The Lockside Canteen at Shubie Park
Our tacos are made in the style of Mexican road-side taquerías!
They're wrapped in fresh, pressed-on-the-spot, naturally gluten-free corn tortillas. The fillings are made from local, responsibly raised meats when possible and we just about always have a vegan option on hand. Peppers for our hand-made salsas come from either local farms, like Off Beet Farm, or are hauled from our annual travels to Mexico.
Lemonade & Drinks
You'll also find our signature flavoured lemonades squeezed right in front of you, as well as a rotating menu of additional refreshing beverages like aguas frescas, iced teas, and smoothies.
For those with a sweet tooth, we've got our fruit filled and preservative free popsicles & freezies as well as ice cream floats made with your choice of cold brew or lemonade.
We try to represent as many great local companies as we can possibly fit in our little shack. From the cutest ever dog treats by The Littlest Pet Bakery, to the best cold brew coffee you'll ever taste made by Low Point Coffee Co, to Halifax's signature fair trade and organic loose leaf tea provider, World Tea House. We regularly use products from Off Beet Farm, Hodgepodge Farm, and Martock Glen Farm in our tacos and treats.
Our menu changes constantly! When we're open, you can click below to see today's menu and pre-order online so your food will be ready shortly after you arrive. Simply present your order confirmation on your phone at the canteen window.
We’re super kid and dog friendly; bring the whole family!
We take cash, card, and apple pay. Debit is tap only. All prices include HST.
Welcome to the Shubie Community Garden!
With help from the local community via our GoFundMe campaign, the Shubenacadie Canal Commission and local government, in the spring of 2018, we built a community garden surrounding the patio at Shubie Park!
The garden has 12 4x4 plots for community use, including our own plot to grow some of the foods found on our menu, and a plot for use by Halifax REC and their day camps!
We also equipped the patio with built in shade, lighting for evening events and bench seating to further enhance the patio space at Shubie Park.
If you’re interested in one of the plots in the future, send us an email with your name and phone number to be added to our waitlist for next year.
We used to vend at markets with various changing flavours of lemonade made with freshly pressed lemon by the cup or by the 750mL glass swing-top bottle. We also had our seasonally flavoured freezies and ice pops available through spring summer and fall.
Things got pretty busy at Shubie over the years, and so we no longer vend at markets, however we still obtain most of our fresh local ingredients from Alderney Market!
If you've visited us at markets like Alderney or the Halifax Forum in the past, we'd love to see you at The Lockside Canteen for a bottle refill and to get your freezie/popsicle fix! Plus you can try our tacos while you're there 🙂
Don’t be surprised if you see us set up at your favourite event, slinging freshly pressed lemonade and refreshing ice pops. Regardless of where we pop up, everything will always be made on the spot so you know you’re getting the best possible treat.
We’ll do our best to keep Facebook updated with our current list of events, so check over there often!
Hey! We're Krista and Jordan, owners of Lemon Dogs. We're helped by our small team of seasonal hires and two returning regular staff: Zabrina Prescott is invaluable at both the canteen and events, and Steve Crane takes care of most of our wholesale.
Krista Leger runs the show. She's the chef behind everything that goes on our menus, at markets, events, pop-ups, and at the Lockside Canteen. Krista was born in Ontario, raised in South Florida, and moved back to Canada in 2012. She's been cooking since she was a kid, but ended up obtaining a degree in photography. She did the freelance thing for a while, but I decided it wasn't fulfilling enough. For fun, in 2013, she started up a lemonade stand at Alderney Landing on the weekends. The reception was warm enough from people that within a couple of years it became her full time 3-season gig.
Jordan Schelew was born and raised in Dartmouth, has a degree in Computer Science, and experience building small businesses from the ground up with little-to-no start-up funding. When not helping to make tacos and lemonade he can be found working on websites and tweaking web server engine technology.
Since 2014 Krista and Jordan, have lived in, and travelled throughout Mexico and other regions -- particularly those with a rich street-food culture. These trips have shaped how Krista cooks and how Lemon Dogs works with flavour combinations. They've also used these trips to bring back necessary ingredients that are hard to find in Halifax, like Mexican herbs and chiles that are unique to each region. (Oaxaca alone must have at least a dozen chiles found only there.)
It's simply our name! And no, that doesn't mean we sell hot dogs made from lemons...
The original idea was for the company to sell lemonade and gourmet hot dogs. Due to the complications of preparing food on-site at markets, it took a couple of years before we added hot dogs to the mix and, in 2015, we launched our first season at the Lockside Canteen in Shubie Park with gourmet dogs.
But for 2016 we transitioned to authentic Mexican style tacos. Here's why:
- Gourmet hot dogs started to become all the rage by the end of 2015 and a number of places started selling them.
- Hot dogs were never Krista's preference when preparing food: it was always Mexican! We realized that the lack of authentic street-style Mexican tacos in Halifax was something we could help improve, between Krista's past experience in preparing Mexican food (at home) and our ability to obtain recipes and ingredients while staying in Mexico for a month or two each winter (thanks to Jordan's Mom having lived there for over 15 years).
We've had our opportunities to do this, but so far we're quite set on being seasonal only.
We can't easily obtain all of the ingredients locally that we require to make our tacos taste like the real thing that you'll find in Mexico, so we go to Mexico to get them!
