The Carleton

4.6
102 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Global, International
The Carleton is housed in a building in Halifax, NS that was built in 1760 and was the home of Richard Bulkeley.

Apart from two churches, Bulkeley’s home is the oldest building in Halifax, NS. Since 1786 his residence has been known as ‘The Carleton’. As one of Halifax’s premier live music venues for the past 10 years, The Carleton has earned numerous awards and accolades including three East Coast Music Awards and eight Music Nova Scotia Awards for Venue of the Year, and most recently the 2017 Canada Live Music Award for Best Small Venue in the Country.

An exciting complement to the refreshed space is the introduction of a superb new menu by The Carleton’s new Executive Chef, Michael Dolente. Whether you’re sampling a local beer or cocktail in the bar after work or enjoying a lazy weekend lunch in the restaurant, our staff will ensure you feel welcome in our home from home."

Specials

Mother's Day Menus & Specials

Last year's Mother's Day brunch was a hit, so we're doing it again! But that's not all. We also have our next 10 course food and wine pairing dinner the same day! So whether you're out with the family or hoping to show the mom in your life an elegant evening, we've got you covered.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

What 102 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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K
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I've adored this listening room since the moment it opened. THE best place to experience music in Halifax, if not all of Canada. Love the renovation. Food's great. Our server was attentive (but not overly so) and delightful. Book and show and go for a bite. You won't be disappointed!

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CH
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 1service 5ambience 4

Love seeing live music at this venue! However, I ordered the crispy chicken sandwich and it was too salty to eat. The waiter was great and they refunded my money but it was very disappointing.

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R
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a great experience a few weeks prior when I attended with my friend for a standup comedy show, so I planned our date night this month around the live music that was on, on Friday. The artists were so talented and my husband and I really enjoyed catching up, while listening to them. The food and service were awesome and consistent with my last visit.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great evening. Delicious food, great ambiance and awesome music!

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BE
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A unique dining experience. My wife & I stepped out of our comfort zone and were thrilled at the result. We enjoyed Laura Merrimen, our server, the food, and overall ambience. It did become uncomfortable during the change-over as it seemed there were too many making the switch (commotion). However, it was time for us to leave and we did.

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PC
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our visits to the Carleton are always the highlights of our outings for food, service, ambiance and music. We especially appreciate the respect provided to musicians and insisting equal respect from the crowd. Those that don't are quietly and professionally handled as was witnessed. Service has always been top notch even during super busy nights when pathways are tight. You also amazingly maintain great cuisine that is creative. Quality of performances are top drawer with the most recenly being Morgan Davis and Guy Davis. Sounds levels are comfortable...however did find Morgan's guitar a little louder than needed overcoming his voice. Guy's sound was spot on. Be careful and check sound often is my only advice to avoid distortion....you have a perfect venue to lower sound levels and draw attention to the performance.

I have been to alot of jazz, folk, blues and other small and large venues around North America...none compare to The Carleton.

PC

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ST
Calgary
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

I have been to the Carleton a few times recently and it has always been great. I go for the music and typically eat dinner there beforehand. This time, was by far my worst experience. I reserved a table for two but we were seated with two other couples who didn’t know each other. Although they were lovely, you felt forced to converse with them when that wasn’t my plan. I was there to enjoy the evening with my friend. My appetizer, the salmon tartare was excellent but my main course, the lobster gnocchi was not so good. It was a recommendation by the server but I’d never eat it again. It was late arriving to the table, my friend had already finished her food. It arrived 45-1 hour after ordering and the gnocchi was glutenous or not well cooked. I was so hungry that I ate a lot of it before I ever saw the server again. I complained when he came and received 15% of the entree. This is strike one for the Carleton so I am willing to try again but if I have another bad experience, I’ll skip the food there. One of the other couples there did not enjoy the same dish either.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

With a serious lack of options for vegetarians, the small plates options being only green salad and pakoras, I was dissatisfied with the meal. My dining partner had the flank steak and although the meat was very tasty, the plate was sadly lacking in appeal. Fully half of the plate was empty as the accompanying tempura anchovies and insalata ricotta were tiny. It would make sense, at the price, to offer frites or an accompanying side. He ended up ordering a side of frites and additional pakoras which means that his meal cost over 50. Adding several beers and glasses of wine over the course of the evening we had an enjoyable time listening to the excellent entertainment but would not return for the food.

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DS
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

My wife and I have to commend the server for our table. He was very attentive to our needs and ensured we had everything we needed. The food was very good. The musicians were fantastic. We really enjoyed the entertainment. It was very nice not to have people talking while the show was on. We were very impressed with the whole experience of dinner and a show at The Carleton.

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PF
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The 3rd time at the Carleton this year. Never disappoints. The music is top notch and so is the menu.
Now that we understand the open table reservations it works very well for us and this time guests.
We look forward to the next time we go.

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DD
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We had a great time. The food was good and the music was terrific. We had a new server who was fantastic. Very attentive without being obvious.

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JH
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Absolutely fabulous venue, our whole party really enjoyed themselves. The food was delicious and the drinks were very reasonably priced. Music was great, slightly too loud for dining with but we didn't let it detract from our meal.

