1680 Lower Water Street
Halifax, NS B3J 2Y3Neighborhood:
SeafoodPrice: CAN$30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://mckelvies.ca/
- Phone: 902-421-6161
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm, Saturday - Sunday: Summer Only: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Sunday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Seafood, Contemporary American
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from McKelvies
McKELVIE’S DELISHES FISHES DISHES Enjoy one of Halifax’s most acclaimed kitchens in a renovated turn-of-the-century fire hall. Located across from the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on the Halifax waterfront, McKelvie’s offers an historic setting to savour the finest seafood and traditional Nova Scotia fare. Famous for Nova Scotia Lobster, Digby Scallops, Blackened Salmon, Potato Crusted Haddock and choice cuts of Prime Steak, McKelvie’s offers a wide selection of local favourites including Crab Bisque, Seafood Chowder, Steamed Mussels, Crunchy Haddock, Fish ‘n Chips, Jump-Up Calamari and Snow Crab Cakes. Save room for our Mile High Coconut Cream Pie, one of our many house made devilish desserts. Our Taste of the Grape wine list features wine from around the world to compliment our menu. As well we also offer a selection of local microbrews. The locals say you can find the best of the sea and Nova Scotia - at McKelvie's.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
- Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
McKelvies - Best Restaurants in Halifax ›
McKelvies reviews from OpenTable diners
56 reviews since June 28, 2014
- Ambiance3.9Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (25)fit for foodies (23)good for groups (15)great for lunch (12)romantic (11)neighborhood gem (10)kid-friendly (6)scenic view (3)hot spot (3)notable wine list (3)late-night find (2)great for brunch (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- Most Enjoyable & MemoriableDalGrads50yearsagoDined on 10/17/2014The night before we went to a competitor called the Bicycle Thief! They over charged --- it is well named "Thief"! 5 oz of house white wine @ $12 that hardly covered the glass bottom! On the other hand, McKelvies offered good value & great food! Thank you for keeping the noise level down. We have walked out of other competitors because of blaring sports on TV! Not conducive to dining.Special Features:
- Lobster lobster lobsterJoe3Dined on 10/17/2014Absolutely fantastic fresh lobster!!! Our server was the son of a lobster fisherman and treated us as if we were royalty. The restaurant looks a little outdated, but who cares. The 2nd night we came back for more lobster after a not-so-good experience at the 5 Fishermen earlier, where we left after the appetizer. Again lobster, and again it was excellent. If ever back in Halifax, we wil go here again.Special Features:
- Food deliciousTSFoodyDined on 10/11/2014The food was very tasty and we'll prepared. Our waitress however, did not grant us the attention that the $200 meal warranted. Very disappointed by that. Probably will jot return for that reason alone.Special Features:
- Great Dinning ExperienceJustVisitingDined on 10/6/2014Right from the start, great service with attention to detail including specials and answering our questions regarding menu items. Service was impeccable, the food was great and priced at a reasonable level for the quality. Highly recommended for a special occasion if you are in Halifax.Special Features:
- Return VisittummytreatDined on 10/4/2014We returned for our anniversary, having been there for a birthday several months ago ; our expectations were met, only concern is we find the wine overpriced. The fish tacos with a salad is a great, light dish; the crusted haddock was enjoyed.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Cruise TravelerGinger2007Dined on 9/23/2014I must say that both of us totally enjoyed our meal and the service given by the tall young man, sorry didn't get his name. We hit 4 ports and your Lobster Roll and my Mussels were out of this world. My boyfriend is from Nantucket and he raved about the whole experience. If ever we are there again we will definitely make a stop there. Thank you for a great experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Way to End A Day in HalifaxFaytheDined on 9/20/2014I found the restaurant in Fodor's and booked for dinner on the night our cruise ship, the Queen Mary 2, was going to depart late from Halifax. It was a Saturday night and the earliest reservation was for 7 pm which was fine because the Mary was supposed to leave at 11 pm. Well, they day we arrived the departure was moved back to 8:30, but we decided to go ahead with McKelvies. And boy, were we glad we did. We arrived about 20 minutes early, they got us a table right away which accommodated my elderly mother, who uses a walker. We stuck to mains - she had the scallops with lobster mash and I had a Nova Scotia lobster dinner. Both were exceptional as was the service. They called a taxi for us and we were back a little after 8.Special Features:
