Whether you’re craving comfort food or are seeking to find the best poutine in Nanaimo, look no further than these harbour city greats.

Smokin’ Georges BBQ

This BBQ joint serves up poutine that pushes the boundaries of normality – in a good way. Not only are their crispy fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds, but it’s all topped off with BBQ’d pulled pork. Smother that in some of their house-made, delicious BBQ sauce and you can cross two cravings with one stop. With large servings, friendly staff, and conveniently located just off the highway, Smokin’ Georges is worth the trip.

TIP: Save room for dessert and finish off with a Bacon Topped Nanaimo Bar. There are two delicious versions to choose from, both made in house and featuring – you guessed it – bacon!

“The Proof is in the Poutine” at Pirate Chips

Fresh, house-cut crispy fries, smothered in gravy and the “squeakiest local cheese curds”… at Pirate Chips, the proof really is in the poutine. This restaurant has been around for more than a decade and their experience shows.

They have truly perfected the craft of the deep fry, and not just potatoes. Pirate Chips has deep fried pickles, smores, ice cream, and Mac n’ Cheese. Their deep fried Nanaimo Bars earned them a spot on the Nanaimo Bar Trail. And while they promise their poutine will make you think you’re in Quebec, they offer enticing additions like pulled pork, green onions, bacon and chipotle.

Perhaps the best thing about Pirate Chips is the atmosphere. Inspired by former Nanaimo Mayor Frank Ney, the pirate vibe goes well beyond the restaurant’s name. With querky, energetic staff and a family-friendly environment, Pirate Chips is first on this immaculate list of perfect poutine.

The Modern Cafe

Located in the heart of downtown Nanaimo, the Modern Cafe has serious roots in Nanaimo, dating back to 1946. This upscale restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff. It’s perhaps one of the most recognizable restaurants in Nanaimo’s downtown, with the iconic Modern Cafe neon sign that adorns the front of the building.

While the Modern Cafe is famous for their Nanaimo Bar Martinis (earning them a spot on the Nanaimo Bar Trail), their poutine is perhaps one of the most unique in the city. In addition to their hand-cut fries, traditional cheese curds and signature gravy, diners can choose to add Smoked Bacon or Duck Confit.

Perhaps the perfect pair with poutine is a freshly poured, local beer from Longwood Brewery. Luckily for you, the Modern Cafe has you covered there too with their Island Time Lager & Honey Hop Pale Ale.