There's dozens of different types of tacos served throughout the various regions of Mexico; both tasting and learning how to make them requires spending time in Mexico.
We've even learned how to make our corn tortillas in at least three subtly different styles, which we occasionally make use of depending on the type of taco served. Without spending sufficient time in Mexico each winter, these are details we would have surely missed!
It's doubtful we'd be able to run a year-round restaurant and leave for multiple months at a time without requiring it be a much larger operation; probably at least 4-5x the size.
Plus it's nice to take a break and get back in the swing of things feeling refreshed each spring.
We try to make all of our packaging environmentally friendly, but not everything is available in such a form. Here's a breakdown:
- Paper plates
- Paper take-out containers
- Paper bowls and bio-plastic lids
- Bio-plastic cold cups and lids
- Paper hot cups
- Paper straws
- Paper plates
- Paper take-out containers
- Paper bowls and bio-plastic lids
- Bio-plastic cold cups and lids
- Paper hot cups
- Most of our cutlery
750ml glass bottles used for take-home lemonade. A $3 deposit is included in your first purchase ($13) making bottle swaps/refills just $10.
Garbage / Plastics
- Freezie and ice pop wrappers
- Some of our cutlery (as marked)
- Checked paper liners use a non bio-degradable wax (we think).
Below is a list of things we regularly get asked about. No matter the item, keep the following principles in mind:
- We have very limited space in the canteen for storage. Much of the following would take up a very large amount of space that we simply don't have available.
- We try to have environmentally friendly packaging wherever possible
- We attempt to use only whole or natural ingredients and products from local suppliers.
- We try to be comparatively healthy. (Check the FAQ on what we mean by this).
We don't have:
- Pop/Soda: breaks principle 1 and 3.
- French Fries: we don't have permanent fryers (only a small one for occasional fried fish tacos and making crispy tortilla chips).
- Ice Cream: we had cones and cups during our first season at Shubie in 2016, however we regularly received criticism on our pricing. It's not feasible to compete with scoop shops on pricing because most of them are non-profit and making money isn't necessary for them like it is for us. Additionally we have a very old freezer from the '60s that, during the hotest days, doesn't keep ice cream as firm as it should be. As a result of this we opted to focus on the products we do really well instead, like hand-made popsicles and ice cream lemonade floats.
- Hot Dogs: we simply don't have the space to make more than Mexican street foods. That said, we do have a Canada Day Outdoor BBQ on our patio where we sell Sonora Dogs.
- TexMex or Mexican Fusion: we love some good TexMex or Mexican Fusion on occasion, but it's just not what we do. There's plenty of places around town offering these options. We decided to offer something different from the usual in Halifax, and that's what we're sticking to.
No. Our lemonade and frozen treats contain sugar, and our tacos often contain meats with decent fat content (that's part of what makes them so tasty!)
But we do think they're comparatively healthier, meaning that much of our products are likely to be healthier or have more value for your body than similar products you can buy at the store due to likely less sugar content, less preservatives, and/or the use of the freshest produce.
Please note that we haven't done the necessary testing to verify this: we are only making well-informed assumptions.
Here's a few examples:
- Most of our popsicles and freezies are made from sugar and real fruit, much of which is purchased from Alderney Market. We believe these items are likely to be healthier for you than a box of store-bought freezies that typically contain sugar, water, artificial flavours and colouring, along with a bunch of preservatives.
- Our lemonade is made at what we believe to be the perfect balance between sweet and tart. Because store-bought lemonade typically tastes very sweet, we believe that our preservative-free and more tart lemonade likely contains less sugar.
- Since we don't use store bought salsas or tortillas, the majority of our food is preservative free. While there's no evidence proving that most commonly used preservatives are a problem for our health, many people make a conscious effort to avoid them. We avoid preservatives because we think they shouldn't be necessary: a restaurant should be able to go through their stock of food supplies well within their normal expiration periods.
We strive to make as much as we can from local ingredients rather than packaged items. From our hand-pressed made on the spot corn tortillas to our freezies and popsicles, to our hand-pressed lemonades.
White sugar is used in...
- Our frozen treats to obtain the best possible consistency. Sugar reduces the size of ice crystals, which is pretty handy!
- Our lemonades because of the way the sweet flavour binds with the tart from the lemons. When we use Stevia (an option at our Canteen), the sweet and tart flavours tend to occur separately on the tongue, resulting in a strong sour sensation followed by a strong sweet sensation. Although Stevia is definitely a great alternative to Sugar for those that require it, we find this lack of flavour binding to be less preferrable.
Please be sure to notify us of any allergies.
Gluten: As of May 2019 we do not knowingly use any products that contain gluten. Many of our ingredients are purchased in Mexico where allergen labels are not always available.
Seeds & Nuts: We regularly use nuts at the canteen as they are common in Mexican fare. Seeds are more common than nuts. Please check with us before placing your order and we can tell you if and when we have used any given allergen.
Dairy & Eggs: For less severe allergies, these items can be omitted from most products we sell (and in fact, many of our products are cream and milk free). However since we use both dairy and eggs regularly at the canteen, we are unlikely to be able to provide food for those with serious allergies.
Vegan/Vegetarian: We always have at least one vegan taco available on our menu and most of our vegetarian options can be made vegan. Most popsicles, freezies, and lemonades are vegan.
We do what we can to separate vegan items from meat, however we have a very small cooking surface and it's possible that contact could occur.