Search This Blog

Follow by Email

Followers

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A Vegan Guide to Halifax




I thought I'd make this guide for anyone who is moving or traveling here, just turning vegan here or even currently living here, and not knowing what it has to offer. Since I have a lot of time to kill, I tend to obsessively look up the vegan community: restaurants, health food stores, grocery stores and more. I like to see the transitioning of a community, see the broadening horizons for vegans and how much the world really is embracing compassion. I am going to break things down into categories and hope this is helpful to someone.
Let's start with the basics:
  • Halifax does have a vegetarian association. I am currently not a member but have looked into it. I worry a bit about the selection for discounts as most seem heavily cheese based. There are a couple vegan-friendly places though. 
  • All of the local Sobey's and Superstores I have been to have a half-decent size natural foods department. They have a good selection of vegan-friendly snacks, cruelty free beauty products and cleaning supplies and other specialty and organic type items. My only issue has been finding faux meat products (that is if you are someone that likes them). They have a small selection but most tend to be vegetarian rather than vegan. But still, you can get by easily shopping strictly at those stores.  
  • Many other big stores sell vegan products as well. Wal-mart carries a small selection of of Yves veggie meat, tofu and even has a small gluten-free/natural section that offers some vegan-friendly snacks. The Wal-mart located on Mumford also has Gardein products in their freezer section. Costco offers a decent selection of vegan foods, it tends to be hit and miss but worth checking if you have a membership.
  • Eco Chic is a full vegan, eco-friendly salon located in Bedford. All products are also organic. 
  • There is a local tofu company from Grand Pre, NS known as Acadiana Soy Products. They are sold in places like Pete's, Fruition, Organic Earth and the Historic Farmer's Market.
  • Cosmic Tree Essentials is a local vegan cosmetic company that you can purchase at Pete's. 
  • Bandha Bar is a local energy bar company which is available throughout the HRM, as well as other parts of Atlantic Canada. Vegan, soy and gluten free.  
  • Staff of Life is carried all over the city including convenience and grocery stores and has vegan samosas always marked as such.  
  • In the Raw Sprouting Center: Located in Porters Lake they offer amazing raw and fresh delicious vegan food including cashew ice cream, almond milk, dips, soups, salads and more. 
  • Coastal Healing:  Miss Lauren Marshall. Vegan chef extraordinaire. She does vegan cooking classes, retreats and so much more which you can find out from her website Coastal Healing.
  • Mermaid Fare: Local raw food chef and sea vegetable vendor. Has vegan cooking classes through PC cooking schools. Schedule is on the website.
  • Conscious Catering: Offers vegan/vegetarian catering services.  
Specialty Grocery/Health Food Stores: 
  • Halifax has quite a few local specialty health food stores. Pete's Fine Foods is a local grocery store with locations in Bedford (attached to Sunnyside Mall) and downtown Halifax. The location downtown has a large cruelty-free beauty section and carries some specialty items like Tofutti, Daiya, vegan jello, Gardein, Field Roast and other such products. Bedford has much of the same but the selection of vegan items is smaller, particularly the freezer area. Both locations have vegan-friendly sushi and a juice bar that offers vegan smoothies. Downtown also has a small cafe called Pete's Gluten-free Eatery which has vegan baked goods (muffins and cupcakes are vegan when they have a brown wrapper, white are non-vegan) wraps and soups. And yes, it is also all gluten-free. They also have soy and almond milk for drinks and agave for sweetening.
  • Other health food stores include: Healthy Selection (located in Bedford), The Healthy Bug (carries vitamins, supplements, cruelty-free beauty products, vegan cereals, gum, Dandies marshmallows, Coconut Bliss, protein bars and more), Super Natural Health Products (located in Humani-T cafe on Young Street) carries supplements, vitamins, cruelty-free beauty products and more) Nature's Cove located on the Bedford Hwy in Halifax offers Daiya, veggie burgers and many other specialty foods. Organic Earth Market located on Quinpool is a large natural grocery store with vegan specialty products that you won't find anywhere else locally. Also has a cafe attached that offers smoothies and quick meals and treats with vegan options. OHealthy Market sells natural foods and products in Dartmouth, including products from In The Raw. 
  • P'Lover's is a unique environmental store which apparently has a few locations across Canada including one in Halifax, Dartmouth and Mahone Bay, NS. They offer a wide variety of products and many that cater to the vegan customer including a large selection of vegan books, personal care, cosmetics and clothing. 
  • Check out some of the Asian and international markets around the city. Taishan is on Quinpool and Queen St.and offers lots of interesting finds including bean curd jerky's, vegetable dumplings and tons of other specialty items. Big Ray's Convenience on Main St. Dartmouth also has an Asian market attached with veggie Worcestershire sauce and many other cool vegan finds. JJ Mart on Gottingen carries vegan-friendly dumplings, sauces, tofu and much more. 
  • Other areas of Nova Scotia also usually have health food stores that carry cruelty-free products and specialty vegan foods, check HappyCow for select places. 
 Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market
  • The market offers of course fresh local produce, breads, jams and jellies but there are also a few vegan companies that are set up there too. Rawthetic chocolates offers raw, dairy and gluten-free chocolates and almost all are vegan. You can also find their products at other local shops such as Organic Earth Market, Blue Apples, Pete's and more. Osha Mae Soaps is an artisan soaperie who's product line is almost entirely vegan. Also sold at local shops such as Blue Apples. Springhouse is always on site, they are an all vegan and raw restaurant that makes snacks, almond milk, dips, desserts and more. Gali's Healthy Kitchen makes raw chocolates. She marks all vegan but most have honey so read ingredients. She is a very sweet lady and I discussed the honey issue with her. Earth Elementals sells awesome cruelty-free soaps, laundry soap and more. Many are also vegan-friendly. Bramoso offers vegan slices of pizza. Life's Good Soup offers a vegan option of each of their flavour lines (also sold at Pete's).
Alderney Farmer's Market:

  •  Farmer's markets tend to be very plentiful all across Nova Scotia. Check almost any town in Nova Scotia and there most likely is one. They are great spots to not only get fresh bread, jams, jellies and local produce but also find some other unique local vegan products.  
  • Alderney Landing has a company that sets up there called The Laughing Pear makes fresh homemade soaps and lotions that are all plant based, all vegan except for the milk and honey. They smell amazing too! The Lively Bakery while not all their creations are vegan, they have an awesome selection of vegan baked goods that are amazing.

Coffee Shops: 
  • Humani-T cafe has two locations in Halifax, offers vegan gelato and sorbetto, muffins, snacks and panini and of course soy or almond milk for hot or cold drinks.
  • Second Cup has many locations and offers soy and almond milk for drinks, has fruit smoothies and also flavour shots that are vegan-friendly.  And also carry some packaged snacks by Sweets From the Earth that are vegan.
  • Just Us! has multiple cafe locations in the HRM and a couple in the Wolfville/Grand Pre district. They offer soy milk for drinks with fairtrade coffee, sugar and other awesome products. Also carry vegan food items at select locations.
  • Two if by Sea with locations in Halifax and Dartmouth, they offer soy milk for drinks. 
  • Coburg Cafe offers vegan food including paninis, cookies and other baked goods and soy milk for drinks.
  • The Boardroom Game Cafe is a gaming cafe with hundreds of boardgames to choose from. Offers soy milk for drinks including Jitterbug Soda flavour shots and a few vegan-friendly snacks as well. 
  • The Nook is a coffee shop and lounge that offers almond and soy milk for coffee drinks as well as several label vegan food options including a tofu wrap, chickpea tuna sandwich and chili veggie wrap. Also offers alcoholic drinks that are vegan-friendly and can be used as a venue for live music.  
  • Smiling Goat  has 2 locations, one at Bishops landing and the other on South Park. They offer both soy and almond milk for drinks and also options for salads and sandwiches. 
  • Big Life Whole Foods in Dartmouth offers almond and soy milk for drinks and all their baked goods are vegan. They also offer a lentil burger, seitan and sandwich and other items that are vegan.  
  • World Tea House: Okay so although it's not coffee, it still deserves a mention. World Tea House has a huge selection of teas in every flavour imaginable. Can't forget about us non-coffee drinkers but even if you are, they also offer coffee, lattes, etc and have soy and almond milk available.
  • Pavia Gallery:  Located in the Central Library and the Art Museum, they offer soy milk for drinks, the soups are normally vegan and they also offer a marked white bean hummus wrap. 
  • Jumping Bean Coffee: Located in Bedford. They offer a vegan wrap, muffins and other sweet treats, as well as soy and almond for drinks. They even have chao cheese.
  • The Other Bean: On Quinpool offers a plant based milk alternative.