- Not to be missed!LuvnovascotiaDined on 9/12/2014Beautiful venue. The food was very well done, and delicious, with a good selection. The service was the best we have ever had, and we love fine dining. Hope to be back. Thanks!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food4twoDined on 9/9/2014Great food. Highly recommend. Better and less expensive than the typical tourist restaurant.Special Features:
- Great foodDickK72Dined on 9/9/2014Great food - easy delightful walk from the Westin Nova Scotian. Most notable - Caesar salad, seafood chowder and lobster risotto. Chocolate cheesecake was unbelievably good! Had dinner here twice and look forward to returning.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Food!jojoDined on 9/6/2014Really loved this restaurant. Food was fabulous and served with grace. Our waitress could have been a bit more polite and helpful. My only negative thought was that, as I'm eating this great meal, I felt I was in a hotel breakfast lounge or higher end cafeteria. The decor does not lend itself to the style and calibur of food being offered. Needs to be classed up some.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nancy555Dined on 9/6/2014Great prompt service...we were a little early ( 30 minutes ) and that was no problem...we were seated right away due to the reservation no doubt. Lovely modern décor. Friendly service.. Great food...wide variety, esp. if you were there for seafood, their specialty...I had salmon and my husband chicken...mile high coconut crème pie and Thai rolls for appetizer..all very good.!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Average food but great serviceYummyDined on 8/24/2014Our server was sweet, polite and attentive. Food wasn't bad just nothing exceptional. The lobster poutine was better than average. Casual setting. Good for groups. Was packed and buzzing.Special Features:
- great for a small groupJimmyDined on 8/14/2014We were three couples who got together one or two times per year. The round table worked well to facilitate conversation. Food was great with lots of options for the six.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Only sounds good on papernekroDined on 8/11/2014We were on travel to Halifax and had this "where to dine in Nova Scotia" brochure. On paper it sounded like a very good place to try, but in reality it doesnt stand up for its name, at all. Upon arrival, the hostess seated us at what seemed a good place, it soon turned out to be the sunniest spot with way too much light. The worst part had to be the service we had with the waitress. She gave bad advices, made mistakes & was insulting in her manner to speak to us. I had a whole lobster(was just okay tasting) with a side of veggies that was undercooked. When she picked up my plate with untouched veggies she didnt asked why, she just didnt care about our satisfaction. She even charged us more on the bill, had to remind her. BAD SERVICE.
- Always Great Food-Service not muchShoregirlDined on 8/9/2014We had a celebratory dinner with family and had 7pm reservations-Our waiter-Neil-said "I'm your guy", but he wasnt. We got our drinks at 7:45. The service improved moderately as the night went on, but not much. The restaurant was not even full! When you are paying those kind of prices, service is important. What was great, was the food and the great wine selctionSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Met High ExpectationsmusiccityDined on 8/8/2014My reservations were based solely on reviews. When I arrived in Halifax and realized it was next to the tourist sites, I was skeptical and thought I'd made a mistake. It was most definitely not a mistake. It was our very best mea of our trip- and we did have some outstanding ones along the way. The bisque was perfect. Two of us followed it with their short rib ravioli that had a mushroom ragu. I was surprised to find this dish on the menu. It was delicious and I know that to make a short rib ravioli takes many time consuming steps. Impressed! They also offer a three-course meal for a set price. Two chose it and loved the grilled fish and exclaimed over the lobster mashed potatoes. Do get the coconut cream pie!Special Features:
- Disappointed in the food!FoodieDined on 8/8/2014We were generally pretty disappointed in the food. For the price, the seafood was pretty average. There are a lot of "non seafood specialty" restaurants in Halifax that have better seafood. The scallops and lobster were overdone. Ambience old-school, diner. Not a great restaurant. Average and expensive.
