Nanaimo Bakery & Café (Breakfast) Review

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Simple and good

Now here’s one we just had to share. We popped in to the Nanaimo Bakery for breakfast on a whim one day and were quite pleasantly surprised – not just by the food, but by the service, the dining room, and the good cause it’s all for.

Is it a “Bakery & Confectionery” or a “Bakery & Café”? Wethinks the latter.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. Isn’t Nanaimo Bakery just for old people? Well, yes and no. It certainly has that reputation, and it is by and large staffed by that demographic, but there have been some updates. About a year ago, the café was taken over by Island Crisis Care Society. There’s now an open dining area with modern furnishings. There is also a contemporary coffee station with all the machinery needed for their baristas to make whatever kind of drink you like. The business now exists to support ICCS’s operations and also to employ folks in Nanaimo who need a hand up. Essentially it’s a community support business similar to Coco Café out in Cedar. (Our thoughts on that one are here.)

Our visit took place pretty early on a weekday. We expected it to be at least a little busy with retired folks and their coffees, but it was strangely empty. This is usually a bad sign, but on this occasion just meant we’d have a quiet and pleasant meal.

Uhh, where is everyone?

Ordering is cafeteria-style and there were a number of breakfast and coffee options for us. For him, the “standard start” breakfast, and for her the breakfast burrito. Drip coffees too, because it was early.

The server was pleasant, ordering was easy, and the food came out quickly and was nice and hot. You can see the standard start breakfast pictured up above. There was toast of our choice, a couple eggs cooked to order, potatoes, and bacon. While not exceptional in any way, each component was cooked perfectly and the rosemary potatoes were particularly nice. Eggs ordered medium were, in fact, medium.

We’re suckers for a good breakfast burrito.

For the burrito, we chose for our protein a housemade soy chorizo. This was an interesting curiosity and was perfectly flavourful but wound up being a touch dry. Still the burrito on the whole was good, and the salsa was bold and smoky.

Now here’s the kicker. The above breakfasts were $10 and $11 respectively. These days, that barely gets you yogurt and granola in a typical restaurant. Our whole breakfast, with coffees, taxes, and a small tip was still only $29. Even for modest meals like these we think that’s a steal.


If all you need is a simple breakfast with friends, Nanaimo Bakery is the place. There’s room for you to stretch out. There are good options on the food and coffee menus. The service is good, the prices are exceptional, and with all that, you’re even supporting good cause too. The only thing unexceptional really is the food (although our heads were turned by the delicious-looking cakes and goodies in their cooler). Still, with all the other upsides, we know we’ll definitely be back. Check them out and let them know we sent you!

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