Gabriel’s Café

39 Commercial Street

Gabriel’s Café is one of downtown Nanaimo’s most popular restaurants, transforming local farm to fork ingredients into some of the island’s best breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. The casual eatery accommodates most dietary restrictions without compromising on flavour. Gabriel’s Café has one long table that encourages community and conversation between strangers, as well as numerous private table options.

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Modern Café

221 Commercial Street

The Modern Café is a staple in downtown Nanaimo and has been serving guests burgers, mac n cheese, and other comfort foods since 1946. The Modern Café serves every meal of the day using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. During the summer months, Modern Café’s outdoor patio provides the perfect vantage point for people-watching in the open air.
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Top Notch Burgers

70 Church Street

Located inside the Best Western Dorchester, Top Notch Burgers is a must-taste for any burger enthusiast—but that’s not all they do! Try their Braised Short Rib Poutine, an upscale twist of a Canadian classic, or choose from over 10 unique burger combinations.
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Asteras Greek Taverna

347 Wesley Street

Asteras Greek Taverna is an award-winning Greek restaurant that’s highly recommended by most Nanaimo locals. The menu of traditional Greek favourites includes moussaka, lamb and seafood dishes, and is rounded off with ample appies, desserts, and drinks. Asteras is known for its exceptional hospitality and the owner is often on-site to ensure guests are enjoying their experience. Asteras is the perfect downtown spot for a romantic night out or a celebration with dear friends.
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Melange Restaurant

#101 – 223 Commercial Street

Melange Restaurants offers an interesting menu that’s rich with local ingredients, flavour, and creativity. The menu is very vegetarian and vegan friendly—while still offering ample meat and seafood plates—and has numerous gluten free options. Melange has two primary dining areas and an ambience well suited for date nights and gatherings with friends.
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SukkhoThai Restaurant

123 Commercial Street

SukkhoThai Restaurant is Nanaimo’s best-known destination for Thai food, include soup, noodle, and curry dishes. The restaurant is located in the heart of downtown, right in the middle of Commercial Street. SukkhoThai is casual, affordable, and delicious, and has a loyal following of repeat customers.
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Firehouse Grill

7 Victoria Road

Firehouse Grill is a grill and sushi restaurant that offers casual dining in an upscale yet affordable atmosphere. The restaurant has a creative fusion sushi menu that includes generous portions of sushi pizza and flash-fried rolls. Firehouse Grill also serves sandwiches, burgers, pasta, jambalaya, and cajun food, ensuring there’s something for everyone.
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Minnoz Restaurant & Lounge

11 Bastion Street

Minnoz Restaurant & Lounge is located inside the Coast Bastion Hotel and is the perfect place to kick back and relax for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The seafood-inspired menu is full of comfort foods, including burgers and grilled cheese, as well as more elevated pasta, fish, and steak dishes. The bar at Minnoz is great for a quick drink before going to The Port Theatre or spending a night on the town.
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La Stella Trattoria

#1-321 Wesley Street

La Stella Trattoria is an Italian restaurant that’s known for its handmade pasta and wood-fried pizza. La Stella’s arancini and meatballs are also popular favourites. The romantic trattoria has become a popular date night choice due to the high-quality food and intimate ambience, and many locals visit La Stella on a regular basis. Reservations are recommended in the evenings.
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Bistro Taiyo

#2 – 321 Wesley Street

Bistro Taiyo is an authentic Japanese restaurant, owned and managed by a family from Saitama, Japan. Located in the Old City Quarter, Bistro Taiyo serves Japanese favourites including sushi, sashimi, tempura, rice bowls, and ramen. Bistro Taiyo is named after the sun, based on the owners’ desire to bring light to the world.
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Gina’s Mexican Café

47 Skinner Street

Gina’s Mexican Café serves handcrafted Mexican food within a colourful pink house on a hill. The restaurant describes itself as “a tacky but friendly place” and starts every table off with complimentary chips and salsa. The extensive and satisfying menu includes classic favourites, including tacos, enchiladas, and chimichangas, as well as generously sized combination platters.
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Pirate Chips

31-75 Front Street

Pirate Chips is a family-oriented theme restaurant that is best known for its poutine and deep-fried desserts. Pirate Chips got its start as a small take-out shop and expanded into a full diner, offering an array of delicious comfort foods made from scratch. The restaurant is bursting with pirate décor, and is popular with people of all ages.
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Penny’s Palapa