- Looking for a Lobster dinner?Misselly11Dined on 8/6/2014Enjoyed a great lobster dinner here . My friend had the daily fish special...it was outstanding. Just a lovely enjoyable seafood meal in the heart of historic waterfront Halifax.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent seafoodSteveandJonniereviewsDined on 8/5/2014We had heard that McKelvies had great seafood and we were not disappointed. We had the crusted Haddock and the steamed mussels. Both were beautifully prepared and presented. The only complaint we had was the noise level. With all of the hard surfaces and high ceilings, the sounds reverberated to the point of being annoying. In spite of this, we would return for the food.Special Features:
- Great seafoodFoodieDined on 8/3/2014We had a wonderful family dinner. The food was great and the service fantastic.Special Features:
- Wonderful DinnerMarciaDined on 8/2/2014We enjoyed some wonderful meals during our ten days in Canada and McKelvies certainly ranked up there with the best of them. Our waiter, Ryan, was so personable that his outstanding service enhanced our experience. I started with the best Dark and Stormy cocktail I've ever had, thanks to Ryan's recommendation of the Propellor ginger beer. We both started with the seafood chowder and it was delicious, as was my bucket of mussels which was an extremely generous portion and had a wonderful flavor. The tempura fish tacos were also outstanding. All in all, a most enjoyable evening.Special Features:
- Good spotOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 8/1/2014Went hear from out of town and food and service was great - nothing amazing but a good spotSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- interior design is very niceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/1/2014Very much enjoy the food and the welcome feeling you get from the staffSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent first experience!sure2bbackDined on 7/25/2014What a date! My wife and I try every month to get away from everything going on for a night with just the two of us. We are not always successful in making that happen every month so we always try to make the nights we do get away special by trying to find a new place to explore or a new restaurant to visit. Mackelvies has always been one of those places we mean to get to but had just never found the time. Well let me say that, if you have found yourself in this same situation, make the time now to visit this gem of a restaurant. The restaurant itself is strikingly beautiful, the staff are amazing (even through all of my questions), and the food. The food is a delight you must experience for yourself. We will be bringing the kids next.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- lovely lunchlocalfareDined on 7/16/2014Had not been to Mckelvies for many years. Had lunch, Fish Tacos and Cesaer salad , my partner had haddock, shrimp and scallops. It was the best fish we had in many years. Cooked perfectly. Quick and friendly service. Enjoyed.Special Features:
- Another Great MealSedonadoodleVIPDined on 7/15/2014This was my 3rd time dining at McKelvie's. It was quite busy and noisy when we were there but we could still carry on a conversation at the table. We started with the chowder which was delicious. We shared the calamari and it was very good. I had the scallops served with lobster mashed potatoes, green beans & asparagus -- excellent! My husband had the seafood gratin which was a large serving which he enjoyed very much. The service was excellent with the server showing just the right amount of attentiveness. We'll definitely be back.Special Features:
- Good food fair serviceJwilligarDined on 7/15/2014Waiter seemed like he had too many tables or more interested in them. Refills too over ten minutes. Side dish with steak never arrived. Was given wrong bill at end of meal. Service should be better for priceSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ReasonableDined on 7/10/2014Good food at a reasonable price. vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
- travelingman47Dined on 7/3/2014If you want fresh lobster (after sailing on a ship where you have only had frozen, then broiled, dry lobster) this is a gem.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 306 reviews are from the McKelvies reviews archive.
- Don't order the crusty haddockFishetarianDined on 6/23/2014The mussels appetizer was very good but the crusty haddock was not: lots of crust and hardly any haddock in it, just a very thin layer of fish in the middle.Special Features:
- Great food and serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 6/5/2014In from Montreal, would recommend and visit againSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mostly goodOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 5/31/2014I ordered the "too good fish fry" and it was great except my scallops were not fully cooked, the center was not done. I also found the service very slow/poor. otherwise, the food was great and tasty and the chowder was definitely the best.Special Features:
- disappointingJoeyCDined on 5/25/2014Quality of food not as good as in previous years. Food taste and appearance was more like fast food than what one would expect in a fine dining restaurant. Allergies not attended to properly. Atmosphere nothing special. Price was high for what was offered.
- Nice to eat here if your a touristWikiwiki59VIPDined on 5/22/2014Arrived in May for a conference so place very quiet.Lobster mac and cheese was half a pound of cheese and find the lobster bits.Special Features:
- Out of Town Guest was Thrilled!daisyDined on 5/20/2014We were looking for a downtown location for lunch…chose McKelvie's and were very pleased. The table and seating were comfortable, we enjoyed the ambience and the service was efficient. The seafood chowder and crab cakes were particularly good.Special Features:
- Seafood GaloreMperorDined on 5/15/2014If you are looking for fresh seafood, then you're at the right place. The lobster, fish, mussels, scallops were very juicy and tasty. They do no skimp on the portions. Of course, this isn't your fast food restaurant price either, so be prepared to spend a little. The ambiance isn't set to fine dining as it seems a bit out-dated. I'd still go back as their variety is good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- luv2eatVIPDined on 5/12/2014the lobster sanwich and clam chowder soup is to die for. had excellent wait staff great food would recommend McKelvies anytime.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious Fishes DishesFoodFanDined on 5/12/2014There motto above says it all. Best kitchen for fish in Halifax, a city with lots of seafood places. Some alternatives for those who don't want seafood.Special Features:
- Underwhelming foodchoosieDined on 5/11/2014Four members of my family went to the restaurant on Mother's Day as one of us was visiting from Toronto and he wanted some fresh seafood. Each of our meals was sub standard. The fish was dry, fries were soggy and the Seafood Gratin was mostly a mashed potato dish. The cost of the meal did not reflect the quality at all. The service was very good but we will not return to the restaurant.