Casual eatery La Cucina Café Pizzeria and Spaghetti House slakes hunger pangs with a menu of traditional Italian fare. Explore the creamy realms of the pasta vegetali ($12), penne pasta flanked by a fleet of spinach, toasted pine nuts, and zucchini. The panini Toscano ($10) elevates bread's original function as a pocket protector, loading the slices with chicken, prosciutto, and pesto mayonnaise. La Cucina's skillful pizza architects slather crispy dough foundations with myriad edible scaffoldings, inviting patrons to scale pies such as the Al Forno, topped with pepperoni, genoa salami, italian sausage, and bacon ($10.50–$26). The wine list features red and white varietals available by the glass or bottle, including Ernest & Julio Gallo Twin Valley Vineyards zinfandel ($5/glass) and Stony Hollow merlot from Chile ($5/glass). For dessert, the vanilla bean gelato sundae ($6) cools off even the most heated dinnertime debates over the genetic makeup of sporks.
Train Station Bike & Bean equips cyclists with bikes, gear, and fresh-brewed coffee in a historic train station located midway along the picturesque St. Margaret's Bay Trail. Pedalling duos can rent a pair of hybrid bikes for eight hours of traffic-free exploration on a 33-kilometre grooved pathway following the route of the railway that connected the area's villages in pre-teleportation days. Other routes transport riders through scenic fishing villages, sandy beaches, and popular sites, such as Peggy's Cove and Aspotogan Loop. The rental includes bike helmets and a bike-rack storage bag to hold valuables and fortifying cupcakes en route.
Trendz Cafe & Wine Bar's certified Chef de Cuisine Daniel Delorme arouses mouths with an array of local and seasonal ingredients. The lunch menu’s curried lobster ragout links arms with mango to high-kick atop a cornbread stage ($14), and the Italian chicken sandwich traps sundried tomato and free-range, rosemary chicken between two slices of focaccia ($13). At Dinner, diners bow to pan-fried halibut that dons a saffron-sauce robe and sits regally atop a vegetable-risotto throne ($25). In the grilled bison striploin, Chef Delorme quells a 6-ounce steak's temper with a calming blanket of redcurrant jus and mood crystals that take the tasty form of grilled summer vegetables and roasted potatoes ($28).
Brewdebaker's Tap & Grill welcomes diners to steer hungry stomachs toward the modern interiors of its Halifax grill or its Dartmouth location, inside Sleeman's Brewery, to watch staff freshly craft their brews. Patrons translate a diverse menu into taste-speak with phrases such as sesame Voodoo sticks—chicken skewers bathed in panko breading and spicy chili sauce ($9.99). In-house smoked baby back ribs rubbed in apple-butter barbecue sauce form a temperate coast, kissed by rolling waves of slaw beneath a baked-potato lighthouse ($16.99). Battered haddock, shrimp, scallops, and fries tell tall tales of monstrous mouths while atop a Fisherman's platter ($15.99), and the jalapeno bacon burger ($11.99) heats hands with jalapeno havarti, maple bacon, fried onions, and a well-chosen reading from a romance novel. All burgers come with a choice of fries, kettle chips, or house salad and can be paired with cellar-fresh pours, including Brewdebaker's own ales or Sleeman drafts, which fill litre mugs for $7.99 on Fridays and Saturdays starting at 4 p.m.
Housed in The Woodshire Inn, a bright yellow establishment built in the middle of the 19th century, Cocoa Pesto Bistro showcases fresh, flavourful fare prepared using local ingredients and a variety of cooking methods. Chef Scott Geddes scoured the southern region of the United States in an effort to discover definitively whether it's the heat or the humidity, as well as to find the best techniques for creating authentic Southern-style barbecue. Taste the results of his research in Cocoa Pesto Bistro's crowd-pleasing pulled-pork sandwich ($10.95), or in the dry-rub-marinated pork ribs, smoked with Annapolis Valley applewood and slathered with the kitchen's signature barbecue sauce ($18.95). The dinner menu abounds with non-barbecue-related items as well, including pecan-crusted salmon with mango cream ($21.95) and an oven-roasted half chicken with apple-pie sauce ($19.95).