Nova Scotia: Going Coastal with these Dairy-Free Friendly Restaurants

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Last Update in September 2021! We’ve created this ever-growing guide to restaurants, bakeries, cafes, ice cream shops, and stores 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 restaurants & shops by city (first) and major chains found throughout the state (second). And we’ve started a section for specialty dairy-free foods produced in this state.

We Update Continuously! You can ignore the original date on this post going forward. We update the information below whenever we’re alerted to a new recommendation, change, or closure.

Dairy-Free Nova Scotia: Recommended Restaurants & Shops with Vegan and Gluten-Free OptionsPhoto from Stone Pizza and New Scotland Brewing Co. in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Dairy-Free Nova Scotia: Recommended Restaurants & Shops

We’ve listed these recommendations alphabetically by city and then by the restaurant or shop name. For large chains with locations throughout the state, see the Major Restaurant & Grocery Chains section below. We have dedicated posts with dairy-free details for many of the big guys.

⭐️ = 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.)

Antigonish

  • Cashew Bros – They craft cashew-based, dairy-free ice cream in flavors like vanilla, chocolate, lemon poppyseed, and peanut brittle. They also blend vegan milkshakes. You can find them at the Antigonish Farmers Market.
  • Goji’s Neighbourhood Treatery  – On any given day, you might discover dairy-free soft serve flavors made with oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or Dole whip. They also have some house-made pops.
  • Peace by Chocolate – This local chocolatier does use milk in many of their varieties (so cross-contamination should be considered), but they do offer some dark chocolate bars made without milk, and have fun packaging.
  • The Townhouse – This brewpub has a few vegan and dairy-free options on their menu, including a few snacks, small plates, and large plates, and they usually offer a vegan dessert.

Bedford

  • Honey & Ginger – This is a local natural food and supplement store that carries many local brands, and brings in many special diet foods.
  • Lively Bakery ⭐️ – This is a home baker who exclusively bakes gluten-free and dairy-free goods. She bakes in cakes (including custom order celebration cakes for weddings, birthdays, etc), pies, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and many other treats.
  • M&J’s Catering and Eatery ⭐️ – All meals at the Caribbean restaurant can be ordered dairy-free and gluten-free. They also have a separate, and very big, “plant world” menu. In addition to their take out and dine in, they have meal plans available.
  • Noggins Farm – Their markets are basically daily farmers’ markets with local produce and foods made in the area. They often have some dairy-free and vegan surprises.
  • Pete’s Frootique – These inviting local stores are filled with specialty foods, including dairy alternatives, and have freshly prepared eats with dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan options.
  • Resto Urban Dining – Their menu leans heavily toward Italian, but has a range of appetizers, pizzas, and pastas. They have many dairy-free options, if you ask, and are also happy to accommodate gluten-free and vegan guests.

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.

