Happy Friday Readers! Well, today is my last day at Tourism Nanaimo as I’m embarking on a 96 day trip around South East Asia and Oceania. One of the things I’m most excited about on my trip is to eat authentic Asian food. So I thought what better way to commemorate my last post for the Tourism Nanaimo Blog than to write about Nanaimo’s Asian cuisine scene?!
We have many great Asian restaurants in Nanaimo who create delicious food from various Asian countries. Since I’ll be heading to Vietnam and Thailand, I decided to focus on four great Nanaimo restaurants who specialize in either Vietnamese or Thai cuisine.
Maybe one of the more inconspicuous restaurants on today’s list, Pho-A-Dong is a huge fan favourite for locals in the know. Before I’d ever set foot inside of Pho-A-Dong I never really gave it much thought. It lies, unassuming, in the Old City Quarter next to McLean’s Specialty Foods. In fact, when my dad took me there my first time I didn’t see what all his fussing was about – until my food came. I now eat there so frequently that the staff knows my order as I walk in the door. If you’re wondering, I exclusively order #42 Lemongrass Chicken (with vermicelli). Earth-shattering-ly delicious. Although there are plenty of other great items on the menu. If you like seafood, try #15 – it’s a medley of delicious seafood on a bed of crispy noodles (yum). Feeling soup? They also have a great selection of phở.
Nanaimo isn’t short on great Vietnamese Restaurants, including Pho Boi in the north end of Nanaimo. Every time I visit Pho Boi I’m reminded by how friendly and fast their service is! This Vietnamese restaurant is great for lunch and dinner, although I usually find myself at Pho Boi for Saturday lunches. As with Pho-A-Dong, I have a go to meal here: Grilled Chicken (notice a theme here?!)
Also like Pho-A-Dong, Pho Boi has many other great menu items. Try their Steak & Tripe Pho – a perfect option on one of our typical west coast rainy days. They also have a wide selection of bubble tea to satiate your sweet tooth!
The first of our two featured Thai restaurants is Kasira Fine Thai Cuisine. Located in the Northgate Shopping Plaza, Kasira is a popular spot among locals. Kasira is a small, cozy restaurant beautifully decorated in blacks and golds with Thai influences. I love the atmosphere in Kasira. It’s always lively and the mood lighting in here is perfect (especially if you’re looking for a spot for date night!)
There are a number of great menu items including the popular Green curry. Although, if you love duck (as I do), you must try the Spicy Duck. Absolutely scrumptious. Open weeknights for dinner, I highly recommend making a reservation as Kasira’s always busy.
Last on our list is downtown Nanaimo’s Zalathai Thai Restaurant. When I used to live downtown, I would frequently walk down to Zalathai to enjoy a tasty spot of Thai. Nestled between the Community Policing Services Office and The Queen’s on Old Victoria Crescent, lies Zalathai. Every time I walk in to the restaurant I’m warmly welcomed by the owners who are cooking up a storm in their kitchen. As with Kasira, Zalathai is littered with unique Thai trinkets, art pieces, and fabrics. Also as with Kasira, Zalathai has a wonderful atmosphere that is perfect for celebrating a family event, dining out with a loved one, or to just enjoy delicious cuisine with friends.
There are a lot of great menu options but I have to bring their Pad Thai to your attention. It’s one of the best in town. Add some shrimp and you’ll be in taste bud heaven.
Are you an Asian cuisine fanatic like myself? Did we list one of your favourite Asian restaurants in Nanaimo or have we missed it? We’d love to hear from you, so leave us a comment down below!
Of course there are many more great restaurants in downtown Nanaimo. Check out our Dining page for more great ideas!