What is the Halifax donair?

the original famous Halifax donair on a plate pita onions tomatoes donair sauce - What is the Halifax donair?

Halifax, Nova Scotia is home to a popular and favorite “street meat-esque” dish known as the donair. The donair is loved by so many locals that in December 2015 it was actually declared the official food of Halifax. This declaration made Halifax the first city in all of Canada to have an official food. Being that I was born and raised in Halifax, I too am a fan, have been eating them for a long time and am excited to share it with you all.

the Halifax donair, the offical food of Halifax - What is the Halifax donair?

The donair is similar to the gyro, doner and kebab but is its own unique dish. Invented in Halifax in the 1970’s the donair meat is made from beef and various “secret” spices. A quick google search suggests these spices might be pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, paprika, cayenne and oregano.

donair meat grilled on a spit - What is the Halifax donair?

The meat is cooked on a rotating spit, then is shaved off, and cooked again on a grill. A pita is dipped in water and heated up on the grill as well, and then the donair meat is placed on the pita and topped with onions, tomatoes and donair sauce.

donair meat and donair sauce on a pita plain no veggies - What is the Halifax donair?

The donair sauce is another thing that makes the donair uniquely different from other doners around the world. Made up of evaporated milk, vinegar, garlic and sugar this sweet sauce really brings the whole donair together. The pita is then folded and the donair is eaten like an ice cream cone.

king of donair menu donair pizza panzerotti poutine plate eggrolls - What is the Halifax donair?

This isn’t the only way to enjoy the donair meat however it is also popular to eat on pizza, in a panzerotti, in eggrolls, in poutine and even on a sub bun open face grilled with mozzarella cheese. In recent years places around the city have been coming up with even more unique ways to enjoy the donair by making donair cupcakes, donuts, cake, soup and more.

cailin enjoying a donair at the king of donair on quinpool road in Halifax with a donair crown - What is the Halifax donair?

Enjoying a donair with my King of Donair crown on

The donair is most popular with the after midnight crowd, often known as a drunk food. In recent years that stigma has begun to change and now it is more of a lunchtime or dinner food as well.

Halifax donair in the media - What is the Halifax donair?

The donair is featured in everything from NatGeo to Archie comics

anthony bourdain eats a famous halifax donair at the king of donair - What is the Halifax donair?

People have come from all over the world to try the donair including Anthony Bourdain. It has been written up in Nat Geo and was even featured on the local comicon-cover of an Archie comic.

Come to Halifax to enjoy one for yourself and to learn more about one of my favorite foods, watch my video HERE:



Special thanks to the King of Donair and Tourism Nova Scotia. As always all opinions and views expressed are my own as are my delighted taste buds and full belly.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it!


  • Reply
    Matthew Addley
    June 29, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    If you’re not from Nova Scotia they are gross. I moved to Halifax recently and they are so popular here I had try one ASAP. They are gross. Almost everyone I know here not from Nova Scotia agrees while almost everyone from Nova Scotia loves them.

    • Reply
      July 31, 2018 at 11:23 pm

      lol they are so delicious!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    From Ontario but spent the summer of 1980 in Halifax. LOVED the Donairs! Have tried so many here in Ontario over the years (I jump every time I see a Donair sign) but they just aren’t the same. Halifax is the only place to get a REAL Donair!! I have to get back there some time to have one.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I had the pleasure of enjoying your donairs recently and they are wonderful! I also love the cute picture of you in your hat.

  • Reply
    Barry Stephen
    July 16, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    They’re not what we’re supposed to eat. But, gee, they are tasty!

    • Reply
      July 17, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Very delicious!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Can’t wait to see Bourdain do a “Parts Unknown” in the Maritimes … should be great television!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Mmm, I’d like to try one of those. I love gyros and shawarma, so I’m sure I’d love that too. I’ve never had it, though, or poutine, which I’d also like to try.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.