Nanaimo is famous for many things, one of which is the delectable Nanaimo bar. Classically, the Nanaimo bar is a chocolate-y, creamy, no-bake bar that is only eaten on special occasions, for most.
The city of Nanaimo has capitalized on the deliciousness of their most popular treat, offering a self-guided adventure called the Nanaimo Bar Trail which takes you through the streets of Nanaimo and the surrounding region, allowing you to enjoy different versions of the bar as you wander. As one of the most famous Nanaimo attractions, the trail gives visitors the chance to test out various takes on the Nanaimo bar as they make their way through the city.
There are roughly 35 locations that offer their own unique take on the Nanaimo bar, and it is highly recommended you don’t try them all in one sitting! So whether you are visiting Nanaimo for the first time or you’re looking for a whole new way to experience the city, the Nanaimo Bar Trail is worth checking out.
A Breakdown of the Nanaimo Bar Trail
The Nanaimo Bar Trail begins at the Nanaimo Museum along Commercial Street downtown, where visitors are given an overview of the history of the famous dessert as well as the original recipe. Before you head to the next location, take a seat on the Nanaimo Bar bench, a picturesque seat made especially for the museum.
As you start out on the sugary trail, you will of course experience the classic version of the Nanaimo Bar, made as close to the original recipe as possible. It should be noted that nearly every café and coffee shop in Nanaimo offers their own take on the bar, making for a fun day of comparing and giving your taste buds a wild ride! It would be impossible to go over every single stop on the trail, so we have instead opted to highlight a few of the must-stops. We would love to hear which one was your favourite!
Nanaimo Bar Trail Highlights
With nearly 35 spots to enjoy a Nanaimo bar in the same area, the experience can be overwhelming to say the least! Here is a look at what we think are some of the best variations on the treat and should not be missed when you visit Nanaimo and experience the trail for yourself:
- Pirate Chips – Located on Front Street, Pirate Chips offers visitors a traditional Nanaimo bar dipped in a delicious, cinnamon-flavoured batter and deep fried to golden perfection. Served with ice cream, this bar will be hard to beat.
- Minnoz Restaurant & Lounge – Minnoz in the Coast Bastion Inn makes a mouth-watering Nanaimo Bar Cheesecake that is layered and the perfect combination of two favourite desserts. This is a great option for sharing.
- A Wee Cupcakery – At this cute little shop on Fitzwilliam Street near the Old City Quarter, you will a made-from-scratch Nanaimo Bar Cupcake as a well as a traditional bar, both worth trying.
- Modern Café – Located near the end of the trail, the Modern Café offers a beverage version of the Nanaimo bar: the Nanaimo Bar Martini. Made with crème de cacao, vanilla vodka, chocolate sauce, and espresso, topped with a coffee bean, this is a great finale to a day spent trying different versions of the famous treat.
You can also visit the online brochure specifically made for the Nanaimo Bar Trail here.
The Nanaimo bar is as much a part of its namesake city as anything else, and the trail allows you to truly experience this delicious dessert in many different creative ways. Let us know which one you prefer!
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Featured image credit: http://thelemontreebakery.ca/portfolio/nanaimo-bar/