Nanaimo Restaurants

Nanaimo Motel

NANAIMO RESTAURANT GUIDE AND REVIEWS


 

Welcome to The Buccaneer Inn's Nanaimo and Area Restaurant Guide. The following restaurants and pubs are some of our favourites in Nanaimo and our 'Best Bets' for great places for you to enjoy a taste of our varied local West Coast cuisine.

We're not professional reviewers or restaurant critics, just a family that enjoys a wide range of food types and the 'eating out' experience. We've eaten at all the restaurants below, some many, many times, and enjoyed the food, service and value. Our Top Picks list are the ones that we consistently go to and the restaurants that we regularly recommend to our guests, friends and visitors.

We have tried to provide a wide-ranging list of restaurants covering different types of food and price ranges. There are many other choices in Nanaimo and some that we are not aware of. If you find a place worth mentioning please let us know and we'll go give it a try.

Please come back and visit this Guide often, as we regularly update our recommendations and make changes as necessary however we can't always keep up to the changing restaurant landscape so our apologies if this list is not absolutely current! We hope you enjoy your dining experiences in Nanaimo and the surrounding area!

And if you need a spotlessly clean, quiet, comfortable studio, suite, or even a 3 bedroom cottage, we're here to help you out!

Your hosts,

Dave, Marlene and Christopher

OUR TOP PICKS! THE PLACES WE ALWAYS HAVE A GREAT EXPERIENCE AT!

THE NEST

Tuck into something good! Comfort food at it’s finest. A cozy restaurant with big city flavours and friendly small town service. Lunch, dinner, cocktails and late night. Expanded menu and fresco patio. Jen and Nic welcome you from Tuesday to Saturday from 11:30 am to late and Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm. 77 Skinner Street. 250-591-2721.

BISTRO TAIYO

Bistro Taiyo sports an izakaya inspired interior design and features the real home style Japanese cooking that we love. Their expansive menu features items that most Japanese eat at home and sushi and tempura dishes. Very wholesome and delicious. We spent five years in Japan and this restaurant has great home cooking! Open for lunch and dinner. Located at 2-321 Wesley Street. 250-716-8861.

DINGHY DOCK PUB

This is fun. And unique. Canada's only floating pub. Located on Protection Island. Ferry leaves at 10 minutes past every hour from southeast end of the docks in Commercial Boat Basin at the corner of Front Street and Promenade Drive. Last ferry leaves the pub at 12:00 midnight in the summer. Open daily through out the spring, summer and autumn. Winter from Wednesday to Sunday, 11:30 am to 9:00 pm. A must do in Nanaimo!Call 250-753-2373 for the Pub and 250-753-8244 for the Ferry.

LONGWOOD BREW PUB

Nanaimo's only brew pub! Beautiful Whistler style building beautifully decorated. Huge outdoor patio area. Outstanding food. 5775 Turner Road, next to Thrifty's Foods on the Island Highway, 250-729-8225.

MAHLE HOUSE

Arguably Nanaimo's best restaurant. Innovative cuisine, casual elegance and award winning wine list. Mahle House features unique events on Adventurous Wednesdays and Long Table Dinners (check Facebook and Twitter for more info). The Porcupine Prawns (wrapped in a shredded Phyllo pastry called Kataifi) are a delicious fixture on the menu! The orange house on the corner of Cedar and Hemer Road. 2104 Hemer Road. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 5 pm. 250-722-3621.

CROW & GATE PUB

We often travel to the UK and enjoy the pub culture there. The Crow and Gate Pub is as real and authentic English pub as you'll get outside the UK. Great classic food menu with some West Coast favourites. Excellent selection of ales and beers. Large garden area with lots of outdoor seating, beautiful . 2313 Yellow Point Road. Open 7 days a week from 11 am to late. 250-722-3731.

ASTERAS TAVERNA

Housed in a 100 year old heritage home on Wesley Street, this friendly restaurant features traditional Greek foods (try the Lunch Special for a taste of everything) and excellent wait staff. Located at 347 Wesley Street in the Old City Quarter. Open 7 days a week from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm and 4:30 pm to late. 250-716-0451.

