We count down the 12 Days to Christmas, why not the 17 Days to St. Patrick’s Day? If there’s one holiday that should be a season of cheer, it’s this one, we say. Here’s Edition 16 of the Vacay.ca St. Patrick’s Day in Canada Countdown — where we name 17 of the best Irish bars in the land!
Day 16: Durty Nelly’s, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Story by Janine MacLean
Vacay.ca Food Columnist
HALIFAX — A well-known pub-crawlin’ town, Halifax has the most pubs and bars per capita in all of North America. But where do the locals go to celebrate St. Pat’s? That’s simple. They head to Durty Nelly’s.
In the heart of downtown Halifax, Durty Nelly’s is named for a famous County Clare landmark and restaurant, but also for the woman merited with creating Irish moonshine. Since opening three years ago, Durty Nelly’s has been packed with half-drunk locals. With the pub divided into three areas (each representing a different pub style in Ireland) it’s not only a roomy space, but a comfortable one at that.
Developed with celebrity chef David Adjey, Durty Nelly’s menu is chock full of pub classics enhanced with expertise in the kitchen. Try Nelly’s Beef and Guinness Pie ($11.49), their Boiled Ham and Potato Dinner ($10.99) or their Nova Scotian Seafood Chowder made with Digby scallops and fresh, local haddock ($11.99). If you’re more interested in alcoholic indulgences, try a fun Irish cocktail like the Mr. McGuinness (Bombay Sapphire Gin, McGuinness Cherry Brandy, lemon and lime juice, and a splash of soda, $7.75).
We all know that Nova Scotia is a great place to go if you like to indulge in Celtic culture, and when you combine the laid-back vibe of Halifax with a great Irish pub like Durty Nelly’s it’s almost like you’ve been transported to Ireland itself. Prepare to make fast friends with friendly staff and locals, sit back and enjoy the best pint of Guinness you’ll get in Nova Scotia.
One thing is for sure: St. Patrick’s Day at Durty Nelly’s is going to be crazy, so if you’re going … get there early (and Godspeed).
Quote from an Irishman: “Moving to Nova Scotia from Ireland … the similarities with home are crazy!” – Tom O’Mahony (Durty Nelly’s manager), from County Kerry.
You know it’s authentically Irish because: The entire interior was built in Ireland and shipped over to Halifax. With Halifax having its own rich Celtic heritage, Durty Nelly’s is in a league of its own as far as authenticity is concerned. Also, Irish people like to drink here. That’s important.
Cost of a pint of Guinness: $7.50 (taxes included).
St. Patrick’s Day plans: In the words of O’Mahony, St. Patrick’s Day at Durty Nelly’s “is gonna be mad.” Open at 8 am to serve breakfast and brunch (and beer), there will be live entertainment starting in the afternoon and lasting all evening until 2 am. Bruce McKinnon will be playing from 4-7 pm and Dwight Deon will be finishing up the evening from 10 pm until close. But don’t think for a second that the celebration is starting or ending there. On Friday, the bar staff and patrons will ring in the holiday with their Countdown to St. Paddy’s Day with live entertainment all night and on Sunday they will be hosting a staff appreciation event (after St. Pat’s that is so necessary) followed by live entertainment and a prize giveaway.
Contact info: Located on the corner of Argyle and Sackville St., Halifax, Nova Scotia; Telephone: 902-406-7640; www.durtynellys.ca.
Day 15 of the Vacay.ca St. Patrick’s Day Countdown: Failte, Waterloo, Ontario
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Note: Photo courtesy of Durty Nelly’s