Landlubber Pub Review

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Grungy goodness

Sometimes you just want to go out and eat without having to step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes you just want to be able to watch the hockey game and cheer and groan among like-minded patrons. And sometimes you just want to eat a pile of chicken wings. The Landlubber Pub in on Bowen Road in Nanaimo has got you covered for all of the above.

Yeah it’s retro.

It wasn’t our first visit. In fact, we’ve visited the ‘Lubber occasionally for years and years. We like that they have some unusual items on the menu, like their crazy wing flavours, and even crazier custom hot dog menu. We also like that they’ll reliably have the Canucks game on, except for that one time when they were only showing basketball. Who watches basketball?!

We digress. This time, we visited for dinner. Covid was in full swing, so the tables were reorganized for social distancing and sanitizer was available at the front. The ‘Lubber has never felt unclean, but you could tell there definitely had been some extra effort made to keep the place spic and span. Weirdly, the servers weren’t wearing masks despite all the other precautions.

We knew for sure we would be trying the poutine for our poutine challenge, so rather than order mains, we ordered a poutine, a couple of sliders, and an order of chicken wings. It happened to be half-price wings that night, so why not?

These sliders lasted about 5 seconds after they arrived, 3 of which involved taking this photo.

The sliders arrived first and we were pleasantly surprised. While simple, they were large enough to satisfy. In terms of taste, they wouldn’t compare well with the gourmet burgers at Sip and Sliders, but these were at least half as good and only half the price.

We ordered “Cowgirl” wings, which had a mix of BBQ, hot sauce, and sweet chili sauce on them. The wings were piping hot and generously sauced. We both quite enjoyed them, but were a little sad there were no finger bowls for cleanup. (Wings are messy, yo!) The Landlubber has an extensive menu of wing flavours — some quite bizarre — and there’s something for everyone on it.

Like, seriously. Thank you Quebec.

While we were eating, our poutine arrived. If you’re following our poutine challenge, you know we quite enjoyed this mess of fries, cheese curds, and gravy, even if it’s a bit different with the choice of chicken gravy instead of beef.

A couple of seasonal beers helped get all this meat, bread, cheese down. The Landlubber’s selection of beer is geared for mass appeal, but they always have some more interesting temporary taps which we like to try.

We found no fault with the service during our visit. Like most pubs, the servers are quite busy and so perhaps it isn’t fair to expect much more than a quick food order and an occasional offer to refill our beers. That’s what we got and it was fine.

Our total bill including tip was approximately $38. We feel this was fair value for (mostly) filling us up food and a couple of drinks.


If you’re in the mood for pub food that’s slightly elevated and comes from a slightly non-traditional menu, you may find you quite like this pub. If there’s a game on tonight, that’s even better. Off you go. Try the tater tots and let them know we sent you!

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