There are plenty of great attractions waiting for you at Nanaimo, the second largest city on Vancouver Island. Also called the Harbour City and the City of Parks, Nanaimo boasts of more than 200 parks, a long stretch of fishing pier, and exciting annual events like the World Championship Bathtub Race.
But if you ask travelers who have been to Nanaimo, they’ll tell you that apart from the attractions, they also go back for the food. Yes, this city is heaven for the foodie, offering a myriad of eateries that range from the over-the-top luxurious to casual joints by the waterfront. Nanaimo’s cultural diversity and eclectic menu offerings seem to dazzle people’s taste buds endlessly.
Downtown is where you’ll find the widest collection of Nanaimo restaurants, some of which offer bustling nightlife while others have a more tranquil atmosphere, like those housed in Victorian-style structures.So, where do you think your palate would lead you? Check out these top places that are included on most vacationers’ lists:
• The Nest Bistro
486A Franklyn Street, Nanaimo
Owners Jennifer Ash and Nic Braun are proud of how every food they serve in the Nest Bistro is made from scratch using only the finest and freshest local ingredients.The menu is slanted towards French and Italian favourites.Recommended dishes are the wild mushroom risotto, and the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.All these are made in the kitchen fresh every day.
• Asteras Greek Taverna
347 Wesley Street, Nanaimo
For an authentic Greek dining experience, head to Asteras Greek Taverna right smack in the heart of downtown Nanaimo’s old city quarter, inside a heritage house that’s more than a hundred years old. Customers also adore the traditional Greek ambience, exemplary service, and exquisite wine collection.Asteras serves vegetarian dishes for the health conscious like the vegetarian moussaka and spanakopita lunch.
• Sukkho Thai
123 Commercial St, Nanaimo
Anyone who’s craving for Thai food should come to this restaurant, also nestled in downtown Nanaimo just in front of the Vancouver Island Conference Center. Order the seafood green curry and rice or the chicken peanut delight, which one customer described as “crazy good!”
• Wesley Street Café
321 Wesley St, Nanaimo
When it comes to fine dining, Wesley Street Café is at the top of the list. Serving masterpieces from Chef Kellie Callender in an old town-style dining room, you’re sure to have a unique dining experience when you visit this place.Its kitchen concoctions are infused with European and Northwest flavours. Some of the must-try specialities of the house include albacore tuna nigiri, pan-seared duck breast, and maple balsamic remoulliage.
• Acme Rib and Sushi House
14 Commercial St, Nanaimo
Probably the first thing you’ll notice about this place is its arrowhead-shaped structure. Sitting in the busiest corner of downtown Nanaimo, expect it to be always packed with people. But foot traffic is just one reason.The Acme Rib and Sushi House also happens to serve tasty sushi, steaks, and seafood dishes. Plus, people love the retro vibe of its ‘90s-style dining area. Memorable must-haves include fresh oysters and that mouth-watering snapper in grapefruit vinaigrette.
• Dinghy Dock Pub
8 Pirates Lane, Nanaimo
The only floating pub in all of Canada, Dinghy Dock Pub is one place you don’t dare miss.It’s located on Protection Island, conveniently reached by a ferry that departs at the end of the Seawall Walk every 10 minutes past the hour.The last trip is at midnight. This pub is closed during the winter but if you’re going to be around in the summer months, be sure to drop by.
Include these favourite dining spots in your travel itinerary when you visit Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, and you can expect to have an awesome vacation.
To find transportation options for traveling to Nanaimo, check out our Vancouver Island travel page.
Republished under Creative Commons License from West Coast Aquatic Safaris, an acclaimed Bear Watching, Whale Watching, Hot Springs Cove Tour Co & Marine Charter Co in Tofino, BC on the famed west coast of Vancouver Island. Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.