Float H – 10 Wharf Street

Penny’s Palapa Restaurant is a seasonal Mexican food restaurant that’s best known for its delicious tacos, refreshing margaritas, and unbeatable summer patio. Penny’s floats on a dock within the Nanaimo Harbour and offers a festive, cheerful place to spend time with family or friends. Penny’s Palapa is open from April 1 through to Thanksgiving.
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Troller’s Fish & Chips

Float H – 10 Wharf Street

Troller’s Fish & Chips is a seasonal restaurant serving classic fish and chips, including ling cod, sockeye salmon, and halibut. This highly casual restaurant is located along the H Dock in Nanaimo harbour, and serves fresh, local seafood. Troller’s Fish & Chips is typically open April through October.
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The Nest Bistro

77 Skinner Street

The Nest Bistro takes delicious Italian and French dishes and elevates them with flavourful, local ingredients and culinary artistry. Many of the menu items consistently receive rave reviews, including the forest mushroom and brie tarte, handmade gnocchi, and the chicken or seafood risotto. The Nest is a popular location for date night, special occasions, or group outings, and is run by a husband and wife team.
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Zalathai Thai Restaurant

22 Victoria Crescent

Zalathai Thai Restaurant is one of Nanaimo’s hidden gems, offering flavourful Thai dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. The family-owned restaurant is dedicated to serving authentic food, including pad thai, fried rice, curry, soup, and seafood dishes. Zalathai tops off every guest experience with excellent service.
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Nana Sushi

14 Victoria Crescent

Nana Sushi is a sushi and ramen restaurant conveniently located at the corner of Victoria Crescent and Albert Street. It is one of the most affordable downtown restaurants, and its bento boxes, sushi rolls, ramen, and noodle dishes are all popular options. Nana Sushi is laid back and always welcoming.
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Tandoori Junction

489 Wallace Street

Tandoori Junction offers authentic Indian cuisine in a casual environment. The massive menu is jam-packed with traditional Indian dishes and popular Canadian favourites. In addition to their regular menu, Tandoor Junction has a lunch buffet on most days of the week.
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Delicado’s

238 Wesley Street

Delicado’s is a casual, funky restaurant that’s locally famous for its roll-up wraps, salsa, homemade tortillas, and other southwestern fare. Indoor seating is limited but Delicado’s downtown location has a great patio for the summer. Guests who are limited on time are encouraged to phone-In their order in advance.
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Mrs. Riches Restaurant

199 Fraser Street

Mrs. Riches Restaurant is a family restaurant that has an extensive menu with foods from around the world. Soups, sandwiches, chicken, seafood, pasta, and ribs are available, but Mrs. Riches is most famous for one particular dish: the K2 Mountain Burger. This monster of a burger includes 2 pounds of beef, ham, cheese, bacon, two eggs, veggies and condiments on a gigantic bun. Guests who can eat the entire burger plus a side of fries in under 30 minutes gets their meal free and their photo added to the wall of fame.
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The Pantry Restaurant

101-648 Terminal Avenue

The Pantry Restaurant is a franchise chain that’s only found in western Canada. This casual, family-friendly breakfast and lunch restaurant is located within the Port Place plaza. The Pantry Restaurant serves home-style cooked meals including omelettes, eggs benedicts, sandwiches, salads, pasta, rice bowls, and burgers.
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Bocca Café

427 Fitzwilliam St

Cozy café in the Heritage Mews serving up all your favourite drinks alongside an array of eats and treats. Wheat free, gluten free and vegan options are plentiful.
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Cambie Bar and Grill

63 Victoria Crescent

Historic space with brick walls and wood floors featuring local beers, live music and karaoke

Carbonne Pizza

215 Terminal Ave N

Fresh ingredients from local farmer’s markets are used in this authentic Italian eatery. Choose from a wide selection of classic and unique pizzas or pasta dishes.
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Chick to Sea

150 Terminal Ave N

Fish and Chips, fried chicken and more. A small number of dine in seats available or take-away and enjoy on a seawall bench.
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Cliffside Brewing

11 Cliff St

Stop by to try this small scale bewery’s latest fresh batch. Stay for a snack and chat, or take a growler of your favourite home to enjoy.
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Craft Fare

153 Commercial St

Small scale taproom and eatery which showcases premium craft brews and comfort food in a welcoming and relaxing setting.
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Dinghy Dock

