Top 52 Eats - Best Restaurants Parksville Qualicum Beach

Parksville Qualicum Beach has officially become a foodie destination. The proof is in the combination of quality food experiences ranging from craft breweries, authentic pizzerias, food trucks, and oceanside fine dining.

Someone holds an open pizza box with a fresh pie from Salt Pizzeria, Parksville Image: @Thejimgrievegroup
Salt Pizzeria Image: @Thejimgrievegroup

With so many restaurants to choose from, the hardest part is picking where to eat! To help you decide, we've put together a brand new list of the Top 52 Eats across our region. Compiled from TripAdvisor reviews, conversations with our social media community and tips from local residents, it's a comprehensive look at what people are loving most this year.

To make it easier, we've also added suggestions on what to order so that you can sample the very best flavours of Parksville Qualicum Beach.

Bonus tip: feel free to use our Restaurants in Parksville Qualicum Beach Directory to compare your options. Bon appétit!

1. Thin Crust Pizza

Salt Pizzeria in French Creek has captured the attention of pizza-loving locals and visitors. With organic flour, hand-thrown sourdough thin crust, quality meats, and homemade sauces, it’s no wonder Salt Pizzeria has become the number one restaurant on TripAdvisor. Check out the thin crust yumminess, especially the Casa Special and the Capricciosa.

2. Food Truck Fair: Especially fries & poutine

When we asked PQB locals where they love to eat, an astounding amount said the Knockananna Grill food truck, and they said you couldn't go wrong with anything on their menu. However, their 'chips' (or fries as we more commonly call them) are what they're really famous for. Curry chips, poutine, turkey dinner, or even eggs benny on top of chips.

You can typically find this food truck by the Qualicum Beach waterfront on Friday-Monday 12:00-5:00 pm in the summer months only (May-August) and occasionally outside of LoveShack Libations Brewery.

3. Best Happy Hour

For the best happy hours in the area, stop by Qualicum Beach Cafe. Bonus points if you score a spot on either their undercover or open-air patio with views of the Salish Sea. We recommend their Smoked Old Fashions, $1.50 fresh oysters, and crab cakes. And if you're willing to splash out, order their seafood tower - delicious and totally photogenic for the 'gram!

And if you are visiting Parksville mid-week, head to Tigh-Na-Mara’s Cedars Restaurant & Lounge for half price appies on Tuesday and Wednesday (on their Lounge or Patio only). They also have a happy hour drink special on Thursday-Monday from 4pm-6pm.

Qualicum Beach Cafe Seafood Tower Happy Hour Image:@Qualicumbeachcafe
Qualicum Beach Cafe Image:@Qualicumbeachcafe

4. Caesar Cocktails (with a meal on top)

Looking for a good caesar cocktail or hangover cure? Head to the Extreme Eatery in Parksville for their giant caesar cocktails topped with a complete meal on top. Their Extreme Caesar is loaded with a slider, mini poutine and all the classic fixings! But if you're really hungry, the King Caesar (shown in the image below) is complete with a slider, poutine, onion rings, chicken wings, and dry ribs, and it's definitely big enough to share.

Extreme Eatery's Extreme Caesar, a cocktail with a complete meal on top, in Parksville - Image: @extremeeatery
Extreme Eatery's Extreme Caesar Image: @extremeeatery

5-8. Outstanding Pizza

Salt Pizzeria's thin crust pizza was already mentioned above, but for some different, less traditional pizza styles and crust thickness, we recommend Mount Arrowsmith Brewery (5), Giovanni's in Qualicum Beach (6), Poppa's Pizza (7), and Wild Culture Bakery (8). All are incredible in their own right and deserve to be sampled. Do we smell a pizza crawl coming on!?

9. Doughnuts

If you’re crazy for doughnuts, be sure to head to Coombs Old Country Market and look out for Billy G’s Doughnut Shop in the A-frame. Everything is made fresh daily and there are a variety of unique flavours to try including the ‘Gimme S’more (marshmallow filling dipped in chocolate) or the Billy Gruff Bombers (caramel filling topped with bacon). We recommend getting there early, as things tend to sell out before noon. Realm Food Co. doughnuts are also highly rated, especially if you are looking for gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free or vegan options.

Rows of gluten free donuts with icing and fruit topping from Realm Food Co in Parksville - Image: realmfoodco
Realm Food Co Image: @realmfoodco

10-11. Best Pub Food

In Parksville Qualicum Beach, we are spoiled with a number of pubs; however, The Rocking Horse Pub (10) in Nanoose Bay, The Black Goose Inn, and the iconic Rod & Gun (11) that opened in 1898 were voted as having the best pub food in the area. If you are visiting mid-week, the Rod & Gun has Wing Wednesday, which is always delicious, and they also regularly host events and live music, so be sure to check out their website for details.