     Burger Joints:
     
  • Krave Burger: Located on Spring Garden, fast food, vegan burger option on the menu, ask for no butter on the bun. Awesome fries too!
  • Darrell's: Offers a veggie burger that can be made vegan upon request.
  • Relish: Located on Quinpool. Another fast food type joint, Relish offers a vegetarian patty that is also vegan friendly. They have great fries and deep fried pickles which are awesome too!
  • RIOT Snack Bar: 99% of their menu can be veganized. Offers burgers, boxes and more.
   Pizzeria's:
  • Bramoso: Both their white and whole wheat crust is vegan. You can then choose between the tomato sauce, olive oil, pesto, garlic or balsamic glaze. They have a large selection of veggies and even offer a housemade vegan cheese. 
  • On The Wedge: Located beside Pete's Frootique in Bedford, On the Wedge offers a VEGAN pizza by the slice. You can also order their signature vegan pizza called the Roasted Rocket or make your own with your choice of toppings. Trust me, you won't miss the cheese, they make the best crust in all the land. 
  • Salvatore's: A great pizza place over in Hydrostone, feels much like a true authentic pizza shack. They offer vegan ricotta for your pizza, lots of veggies to choose from and already vegan crust and sauce. I've heard their vegetarian sausage is now vegan-friendly. If anyone can confirm for me that would be great!
  • Piez Bistro: Pizza place that offers vegan cheese and lots of veggies. They also have a vegan entree, cauliflower bowl and carry sweets such as a vegan cupcakes. 
  • Johnny K's: So it's not pizza but for us Nova Scotian's it goes hand in hand with it. Johnny K's offers a vegan donair, okay so they still do not have a vegan donair sauce but their seitan is simply amazing and worth it even without sauce! We just made our own the time we got them with coconut milk. 
Food Trucks (seasonal):  
  • The Food Wolf: Always has a vegan option at every event they attend. Their food is delicious! 
  • The Coffee Can: Halifax's first all vegetarian foodtruck run by the lovely folks at Heartwood. Find it around the city at local events.  
  • Gecko Bus:  Modern twist on Mexican. Offers a vegan bombay lentil curry and other items that you can customize. 
  • Benny's Burgers: Fully vegan food cart on the corner of Spring Garden and Grafton St. Fast food gourmet burgers. 
 Vegan Restaurants:
  • Springhouse: Previously called Fruition, an all vegan and raw restaurant. Located at the Seaport market. Best raw food I have ever eaten. I recommend the Gardenburger, macaroons and cheesecake.
  • Wild Leek: They make fresh juices and smoothies and have daily specials of delicious vegan cuisine. Also has a full menu and a selection of desserts next to the cash. Prices are extremely reasonable as well.
  • enVie A Vegan Kitchen: Offers daily specials, raw and gluten free options, as well as a full menu. Also has a full menu of vegan beer and wine. 
  •  Blue Apple Natural Products: Has a new storefront on Blowers St. They have vegan food, a tea bar and natural products, as well as a huge selection of herbs. Special events regularly take place here as well and one of the owners is an herbalist. It's the most relaxing and zen place in HRM and my personal favourite. 
 Vegetarian Restaurants: 
  • Liu's Formosa Gift and Tea House: I have personally visited Liu's, it's a cute spot but wasn't overly fond of the food. The owner told us almost everything can be made vegan and the store itself has lots of cute Asian themed trinkets. Also very affordable.