Cole Harbour

Dartmouth

  • Alexandra’s Pizza – They offer dairy-free cheese to customize your pizza, vegan garlic fingers, and some other dairy-free options on their expansive menu.
  • Birdies Bread Co. – We reached out and they let us know that all of their bread in shop is vegan. They focus on naturally-leavened breads, made with locally grown grains. Their pastries change seasonally, but they do frequently carry some dairy free options. And they always have oat milk or almond milk available for coffee drinks.
  • Evan’s Fresh Seafoods – They have many gluten-free options on their menu, but they’re also known for being friendly toward dairy-free customers. This is a seafood market and restaurant.
  • Freshii –  This chain serves bowls, salads, wraps, and smoothies. They offer a detailed allergen menu, and each menu category has at least one or two dairy-free options, ordered as is. But most items can be ordered without dairy easily, since all of their bases, proteins, broths, and toppings (aside from cheese) are made without milk (at the time of our review). Just verify the sauces, as a few contain milk-based ingredients.
  • Honey & Ginger – This is a local natural food and supplement store that carries many local brands, and brings in many special diet foods.
  • Jugo Juice – This Canadian chain blends smoothie with almond milk or coconut water. Just be sure to skip the protein – they use whey. They also serve some wraps and salads that can be ordered dairy free.
  • New Scotland Brewing Co. – They serve food provided by Stone Pizza, their neighbor, including dairy-free and vegan appetizers and pizzas.
  • Noggins Farm – Their markets are basically daily farmers’ markets with local produce and foods made in the area. They often have some dairy-free and vegan surprises.
  • Sprout Therapy – They press their own juices and mylks, including dairy-free, nut-free pumpkin seed milk in a couple flavors. They also have dairy-free, plant-based bowl meals, and they carry various healthy pantry items with many dairy-free options. You can stop by their shop or set up meal plan or cleanse delivery.
  • Stone Pizza – They offer a whole menu of vegan pizzas. You can also customize just about any pizza to be dairy-free, since they offer dairy-free cheese, vegan crust, and a few vegan sauces.
  • 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.
  • Wok Box – This is a fresh Asian chain in Canada that is special diet friendly. They offer an allergen guide with their nutrition information, and naturally, most of their Asian menu is dairy-free. They also label which items can be made vegan and/or gluten-free.

Halifax

  • Alexandra’s Pizza – They offer dairy-free cheese to customize your pizza, vegan garlic fingers, and some other dairy-free options on their expansive menu.
  • Beavertails – These artisanal Canadian pastries are made with whole wheat flour, hand-stretched, and fried. They can be ordered dairy-free and vegan on request.
  • Bliss Bowls ⭐️ – You can find this vegan smoothie bowl maker at the Seaport Farmers Market.
  • Budapest Bisztro – This Hungarian restaurant offers a handful of dairy-free menu items, with some vegan options too. Dishes included borscht, authentic lecsó, stuffed peppers, Hungarian lamb shank, and Polish duck, at last check.
  • Copper Branch ⭐️ – This is a vegan restaurant chain that serves power bowls, burgers, sandwiches, soups, all-day breakfast (gluten-free bagel sandwiches are a feature), smoothies, coffee drinks, and desserts.
  • 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.
  • EDNA Restaurant – For brunch, you can order their vegan French toast, or a classic egg breakfast without dairy. For dinner, they told us, “Most of our menu is either dairy free or has the option to be dairy free, with the exception of dairy based dishes like Burrata, of course. We also make a vegan dish to order when requested out of our local seasonal produce.” And they usually have a dairy-free dessert option,
  • 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.
  • Fortune Doughnut – They offer five vegan flavors daily, which are made with coconut milk and applesauce, instead of milk and eggs. But you can also custom order from a huge menu of vegan flavors. They have Boston Cream, Samoa, Maple, Birthday Cake Oreo, Strawberry Filled, and so much more.
  • Frankie’s Espresso Bar ⭐️ – This vegan, gluten-free shop is located in an old fire truck. To go with their coffee drinks, and hot chocolate, they bake donuts, scones, cookies, and macaroons.
  • Freshii –  This chain serves bowls, salads, wraps, and smoothies. They offer a detailed allergen menu, and each menu category has at least one or two dairy-free options, ordered as is. But most items can be ordered without dairy easily, since all of their bases, proteins, broths, and toppings (aside from cheese) are made without milk (at the time of our review). Just verify the sauces, as a few contain milk-based ingredients.
  • Gahan House – This pub offers alternative menus, including dairy-free and gluten-free, and they have quite an extensive selection of dairy-free items. At last check, they had burgers, fish and chips, and several other seafood dishes, but they were in the process of a menu update.
  • HARVEST | A Farm-To-Table Eatery ⭐️ – They serve bowls, salads, and soups, with dairy-free options, and also make dairy-free, gluten-free energy bites and smoothies. There menu is clearly labeled for dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan guests.
  • 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.
  • Naan n Curry ⭐️ – Their menu is labeled for dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan, and it includes many dairy-free Indian specialties.
  • 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.
  • Organic Earth Market – This local grocer hand selects each item they carry based on health and sustainability. Consequently, they offer many dairy-free, plant-based, and local foods.
  • Peace by Chocolate – This local chocolatier does use milk in many of their varieties (so cross-contamination should be considered), but they do offer some dark chocolate bars made without milk, and have fun packaging.
  • Pete’s Frootique – These inviting local stores are filled with specialty foods, including dairy alternatives, and have freshly prepared eats with dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan options. Their Halifax location also has a gluten-free bakery on site.
  • Piatto Pizzeria + Enoteca – They have a vegano pizza on the menu and offer dairy-free cheese alternative, so most of their pizzas can be ordered dairy free.
  • Pita Pit – See our Dairy-Free Pita Pit Menu Guide for full details.
  • Pizza Pizza – See our Pizza Pizza Dairy-Free Menu Guide for full details.
  • Real Fake Meats ⭐️ – Canada’s first vegan butcher shop is located in Halifax! They do have a wide range of vegan meat alternatives (with gluten and gluten-free), but they also make a wide range of dairy-free cheeses, spreads, and dips. And they have frozen meals to-go, plus a full cafe menu with burgers, wraps, bowls, and more.
  • Rousseau Chocolatier – They have rotating dairy-free and vegan sorbet soft serve flavors, and also craft some dairy-free confections.
  • Schoolhouse Gluten Free Gourmet – They don’t have a storefront, but you can order online and pick up locally. They also ship throughout Canada. This is a gluten-free bakery, and they have a very extensive line of dairy-free pastries, with vegan options.
  • 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.
  • Sprout Therapy – They press their own juices and mylks, including dairy-free, nut-free pumpkin seed milk in a couple flavors. They also have dairy-free, plant-based bowl meals, and they carry various healthy pantry items with many dairy-free options. You can stop by their shop or set up meal plan or cleanse delivery.
  • 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.
  • Swirls Nut Free Baking – They run a peanut and tree nut free cupcakery, and will bake dairy-free and/or egg-free on request.
  • 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.