DELICADO'S

Tempt your palate with their exciting line of Tex-Mex favourites. Located at 358 Wesley Street in the Old City Quarter 250-753-6524 or in the north end at 404-6581 Aulds Road next to Home Depot 250-390-0700.

WAKU JAPANESE RESTAURANT

From the folks that started Bistro Taiyo, they now offer a fantastic Japanese izakaya-style restaurant featuring ramen noodles. Lots of noodle dishes, rice bowls, some sashimi, sake and very, very authentic offerings. Don't let the location or exterior put you off; go on in, it's worth it. Open Monday to Friday 11 am - 2:30 pm and then 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Open Saturday noon to 8:30 pm and Sunday noon to 7:00 pm. 1483 Bowen Road. 778-441-4899.

WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF THE BUCCANEER INN

MILLERS PUB

A favourite of locals and visiting divers, Millers offers a simple but good pub menu. And a great outdoor deck! Open daily from 11 am to 11pm. 102-1840 Stewart Ave., 250-753-4833.

BEEFEATERS CHOPHOUSE

A Nanaimo classic. Steak and seafood. Located on the water at Sealand Market at 1840 Stewart Ave., 250-753-2333.

CARLOS O'BRYANS NEIGHBOURHOOD PUB & LIQUOR STORE

An Irish themed waterfront pub. Extensive menu. Outdoor patio. Tartan clad staff. Fun atmosphere. Full liquor store on site. Open 11 am to midnight. Located on the water at 1724 Stewart Ave., 250-591-3088.

IRON WOK GOURMET CHINESE BBQ

Gourmet Chinese BBQ located 1 block south of The Buccaneer at 1350 Stewart Avenue. Open Tuesday to Sunday. 250-754-8861.

BAYSHORE RESTAURANT & PATIO

One of the few Nanaimo restaurants directly on the ocean. Located at the Palms Marina, 3 blocks from The Buccaneer Inn, just below the streetside condos, the Bayshore is a new waterfront offering. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Excellent patio with outstanding views. 1 - 1240 Stewart Avenue. Open seven days a week from 8 am to 11 pm (Monday to Thursday), 12 pm (Friday and Saturday) and 10 pm (Sunday). 250-591-7708.

GRANARY RESTAURANT

Located 3 blocks away at Terminal Park Plaza, The Granary serves a very popular menu of good old standby English dishes and Canadian favourites. It's not a fancy place but the food is always excellent. During the week nights they feature a different roast dinner each night. Open 8 am to 7:30 pm Monday-Friday. Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm. #7-1533 Estevan Rd., 250-754-4899

DOWNTOWN NANAIMO

DINGHY DOCK PUB

Canada's only floating pub. Located on Protection Island at 8 Pirate's Lane. Ferry leaves at 10 minutes past every hour from southeast end of dock in Commercial Boat Basin at end of Seawall Walk. Last ferry leaves pub at 12:00 midnight in the summer. A must do in Nanaimo! Call 250-753-2373 for the pub and 250-753-8244 for the Protection Island Ferry.

TROLLER'S FISH & CHIPS

Fabulous, fresh fish and chips on the waterfront. Located on the water in the Boat Basin, just below the Wharfinger's office. Open daily during the summer months only. No phone.

PENNY'S PALAPA

Mexican favourites on the waterfront. Located on the water in the Boat Basin, just south of the Wharfinger's office. Open daily during the summer months only. No phone.

POWERHOUSE LIVING FOODS

Powerhouse is your destination for healthy and delicious raw, plant based foods. Prepared daily from fresh, organic and local ingredients, whenever possible. Vegan and gluten free with no additives or preservatives. 200 Commercial Street. Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. 250-591-7873.

MODERN CAFE

Classic taste in a modern space! One of Nanaimo's longest operating restaurants. The perfect cafe/lounge combo. Open for lunch, dinner and brunch. Great Eggs Benedict. 221 Commercial Street. Open daily. 250-754-5022.

GABRIEL'S CAFE

Fantastic little restaurant featuring farm to fork, locally sourced food. An original menu including tasty brekky bowls, rice bowls, curries and other assortments, Gabriel is your friendly cook and server. 39 Commercial Street. Open Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm. 250-714-0271.

