Nanaimo’s Best of the City winners and runners-up revealed - Vancouver Island Free DailyVancouver Island Free Daily (2022)

Nanaimo’s got election fever these days. Well, guess what? The votes are in – the Best of the City votes, that is.

This is our biggest-ever Best of the City survey, with more than 150 categories, including approximately a dozen new categories this year. We asked Nanaimo News Bulletin readers to participate in our online survey at the start of the summer, wondering about the best businesses, things to do and sights to see. We’re grateful that we received tens of thousands of votes, because such high ‘voter turnout’ logically makes the survey more representative, and hopefully, more useful to Best of the City readers. If your favourite business didn’t win this year, please keep them in mind next summer and encourage friends and family to get out the vote.

Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up. You all contribute to making Nanaimo the best.

Here are your 2022 Best of the City winners and runners-up, presented in the order in which they appear in the magazine:

Best Accommodations

1. Coast Bastion Hotel

2. Yellow Point Lodge

3. The Grand Hotel

Best View of the City

1. Mount Benson

2. Sugarloaf Mountain

3. Dinghy Dock Pub

Best Playground

1. Harewood Centennial Park

1. Oliver Woods Community Centre

2. Maffeo Sutton Park Playdock

3. Beban Park Altrusa Playground

Best Accounting Firm

1. Church Pickard Chartered Professional Accountants


2. Dougan, Irwin and Associates

3. H&R Block

3. Leakey and Lewicki Ltd.

Best Auto Detailer

1. V.I. Precision Detailing and Car Care

2. Eco Wash Automotive Detailing

3. Steve Marshall Ford Lincoln Auto Smile

Best Auto Servicing

1. Supertech Diesel Truck Specialists

2. Precise Mechanical Repairs

3. Bavarian Imports Auto Repair

Best Banking Institution

1. Coastal Community Credit Union

1. RBC Royal Bank

2. TD Canada Trust

3. BMO

Best Bathrooms

1. Woodgrove Centre

2. Cactus Club Café

3. Casino Nanaimo

Best Beauty Salon or Spa

1. Kiyo Salon and Day Spa

2. The Babe Cave

3. Foxy Box Laser and Wax Bar

Best Bike Shop

1. Arrowsmith Bikes

2. Hub City Cycles

3. Rock City Cycles

Best Carpet Cleaners

1. Classic Care Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning

2. Suck It Up Carpet Furnace

3. Citrus-O Carpet Care

Best Cell Phone Repair

1. UbreakiFix

2. Blackapple Cellular

3. London Drugs

Best Collision Repair/Auto Body Service

1. Trojan Collision

2. Craftsman Collision

3. CSN Mid-Island Auto Collision

Best Barbershop

1. The Edge Barber Shop

2. That 50’s Barber Shop

3. Four Crows Barber and Shave Co.

Best Community-Minded Business

1. COCO Café

2. The Thinking Garden

3. Junk In Our Trunk

3. KC’s Boutique and Petites

Best Computer Sales and Service

1. R-U Computing Co. Ltd.

2. Jason’s Computer Services

3. Alpine Technical Services and Sales

Best Customer Service

1. KC’s Boutique and Petites

2. Meat Craft Island Butchery

3. Burnt Honey Dessert Company

Best Dental Clinic

1. Franklyn Street Dental Centre

2. Lantzville Dental Clinic

3. Diver Lake Dental

3. Seven Sails Dental Centre

Best Denture Clinic

1. Nanaimo Denture Clinic

2. Pacific Denture Centre

3. Harbour City Denture Clinic

Best Electrical Company

1. DenMar Electric Ltd.

2. Walls Electrical Ltd.

3. Mazzei Electric

Best Clothing Store for Inclusive Sizing

1. CurVa-Voom

2. Pennington’s

3. Old Navy

Best Engineering Firm

1. Herold Engineering Ltd.

2. McElhanney

3. Sorensen Trilogy

Best Pest Control Services

1. V.I. Pest Control

2. Pest Doctor

3. Abell Pest Control

Best Exterior Cleaning Company

1. West Coast Softwash

2. Mr. Sparkle Exterior Cleaning

3. Men In Kilts

Best Financial Planning Business

1. RBC Dominion Securities

2. CIBC Wood Gundy

2. RBC Royal Bank

3. Coastal Community Private Wealth Group

Best Fitness/Exercise Company

1. Healthy Role Models

2. Authentically Fit

3. Orangetheory Fitness

3. Red Door Yoga

Best Floor Covering Store

1. End of the Roll

2. United Floors

3. Home Depot

3. City Tile

Best Flower Shop

1. Turley’s Florist

2. Thrifty Foods

3. Ladybug Floral

Best Furniture Store

1. Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress

2. La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries

3. ScanDesigns Furniture

Best Plumbing Business

1. Norm’s Plumbing and Heating

2. 250 Plumber

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2. Archie Johnstone Plumbing and Heating