Hammonds Plains

  • Alexandra’s Pizza – They offer dairy-free cheese to customize your pizza, vegan garlic fingers, and some other dairy-free options on their expansive menu.

Lakeside

  • Alexandra’s Pizza – They offer dairy-free cheese to customize your pizza, vegan garlic fingers, and some other dairy-free options on their expansive menu.

Lower Sackville

  • Alexandra’s Pizza – They offer dairy-free cheese to customize your pizza, vegan garlic fingers, and some other dairy-free options on their expansive menu.
  • Locally Baked Outlet – Their focus is gluten-free and keto, but they offer some dairy-free baked goodies, too. They even have nut-free items.

Lunenburg

  • The Seaberry – This kitchen and market focuses on healthy, locally produced foods, natural ingredients, and sustainability. They offer dairy-free fresh baked breads, chocolates, and specialty products.

Mahone Bay

  • The Biscuit Eater Cafe & Books – They offer some vegan options on their cafe menu, like a tapas platter, veggie sandwich, and soup. They also take custom orders for dairy-free, gluten-free, and/or vegan pastries, but do require a couple days notice.

Musquodoboit Harbour

  • Uprooted Market & Cafe – They offer a vegan Buddha bowl, some dairy-free sandwiches, and they sell local produce and other goods, like locally made tofu and baked goods.

New Minas

  • Chrismaria Family Restaurant ⭐️ – This primarily Indian restaurant labels their menu for dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan needs. They have many of the usual dairy-free dishes, but also a couple surprises, like naan.
  • Cumin Kitchen and Drink ⭐️ – This urban cafe supports local agriculture, and caters to special diets, too. Their menu is labeled for dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan, and includes dairy-free items throughout. They offer all-day breakfast with chia pudding, omelettes, and bagel sammies, soups and small plates, boisterous salads and bowls, pastas, sandwiches, and even dessert.
  • Pita Pit – See our Dairy-Free Pita Pit Menu Guide for full details.

