The Dinghy Dock Pub & Restaurant has been a key attraction in Nanaimo for decades. Located on Protection Island, the pub is only accessible via a short boat ferry from the Nanaimo harbour, or renting a kayak and paddling over. In addition to offering great views and a unique experience, the pub also commonly features live music and entertainment; a great trifecta for a memorable night.

Plus, it’s a great venue for families. Kids of all ages are welcome to dine with their parents in the restaurant side, while patrons over 19 have a choice of sitting inside the nautical-themed pub, or outside on the scenic patio (during the summer season, that is).

A Menu Inspired By Traditions And The Coast

The Dingy Dock menu features your standard pub fare, like burgers, soups, and wraps, and also a few specialty additions like Herb Roasted Halibut, Seafood Poutine, and a variety of flatbreads.

Beers on tap feature a list of Vancouver Island breweries, including Longwood based out of Nanaimo, Driftwood and Hoyne from Victoria, and Merridale Cider from Cobble Hill. Of course, there’s also a good selection of domestic and import beers as well.

Celebrating 30 Years Of Dockside Service

According to their website, The Dinghy Dock Pub was originally designed to be a marina with a store, bait shop and showers. In 1989 patrons would order and pay for drinks at the bar and do the same for food through a hole in the kitchen wall.  The original docks surrounding the pub were lower to the water to accommodate the dinghies of yachts anchored in the harbour. Presently the docks range in size and fit vessels as small as kayaks and as large as a 50′ sail or powerboat (check the tides though as draft is restricted at low water).

For ferry schedules check out the Dinghy Dock Pub website.


Things To Know Before You Go

Protection Island is almost entirely residential, so you won’t find any shops or hotels on the island should you need any supplies or a place to stay at the last minute. For these reasons, it’s important to plan ahead and ensure you make the last ferry back to Nanaimo. While ferry delays are uncommon, factors like inclement weather can pause or delay ferry service due to safety concerns. Because of this, guests should be cautious about scheduling anything immediately after your trip to the island.