Sip and Savour - Tourism Nanaimo

Sip and Savour

Nanaimo restaurants offer plenty of good times and great food choices. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, or a four course meal on the waterfront, you’ll find a Nanaimo dining spot to suit your needs. This city’s cultural diversity has fostered a culinary scene rich with flavours from around the world, from Middle Eastern to traditional Coast Salish fare.

Food & Drink in Nanaimo

The widest selection of Nanaimo restaurants can be found right downtown. Some kitchens here are geared toward the nightlife, combining a stylish urban atmosphere with fancy drink menus, while others are situated in character Victorian-style homes, and serve the finest in high-end international cuisine. Did you know we have 4 floating restaurants? Visit Penny’s Palapa, Troller’s Fish & Chips, the Lighthouse Bistro or the Dinghy Dock Pub and dine dockside while watching seals, sea birds and ocean life all around you. Where else can you do that in one day?! Other parts of the city, like mid-town, and the north end, also have a great variety of cafes, restaurant chains, classic diners, pubs, and fast food outlets.

Nanaimo Bar Trail

Nanaimo is known as the home of the Nanaimo bar, a Canadian classic with rich chocolate, filling and a nut and coconut base. Our iconic dessert can be sampled in traditional form, with variation and even as cocktails and coffees.
 Explore the Nanaimo Bar Trail

BC Ale Trail – Nanaimo’s Craft Breweries

Taste craft brew at its finest in Nanaimo. Stay local or venture along the Nanaimo & Comox BC Ale Trail or the Cowichan, Nanaimo & Parksville Qualicum trail to sample brews at three breweries in Nanaimo as well as at their neighbours on Vancouver Island.

Longwood Brewery

Here you’re on island time, so you might as well crack one and sit back. Longwood Brewery’s uniquely crafted “Island Time Lager” uses only ingredients sourced on Vancouver Island. Be sure to say hello to greeter Milo, a Labradoodle who makes you feel right at home the moment you walk in the door.

White Sails Brewing

If you prefer something dark and mysterious, White Sails Brewing can introduce you to their Snake Island Cascadian Dark Ale. White Sails encourages you to dine in by bringing your favourite fare from one of the many surrounding restaurants and pairing it with one of their great beers. With views across to Maffeo Sutton Park and the waterfront, you can sit by the cozy fireplace and drift into your happy place.

Wolf Brewing Company

Continuing south on the trail is Wolf Brewing Company, tucked off the beaten path but not to be missed. The tasting room has a warm yet industrial feel. Here brew master Kevin will introduce you to his ‘Old World Style’ of brewing with beers such as the ‘Wee Heavy’ Scotch Ale.
 Explore the BC Ale Trail

Food & Drink Tours in Nanaimo

In Nanaimo, you have the luxury of booking a customized Craft Brewery or Taste of Nanaimo Tour with Vancouver Island Expeditions. Leave your keys at the hotel and climb aboard with travel curator Leif for a customized tour including breweries, estate winery, vodka distillery and even a hops farm.

Banner image by Andrew Nixon.

Savour 360°

There’s much more to taste in Nanaimo than our world famous bars. Local farmers, restauranteurs, brewers, distillers, winemakers and shop owners have all turned Nanaimo into a gastronomic hot spot. But don’t take our word for it, listen to the locals.


For Free Spirits

Sunset Sweet Spots

Local Sunrises, Sips & Sunsets.
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For Cultural Explorers

Hannah’s Nanaimo 360°

Tourism Nanaimo's Hannah shares her Harbour City favourites
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For Authentic Experiencers

Catch of the Day

Enjoy craft brew, wine and your fresh-caught seafood along the water in Nanaimo.
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Related blog posts

Cold Weather Activities in Nanaimo

December 15, 2017

While we’re certainly not heralded as snow destination, Nanaimo does get its fair share of chillier days. If you’re travelling during the off season, you can reap all the benefits of areas being less crowded, a stunning fog that rolls over the city, and year-round hikes. The city’s weather is mild in comparison to other parts of Canada, but we still like to bundle up from time to time and hide away from the frost! Here are a few cold weather activities for your stay in #ExploreNanaimo. Shop Local Nanaimo’s downtown streets fan out from the center, the Bastion, with […]

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6 #ExploreNanaimo Stops on Tiffany’s Nanaimo 360°

August 29, 2017

As part of our guestagrammer series, Instagram photographer Tiffany Szigety shared a few of her favourite spots in Nanaimo. Maffeo Sutton Park 5 years ago we first visited Nanaimo. We stayed downtown for a few days to explore the city. I have such distinct memories of walking through Maffeo Sutton Park and along the waterfront with my husband and pregnant with our first child. Little did I know then that we would move here 2 years later. This park holds such a special place in my heart. We walked the waterfront admiring all the boat and seaplane activity. The crabbers […]

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The Authentic Nanaimo 360 Experience

August 15, 2017

When I’m travelling I want to experience everything the location has to offer by fully immersing myself in the history, culture, and day-to-day life of the locals. Just like anyone else, sometimes I forget to get in touch with the place I call home. But lucky for me, that place is Nanaimo. This city has everything anyone could wish for: lively marine ecosystem, diverse indigenous wildlife, and a trendy downtown urban sanctuary. When I feel like I’m losing touch with my hometown, I take advantage of the first opportunity I can to experience Nanaimo all over again. Day 1 Breakfast: […]

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Book Your Stay Now

What’s Your Travel Type?