North Sydney

  • Alexandra’s Pizza – They offer dairy-free cheese to customize your pizza, vegan garlic fingers, and some other dairy-free options on their expansive menu.

Porters Lake

  • In The Raw – You can visit their sprouting center to find healthy, raw, vegan, and organic foods, including desserts, like carrot cake, cheesecake, and chocolate treats. But they also sell their fresh goods through natural food stores.

Stellarton

  • Goji’s Neighbourhood Treatery  – On any given day, you might discover dairy-free soft serve flavors made with oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or Dole whip. They also have some house-made pops.

Sydney

  • Alexandra’s Pizza – They offer dairy-free cheese to customize your pizza, vegan garlic fingers, and some other dairy-free options on their expansive menu.
  • Freshii –  This chain serves bowls, salads, wraps, and smoothies. They offer a detailed allergen menu, and each menu category has at least one or two dairy-free options, ordered as is. But most items can be ordered without dairy easily, since all of their bases, proteins, broths, and toppings (aside from cheese) are made without milk (at the time of our review). Just verify the sauces, as a few contain milk-based ingredients.
  • JJ’s Plant Based Eats ⭐️ – They serve all-vegan breakfast and lunch, with some sandwiches, wraps, and Mediterranean items. But they’re also well loved for their donuts.
  • MELTwich – This grilled cheese chain has a full plant-based menu. It includes a few vegan melts, the Impossible burger, and a couple poutines. Additional menu items can be custom ordered dairy-free, including burgers, bowls, and additional toppings on vegan grilled cheeses and poutines.
  • Pita Pit – See our Dairy-Free Pita Pit Menu Guide for full details.

Truro

  • Honeycomb Health Market – This is a great spot to find unique, new-to-you, dairy-free and vegan foods. They carry locally-made treats, like Cashew Bros ice cream, snack foods, pantry items, and have a whole food kitchen on site with daily dairy-free menu items.

Windsor

  • Beavertails – These artisanal Canadian pastries are made with whole wheat flour, hand-stretched, and fried. They can be ordered dairy-free and vegan on request.

Wolfville

  • Noggins Farm – Their markets are basically daily farmers’ markets with local produce and foods made in the area. They often have some dairy-free and vegan surprises.

Dairy-Free Nova Scotia: Recommended Restaurants & Shops with Vegan and Gluten-Free OptionsPhoto from Birdies Bread Co. in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Restaurant & Grocery Chains found throughout Nova Scotia

Some recommended restaurant and store chains are getting too big for our city listing britches. They have many locations, or are rapidly growing, and you might stumble across them in a number of towns in this state. Click on them for more dairy-free details.

Thus far, we’ve been able to add all chains to their respective cities above!

Dairy-Free Nova Scotia: Recommended Restaurants & Shops with Vegan and Gluten-Free OptionsPhoto from Real Fake Meats in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Local Dairy-Free Food & Drink Producers in Nova Scotia

These dairy-free friendly companies don’t have their own retail location, but are in Nova Scotia. So you have a good chance of finding their products at grocery stores, restaurants, and/or other shops in this state. Keep an eye out!

  • Shivani’s Kitchen – This local Indian spice company also makes ready-to-use sauces. They aren’t all dairy-free, but do include dairy-free butter sauce and curry sauce.
  • Sun Under the Sea – Their rich and functional dairy-free creamer is shelf stable, and made with the unique blend of collagen marine powder and 70% MCT oil.
  • The Cultured Coconut – This dairy-free yogurt has 4 trillion CFU per tablespoon (yes, Trillion) and over 40 probiotic strains. They sell in natural food stores across Canada, but their product should be easy to find in Nova Scotia, since they’re based in Bedford.

Dairy-Free Nova Scotia: Recommended Restaurants & Shops with Vegan and Gluten-Free OptionsPhoto from Bliss Bowls in Halifax, Nova Scotia

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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