3. Gary McKinnon Plumbing and Heating

Best Heating Business

1. Norm’s Plumbing and Heating

2. Bryans Mechanical

3. Archie Johnstone Plumbing and Heating

Best Gas Bar

1. Mid Island Co-op

2. Snaw-Naw-As Market/Shell

3. Super Save Gas Stations

Best Hair Salon

1. Hair Tech Salon Ltd.

2. Kiyo Salon and Day Spa

3. The Edge Hair Design

Best Health-Care Clinic

1. Caledonian Clinic Ltd.

2. Medical Arts Centre

3. Wellington Medical Clinic

Best Hearing Clinic

1. Costco Wholesale

2. NexGen Hearing

3. Connect Hearing

Best Home/Kitchen Appliance Store

1. Coast Wholesale Appliances

2. Trail Appliances

3. Home Depot

Best Home Builder

1. Shining Knight Construction Inc.

2. Alair Homes Nanaimo

3. B. Gallant Homes Ltd.

Best Home Improvement Store

1. Home Depot

2. Home Hardware

3. Lowe’s

Best Optical Store

1. Highview Optical

2. Costco Wholesale

3. FYidoctors

Best Home Renovation Company

1. Shining Knight Construction Inc.

2. Pheasant Hill Homes Ltd.

3. Alair Homes Nanaimo

Best Housewares/Linen Store

1. HomeSense

2. Flying Fish

3. The Bay

Best Insurance Agency

1. Driven Agencies


3. Coastal Community Insurance Services Ltd.

Best Janitorial/Housekeeping Service

1. Vancouver Island Grime Fighters

2. Acacia Cleaning Services

3. Lemon Tree Housekeeping

Best Jewelry Store

1. Keller’s Jewellers

2. Peoples Jewellers

3. Michael Hill

Best Law Firm

1. Ramsay Lampman Rhodes

2. Duncan Allen Law LLP

3. Heath Law LLP

Best Landscaping Business

1. McKenzie Maintenance

2. Concepts Landscaping

3. Jim’s Mowing and Gardening

Best Lighting Store

1. Mclaren Lighting

2. Home Depot

3. Lowe’s

Best Marine Supplier

1. The Harbour Chandler Ltd.

2. Stones Boatyard and the Marine Store

3. Parker Marine

Best Massage Clinic

1. Knead Registered Massage Therapy

2. Woodgrove Pines Wellness Clinic

3. Pure Spa

Best Mattress Store

1. Sleep Country

2. John’s Bedroom Barn

3. Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress

Best Mortgage Broker

1. Oceanvale Mortgage and Finance

2. Flawless Financing

2. Sand Dollar Mortgages

3. Invis

Best Moving Company

1. Junk In Our Trunk

2. Take A Load Off Moving

3. Clydesdale Moving and Hauling

Best Oil Changes

1. Great Canadian Oil Change


3. Steve Marshall Ford Lincoln

Best Paint Store

1. Cloverdale Paint

2. Benjamin Moore

3. Home Hardware

3. Home Depot

Best Painting Company

1. Pride Painting Ltd.

2. Sonshine Girls Painting

3. Student Works Painting

Best Personal Training Business

1. Authentically Fit

2. Empowered Physique/Coach Katelynne

3. Body Tempo

Best Pet Grooming Business

1. Dog ‘N Suds Pet Services

2. 4 Paws Mobile Nail Trims

3. Nanaimo Pet Services

Best Pet Supply Store

1. Bosley’s Pet Food Plus

2. PetSmart

3. Oliver’s Pet Supplies

Best Pharmacy

1. Central Drugs

2. Medicine Shoppe

3. Save-On-Foods

Best Photographer

1. Janayh Wright Photography

2. Jorja Portraits (Angela Eaves Photography)

3. Concept Photography Inc

Best Place to Buy a New Vehicle

1. Steve Marshall Ford Lincoln

2. Nanaimo Toyota

3. Nanaimo Honda

Best Outdoor Garden Centre

1. Little Tree Garden Centre

2. GardenWorks

3. Green Thumb Garden Centre

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Best Place to Buy a Used Vehicle