2 CHEF'S AFFAIR

For breakfast and lunch, this tiny bistro downtown serves delicious fresh and seasonal pasta, salads, soups and more. Eat in or take out. Located at 123B Commercial Street across from the Regional Library. Open Tuesday to Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm, Saturday from 8 am to 3 pm and Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm. Closed Mondays. 250-591-4656.

THE NEST

Tuck into something good! Comfort food at it’s finest. A cozy restaurant with big city flavours and friendly small town service. Lunch, dinner, cocktails and late night. Expanded menu and fresco patio. Jen and Nic welcome you from Tuesday to Saturday from 11:30 am to late and Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm. 77 Skinner Street. 250-591-2721.

GINA'S CAFE

A brightly painted exterior gives you and idea of the excellent Mexican food and atmosphere awaiting you. First come first served. Located at 47 Skinner Street in downtown Nanaimo (stay in the far right hand lane as you come up Front Street and take the right turn at the Y junction near the Courthouse). 250-753-5411.

WHITE SAILS CRAFT BREWERY

Nanaimo's newest craft brewer. 4 regular taps, guest taps and Merridale Cider. Focussed on beer, this pub style tasting room offers sandwiches, salads, soups and PRETZELS! Open Sunday to Thursday 11 am to 9 pm and Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 10:00 pm. 125 Comox Road. 250-754-2337.

MAMBO PIZZA

Excellent pizza! Our favourite choice in town. Lots of vegetarian choices as well as meaty ones. Our family favourites are the Chef's Special and the Spinny pizzas. Soya cheese also available. Eat in, take out or free delivery. 16 Victoria Crescent, 250-753-6667.

OLD CITY QUARTER

BISTRO TAIYO

Real home style Japanese cooking. Their menu features items that most Japanese eat at home and sushi and tempura dishes. Very wholesome and delicious. We spent five years in Japan and this restaurant has great home cooking! Open for lunch and dinner. Located at 2-321 Wesley Street next to Wesley Street Cafe. 250-716-8861.

ASTERAS TAVERNA

Housed in a 100 year old heritage home on Wesley Street, this friendly restaurant features traditional Greek foods (try the Lunch Special for a taste of everything) and excellent wait staff. Located at 347 Wesley Street in the Old City Quarter. Open 7 days a week from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm and 4:30 pm to late. 250-716-0451.

DELICADO'S

Tempt your palate with their exciting line of Tex-Mex favourites. Located at 358 Wesley Street in the Old City Quarter 250-753-6524 or in the north end at 404-6581 Aulds Road next to Home Depot 250-390-0700.

NEW YORK STYLE PIZZERIA

Popular pasta and pizza restaurant. Located in Old City Quarter on the corner of Fitzwilliam and Wallace Streets. 299 Wallace Street, 250-754-0111.

REST OF NANAIMO

VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DISCOVERY DINING ROOM

Nanaimo's best kept secret. Fantastic food created by the new chef's at the University cooking program. Best view in town. Small room, intimate dining. 900 5th Street, 250-740-6136. Call for hours.

WAKU JAPANESE RESTAURANT

From the folks that started Bistro Taiyo, they now offer a fantastic Japanese izakaya-style restaurant featuring ramen noodles. Lots of noodle dishes, rice bowls, some sashimi, sake and very, very authentic offerings. Don't let the location or exterior put you off; go on in, it's worth it. Open Monday to Friday 11 am - 2:30 pm and then 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Open Saturday noon to 8:30 pm and Sunday noon to 7:00 pm. 1483 Bowen Road. 778-441-4899.

LONGWOOD BREW PUB

Nanaimo's only brew pub! Beautiful Whistler style building beautifully decorated. Brewery tours available. Huge outdoor patio area. Outstanding food. 5775 Turner Road, next to Thrifty's Foods on the Island Highway, 250-729-8225.

ZOUGLAS

Great lunches and dinners featuring Mediterranean dishes and steaks. Located at 2021 Estevan Rd on the corner of Brechin and Estevan. Open daily from 11am to 11pm, 250-716-3233.