12-14. Craft Beer

Alright, we know beer is not technically a food, but I’m sure a few of you appreciate it being included on the list. Mount Arrowsmith Brewery (12) and Fern + Cedar Brewery (13), which just recently opened in December 2021, both were voted as top breweries to try. Plus, both of them have great food items available to order while you sip on your pint (see #5). In addition, we recommend checking out the LoveShack Libations (14) nano-brewery for its unique brews and the experience.

15. Family-friendly Comfort Food & Nirvana

Lefty’s is the spot to go if you're dining out as a family and looking for comfort food. While you are there, be sure to try their Nirvana, which is layers of shortbread, cream cheese, and chocolate caramel pudding on a pecan crust. It’s just as heavenly as it sounds!

16. Specialty Bowls

Looking for a healthy meal to fuel all your PQB adventures? Head to Realm Food Co. Everything here is fresh and delicious, but in particular, the Ixim (pronounced "shim" – I had to ask) Bowl, Arrowsmith Bowl, or Bliss Bowl hit the spot with their real, local flavour.

A variety of specialty bowls from Realm Food Co, Parksville, - Image:  @realmfoodco
Realm Food Co Image: @realmfoodco

17. Schnitzel

Black Bird Schnitzel Haus in Qualicum Beach is one of the only German‑Bavarian restaurants on eastern Vancouver Island that offers authentic German cuisine. ⁠Choose from almost two dozen kinds of Schnitzel, spaetzle, sausages, and other tasty home‑cooked comfort foods.

⁠18. Italian Food

Craving Italian food? Cuckoo in Coombs will whisk you away to Italy, just for one night. Start with the Focaccia Chanterelle, then enjoy one of their traditional Italian thin-crust pizzas or house-made pasta. Dining on their el fresco patio with a spritz in hand during the summer months is an absolute must. But be willing to either get there early or wait in line, as they don't take reservations.

19-20. Best View

With miles of gorgeous coastline and forests, it’s hard to pick a restaurant with the best view. However, our locals and visitors came through and claimed that The Shady Waterfront Pub & Restaurant (19), and Shore Restaurant (20) both located in Qualicum Beach, were the two restaurants they go to when they want to admire the Salish Sea. And if you are in Parksville, check out The Beach Club Resort, Pacific Prime and Bayside Restaurant and Lounge for stunning seaside views. All of these restaurants have great patios if you prefer el fresco dining in the warmer months!

21-23. Burgers

The best of the best burgers are from Q Burger (21), the Limerick Burger at Knockananna Grill food truck, Bigfoot Burgers (22), Gary's Bistro in Qualicum Beach (23), and the PaPa’s Burgers.

24. Steak

If you are in the mood for a quality steak dinner, head to Kalvas the Loghouse Restaurant in Parksville. All of their beef is Prime Grade, perfectly aged and grilled to order. Here you will find traditional Prime Rib to Filet Mignon. Kalvas is also well known for its fresh seafood. Surf and turf, anyone?

25-27. Coffee & Cafe Eats

Starting the day with a strong cup of coffee is a prerequisite for a great day! And in Parksville Qualicum Beach, there is no shortage of wonderful cafes to keep you caffeinated. Bailey's in the Village (25) and French Press Coffee Roaster (26) in Qualicum Beach are two fan favourites for delicious specialty coffee drinks made to enjoy with mouth-watering, fresh-baked goodies and tasty sandwiches. While you are at French Press Coffee, be sure to grab a bag of their award-winning beans to go!

In Parksville, Pacific Brimm (27) is where friends meet to enjoy a good cup of joe and a delicious breakfast. And if you like to bring your coffee to the beach, this cafe is conveniently located only a block away from Parksville Public Beach.

Latte and fresh-baked treat from French Press Coffee Roasters, Qualicum Beach - Image: @frenchpresscoffeeroasters
French Press Coffee Roasters Image: @frenchpresscoffeeroasters

28-30. Fish & Chips

You can’t come to Vancouver Island and not eat a coastal favourite dish - Fish & Chips! French Creek Marine Pub (28), Black Goose Inn in Parksville, Ship & Shore at Deep Bay Marina (29), and Aioli’s Restaurant in Parksville (30) are the top go-to’s according to locals and visitors.And while you are at the Ship & Shore in Deep Bay, you should also try their Seafood Chowder, Calamari, and Hand-Crafted Pizzas. All extra delicious while watching the sunset from their waterfront patio!

31-33. Freshly Baked Pastries & Treats

We've already mentioned that Wild Culture Bakery (31) has incredible pizza, but they are more known for their delicious pastries and organic sourdough bread. Bike by and enjoy lunch or a treat on their beautiful garden patio. Located in Qualicum Beach, they're open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 12 pm to 5 pm.⁠If it's European-style pastries you are after, there is no beating De L'ile (32), as a local French couple runs it. Get there early to enjoy a pain au chocolat, coffee kombucha caramel knots, or their Portuguese custard tart.And last but not least, Sweetspot Bakeshop (33), which started as a food truck and developed into a brick-and-mortar shop due to its popularity. Cookies, brownies, and cakes, they have it all. Tip: buy the Baker's Dozen Assorted Stuffed to try various items.