  • Heartwood Bakery and Cafe: All of the items can be made vegan here. I personally found the food okay but would give it another shot. They have a full menu of food, as well as desserts.
  • Heartwood by the Sea: Heartwood has recently opened a second location on the Halifax waterfront. So far it is all vegan as they offer their Heartwood bowls, cookies and drinks. Such a wonderful addition to a very unfriendly place for vegans.  
 Vegan-Friendly Restaurants: 
  • The Wooden Monkey has two locations. One in Dartmouth and one in Halifax. Has a good selection of marked vegan items on their menu. The B-Well Sushi and Cafe marks vegan on their menu and has the best sushi in town!  The Foggy Goggle has marked vegan options such as a veggie burger, rice bowl and waffles at brunch. Indochine Bahn Mi offers fast delicious food with a few vegan options including a buddha bowl with fresh veggies, noodles, springroll and tofu. Just Springroll located in Parklane Mall on the bottom floor has the best springrolls I've ever eaten and they are also vegan! They also have curry tofu dish that is vegan. Thai Ivory located on the Bedford Highway. Items are not marked but they can make almost anything on the menu vegan if asked. They have delicious stir-fries, pad Thai, springrolls and mango salad. EDNA on Gottingen St. offers a few vegan choices including amazing coconut milk french toast for brunch. Mezza has few locations in the HRM. Although it doesn't sound super vegan-friendly they offer some of the best falafel in town and it even comes with a vegan tahini sauce! Plus their french fries are to die for. They also have a Lebanese plate that is vegan! Shawarma Stop has two locations and offers a fully vegan tofu shawarma. Habanaros has multiple locations, as well as the Gecko Bus that is usually parked down on the waterfront during the summer. Modern Mexican food that can be customized how you like. Baba Ganouj Cafe newly opened on Barrington, offers middle Eastern cuisine with lots of vegan options such as a combo plate and falafel poutine. 
  • There are many more restaurants as well that are vegan-friendly, checking Happy Cow is very beneficial. I am continually researching for my blog and website, so I update Happy Cow frequently as well. I have been asked to be the ambassador for HappyCow.net for the Halifax, NS region, so as your representative I am happy to answer questions and help locals. 
Dessert:
  • Sweet Hereafter is a cheesecakery that always has a vegan cheesecake selection and special orders can be placed. 
  • Dee Dee's Ice Cream: Offers a few vegan sorbet's. Also has some food options in the cafe, a burrito, soups and almond milk for coffee drinks.
  • Humani-T: I figured Humani-T deserved to also be listed here because they offer amazing vegan gelato and sorbet. They can turn the gelato into a milkshake as well and also offer vegan chocolate cake. 
  •  Lolliecakes Bakery: Made to order from home bakery. Cupcakes, mini cupcakes, and cakes that happen to be vegan! Perfect for birthdays, special events, or just because.
    Can deliver within HRM for $5.
  • Odell's located on Robie Street in Halifax is a bakery and cafe that offers lots of vegan options that are also gluten-free! 
All and all I think Halifax is a very vegan-friendly city and it's ever expanding. I hope this can help someone. I plan on doing more individual reviews at later dates.

Wondering what you can eat outside of the city? Click here. Also check my Shopping Cruelty-free in Canada guide. The HRM has all of the stores mentioned in that post. And also check out my Chain Restaurant blog post.