1. Galaxy Motors

2. Steve Marshall Ford Lincoln

3. Bouman Auto Gallery

3. Nanaimo Toyota

Best Place to get Tires

1. Cedar Tireland

2. Kal Tire

3. Costco Wholesale

Best Real Estate Agent/Team

1. Scott Parker Team

2. Dawn Walton and Associates

3. Robyn Hewer

Best Retirement Community

1. Berwick On The Lake

2. Origin At Longwood

2. Kiwanis Village

3. Eden Gardens

Best Roofing Company

1. Erickson Roofing

2. All the Way Roofing

3. Best on Top Roofing

Best Security Company

1. Footprints Security Patrol

2. Securco Services Inc.

3. Spectre Security Inc.

Best Estheticians

1. The Babe Cave

2. Foxy Box Laser and Wax Bar

3. Breze Aveda Concept Salon and Day Spa

Best Nail Studio

1. The Babe Cave

2. The Nail Lounge

3. Neon Nail Studio

Best Sewing Notions Store

1. Fabricland

2. Snip and Stitch Sewing Centre

3. Michaels

3. Serge and Sew

Best Sporting Goods Store

1. Cabela’s

2. Sport Chek

3. Kirby’s Source For Sports

Best Storage Company

1. Budget Self Storage

2. U-Lock Mini Storage

3. Nanaimo Mini Storage

Best Store to Buy Books

1. Chapters

2. Literacy Central Vancouver Island

3. Rotary Used Book Sale

Best Store to Buy Tools

1. Midland Tools

2. Home Depot

3. Canadian Tire

Best Tanning Salon

1. Golden Sands Tanning Studio

2. Divine Glow

3. Solisa Tanning

Best Tattoo Studio

1. Relegation Tattoo

2. The Electric Umbrella Tattoo and Gallery

3. Black and Blue Tattoo

Best Tile Store

1. City Tile

2. Cornerstone Tile

3. BEtile

Best Toy Store

1. Kool and Child

2. Toys ‘R’ Us

3. The Children’s Treehouse

Best Travel Agency

1. Amanda Rauh The Travel Agent Next Door

2. Marlin Travel

3. Imagine Cruise and Travel

Best Tree Service

1. V.I. Tree Services

2. Davey Tree Expert Company

3. Flying Squirrel Tree Service

3. Jeff’s Tree Service

Best Veterinary Clinic

1. VCA Canada Island Animal Hospital

2. Chase River Veterinary Hospital

3. Mahalo Veterinary Hospital

Best Vitamin/Health Food Store

1. Pomme Natural Market

2. Charlie Brown’s Health Foods

3. Costco Wholesale

3. Nanaimo’s Health Shop

Best Yoga Studio

1. Red Door Yoga

2. Modo Yoga Nanaimo

3. Oxygen Yoga and Fitness

Best Shoe Store

1. Frontrunners

2. A Step Ahead

3. SoftMoc

Best Kids’ Clothing Store

1. Once Upon A Child

2. Old Navy

3. Pumpkin Pie Kids

Best Farmers’ Market

1. Cedar Farmers Market

2. Island Roots Farmers’ Market

3. Nicol Street Market

Best Lingerie Store

1. Purple Cactus Lingerie

2. La Vie En Rose

3. Elizabeth’s Lingerie Drawer

Best Place to Shop

1. Woodgrove Centre

2. KC’s Boutique and Petites

3. Costco Wholesale

Best Store for Ladieswear

1. KC’s Boutique and Petites

2. Winners

3. CurVa-Voom

Best Store for Menswear

1. Mark’s

2. NYLA Fresh Thread

3. The Bay

Best Consignment or Thrift Store

1. Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

2. Nanaimo Hospice Shoppe

3. Friends of Haven Thrift Store

Best Performing Arts School

1. Vibrant Studios (Vibe)

2. Harbour Dance Studios Inc.

3. Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts

Best Art Gallery

1. Nanaimo Art Gallery

2. Yellow Bird Arts Gallery

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3. The View Gallery

Best Jam Session/Open Mic

1. The Queen’s

2. The Vault Café

3. The Nanaimo Bar

Best Karaoke

1. Oxy Pub

2. Quarterway Pub

3. Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub

Best Music Trivia

1. Landlubber Pub

2. Musiq Trivia with Rory

3. Oxy Pub

3. Well Pub/Wellington Pub

Best Place for Live Bands

1. The Queen’s

2. Port Theatre

3. The Nanaimo Bar

Best Place to Dance

1. The Queen’s

2. Vibrant Studios (Vibe)

3. LevelTwo Nightclub

Best Theatre Company

1. Nanaimo Theatre Group

2. Yellow Point Drama Group

3. TheatreOne

Best Bakery

1. Red’s Bakery

2. Bodhi’s Artisan Bakery

3. Cobs Bread

Best Nanaimo Bars

1. Red’s Bakery

2. Nanaimo Bakery

3. Hearthstone Artisan Bakery

Best Asian Food

1. Huong Lan Vietnamese Restaurant

2. Nori Japanese Restaurant

3. Quality Foods

Best Breakfast/Brunch