Have you ever wondered what type of traveller you are? Whether you’re more of a history buff, or perhaps a thrill-seeker? Destination Canada created this quiz to help you better understand exactly what type of traveller you are. If you’d like to see an itinerary that matches your traveller type, check out our custom itineraries.

Free Spirit

Free Spirits are most likely to be seen at a tourism hot spot, participating in a group tour, or dining out at a top restaurant.

Cultural Explorer

Cultural Explorers are most likely to be seen exploring heritage sites and museums. CE's also love to interact with locals.

Authentic Experiencer

Authentic Experiencers are most likely to be seen in nature reserves, hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, at a heritage site or a museum.

Related Stakeholders

Mad Rona’s Coffee Bar

Come enjoy our version of the traditional Nanaimo Bar, incorporating coffee grounds & pretzels! Visit us on Gabriola Island.

500 North Rd
Gabriola Island, British Columbia


Minnoz Restaurant & Lounge

Offering a fresh local menu, Minnoz is your downtown destination for live entertainment every second Friday.

11 Bastion Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 6E4


Smokin’ Georges BBQ

Every city worth its salt has a place that locals talk about…that place that serves up the best. That's US.

4131 Mostar Rd #5
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9T 6A6


The Bold Knight Restaurant

We now offer a kids menu, some great Frozen cocktails, Bellinis, specialty Beers on tap plus daily drink deals.

1140 Trans-Canada Hwy
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 6N6


Yellow Point Cranberries

Follow the Yellow Point Road to our family-run cranberry farm, located just outside of Ladysmith.

4532 Yellow Point Road
Ladysmith, British Columbia V9G 1G5



Visit our 50,000sq foot North Nanaimo location - best Nanaimo Bar Fudge in Nanaimo!

6902 Island Highway
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9V 1P6


Crow & Gate Pub

The Crow & Gate Pub replicates an authentic English Pub exactly like what you would find in England. Come see us!

2313 Yellow Point Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia, BC V9X 1W5


Canadian Craft Tours

With over 17 wineries, 20 Craft Breweries & 10 Distilleries on Vancouver Island, there is something for everyone. Public and Private tours daily consisting of 3+ of your favourite venues!

3200 N. Island Highway
Nanaimo, British Columbia


Power House Living Foods Co.

Raw, vegan, gluten free, FRESH. Visit our website to see locations.

Various Locations
Nanaimo, British Columbia


Living Forest Oceanside RV & Campground

53 acres of forested waterfront, with 300 spacious sites and premium facilities. Multi award winning park. Minutes to town, in a world of its own!

6 Maki Rd.
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 6N7


McLean’s Specialty Foods

Vancouver Island's premier cheese shop and specialty foods store. Over 150 kinds of cheese.

426 Fitzwilliam Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 3B1


Bocca Café

Old City Quarter Café featuring Traditional Nanaimo Bars, light lunches, coffees and teas.

427 Fitzwilliam Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 3B1


Fredrich’s Honey

Fredrich's Honey has been producing honey, pollen & propolis on Vancouver Island since 1966. Theo Sr. started the farm with his brother Erwin. Now Theo Jr runs the bee business and things couldn't bee sweeter!

2798 Cedar Road
Ladysmith, British Columbia V9X 1K3


Nanaimo Downtown Farmers Market

The Nanaimo Downtown Farmers' Market is one of the youngest markets on the island, being only in it's eleventh year. From a beginning of only a few vendors, we have grown to become a market of over fifty full time vendors, and many drop ins.

Front Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia


Javawocky Coffee House

Independent coffee shop located along downtown Nanaimo’s seawall. Come in for a coffee/treat/chat! Best views in town!

#8 - 90 Front Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5H7


Cottonwood Golf Course

An exceptional course with a fabulous restaurant and patio. Come join us at Cottonwood!

1975 Haslam Rd.
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9X 1T1


A Wee Cupcakery

Cutest cupcakes in all of Nanaimo. The Nanaimo Bar Cupcake is a local favourite!

407 Fitzwilliam St
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 3A7


Page Point Marina

Page Point offers cozy accommodations, an amazing waterfront & full service marina. Open all year.

4760 Brenton Page Road
Ladysmith, British Columbia V9G 1L7


Riso Foods Inc.

Great dining, passionate people, local ingredients & classic technique. Liquor, patio, brick oven. Bakery; GF too!

