Seriously, Port Alberni is pretty much devoid of charm. In my view this Mill town just not inviting. However, if you must go, or if you have taken visitors to Cathedral Grove, you might want to drive a few more miles since there are some eateries worth considering! Or, perhaps you are a bit peckish returning from Long Beach. Here are a few suggestions.
We have enjoyed BARE BONES Fish & Chips. It’s on the main road if you are heading to Tofino and you will find it in an old church. They cook your fish to order, deep fried in regular batter, Panko batter, or grilled. Cod, Halibut and Salmon are all offered. We tried the traditional Halibut and it was delicious. We were there in the summer so chose the patio which is a bit noisy since it’s on the main drag but still pleasant. Inside, an open kitchen overlooks eating area some of which includes old church pews for seating. We loved it! If you fancy Fish, try Bare Bones
One spot we have not tried yet is the J & L DRIVE IN, an old style joint with car hops. A throw back to the 60’s, it’s actually been in business for more than 40 years. Burgers, Milkshakes, Fries & Onion Rings are the old faithfuls. My Hot Rod friend Paul has taken his 64 Chevy to a Friday Night Hot Rod soirée here and his report is that the Burgers are excellent. And he knows burgers. Planning on a touch of nostalgia here this summer.
A few miles past Port Alberni on the Tofino road is DRINKWATERS. This is a beautiful restaurant/bar, very tastefully decorated and featuring two large decks overlooking Sproat Lake. We found the food and service really good on our two stops here. The menu is not huge but there is something good for everyone. Featured are a range of Appetizers to share, including Moules Frittes, Nachos, Fish Tacos or the Charcuterie & Cheese board for two. Choose one of these, paired with a glass of vino and enjoy the deck, the lake view, and the Beaver Dam in front. They also have seven upscale hotel rooms if you want to stay over. Open Friday to Sunday right now but more when summer arrives. Check on hours before you go.
One more stop you may want to consider, especially if you like Schnitzel, is LITTLE BAVARIA, not far from the Quay. Serving up Bavarian food since 1966, they offer 9 different schnitzels. The Chef, Ava, has been producing schnitzels here since 1983. We have not yet been but I’ve heard very positive reports. Trip Adviser reviews are almost all Excellent ratings and include comments from ‘Wonderful German’ to ‘Authentically Awesome’. Looks like a winner. Open Monday to Friday for lunch and every night for dinner.
A drive down to the Port Alberni Quay is always worthwhile and there are some eateries there too. The nearby CLAM BUCKET looks worth a try. Haven’t tried it but you might want to.
Port Alberni, not really picturesque but some really good places to eat.