Nova Scotia: Recommended Restaurants for Dairy-Free Diners

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Updated in 2021 – we’re just getting started! We’ve created this ever-growing guide to restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and ice cream shops in Nova Scotia that are friendly to dairy-free diners. It’s a collection based on research and reader recommendations (send yours!), that’s divided into local restaurants (first) and chains (second).

Note: You can ignore the date on this post going forward. We’ll update the information below whenever we’re alerted to a new restaurant recommendation, change, or closure. 

Local Nova Scotia Restaurants Recommended for Dairy-Free Eats

We’ve listed these recommendations alphabetically by city, and then by the restaurant or shop name.

⭐️ = Restaurant is either dairy-free, has a dairy-free menu, has dairy-free labels on their menu(s), or lists top allergens with menu items. (At the time of our last review.)

Canning

  • Crystany’s Brasserie ⭐️ – They are touted as Canada’s first certified gluten-free restaurant, and they do cater to other special diet needs. Their menus clearly label dairy-free options (calamari, haddock chowder, chicken sandwiches, and more), and they bake up many dairy-free treats, too! They can include pies, cupcakes, cookies, or even cheesecakes.

Dartmouth

  • The Wooden Monkey ⭐️ – This local-focused restaurant warmly welcomes special diet diners. All of their menus are labeled for vegan, vegan option, gluten-free, gluten-free option, contains soy, contains dairy, and contains nuts! Their fulfilling sandwiches, salads, seafood entrees, pizzas (yes, they have vegan cheese and gluten-free crust!), and some other items include some enticing dairy-free surprises.

Halifax

  • East Coast Bakery ⭐️ – According to the owner, they are a nut-free, dairy-free, and kosher parve certified bakery. They specialize in bagels and breads, but also bake some generously-sized sweets.
  • enVie A Vegan Kitchen ⭐️ – Their creative, from scratch menu suits a diverse range of tastes and special diets – they have many nut-free, soy-free, and gluten-free items, all clearly labeled. In addition to entrees like dairy-free Butter Chick’n with housemade naan and “Bacon” Avocado Burgers with Chili Cheeze Fries, they have house-made desserts, a diverse drink menu, and grab ‘n go eats.
  • Heartwood – Cozy up with a hot bowl of house-made soup and a bean melt at this vegetarian eatery. They clearly label vegan and gluten-free options, and most of the menu can be made dairy-free. They offer pizza, sandwiches, salads, and other local favorites made with mostly organic ingredients. Their core location is open year round, but you might spot them at two other addresses around town.
  • Humani-T Cafe – This hip espresso bar and gelato shop doesn’t forget about dairy-free and vegan guests. They scoop several decadent creamy flavors of vegan gelato (made with soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, or water) and offer many vegan desserts, including cupcakes, gelato cake, and carrot cake! And naturally, they have dairy-free milk beverages, like almond milk, available for your coffee or tea.
  • Odell’s Gluten Free Bakery & Cafe ⭐️ – They have quite a few dairy-free options on their big cafe menu (just ask!). And on the bakery side, you will discover many dairy-free muffins, cookies, bars, cupcakes, breads, and other treats. They do take custom orders, but do not write on cakes.
  • Springhouse Plant-Based Market – The year of 2020 wasn’t going to keep this business down. They transformed their vegan restaurant into a plant-based grocery store. They still make meals for takeout and delivery, but also have a deli, baked goods and desserts, and shelves full of dairy-free and vegan provisions. Naturally, there are many gluten-free and allergy-friendly products, too.
  • Sweet Hereafter – Craving cheesecake? This sweet shop typically has at least one vegan variety available by the slice, and about a dozen other vegan tofu-based flavors that you can order by the whole cake! They include options like Bailey’s Almande, Strawberry Vanilla, and Chocolate Oreo.
  • The Wooden Monkey ⭐️ – This local-focused restaurant warmly welcomes special diet diners. All of their menus are labeled for vegan, vegan option, gluten-free, gluten-free option, contains soy, contains dairy, and contains nuts! Their fulfilling sandwiches, salads, seafood entrees, pizzas (yes, they have vegan cheese and gluten-free crust!), and some other items include some enticing dairy-free surprises.
  • Wild Leek ⭐️ – This completely vegan restaurant, bakery, and juice bar aims to satisfy with casual but unique fare, like delicious “Dragon Fries” and plant-based Donair Wraps. They serve snacks, bowls, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and house-made desserts. Gluten-free and soy-free options are available and clearly labeled.

Most Popular Chains in Nova Scotia for Dairy-Free Diners

There are many more chains in this state, but these are the ones we recommend most for dairy-free options.

Nova Scotia-Only Chains

National Chains

This Guide is Continuously Updated with Recommendations

We welcome you to recommend other dairy-free friendly restaurants. Leave a comment or contact us and tell us why you like a certain restaurant. Restaurant owners and employees are also invited to reach out and let us know how you welcome dairy-free customers.

Please kindly let us know in the comments if any of these restaurants close. We want to keep this list current for you, but aren’t always notified when a restaurant closes. Let us know and we will quickly update!

This Guide is for Informational Purposes Only

Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, and restaurants are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure that they can accommodate your situation.

There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.

For More Dairy-Free Guidance, Get Go Dairy Free!

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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