If you have a business that you think should be added? Please email us here 

27 comments:

  1. Watch out for the chocolate pie at Wooden Monkey! It's served with dairy whip cream. Weird that they even have whip cream in the description, and still call it vegan. A lot of the servers don't even know this until confirming with the kitchen. I've asked them several times to change it, but they have not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes that happened to me last time. I kind of figured it was dairy and didn't eat it. The waiter apologized a ton though so it was okay but it is rather silly they do that.

      Delete
  2. This was so helpful to me when I first moved to NS, thank you! A couple things I discovered:
    -Piez Bistro in Dartmouth has vegan options and a DAILY rotating vegan special main--pretty rad!
    -Indochine for three vegan banh mi subs (soy ball, tofu, lentil bean patty)--both white and w/w bread is vegan but hold the mayo (or do what I do and go home to smother it in Chipotle Vegenaise, which, by the way, I buy at the Superstore in New Minas and it costs about half what it did in BC)
    -Going way out of HRM, I have loved my experiences at Front and Central in Wolfville--it's spendy so for special occasions only, but the amazing chef loves catering to vegans and there's even a vegan chocolate torte right there on the menu that is heavenly
    -I have an Acadiana tofu problem so I order directly from their facility in Grand Pre (I am in Wolfville, so easy for me :) but you can also order from her and pick up at the Halifax market. I must do this because fresh soymilk is amazing and I am destitute when Pete's/Save Easy sells out of the smoked tofu
    -The bistro at Luckett's Vineyard is very accommodating to vegans and the quality of their produce is top notch so even a salad can be mind-blowing

    Perhaps I'll share more as I remember them. As someone who didn't even know about the vegan festival until AFTER it happened (sad!), I'm hoping to connect with more vegans!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! And you mentioned places I didn't even know of and now I will have to look into them. If you want to connect with more vegans, feel free to visit me on FB. I'm always happy to have new friends. :)

      Delete
  3. November 25, 2014 -- Healthy lifestyle company goji’s, introduces Coconut Milk Frozen Yogurt in Canada.
    Please contact me directly for a copy of the press release

    For more information about goji’s and the launch of its new vegan coconut milk yogurt please contact me directly.

    Best Regards,

    Tom Ostoich
    tom@gojisyogurt.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks. Good info for a visitor to the area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Thanks for stopping by and hope I helped!

      Delete
  5. Really like the veggie burger and fresh salad at Ace Burger, corner of Gottigen and Agricola

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately the veggie burger there is not vegan so I have never been.

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is awesome! I just moved to Halifax for the summer and I'm so glad I found this. Thanks a lot! Do you know of any potlucks or events or hangouts? I'd like to make some new friends to go to these places with :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry I am so late. I believe the Vegetarian Association still does potlucks.

      Delete
  8. Actually, I'm looking for Restaurants in Bedford & I find this post via search engine. I like reading your whole blog posts.Thanks for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's not a lot in Bedford but you can check out On the Wedge outside Pete's and there's a Thai Ivory there, they can make almost everything on the menu vegan.

      Delete
  9. Nice Post, Thanks for the sharing such a useful post. It is very informative.
    sugar free chocolate

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello,

    Thank you for this information. I would like to offer a spa-massage visit to my partner. She prefers places that use cruelty-free products. Is there such a place in the HRM?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check out Agricola Holistic Health and Blue Apples.

      Delete
  11. Thank you very much! I did not find these places with search engine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Glad I could help. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  12. This blog is fantastic. Ashley, Thank you so much for posting all this information!

    ReplyDelete
  13. wow..it's fantastic blog. i like this post. it's contains really nice information that enhance my knowledge...vegan diet foods sanfrancisco

    ReplyDelete
  14. hank you for this information. It is really informative and helpful for the peopleorder vegan food online

    ReplyDelete
  15. I was at Salvatore's the other day and I was told that they recently changed their vegetarian sausage into a vegan sausage! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for letting me know! I updated this! :D

      Delete