MONTANA'S COOKHOUSE

And one for the kids! A national chain with a western cookhouse theme. Paper table clothes for the kids to draw on. Fun kids menu with perennial favourite, the Cookhouse Combo and an interesting collection of farm equipment.  Fun, friendly, well-trained, polite, wait staff and the dreaded moose antlers and accompanying song for your birthday. Located a Nanaimo North Town Centre mall at 4715 Rutherford Road, 250-758-2388.

SHANGHAI CITY

Very busy Chinese restaurant with a big smorgasbord. Large selection of Cantonese and Szechwan items. At 215-2000 North Island Highway just off Departure Bay Road at Brooks Landing Shopping Center. 250-756-9368. Free Delivery.

CACTUS CLUB

Another trendy hot spot! Up-market burgers and marguerites in a lively atmosphere. Located at Northridge Plaza at 8-5800 Turner Road. 250-729-0011.

MAHLE HOUSE

Arguably Nanaimo's best restaurant. Innovative cuisine, casual elegance and award winning wine list. Mahle House features unique events on Adventurous Wednesdays and Grazing Platter Thursdays. The orange house on the corner of Cedar and Hemer Road. 2104 Hemer Road. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 5 pm. 250-722-3621.

SMOKIN’ GEORGES BBQ

If it can be smoked it will be at Georges! Only place in town for absolutely genuine smokehouse flavour. Ribs, Beef Brisket, Sausage, Fried Chicken and more. In the unlikely location of the North End industrial park, on the corner of Mostar and Boban, a block away from SHAW Cable. Mostly take out but they have a few tables to eat in. Open Tuesday to Thursday 11 am to 6:30 pm and Friday and Saturday 11 am to 8 pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.  Get the GPS fired up for this one. Unit #5, 4131 Mostar Road, 250-585-2258.

CROW & GATE PUB

Real, authentic English pub. Great classic food menu with some West Coast favourites. Excellent selection of ales and beers. Large garden area with lots of outdoor seating. One of the first pubs in British Columbia and still one of the best! 2313 Yellow Point Road. Open 7 days a week from 11 am to 1 pm. 250-722-3731.

BREAKFAST

TIM HORTON'S

Canada's national coffee chain. Try the 'double double '. At Brooks Landing Shopping Centre and throughout Nanaimo.

A & W

4 Locations in Nanaimo: Southgate Center at south of Nanaimo on Island Highway, Downtown Nanaimo on Victoria Crescent, Northgate Shopping Center at Turner Road and Woodgrove Shopping Center.

THE GRANARY

Located 3 blocks from The Buccaneer Inn at Terminal Park Plaza, The Granary serves a very popular menu of good old standby English dishes and Canadian favourites. It's not a fancy place but the food is always excellent. During the week nights they feature a different roast dinner each night. Open 9 am to 7:30 pm Monday-Friday. 9 am to 2 pm Sat, Sun & Holidays. Highly recommended. #7-1533 Estevan Rd., 250-754-4899.

2 CHEF'S AFFAIR

For breakfast and lunch, this tiny bistro downtown serves delicious fresh and seasonal pasta, salads, soups and more. Eat in or take out. Located at 123B Commercial Street across from the Regional Library. Open Tuesday to Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm, Saturday from 8 am to 3 pm and Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm. Closed Mondays. 250-591-4656.

RICKY'S GRILL

Nanaimo's favourite family restaurant with good food and outstanding service. Consistently wins Best of the City awards for its food. Located at the north end of Nanaimo at 6550 Island Highway at the corner of Aulds Road across from Woodgrove Centre. 250-390-1227.

PERKINS COFFEE COMPANY

Great coffee roasted on Saltspring Island. Perkins has a wide selection of freshly baked goods in the morning and soup and sandwiches throughout the day. Located downtown at 234 Commercial Street 250-753-2582.

WHITE SPOT

Legendary BC restaurant. Located at 130 Terminal Avenue at the south end of Stewart Avenue. Open Sun to Thurs 6:30 am to 9:30 pm and 6 am to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. 250-754-2241. Also located at Woodgrove Centre in North Nanaimo.

JAVAWOCKY

Waterfront coffee shop on Seawall Walk downtown Nanaimo with an outstanding location and waterfront patio. 8- 90 Front Street, 250-753-1688.

We hope you enjoy your visit and dining experiences in Nanaimo, The Harbour City!

 

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