I love visiting Farmers Markets! There are usually opportunities to try lots of delicious and interesting things and they do tend to be very photogenic. Importantly, they are brilliant when travelling to get a real local view of the area you are visiting. Most Farmers Markets have a requirement that any stall holders must have businesses within x kilometres of the market itself. This guarantees a genuinely local experience and the fabulous Halifax Farmers Market was no exception.
Halifax Seaport Market is the longest continuously running market in North America. It started in 1750 and has moved location several times. In 2010 it moved to its current location at the Halifax Seaport.
This market is so good that you may want to consider getting an apartment rather than a hotel room for your stay in Halifax. It felt very frustrating not to have a kitchen where I could take some of this fabulous produce and cook up a storm!
Where is the Halifax Farmers Market?
Halifax Seaport Farmers Market is located on the Halifax Waterfront. It is at the opposite end of the Waterfront from the Maritime Museum and very close to the Immigration Museum. I stayed at the Delta Halifax hotel and it took me about 15 minutes to walk there using Lower Water Road rather than the actual path on the waterfront (it snakes quite a bit so is a longer walk).
The market is spread over two levels although the majority of vendors are on the first floor. There is quite a bit of parking out the front but limited roads around the market so traffic can be very bad. Better to go on foot if you can.
1209 Marginal Road
Halifax, B3H 4P8
Bathrooms are on both sides of the first floor and there is wifi.
Seaport Market Opening Times
Halifax Farmers Market is open every day. Monday to Friday it is open from 10-5. However, there the number of stalls is considerably fewer than on its most popular day which is Saturday. There will be approx. 250 vendors operating at the market on a Saturday. The market is open from 7 till 3 on Saturdays and then from 9 till 3 on Sundays.
Breakfast at Seaport Farmers Market
Norbert’s Good Food is a fantastic place to have breakfast at the market. There are loads of places to get delicious pastries etc and general seating areas but Norbert’s appeared to be the key place where you could order coffee, juice and a hot breakfast.
I had delicious eggs benedict – with a particular shout out on their lighter than usual colour but more delicious than usual hollandaise sauce! I also had a fruit smoothie that my gosh was amazing – it was like you could taste how fresh and nearby the fruit was grown! Nice coffee as well.
Norbert’s also sells vegetables, fruit etc etc.
Upstairs you can buy breakfast pizza at Bramoso pizza. They sell both gluten free and regular pizzas cooked or to go.
I can’t list all 250 stalls at Seaport market – well I could but that would be quite dull! Below are all the different stalls that caught my eye. There are loads more – check out the Vendor Listing on the Halifax Seaport Market website before you go so you can plan the visit to suit your tastes.
Wine and Booze at Halifax Seaport Market
I had no idea how much lovely alcohol Nova Scotia produces until my visit. I never associated Canada with the production of wine and spirits. Well, I was very wrong!!! There are some fantastic wine regions in Nova Scotia – the cooler climate makes it more like a Tasmania and produces some lovely flavoursome yet light whites (like its unique Tidal Bay) and some tasty light reds.
It is possible to visit the wineries in Nova Scotia although the majority are about a minimum one hour’s drive from Halifax. If you don’t have the time to get out to wine country then head to Seaport Farmers Market. Quite a few of the best wineries and distillers in Nova Scotia have stalls and you can try and buy.
Blomidon is a boutique winery in the Annapolis Valley and Avondale Winery is another good one for some samples. Planters Ridge has a beautiful modern winery in Port Williams near Wolfville and has their wines on display.
For liquor, Coldstream Clear is a fantastic local distiller with a great range from rum to vodka to apple pie liqueur. Ironworks Distillery is a brilliant Lunenberg based distiller that has won many awards, particularly for its Rum. Don’t miss their berry flavoured liqueurs and the story of their Shipwrecked Rum (and make sure you visit the Distillery if you got to Lunenberg – which you should absolutely try to do as it is fantastic!).
Food to go at Halifax Seaport Farmers Market
Steve O Reno’s Cappucino for a coffee and/or a smoothie. They also have pastries and tend to have a queue which is always a good sign!
