
  3. At Durty Nelly’s whether the Irish breakfast, corned beef hash, or steak and eggs (among other things) are ordered, this restaurant requires a cleared schedule, because the make-your-own-caesar bar, with dozens of garnishes, rimmers and hot sauces, deserves some serious commitment. 10:30am to 1:30pm Saturday and Sunday.

Morning Art

No packaged hollandaise in this list. Some ingredients on the breakfast menu at these restaurants can be surprising, but you will leave wondering why you haven’t been treating breakfast more seriously all along.

  1. Edna is the best in the city for food and atmosphere. The restaurant is bright and airy with orchids and flowers arrangements as accents. It offers breakfast cocktails, like French 77 and oyster garnished caesar. The breakfast plates, like local smoked pork chop with eggs and duck fat potatoes, or lobster florentine, are usually served with just the right touch of greens or herbs to freshen the dish. If a craving for cheese or fresh local oysters on the half shell happens, Edna can deliver. Edna is also very accommodating to food allergies or preferences, so the servers are ready with suggestions or substitutions for the paleo, gluten-free or vegan person in your party. 10:00am-2:30pm Saturday and Sunday.
  2. Bistro Le Coq offers a rich French brunch, made complete by a good wine list including by-the-glass Champagne, served in beautiful coupes, à la Great Gatsby. Le Coq is the kind of breakfast restaurant that has such an decadent, and vast, menu that doing the affair in courses is better. I recommend starting with the sharing plate of five cheeses and house-made preserves. For mains, the lobster eggs benedict with a truffle oil hollandaise and steak tartare with a poached egg are my favourites, especially good when enjoyed on their summer patio. 11:30am-4:00pm Saturday and Sunday.
  3. Terrace Restaurant at The Prince George Hotel is all-you-can-eat breakfast done in style with seafood, meats, omelettes, fresh fruit and more, which is ideal for an insatiable appetite. The hotel suggests making reservations. Noon to 2:00pm Sunday only.

 

 

  • Kimmy

    The brunch at Tess’s on Charles Street is ever-changing, but consistently delish. Lots of variety and great service!

  • Chadhulhu

    The 3x3x3 special at the cozy for $9+ is my” go out for breakfast” breakfast. 3 eggs by 3 meatsx 3 toast and hashbrowns w/ coffee/tea/ or juice.

  • GV4eva

    GREEK VILLAGE! <3 Perfect greasy spoon spot with a delicious breakfast and lovely service.

  • CFA

    The Greek Village is Terrible, worst service I have ever had. Gave it a few chances and never again.

  • Meaghan

    Breakfast at Bobbleheads is delicious and should be on the list. Their breakfast potatoes are hard to beat.

  • Haligonex

    If fish / crab cakes are on the plate then my vote.

  • Tweeg

    No mention of Coras or Smittys, has this person even eatten breakfast in halifax

  • Ian

    Seriously?? You missed probably the BEST breakfast place in Halifax, Emma’s Eatery in Eastern Passage!!!!

  • not_tweeg

    So both of those are chains across Canada. Not eligible.

  • Dylan

    Robie street diner! Great food, amazing coffee, friendly service!

  • Comandra

    Those are chain restaurants, meaning you can eat there anywhere in canada. And they suck. Step outside your comfort zone already

  • Jicholas

    Emma’s eatery is the #1 breakfast #BreakfastPoutine

  • AboT

    What about Johnny’s Snack Bar?!!? Best bang for your buck hands down!
    Maybe a food blogger should actually know something about food. I’m tired of reading food blogs and reading absolute horse poop. He/she probably doesn’t even know how to boil water themselves.

  • Chanda LeBlanc

    You forgot one! This place has amazing prices and wonderful home cooked meals. Breakfast and lunch. Alot of vegan and gluten free options as well.everything is made there in the kitchen from scratch. I love this place. Check it out on Facebook or go down for a visit. Starfresh modern diner. On 20 wright ave. In Burnside. You will not be disappointed.

  • Deep Thinker

    no Tess??? they are fabulous! They always have gluten free and vegetarian options.

  • Miche

    Le bistro by Liz is efficient, has wonderful service as well as atmosphere and they are my top choice for quality food at a great price. Plus it doesn’t hurt that you get a complimentary ceaser or mimosa and the coffee is locally roasted java blend ! I agree with most of your choices wholeheartedly but Le bistro belongs near the very top!

  • LaurenF

    How could you possibly forget Emmas Eatery in Eastern Passage?! The hungry fisherman breakfast, breakfast nachos, and house made hollandaise on their amazing bennies?! One of the best! And a local gem!

  • Ldf

    EPICURIOUS MORSELS, in the Hydrostone area???

  • MommaP

    Did you even cross the bridge?

  • Pierre de Villers

    Totally aggree! Cozy is the best.

  • Pierre de Villers

    Nena is my go-to place for breakfast in Dartmouth. Great price for good quality food. What there not to like!

  • Pierre de Villers

    Where’s that?

  • Pierre de Villers

    Cora’s is way overrated and stupid expensive

  • Ronny Dicklesworth

    You missed cousins and the esquire.

  • P R

    Agreed. Johnny’s by far is the best bang for your buck. No offense, but who wants to go all the way to Eastern Passage for breakfast. Johnny’s all day is the best.

  • P R

    Smittys SUCKS. Get real!!!

  • Cayla

    Casino, trapeze maritime breakfast! 4.99 when you have a players card
    – 2 eggs
    – 4 strips of bacon
    – 2 sausages
    – 2 blueberry pancakes
    – 4 slices of toast
    – hashbrowns
    – fruit

    Yes!! Alllll for 4.99! So yummy

  • maryann ns

    For a competent bacon and eggs type breakfast in the Bayers Lake area you can’t beat the Canadiana.

  • Robert Sinclair

    The Coastal is still my fave but I’d line up now for the next available Sunday 🙂

  • rory

    Clearly the author has never been to the Mic Mac Tavern

  • Gabriel Solomon

    Eastern Passage is hardly within walking distance of the city.

  • Gabriel Solomon

    The author forgot Tim Hortons too, for really good reasons.

  • BillBeat53

    My wife and I have been going out for breakfast in HRM 2-3 times a month for over 30 years. Our fav places (in no particular order) are: Chebucto Inn , PG’s , Starfresh Modern Diner(best fried potatoes) & Johnny’s Snack Bar

  • BillBeat53

    Sadly Emmas went out of business.

  • Addison Da’Bear White

    used to go there all the time until they posted a photo of their kitchen on facebook…I gagged for days!!!

  • Addison Da’Bear White

    Mary’s Cafe deep fries everything including the bacon…last time I was there my home fries tasted like chcikpeas. Maybe they fried them in the same oil as the falafel? Not a good choice!!! I would sooner eat at Rotten Ronnies. The Athens is not on the list which is awesome and clean!!! The Coastal is way over priced for what you get. The Ardmore used to be ok until they started using that red salt seasoning on everything. More seasoning salt on the home fries than potato

  • Jay Aaron Roy

    Sadly, closed!

  • Machzy

    Which one is ‘the cozy’?

  • Machzy

    Which one is ‘the cozy’? (Just in case you’re faster)

  • Pierre de Villers

    Cozy’s Snack Bar. Liverpool and Oxford in Halifax.

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