The Canteen on Portland

4.7
255 reviews
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CAN$30 and under
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Farm-to-table
Top tags:
  • Local Ingredients
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
The Canteen is a full service neighbourhood restaurant in Downtown Dartmouth, serving up chef-inspired seasonal fare for lunch, brunch and dinner. At the helm in the kitchen is award-winning chef and co-owner Renee Lavallee. Her seasonal menus are influenced by classic French, Italian and traditional Nova Scotian cuisine – with a little bit of Renée’s magic thrown in. Signature items include The Canteen Burger, The Crobster Roll, Seafood Chowder and more.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Farm-to-table, Seafood
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Hours of Operation
HOURS
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday-Thursday: 11am - 2:30pm, 5pm-9pm
Friday: 11am - 2:30pm, 5pm-10pm
Saturday: 10am - 2:00pm, 5pm-10pm
Sunday: CLOSED

CLOSED For all holidays (New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Natal Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day & Boxing Day)
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Phone number
(902) 425-9272
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Payment Options
MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Casual Dress
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Executive Chef
Renee Lavallee
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Neighbourhood
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wine
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DB
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Have never been disappointed coming here. The food is always excellent, fresh and local as much as possible. The bread is made in house, not something you see very often. The service is quick and efficient. If you failed to make a reservation, they do their best to fit you in. You can get a fabulous, high quality, fresh meal for a cost comparable to many chains and you are supporting a local small business in the process. We would recommend The Canteen to anyone.

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OT
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

I took a friend for her birthday, both our first time there. I enjoyed it. The decor is warm and inviting. Decorated with local artists and items. Air exchange/ heat pumps are blended as well as can be, into the walls and shelves, I like how t hff ey did it. Meal was excellent! My 1st cocktail took a bit too long, 15 min. after my friend got her beer, but not a huge deal they were starting to get busy. Meals were so fantastic, I'll be back!

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GR
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

As an occasional 'going out' diner (lunch and dinner), The Canteen is my favourite place to go for a meal. I go there for the sense of welcome, the light and airy surroundings and most of all for the wonderful food. There's a real sense in The Canteen of "high-end for everyone"; up market without a hint of pretentiousness. The food, o the food! Delicious.

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TT
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had a fantastic meal - shared the creamed lobster app (wow!), HD their burger and haddock dishes for our mains (another wow!!!) and our desserts were very nice. Highly recommend, our favourite spot to visit when we are in the Halifax area!

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TA
Atlantic Canada
6 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Just love what these guys are doing, we both ordered different dishes just so we could taste everything. It was lovely I mean it was sooooo! good. My favorite spot in the city. The staff is so willing to give advice and they know the dishes and what goes well with them and so friendly.

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W
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 3Ambience 1

I thought the decor lacked personality- it’s like someone went to the crafter’s market and bought everything that said Dartmouth on it.

I also found the food too safe, generic, and kind of “basic”. It’s like the menu is an insecure teenager trying to wear and do whatever they think is the coolest, without portraying any of their own personality.

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JL
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

The space is bright and a feeling of cheerfulness envelopes you as soon as you step inside the door. You are met with a warm greeting, the service is friendly and efficient and of course the food is flavourful and beautifully presented. I am not a fan of rice (crazy I know) and they don't serve quinoa.

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CM
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Great meal, as always. Have enjoyed every visit to The Canteen. Will definitely go again in the future.

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JC
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Very nice dining experience. It was our first time there and our reservation was on time. The service was excellent and the ambience comfortable and upbeat with a nice vibe. The food was very good with ample portions and both seafood dishes properly cooked. There just wasn’t that exceptional flavour from the haddock or scallop dishes to warrant 5 stars. All in all a very pleasant evening and we would definitely return and recommend.

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KC
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

As always, the canteen was awesome from the food to the service to the ambiance. Can’t wait to go back again.

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J
Atlantic Canada
4 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Love the Canteen however do find it very loud.
Difficult to converse with others at the table.

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JM
Atlantic Canada
5 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent service and the food is always awesome. The mushrooms on toast was the best medley of tastes.

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HM
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great food choices! Still very very noisy! I can't get my husband to go!

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YL
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Went for a special dinner with family and we all had a great time food was great service friendly overall we were all happy and would go again in a minute.

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AR
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

First visited in April while visiting NS before moving here in August. Took my 17 year old daughter and my friend on Saturday evening and was pleased I did. Food was delicious and the service was great. We all loved our visit.

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WS
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food was delicious and ambiance fun and trendy. Really enjoyed our evening!