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GH
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Had a great evening recently at The Carleton. Had a fabulous meal before a show that had Willie Stratton open for Union Duke. Awesome talent as always at the Carleton. My one little pet peeve is that had Guinness on tap and not Cereal Killer from Big Spruce l was so looking forward to a Big Spruce... Other than that wee peeve The Carleton will not disappoint.

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RG
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I've been to The Carlton many times over the years but this was the first time since its renovation and new menu. I've always loved the ambiance of The Carlton, it's downtown location, and it's consistent commitment to providing a "listening room" experience which I hope they never change. We had an unusually difficult time selecting from the menu - it all looked so tempting. My wife selected Seared Scollop Fettucini and I opted for the Wine Braised Chicken - both were wonderful. We shard a very good Creme Caramel for dessert, also worth going back for. Our server was friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. The live music (Christina Martin) was excellent. We had a great evening.

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BM
Calgary
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The Carleton serves excellent food, a good selection of beer , wine and spirits and the service was excellent but the best feature is that they feature local music and provide a respectful, attentive atmosphere to enjoy the music (as opposed to a normal "bar scene" where most people are talking loudly and ignoring the band. The Carleton audience is actually there to listen to and appreciate the artists. Very happy with our experience there and will return.

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H
Atlantic Canada
3 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Fun spot for music and comedy
Food is very overrated.

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DM
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved the food, service, space, and entertainment. Would highly recommend.

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KP
Atlantic Canada
7 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

@TheCarlton is the best place to enjoy amazing musicians in Halifax. The ambiance is great.

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D
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food pre-concert. Beautiful venue. Will be back for future events.

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A
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was delicious and expensive, the service was friendly, professional, and on point. The room was very noisy during dinner but silent during the show (Craig Cardiff)

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JH
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Five people. All of us enjoyed their meal. The salad was outstanding

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ST
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Carleton is not only an amazing music venue, but the food is incredible.

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CT
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Love this place. I've been a loyal customer for years as Mike has impeccable taste in music and the acts he brings in. And the food is fantastic!

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s
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Carleton is a very good spot to have a meal, some great craft beer and enjoy a show without people talking thru the music.I would Highly recommend it as a spot to listen to musics. I for one hate to pay money to see a show and have people talk thru it.

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MY
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our party had a wonderful evening. The food was delicious and the music was fantastic

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BP
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Really enjoyed the evening with Pretty Archie. Food/menu was great, service was very good.
We did have a table of younger ladies behind us that talked during the music, until we spoke to them.
Is the Carleton not a “listening bar” these days? In the past the host would have made an announcement prior to the music commencing, that there should be no talking when the artists are performing.

Cheers.

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RB
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favourite places to go! Excellent on all counts!

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OT
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

MoMondays event. John greeted us and gave us a very warm welcome and wonderful service. First time at the Venue and I definitely will be returning. Thank you!

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DB
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great evening meal and show was outstanding ! Great avenue for Valentine day

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R
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The overall experience was good. The seating was not satisfactory. We were seated at the bar to get a view of the stage, but wasn’t good. If the shows are ticketed and everyone pays the same, there should be assigned seating at the time of purchasing the ticket.
All in all was a relaxing night with Ariana’s great voice. Thank you.

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MH
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Really good Valentines Night with Ariana Nasr and the Dinner.
I do appreciate the staff making sure that the audience noise level stays down during the Act--so could you please also remind the kitchen staff and oil those squeaky doors!!

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LN
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

I’ve gone to dinner here before when a show is on. Better experience then. Food was reasonable but not particularly interesting. I think the risotto was the best meal but the fries are excellent!

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OT
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

First time there and will go back. The food was delicious.

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JB
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

wonderful performance by Ian Sherwood and Luke MacMaster. I felt the salmon plate was a little small for the price, potatoes and veggies weren't all that interesting for the special that night. a lovely evening nevertheless!

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JM
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came to the Carleton to meet some friends, enjoy a meal, and listen some great music. We always enjoy Ian Sherwood, and Tuesday was no exception. A great show.

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LB
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I very much appreciate going to a venue to hear an artist and know that it is expected that all will be quiet.

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JR
Atlantic Canada
5 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful food and service. Lovely music and ambiance. Can’t recommend the Carleton enough!

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PM
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for the event Inside the Writers’ Room and had dinner first. Such a great night out!

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OT
Atlantic Canada
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

This was a friends get together to participate in IDOW festival. The artists were all new to us but we see this venue as a great opportunity to acquaint ourselves with new music. It was ALL great. If we had any criticism, it might be that the last artist was scheduled to perform at 10:30pm, and we had been there since 7pm to ensure a good table, ate & drank ourselves full, and were struggling to keep ourselves awake - not because the artist was boring but his music was melodic, beautiful and maybe not fast enough for that hour of the night. Mind you, we were all past 60 years of age. Anyway, we enjoyed the evening. We’ve been to the Carleton on quite a few occasions and will happily continue to do so.

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G
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Great venue for music. Food delicious but small portions.

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