Entertainment and nightlife in Halifax

Halifax has an astounding number of bars and pubs for a city of its size, to suit almost every sensibility. The following is just a sampling of the opportunities.


Dooley's Billiards is not exactly a pub, but part of a chain of billiards joints. It has lots of pool tables, and food and drink available.

Ginger's Tavern often has music that attracts good crowds of supportive friends and friendly locals.

Granite Brewery has decent food and excellent beer brewed onsite. Definitely try the Peculiar Ale.

Halifax Alehouse recently restored a great building to open this Maritime brewpub. The menu is fairly extensive.

Maxwell's Plum has a huge selection of local and imported draft, free peanuts, and is a popular spot to watch major sporting events.

Midtown Tavern is a Halifax institution with diehard regulars, and televisions devoted to sports.

The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse has three large rooms, frequent live music (usually of the fiddle and guitar variety) and is often crowded with an energetic, slightly older set.

Peddler's Pub with a good selection of food and beer this pub is pretty safe.

The Lower Deck features Maritime music, a huge patio on the boardwalk, and is usually jammed with an eclectic demographic.

The Split Crow is a great traditional pub that usually has live music.

Victory Arms Pub in the Lord Nelson Hotel , is more upscale and has a reliable food menu.

Your Father's Moustache has a full menu, frequent local entertainment, and a spacious rooftop patio in the summer.

Bars and Dance Clubs

The Argyle Bar and Grill has a well-priced, dependable food menu by day, and often turns into a crowded, throbbing dance bar on certain nights of the week. Its seasonal sidewalk and rooftop patios are especially popular.

The Bitter End is a great martini bar with a good summertime patio and nice contemporary décor.

The Economy Shoe Shop/Backstage/The Diamond are three café-bars that are interconnected. This is the place to see and be seen amidst great décor, a good menu, and notoriously undependable service.

The Liquor Dome is something of an institution. "The Dome" is used to refer to many bars that are separate, but can be traversed and visited under one roof, usually for one cover charge. Cheers is geared mostly at an older crowd interested in conversation (picking up). The Attic hosts battles of the bands and other live music. The Dome itself is a large dance floor under a glass roof, with sticky floors, loud music, and more than its share of students and other younger folk looking for company.

Khyber Centre for the Arts has a funky bar area on its main floor that hosts a good mixture of events every week.

Hell's Kitchen is a two story complex, with good local and out of town bands. "Hell" is downstairs and usually better for conversation, while the Marquee upstairs typically has the bigger shows, good dancing, and a popular Retro Night on Wednesdays.

The Mercury Restaurant and Dance Club has decent food and attracts OK crowds on weekend nights.

Merrill's Café and Lounge is an okay spot for lunch in the day, and turns into a crowded nightclub on weekends, with a largely student crowd.

Pacifico Bar and Grill is huge, with a full menu, a lounge section, some pool tables, and is host to throngs of people who dress up to dance here on weekend nights to the current chart-topping music.

The New Palace Cabaret is a notorious last stop on pub-crawls, as it stays open until 3:30am . It sometimes attracts out of town acts, and frequently has wet T-shirt or comparable contests.

Reflections Cabaret and Cigar Bar touts itself as a no-labels bar and justly so - though still referred to as a gay bar, people of all preferences have been welcome and going here since it opened. Though relatively small, it is regularly voted the best place to dance in Halifax , and sometimes gets interesting DJs and other acts.

The Seahorse Tavern is slightly dark and dank but nonetheless popular, has a couple of pool tables and tends to have rock acts if anything. Its long history shows in the table carvings.

Stage Nine is a popular downtown bar with live shows and dance nights throughout the week.

Vortex is a relatively new gay bar and restaurant. Closed on Monday and Tuesday, Vortex is fast garnering a reputation as a friendly, busy, and fun place to hang out and dance.

Non-Alcohol Related Options

The Dalhousie Arts Centre houses The Rebecca Cohen auditorium that is home to Symphony Nova Scotia and often has other concerts as well. The Sir James Dunn theatre is also here, and is used for both musical and theatrical productions.

Khyber Centre for the Arts also has space used for theatre performances.

The Music Room is a beautiful, small recital hall purpose-built for the performance and recording of acoustic music. It is often rented by local musicians for intimate recitals and has incredible acoustics.

Neptune Theatre is the major local theatre, with mainstream plays and musicals on its lovely mainstage, and a more eclectic program in its flexible studio space, which also hosts other local companies and traveling shows.

The Pavilion is Halifax 's main all-ages venue and manages to attract good musicians and crowds. It recently re-opened after major renovations.

Halifax Features

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