Dalhousie University 411: Where to find the best cheap lunch and more

A Dalhousie insider's perspective on campus life

Dalhousie University

Unofficial school motto:
‘We bleed black and gold’

Best place for a nap:
The second-floor couches in the Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building

Dalhousie University Tessa Williams

Best cheap lunch:
Loaded Ladle: free healthy food prepared and served by fellow students weekly in the Student Union Building

Best hangover breakfast:
Ardmore Tea Room. Step back in time with this retro diner that has lineups out the door for weekend brunch.

Favourite watering hole:
Freeman’s Little New York: pitchers, pizza and delivery until 5 a.m. Enough said.

Perks of living in this town:
Access to the services, amenities and events of a big city with the friendly attitude of a small town

Best place to study:
The biology tower in the Life Sciences Centre: study with a view of the Northwest Arm and Halifax Harbour

Weirdest tradition:
Robbie Burns Day ski trip

Best campus event:
Dalfest, an annual free live music festival, with past headliners such as the Sheepdogs and Hey Rosetta!

Best giveaway:
Orientation Week swag bag

Best live music venue:
Bearly’s House of Blues and Ribs

University Insider: Tessa Williams, 20, Urban Planning

If Dalhousie University had a theme song, it would be Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger. Not because the school mascot is a tiger and that track gets a generous amount of playtime at every school sporting event. Rather, it’s because, despite the university’s scandals and struggles in recent years, Dal keeps students coming back every fall, excited to start another year of studies.

PROFILE: Dalhousie University | Halifax, N.S. | Founded 1818

Dalhousie does not claim to be perfect. What’s important is that the university is always trying to improve. In 2015 alone, Dal launched Respect Week, a sexual assault and harassment phone line and an Indigenous studies minor, along with an Elders in Residence Program. Each initiative brings the university a step closer to becoming a more inclusive, welcoming and safe learning environment.

The best part about Dal is the people. The university is filled with passionate students and faculty who care deeply about their areas of interest. As a result, the campus has more than 250 engaging, active societies that are involved with the rest of the student body and the larger Halifax community. It is easy to find your niche and connect with like-minded individuals.

Dal’s main campus looks like the set of a movie set at a university: Students walk past historic stone buildings complete with climbing ivy on the way to class. Running into friends happens naturally, thanks to the campus’s compact design and central location in the city core.

Overall, Dal achieves an impressive balance as an academically focused party school. We work hard, we play hard and we make a difference. Halifax would not be the same without the thousands of talented, diverse people that Dalhousie attracts.

When it comes to extracurriculars, Dal has both quantity and quality. Students can host their own radio show on CKDU-FM (Halifax’s only campus-run station), borrow bikes from the Dal Bike Centre or learn to lindy hop through the Dalhousie Swing Dance Society. They can also take courses at the University of King’s College, Dal’s next-door neighbour, which offers unique courses on everything from the history and science of brewing to photojournalism.

Local Vibe
Halifax is the ideal stepping stone to independence. Dal students enjoy the charm and hospitality of a small port city without forgoing sushi or Lululemon. With five other universities in town, there is always something to do, and student deals everywhere you go. Not to mention the strong local music scene. Studying by the sea provides endless inspiration and year-round outdoor adventure.

The Skinny
Go to the Student Union website,, to keep up with campus events. Halifax’s independent weekly, the Coast ( has the latest local news and listings.