7217 Lantzville Road
Lantzville, British Columbia V0R 2H0


Mahle House

The Mahle House is situated in a restored 1904 Heritage home in Cedar. Casual Fine Dining.

2104 Hemer Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9X 1L8


Wolf Brewing Company

Ask about how Wolf's "Dead Whale" supports whale conservation locally and get 10% off a Nanaimo Bar at a local eatery! Vancouver Island brewery.

940 Old Victoria Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 6Z8


Days Inn Nanaimo Harbourview

Days Inn Harbourview is centrally located in the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

809 Island Highway South
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5K1


Hearthstone Artisan Bakery

Try the classic or Peanut Butter Crunch Nanaimo Bar. All made from scratch in-house. Come visit our little bakery!

50 Tenth St #115a
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 6L1


Tea Desire

Tea Desire opened their first tea store in May 2005. Tony and Heidi Aupers the founders of Tea Desire are experienced entrepreneurs. They bring European and Canadian market experience to their tea stores where they stock the finest loose leaf teas and tea ware.

Unit# 16 - 3200 North Island Highway
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9T 1W1


Wheatsheaf Pub & Liquor Store

Liquor Store hours: 9 am to 11 pm 7 days a week.
Kitchen hours: 10 am-10 pm Sunday and 11am-12 pm Monday.

1866 Cedar Rd
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9X 1L7



Specialty coffees, homemade food, baked goods, catering & retail. Come and see “where friends meet” in Cedar!

#4A 1840 Cedar Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia, BC V9X 1H9


The Buzz Coffee House

Come in and enjoy a latte or a cold refreshing drink and our take on a west coast classic - the Nanaimo Bar. Trust us - you'll love our version best!

1861 Dufferin Crescent
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9S 0B1


Cedar Farmers’ Market

Shopping in a pastoral environment on the field of Crow & Gate Pub. Fresh veggies, meats, flowers, and baked goods.

2313 Yellow Point Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9X 1W9


Perkins Coffee Co.

Coffee shop downtown Nanaimo. A great place to meet for lunch.

234 Commercial St
Nanaimo, British Columbia, BC V9R 5G7


Tracks Outdoor Adventures INC

Tracks Outdoor Adventures INC, locally owned and operated tour company in Nanaimo since 2001. Offering authentic, personable tour experiences in Nanaimo &Vancouver Island. History & Cultural, Wine &Culinary, Nature Sightseeing. Group sizes from 4-400, Follow FB & IG

2130 Akenhead Rd Nanaimo BC V9X 1T9
250-754-TREC (8732)


Modern Café

Located in the heart of Downtown Nanaimo, Modern Café is famous for its Nanaimo Bar Martini. Yummy food and fun!

221 Commercial Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5G8


The Nanaimo BAR

Fresh new place with great energy and phenomenal live music. Have a Nanaimo Bar cocktail or martini...

#2-75 Front St
Nanaimo, British Columbia, BC V9R 5H9


Stir Cooking School

Turn this treat into a healthy indulgence! Custom cooking classes, flexible locations. Join us!

Lantzville, British Columbia


Mon Petit Choux

Delicious slice of heaven bakery/cafe, right downtown Nanaimo.

120 Commercial St # 101
Nanaimo, British Columbia, BC V9R 5G6


Nanaimo Noodlebox

Visit Nanaimo Noodlebox downtown at Port Place.

648 Terminal Ave #107
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5E2


Shelter Point Distillery

Shelter Point Distillery makes Artisan Whisky, Vodka and Liqueur on a 380-acre seaside farm in Oyster River. We have always prided ourselves on quality over quantity, coexisting with nature and sourcing locally.

4650 Regent Road
Campbell River, BC V9H 1E3


The Grand Hotel Nanaimo

The Grand Hotel Nanaimo is located in the north-end of Nanaimo in British Columbia. We are a 72-room property featuring Traditional, Deluxe, Executive, and Honeymoon suites that offer the most modern technological amenities.

4898 Rutherford Rd.
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9T 4Z4


Old City Quarter

Shop, dine and relax in Nanaimo’s historic Old City Quarter featuring a mix of unique retail shops, restaurants and services. Here the pace of life is relaxed and you will be greeted by friendly merchants and locals alike.

418 Fitzwilliam Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 3A1


Longwood Brew Pub & Restaurant

Longwood Brew Pub & Restaurant stands proud as the "jewel in the crown" of Longwood Station.

5775 Turner Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9T 6L8


Serious Coffee – North

North Nanaimo coffee shop featuring homemade baked goodies and a welcoming atmosphere. Reservations taken!

6357B Hammond Bay Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9T 5Y1


Pirate Chips

Delicious Pirate Chips in Downtown Nanaimo

#1 - 75 Front St.
Nanaimo, British Columbia, BC V9R 5H9


Cheers Cowichan Tours and Transport

Cowichan Valley winery and craft brewery tours and destinations. We tour Vancouver Island daily, year round.

Located in the Heart of the Cowichan Valley, BC