34-35. Breakfast / Brunch

They say that breakfast (or brunch) is the most important meal of the day! If that’s the case, it better be good. For a delicious breakfast or brunch for those that want to sleep-in, head to Pacific Brimm (34), Final Approach Restaurant at the Qualicum Beach Airport (35) or Gary’s Bistro.

36. Casual Fine Dining & Seafood

Listed as the top restaurant in Qualicum Beach on TripAdvisor, Bistro 694 offers casual fine dining right in the heart of town. Our go-to’s are always their crab cakes, mussels, seafood crepes and seafood pasta. Be sure to book a table in advance, as this restaurant is small and popular.Or if you are celebrating something special and looking for somewhere to celebrate? Make a reservation at Chameleons in Parksville, and be sure to try their braised beef short ribs or the Seafood Crepe.

37-38. Sushi

Hama Sushi’s (37) bento boxes are great value for lunch or dinner, and their Salmon Donburi will melt in your mouth. Other favourites include the Chicken teriyaki and tempura. Alternatively, Sam’s Sushi (38) in French Creek is also delicious. The Sushi Combos are a great way to have a little bit of everything. The best roll is Sam’s Red Eye Roll, but be warned, it has a kick! And last but not least, Sushi Ichi in Parksville is known for its fresh seafood and Ocean Roll.

39-40. Vietnamese

Although it might not catch your eye when driving by, Saigon Garden is the Vietnamese spot in town. Come for the pho, springs rolls and good prices, not the ambience. Likewise, the Mekong River restaurant in Parksville has become a staple for their Vietnamese cuisine. Owned and operated by a local Vietnamese family, menu items like the Vietnamese crepes and fresh spring rolls are all made in-house, by Grandma, with authentic recipes. Plus, they have food options for vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free guests.

41. The British Bobby Restaurant

In Parksville. You can’t go wrong with the Vegetarian Ginger “Chicken” or the Vegan Pie at British Bobby Restaurant (closed permanently).

42-44. Indian Cuisine

Amrikko's Indian Grill (42) in Parksville has the most authentic Indian food in the area. Order the Butter Chicken, of course, or the Chicken Korma. Masala Hut in Parksville (43) offers Indian food with a twist. Here you will find gluten-free and lactose-free options. And, although the Butter Chicken at the lovely Bistro 694 (44) is not authentic Indian, it is always delicious.

45. All-you-can-eat Tapas

One food experience in Parksville that you'll talk about for years is the all-you-can-eat tapas at Tigh-Na-Mara's Treetop Tapas Grill. This restaurant is linked to their famous Grotto Spa. So all guests must dine in their robes, and your meal can be enjoyed before or after a dip in their mineral pools. You'll be presented with seventeen tapas plates, and after you try them all, you can re-order your favourites. We guarantee you won't leave hungry after this meal!

Six different tapas plates from Tigh-Na-Mara Resort Grotto Spa Tree Top Tapas Parksville
Grotto Spa Treetop Tapas

46-47. Korean Food

Chicken Zip (46) is the only restaurant in Parksville specializing in Korean-style fried chicken. Alternatively, visit the Sandbar Café in Qualicum Beach (47) when they have one of their special Korean Food Nights!

48. Tacos & Burritos

The fish tacos from Tidal Taco Shack in Qualicum Bay are a fave in these parts! Once you’ve tried the fish tacos (perhaps several times), check out the Vegan Burrito and the Sweet Thai Chicken Taco. Additionally, Realm Food Co offers more modern and dietary-friendly tacos like, fish tacos, vegan tacos and chicken tostadas.

Basket of tacos from Tidal Taco Shack, Qualicum Bay Image: @Nanaimonoms
Tidal Taco Shack Image: @Nanaimonoms

49. Crepes

As mentioned above, Bistro 694 in Qualicum Beach for seafood crepes and Mekong River in Parksville for Vietnamese crepes.

50. Butter Tarts

Absolutely divine butter tarts at Trees Restaurant. By the way, did you know that Canada is the birthplace of the butter tart?

51. Savoury Pies

Find these pies (especially the Steak & Stilton) in the cozy English pub atmosphere of the Black Goose Inn, also equipped with a cold beer, oceanfront views, fireplaces and live music.⁠

Plate of dessert at Camellia Tea Room at Milner Gardens & Woodland, Qualicum Beach High Tea Image: @milnergardens
Camellia Tea Room at Milner Gardens & Woodland Image: @milnergardens

52. Full Afternoon Tea

Come wander the beautiful Milner Gardens & Woodland grounds and stay for afternoon tea in the historic house. Tea includes sandwiches, sweets, and scones with Devon Cream, oh my!

Have we missed your favourite dish or restaurant? Let us know by sending us a direct message on Instagram at @ParksvilleQualicumBeach. And be sure to follow us on our Instagram and Facebook to hear about more popular restaurants and food experiences.

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Parksville Qualicum Beach

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