This post is long overdue, as Nanaimo is also known as the Harbour City, so let’s talk about some of the great places you can eat fresh fish in town.

ACMe Food Co.

ACMe Food Co. located in the heart of Downtown, serves classic West Coast inspired cuisine featuring local fish and seafood. This spot is great for a light lunch or a nice sit down dinner in a casual atmosphere. You might be lucky to catch some of the many evenings with live music from some great local talent.

The menu features a variety of seafood starters such as the fresh oysters on the half shell, crab cakes, chipotle prawns and mussels. These  are just a sample of some of the appetizers available.

For the main course you get to make the impossible choice between Salmon, Ling Cod, Prawns, Halibut, or scallops, in all variations from grilled, baked, fried, sautéed, steamed, with or without sauces and served with fresh veggies, rice or quinoa. There is something for everyone. For the non-fish lovers, they also serve burgers, sandwiches and steaks.


Lighthouse Bistro

The name sort of already gives it away. This restaurant is in a lighthouse shaped building right on the water in the Downtown Harbour. They have a Restaurant and Pub component, so everyone is welcome.

Enjoy some great fresh seafood overlooking the harbour. Start your meal with a bowl of clam chowder or Salt Spring Island mussels or any of the other great seafood starters on the menu. Whether you chose a delicious Cajun Halibut Burger, or Cedar Plank Salmon as entree, you can be sure to enjoy a great lunch or dinner in a unique location with a prime view of the bustling harbour.


Longwood Brew Pub

The Longwood Brew Pub has quite the reputation for having a great atmosphere, food and some pretty wicked beer. Located in the north end of Nanaimo, this place serves some great local food in a relaxed pub restaurant atmosphere. You can find your typical pub favourites such as burgers and sandwiches, but do not underestimate their menu. Right beside the classics, you will find a variety of seafood dishes such as Fish Tacos, Longwood Mussels, crab cakes, seafood linguini, almond crusted halibut, and lobster ravioli.

The main floor is the restaurant and everyone is welcome including the little ones. Try to get a table around the huge fireplace, and enjoy some great local food paired with one of their amazing beers.

Troller’s Fish & Chips

Troller’s Fish ‘n’ Chips is a floating fish and chips shop right on the Nanaimo harbour docks. They have been a local favourite for quite some time now and serve some delicious fresh fish and seafood items. Next to the classic cod or halibut fish, you can also get salmon, Oysters, ships, crabs and clams. Especially in the summer during lunch there could be a bit of a line up, so wander the harbour and listen to many of the local buskers on the waterfront while you`re waiting for your order.

My tip is to take the order to go and find a beautiful spot along the harbour near Maffeo Sutton Park.


Pirate Chips

Yaaaaaaar don’t need to dress up like a pirate to sample these Fish n Chips but you do need to enjoy eating local wild seafood while feeling like you’ve stepped aboard the Jolly Roger pirate ship! The appetize-arrs all include some kind of seafood from clam strips to bacon wrapped scallops, you’ll find something for every seafood lover.

The kids also love this place! There is a play area and for the wee pirates who finish their meal, they get to pick a “gem” from the treasure chest. Parents love it because there are Gluten Free options, entertainment for the kids, indoor or outdoor seating options and the food is sourced as locally as possible.


We realize these are not the only Seafood Options in Nanaimo – there are so many! Here are a few others serving up sensational seafood to try:

Click HERE for a list of other dining options.

— Helga