Roll on Two Chimney cakes is upstairs at Halifax Seaport Market. This is the first bakery of its kind in Nova Scotia. Chimney cakes are Hungarian in origin and are available in five flavours.
Julien’s pastry shop/bakery has some fantastic pastries and bread items. They also have a store in Halifax in the Hydrostone area. I had a lovely coffee there and there were so many tasty looking treats!
Rawthentic chocolate has amazing looking and tasting raw organic vegan chocolate. Their products are made in hand batches and have no sugar and are dairy free. Normally I find this type of product tastes like cardboard but their samples were delicious.
Food to take home
Perhaps the winner of best stall name at Halifax Farmers Market for me was That Dutchman’s Cheese. There is a lot of gouda and they are best known for their blue. And they have a big stall!
Maritime Gourmet Mushrooms have exotic and unique mushrooms that look delicious and are very Instagram friendly.
Pam’s fine foods have some great looking dips.
Elmridge farm is a third generation family run farm in the lovely Annapolis Valley. They have lovely packaging on their jarred goods – loads of different jams, relishes and whatever else you can put in a clear jar. They also sell their organic fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and even dog treats at the market.
Farmhouse Foods has the prime position in the very centre of the market. They sell everything – fresh vegetables and fruit to sausages and all kinds of meat.
Windyview Farm is a small family run farm in the Annapolis Valley. They are completely organic and local and focus on meat, chicken and eggs. Their sausages, in particular, looked amazing.
Riverview Herbs is a year-round greenhouse that grows about 150 different herbs – all of which looked amazing and fresh.
Arts, crafts, toiletries, things that you can’t eat or drink etc
Slice Soapworks have goats milk soaps, lotions, deodorants etc etc. Their products are vegetarian, made with local ingredients and cruelty-free.
Lismore Sheep Farm has a range of wonderfully warm and woolly looking products from dryer balls to steering wheel covers. Their sheep farm is located in River John between Tatamagouche and Pictou.
Watershed Wood designs have fantastic looking chopping boards using east coast of Nova Scotia hardwoods like maple and birch.
The second floor of Halifax Seaport Farmers Market has some food stalls but tends to be heavier on the arts and crafts stalls.
Boutique Hotels in Halifax
Halifax is a little light on the ground when it comes to the full-on boutique hotel movement. But that’s ok as my gosh it is a town with a lot to offer in terms of food, wine, views and things to do. And there are quite a few very nice hotels with good thread counts available!
I stayed at the Delta Halifax (thanks for sponsoring my stay guys!). I had a lovely stay. The staff are super friendly and the location is great. And the food!!! I must confess I was a little snobby going in when it came to the food and boy did I get it wrong! I had a fantastic seafood dinner there (and thanks to George for the introduction to Digby scallops!) and they have a great local wine list. The breakfast is also sensational – a choice of a la carte or a fantastic buffet breakfast menu.
If you really want another option then you will be looking at B and Bs – here are a few that sounded decent:
Getting to Halifax and Getting Around
Halifax is an international airport and the main airport for Atlantic Canada. It contains pre-clearance for US customs which is super helpful.
You won’t need a car within Halifax itself as most of the key things to do are within walking distance. However, if you want to go beyond Halifax (which you totally should as there are loads of fab day trips) either look at a tour (see below) or hire a car.
Don’t forget to get take out travel insurance before you go – here are some great deals on travel insurance.
Great Tours to Go On in and around Halifax
There are loads of great things to do around Halifax. Why not take a Segway Tour of the Harbour? Or see Halifax from the road as well as the harbour on the Halifax Harbour Hopper tour. The Annapolis Valley is absolutely stunning and can be visited as a day tour from Halifax. And don’t miss seeing Canada’s iconic Peggy’s Cove and lighthouse.
Lunenburg is a must not miss and you can combine it with lovely Mahone Bay in one day trip from Halifax.
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Thanks very much to Visit Nova Scotia for helping me to plan and sponsoring my trip to fabulous Nova Scotia.
Also published on Medium.