You don’t have to hitchhike to Halifax to have a heck of a time shopping. Bedford’s bountiful bevy of boutiques offers plenty to purchase for locals and tourists alike. But like diamonds in the rough, these destinations can be difficult to discover—unless, of course, you’ve got a guide. Since we’ve been helping people explore Nova Scotia for a couple years, why not let us help?
Below, we’ve put together a list of the best local shopping and dining experiences in Bedford, Nova Scotia. You’ll find everything from casual clothing to fine food and drink at these establishments, which prove that this charming community is every bit as diverse and exciting as the town next door.
Bloom & Wander
Bloom & Wander Women’s Boutique is one of Bedford’s best-known places to buy apparel, accessories, or housewares. Not only are the products carefully curated to offer options for tasteful and discerning shoppers, but the space itself is wholesome and welcoming—the furthest thing you can imagine from your typical big box experience.
Bloom & Wander’s goal is to create a shopping experience that feels like you’re borrowing clothes from your best friend—and they succeed with flying colours. The staff are always cheerful and friendly, and deliberate design choices like high arches in the fitting rooms, subtly curved mirrors, and unfinished concrete floors give the impression of a tasteful but real space where you’ll be able to relax and discover apparel that truly makes you look and feel like your best self.
Pete’s Frootique & Fine Foods
You’d think they’d be all about fresh fruit with a name like that, but Pete’s Frootique & Fine Foods goes beyond their (admittedly awesome) juicebar to offer soups, sandwiches, and salads as well. They are also a boutique grocery store and focus on importing goods from the UK. Better yet, you’ll find plenty of gluten-free options and other ways to customize your experience for folks with specific dietary preferences.
And to top it all off, Pete’s gets their fresh produce from local vendors whenever possible. Truly, the only thing more delicious than freshly squeezed juice is community support.
The Freak Lunchbox
A family-owned business that’s never afraid to think outside the (jack in the) box. The Freak Lunchbox is a candy shoppe inspired by circus sideshows and roadside attractions. Not only is it a huge hit with locals, but it’s also attracted its fair share of celebrity attention—from the likes of Lucy Liu, Ethan Hawke, Sandra Oh and more. They feature candy and treats from your childhood, items that are new and trending and imported unique treats as well.
And it doesn’t stop with candy, either—they also offer incredible custom milkshakes made on the spot in high-quality custom mixers. Yum!
Izzy’s Bagel Co.
Found along the Bedford Highway, Izzy’s Bagel Co. puts so much love into their specialty bagels and menu items. You’ll find an incredible range of cream cheese flavours, ranging from fun takes on classics like “Scream Cheese” to way-out-there-but-still-delicious offerings like “Pumpkin” and “Eggnog”. After all, it’s always the season for a delicious breakfast.
Stop in for a bagel or a dozen to go or grab a delicious breakfast sandwich, NS Smoked Salmon bagel or more. Whatever your decide to try from Izzy’s you won’t regret it.
One of three locations in Nova Scotia, the Taz Records in Bedford proves that vinyl’s not dead. In fact, vinyl is really just the tip of the iceberg here. They also offer CDs, audiophile pressings, movies, toys, and graphic novels. There’s also a selection of high-end audio equipment for those who want to make music as well as listen to it. You’ll find speakers, preamps, turntables, and more.
This is a pop-culture geek’s paradise, and best of all? They do consignment as well, so you can always sell your old stuff to make room for new collectibles.
Fisherman’s Market International Inc.
Offering some of the best seafood and lobster available anywhere in the North Atlantic, Fisherman’s Market International Inc. takes the concept of “farm to table” and applies it to the ocean. You’ll find fresh fish, shellfish, lobsters, and more—all ready to be fried, grilled, boiled or cooked to your heart’s content.
They’re also deeply involved in giving back to the local community. Fisherman’s Market frequently puts on events that support the Bedford & District Minor Hockey Association, Christmas Daddies, IWK Foundation, and others.
No warehouses or products from anonymous factories halfway around the world here. Posh curates a selection of artisan-made products from local small-batch creators and gives them a platform to share their wares with a wider audience. You’ll find everything from art and home decor to kitchenware, clothing, accessories, and bath and body products. If you’re looking for a special something in Bedford to beautify your home, this is where you’ll find it.
The Chicken Burger
Canada’s oldest drive-in restaurant is right here in Bedford—and it’s a cluckin’ good one. The Chicken Burger offers a nostalgic 1950s-inspired diner setting (complete with a jukebox!) and delicious food made with high-quality ingredients. A friendly staff with impeccable customer service skills rounds out the experience, ensuring that this’ll be one of your top pecks for a bite anytime you’re in the area.
Stop into the Chicken Burger in Bedford for a classic chicken burger, simple but delicious cheeseburgers, tasty milkshakes and some of the best fish and chips around. Looking for a treat? Check out their sister location next door called The Chicken Little Cafe.
On the complete opposite end of the dining spectrum, we find Il Mercato—an award-winning trattoria featuring contemporary takes on your favourite Italian flavours. One of the best Italian restaurants in the city visit to enjoy everything from risotto croquettes, to jumbo shrimp fettuccine, thin crust pizzas, Atlantic salmon, and more. You can’t leave until you try one of their house made gelato’s, tiramisu or their famous Zuccotto cake with chocolate and tasty stracciatella layers. Dine in, enjoy their second floor patio on a sunny day or take it to go.
Last but certainly not least on our list is The Orient, a traditional Chinese restaurant featuring some of the finest Asian cuisine in all of Bedford. From bao buns to salt and pepper squid, duck wonton nachos, fancy lobster dishes with a Chinese spin and more. Their menu offers an incredibly diverse selection from typical Canadian Chinese food to Hong Kong style plates. Curated by chef Ivan Chan, who has owned and operated this business with his family for several years.
Plan Your Next Outing in Bedford Now
Bedford’s got a lot to love, and the businesses above prove it. Whether you’re visiting for the first time, or a local who wants to dig deeper into the culture of your community, any of the spots above make awesome places to start. Try out a few, of these best local shopping and dining experiences in Bedford and let us know your thoughts!