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SC
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Had the burger and fries and they were soooo yummy. Highly recommend if a thick yummy handcrafted burger is your jam. Have also had other offerings on previous visits and have never been disappointed.

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GP
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 3Ambience 2

I had heard such great reviews from friends; however, I was highly disappointed. We went during a Saturday and was not aware they had a separate brunch menu (this was our fault). Everything (there were only 5-6 items) on the menu consisted of eggs (not good for someone with an allergy). I asked if chicken could be added for extra price and I was told that there could not be any substitutions. The egg was eliminated from my meal and it was absolutely disgusting. The burrito bowl was ice cold and the rice was hard and not cooked. Again, absolutely disgusting! I ate two bites and left it. The waitress did offer something else, but everything was egg centered. There was nothing else she could offer.
The crème brulée was amazing. Good job!
The noise level was insane. I couldn't hear my friend speak, as it was so loud.
Despite, the horrible experience, I would like to try this place again, as I have heard such wonderful things; however, it will definitely not be on a weekend or during a busy time.

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MF
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Service was excellent! So important. All of our food (appies, mains, dessert) were excellent, including the fries but far too many fries proportional to the burger. Overwhelming and wasteful. But delicious.

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OT
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 3

It was very noisy so we had difficulty hearing each other.

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SC
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 1

Good food but noisy...hard to have a conversation ...........

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LM
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 4Ambience 2

Good food, good gluten free options...too noisy to talk to each other.

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L
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Always good food. Music was a bit loud on top of the crowd noises.

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G
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

I never really need an excuse to dine at The Canteen... but that they were participating in Restaurants for Change and donating all profits from dinner service to Community Food Centres Canada (@aplaceforfood) and the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre (@dartmouthnorthcfc) speaks really well to their commitment to community. Talk about a good corporate citizen...

And the food... I've never eaten anything there that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed, and for my dining companion's first visit, it made an awesome introduction. We both enjoyed every morsel and came away completely satisfied.

The Canteen has a bustling atmosphere and is almost always a hive of activity, which may be offputting to some - it was not to us. Service was attentive and cheerful, and after every visit, I look forward to the next one.

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KS
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We adore The Canteen - thanks for never letting us down with food and service! :)

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MW
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

Had a good experience here overall, the food was good (expensive, but I understand all the ingredients are local so fair enough). It was kinda loud but not really the restaurants fault-everyone inside was just speaking exceptionally loud. Not many veggie options unfortunately, but the server comped me a salad because I had asked for a few other things that they had run out of so that was awesome! Can’t remember the servers name but that was wicked. Would definitely come back.

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PM
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The meal was as delicious as the presentation! Very flavorful and the dessert was a great way to finish the visit.

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DS
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food and service! We loved our evening there!

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OT
Ottawa
4 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 3

Although the noise level was very loud and needs to be remedied.The food was excellent e.g. fish perfectly cooked and salad delicious. Recommend Muscles as entree.
Overall the value for money and presentation of the meal was really well done.

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GG
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Went for dinner after a meeting. Although the restaurant was somewhat loud, we had a very good dinner!

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b
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Good food, server was attentive a bit pricey but that's what trendy food cost. Overall it was a tasty treat out for our son's birthday.

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NG
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

It's a Best of Halifax for a reason. I love that The Canteen is in my neighbourhood and offers local and creative dishes. It's always yum and accommodates multiple different food needs.

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SN
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Bright atmosphere, friendly staff and great food! Coffee is nice and strong and the presentation of the food is fabulous!

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m
New England
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food, moderate price, good service in a casual atmosphere. Would recommend for both lunch and dinner.

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DB
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food and service! Will recommend this restaurant to friends and family. Thanks for a nice evening : )

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R
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Have been twice in the last month, for brunch and dinner. Had the Eggs Benny for lunch and the Burger for dinner. Both were delicious and I’d order them both again. It does get very loud when it’s busy, but the quality of food makes up for it!

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DT
Atlantic Canada
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great meal as always. Finally got try the burger, as I've been distracted from it on previous occasions. Friend had the scallops, and both were great. The carrot cake was a lovely finisher.

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OT
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Great pea risotto!

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SO
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

The food and service were both very good. We were a group of friends catching up which proved to be difficult due to the noise level. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go, I just wouldn’t recommend it for conversation.

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CW
Tampa
7 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

I shared a few appetizers with my daughter and they were full of flavor and delicious. Pane cotta was the dessert special and I would highly recommend it.
I ordered the halibut a few days ago and it was very fresh, just outstanding cuisine!

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