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11 Top Picks for Dining in Nanaimo

11 Top Picks for Dining in Nanaimo

When we first moved to Nanaimo, I can’t tell you how pleased (and relieved) I was to find so many great options for eating out.  Who doesn’t like to chuck the oven mitts and let someone else do the barbequing for a change? I know I do!

Lots of savoury choices mean I keep everyone’s taste buds happy. Brunch on Mother’s Day, coffee and muffin with a friend, treat night with the family, fine dining on the waterfront—Nanaimo has plenty to offer.

For the widest selection of restaurants, check out Downtown Nanaimo. Here, you’ll find everything from ethnic food to cocktail bars, and west coast fusion cuisine.

Venture into the Old City Quarter for Greek, Italian, Thai and vegan. Along Commercial Street you’ll find tapas, fish and chips and bistros galore.

Here’s a list of some of my favourites:

Dinghy Dock Restaurant - Dining in Nanaimo Casual and Fun

  • Dinghy Dock Pub (Protection Island): Canada's only floating pub is only a five-minute ferry ride from Downtown Nanaimo
  • Longwood Brewpub:  Nanaimo's only brewpub
  • Crow & Gate: A real, English-style pub in nearby Cedar
  • The Nest Bistro: Cozy food in a welcoming setting

Yummy Ethnic

  • Asteras Greek Taverna: Traditional Greek food set in a 100 year-old heritage home
  • Bistro Taiyo (Japanese): Delicious take out sushi and tempura
  • Delicados (Tex-Mex): For when you just gotta have it!

O So Fine

  • Mahle House Restaurant: One of the best restaurants in Nanaimo. Located in a heritage house in nearby Cedar
  • Bistro at Westwood Lake: Pacific fusion cuisine in a lovely lakeside setting
  • Modern Café: Downtown tapas and cocktails complement a modern fusion menu


  • Mambos Gourmet Pizza: Mmmmm….good pizza! A downtown pizzeria that’s open late


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