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Favorite Vancouver Island Pubs

We loved our ‘research’  into Vancouver Island Pubs. From the oldest pub in BC, (the Six Mile Pub) and the oldest liquor license in BC, (Ma Miller’s) to the newest establishments in town, we enjoyed them all.

You expect good cheer and cold beer but what surprised us was the quality of the food.  No longer are your choices limited to burgers and deep fried fish but quality fare that can rival many of the restaurants we have frequented lately.

The fact is, there are pubs in every nook and cranny of Vancouver Island but we soon came to feel that the pubs on the waterfront were the most satisfying.


These are our favorite Vancouver Island Pubs 

Blackfin Pub

The view overlooking the Comox Marina is stunning and must have rubbed off on the servers as they were the best.

The size of the 2 appetizers we shared were plenty enough for both of us. Try the Thai Coconut Curry Mussels and Bacon Wrapped Scallops to start.  Then on to the main courses.

I had steak and prawns, my friend the Halibut pasta. Everything was cooked to perfection and arrived piping hot. Beware…the deserts are so good you must be prepared to indulge. <see photos>





Genoa Bay Cafe
Genoa Bay

We turned off Hwy 1 just north of Duncan on Herd Road which flows through a beautiful rural landscape and into Maple Bay. 

It is a short run along Genoa Bay Road which is an undulating circuitous delight. The largest of boulders sit on the side of this narrow road, it makes one hope that the last one has tumbled from the hilltop.

At the end of the road you make a left and into the parking lot of the Genoa Bay Café and the start of a beautiful experience. <see photos>




The Shipyard
Maple Bay
Located in a converted boat building facility packed full of artifacts, good food and good cheer.  We arrived on a sunny afternoon and sat outside overlooking the boats in the marina.

The server was charming and attentive. My friend opted for the sensible Salt Spring Mussel appetizer with garden salad as I dove into the classics finally deciding on the chicken bacon mozza burger and hand cut fries. After looking at the dinner menu we will be back. <see photos>






Bridgemans Bistro
Mill Bay

This beautiful glass walled building  overlooks the Mill Bay Marina.

We arrived for lunch and after some consideration I decided to take one from my friends playbook and go for appetizers only.

Our server was attentive and informed me of their beer flights (samplers).  Excellent!

We ordered chowder,  fish tacos and prawns on toast. It was beautifully plated and cooked to perfection.  <see photos>





Silva Bay Pub
Gabriola Island
Hidden away on Gabriola Island the Silva Bay Pub has become one of our favorite summer haunts. That’s right, only in the summer as sadly they are only open May to September. This is something to put on your bucket list as it's as beautiful a place as you can find in the Gulf  Islands. But if truth be told it's the happy staff, cold beer and excellent food that will be bringing us back.

Last time here we sat on a sunny patio and dined on appetizers of fish tacos and Salt Spring Mussels which were delicious and enough for both of us. I'll miss this place all winter. <see photos>




Stonehouse Restaurant
North Saanich

If you have ever wanted to visit an authentic English Tudor stone walled house, this is your opportunity.

Situated among the trees above Canoe Cove Marina in North Saanich (beside the Swartz Bay Ferries) you’ll find the Stonehouse Restaurant and Pub. From the moment you walk in the ambience and friendly staff put you at ease. Many beers on tap and great food make for a wonderful time, year round. <see photos>






Springwater Lodge
Mayne Island

This little gem is hidden away on Mayne Island and to our surprise we found that this great old building is the longest continuously operating hotel in BC.

One day with a beer on the deck watching the ferries navigate Active Pass and you'll know why it's lasted so long.

The food is nicely prepared from local ingredients but it's the friendly staff, superlative view and the Lodge's heritage that will bring us back again. <see photos>





Longwood Brew Pub

it’s true that we prefer pubs on the water and Longwood, well, they are surrounded by gardens and a parking lot. But once you enter you will forget all about that.

The staff is very friendly and more than willing to bring samples of the craft beers that they produce onsite. There is a restaurant on the main level and a pub downstairs. We headed for the pub and ordered lunch. Service was prompt and the food well prepared. We will return. <see photos>