Published Sep 03, 2014In our annual Hangout Handbook, Exclaim! asks some of our favourite artists to discuss the hidden gems in their towns. Here, Rose Cousins outlines some of the fancy (and not so fancy) places to check out in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
What's your favourite breakfast/brunch spot?
For cheap straight-up eggs & bacon I've always loved the Ardmore Tearoom (6499 Quinpool Rd.). You can eat eggs there any time of day. For amazing, Sunday brunch-bomb, local ingredients, sweet atmosphere and a biscuit to temporarily make you forget you're gluten-free, Edna (2053 Gottingen St.).
What's your favourite coffee/daytime hangout?
FRED (2606 Agricola St.) has lots of space, great internet connection, great coffee, great local food, great art, veggie juice and gluten-free options. Lion and Bright (2534 Agricola St.) is the new kid on the block. All amazing coffee drinks, great local food, cool vibe and transitions beautifully into a cocktail/wine/beer bar at night.
Who serves the best fancy cocktails?
OOOooohhh you're asking me to get into a fight. Top three for me are Lion and Bright, Field Guide (2076 Gottingen St.) and Agricola St. Brasserie (2540 Agricola St.).
Where's the best dive bar?
Gus's Pub (2605 Agricola St.) would probably be the best. It's also got a burger joint in it now that serves the best burgers. It's called Ace Burger. Killer fries too.
What's your favourite diner?
I like The Armview (7156 Chebucto Rd.) down near the Rotary on the Northwest Arm (its namesake). They have a great chowder, milkshakes — a nice full menu of good quality diner food.
Where do you go for a fancy dinner?
Since I'm on a North End binge, I'm just gonna stay there. Edna and Agricola Street Brasserie but I'll also mention The Bicycle Thief (1475 Lower Water St.) which is down on the water. Great food and cocktails also.
What's your favourite park?
What's the best place to take a date?
Ah, who knows?
Where's your favourite place to have indoor activities/sports?
Bowlorama (3459 Desmond Ave) off Bayers Rd. I'm a really good bowler.
Where's your favourite spot for outdoor activities?
Swimming in the summer. Long Lake is close to Halifax, or beaches like Conrad's Beach going east or Bayswater Beach going west.
Where's the best movie theatre?
The Oxford (6408 Quinpool Rd.). It's old and awesome.
What's the signature annual event/festival/community gathering in your city?
Oh geez. This one is tough for me because I'm away so much and I know there are so many things I don't get to participate in. I love the Atlantic Film Festival in September and take in lots of films when I'm in town for it. Queer Acts Theatre Festival, which happens in the lead-up to Halifax Pride, usually has some great shows.
Where's your favourite stage?
Those might be ones I started on in the past. Places I miss now. But for smaller stages I like The Carleton (1685 Argyle St.) — the place has a good rep as a listening room. The Rebecca Cohn Auditorium (6101 University Ave.) is a great larger stage and I've had the opportunities for my own shows there and a couple with Symphony Nova Scotia. Alderney Landing (2 Ochterloney St., Dartmouth) is a great spot for big outdoor shows. I have loved the shows I've done at FRED (aforementioned in coffee/hangout section). I tend to like to create stages.
Where's the best place to dance?
No idea, I'm more into push-ups.
What's your favourite record store?
I like Taz Records (1521 Grafton St.). Huge selection and lots of things you might not find in other places. They do great celebrations on Record Store Day.
What's your favourite underground/out of the way bar/drinking establishment?
You know Halifax is small right? And in the Maritimes? There are no secrets.
Singer-songwriter Rose Cousins was raised on PEI and now lives in Halifax, NS. She's recently released an EP follow-up to her 2012 album We Have Made A Spark called Stray Birds.