8 Pirates Ln

Take the shuttle from the boat basin or paddle across to Canadas only floating pub and restaurant. Amazing views and relaxed atmosphere make this a popular choice.
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Ironworks Creperie

200 Commercial St

Made from scratch sweet and savory crepes and fresh roasted coffee will entice you into this locally owned café. Delicious gluten free, keto and vegan batter options available.
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Javawocky

90 Front St #8

Grab a hot coffee and freshly baked treat at this locally owned cozy café on the waterfront walkway. Sit inside or on the deck and take in the busy harbour, or take your drinks to go and enjoy a waterside walk.
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Lighthouse Bistro and Pub

50 Anchor Way

Located right on the waterfront in Nanaimo’s downtown harbour serving delicious options from seafood to gourmet burgers in the pub and restaurant.
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Mambos Gourmet Pizza

16 Victoria Crescent

Family owned and operated for over 25 years, Mambo’s specializes in pan pizza with fresh ingredients prepared and cooked daily.
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Medium Rare Steakhouse

350 Robson St

Visit this locally owned steak house and lounge for cooked to order steaks, seafood and chicken paired with a cocktail or glass of wine. Spacious but atmospheric restaurant ideal for a night out with friends.
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Milton Street Public House

247 Milton St

Casual, neighbourhood style pub in the heart of downtown Nanaimo. Enjoy a snack or meal with your drink while relaxing in the laid-back atmosphere.
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Mon Petit Choux

120 Commercial St

French style breakfast and lunch spot offering organic cafe fare along with breads and pastries baked on site. Eat in or take your treats home for later.
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New York Style Pizza and Pasta

299 Wallace St

A Nanaimo staple for over 30 years, home to authentic Italian style pizza and pasta, ribs and salad.
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Old City Station Pub

150 Skinner St

Big, high-ceilinged watering hole with historical decor and a menu of appies,  burgers and pizza.
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Perkins Coffee

234 Commercial Street

Located in a unique and beautiful heritage building in the heart of downtown Nanaimo. Stop by for a homemade lunch or grab a coffee to go while you shop.
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Real Food Co

321 Wesley St

Fast food that’s good for you. Stop in for lunch and enjoy home cooked soups, sandwiches and baked goods made from all natural ingredients.
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Serious Coffee – Conference Centre

300 – 60 Commercial Street

This Vancouver Island Coffee Shop chain air roasts its own beans right here in the mid-island. Come in for your favourite brew and a snack or treat. Seasonal and daily specials recommended.
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The Breakfast Nook

366 Selby St

Enjoy delicious home cooked all day breakfast and brunch at this cozy café which has daily specials and generous portions.
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The Nanaimo Bar

2-75 Front St

A fresh, cool place to hang out, meet great people, listen to some live music and enjoy some delicious drinks!
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The Occidental (Oxy) Pub

432 Fitzwilliam St

Great food, drinks and good times at this longstanding casual pub. Locals go here for the food deals, karaoke and quiz nights.
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The Queens

34 Victoria Crescent

Nanaimo’s live music venue, this energetic, casual pub features Chinese food and tavern fare.
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The Terminal Bar

63 Victoria Crescent

Lively pub and event venue in the heart of downtown Nanaimo. Features lineup of rotating BC brewed craft beers on tap as well as some of your favourite domestics.
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The View Oceanside Grill

70 Church St #2

Specializing in fresh seafood and other delicious dishes made  to order from locally sourced produce. The View Oceanside Grill is located next to Top Notch burgers in the Dorchester Hotel, and is the perfect setting for a special occasion or date night.
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The Well Pub

620 Terminal Ave

Located inside Nanaimo Casino beside the Port Place Mall, the Well Public House is open for breakfast and all through the day offering great value classic pub options.
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The Vault Café

499 Wallace St

This eclectic and cozy café and late night music venue offers breakfast fare and all-day options in a warm atmosphere. 
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Top Notch Burger

70 Church St #2

Located inside the Dorchester Hotel, Top Notch serves up gormet burgers made with locally sourced meats including Bison. Relax  and enjoy your food paired with a cocktail or local beer.
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White Rabbit Coffee

321 Selby St A

Enjoy your favourite beverage and a snack while relaxing in this cozy community space within the old station building.
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White Sails Brewing

125 Comox Rd

Award-winning brewery with a large, west-coast inspired Taproom serving the latest brews and snacks. Enjoy a board game around the large and cozy fireplace.
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