1. Gabriel’s Gourmet Café

2. Tania’s Restaurant

3. Kelly’s Kitchen Café

Best Catering Business

1. Spice of Life Catering

2. COCO Café

3. Smokin’ George’s BBQ Restaurant

Best Chicken Wings

1. Landlubber Pub

2. Oxy Pub

3. Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub

Best Cinnamon Buns

1. Cobs Bread

2. Red’s Bakery

3. Bodhi’s Artisan Bakery

Best Steakhouse

1. Bold Knight Restaurant

2. Montana’s BBQ and Bar

3. Mahle House Restaurant

Best Nachos

1. Longwood Brew Pub and Restaurant

2. Gina’s Mexican Café

3. Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub

Best Place to Meet for Coffee

1. Drip Coffee Social

2. Buzz Coffee House

3. Brüd House

Best Curry

1. Gateway To India Restaurant

2. Flavours Of India

3. Heritage Indian Cuisine

Best Deli

1. Nesvog Meats and Sausage Company

2. Nellie’s European Deli

3. McLean’s Specialty Foods

Best Desserts

1. Burnt Honey Dessert Company

2. Red’s Bakery

3. A Wee Cupcakery

Best Family Restaurant

1. White Spot

2. Montana’s BBQ and Bar

3. Milano’s Ristorante

Best Fish and Chips

1. Troller’s Fish and Chips

2. Maggie’s Seafood Market Fish and Chips

3. Cod Squad Fish and Chips

Best Happy Hour

1. Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub

2. Cactus Club Café

3. Browns Socialhouse

3. Old City Station Pub

Best Place for Birthday Parties

1. Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub

2. Brechin Lanes

3. Asteras Greek Taverna

Best Place for Cocktails and Shots

1. Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub

2. Cactus Club Café

3. The Nanaimo Bar

Best Sports Bar

1. Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub

2. Old City Station Pub

3. Original Joe’s Restaurant and Bar

Best Appetizers/Tapas

1. Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub

2. Asteras Greek Taverna

3. Cactus Club Café

Best Martini

1. Cactus Club Café

2. Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub

3. The Nanaimo Bar

Best Place to buy Craft Beer

1. White Sails Brewing

2. Longwood Brew Pub and Restaurant

3. Longwood Brewery

Best Place to Buy Wine

1. B.C. Liquor Store

2. Lucky’s Liquor Store

3. Greenrock Liquor Store

Best Wine-Making Store

1. Nanaimo Wine Shoppe

2. Wine Kitz

3. The Wine Works

Best Fast Food

1. Big Wheel Burger

2. A&W Restaurants

2. BarBurrito

3. Delicado’s Deli

Best Food Truck

1. Sip and Sliders

2. Harbour City Donuts

3. Tacomania

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Best French Fries

1. New York Fries

2. McDonald’s

3. Costco Wholesale

Best Hamburgers

1. Bin 4 Burger Lounge

2. Top Notch Burgers

3. Big Wheel Burger

Best Ice Cream and Gelato

1. Burnt Honey Dessert Company

2. Cold Front Gelato

3. Dairy Queen

Best Kids’ Restaurant

1. White Spot

2. McDonald’s

3. Smitty’s

Best Lunches

1. Crow and Gate Pub

2. Gabriel’s Gourmet Café

3. Delicado’s Deli

Best Mediterranean Food

1. Asteras Greek Taverna

2. Alexandra’s Bistro

3. Milano’s Ristorante

3. Zougla Restaurant

Best Pasta

1. La Stella Trattoria

2. Milano’s Ristorante

3. New York Style Pizza and Pasta

3. The View Oceanside Grill

Best Patio Restaurant

1. Crow and Gate Pub

2. Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub

3. Dinghy Dock Pub

Best Pizza

1. Mambo Gourmet Pizza

2. Milano’s Ristorante

3. La Stella Trattoria

Best Place to Buy Meat

1. Nesvog Meats and Sausage Company

2. Meat Craft Island Butchery

3. Costco Wholesale

Best Place to Buy Produce

1. Cedar Farmers Market

2. Thrifty Foods

3. Nanaimo Fruit and Vegetable Company

Best Place to Buy Seafood

1. Seadrift Fish Market and Eatery

2. Thrifty Foods

3. St. Jean’s Cannery and Smokehouse

Best Pub

1. Crow and Gate Pub

2. Longwood Brew Pub and Restaurant

3. Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub

Best Restaurant Overall

1. Asteras Greek Taverna

2. Mahle House Restaurant

3. The View Oceanside Grill

Best Romantic Restaurant

1. Mahle House Restaurant

2. Asteras Greek Taverna

3. The View Oceanside Grill

Best Seafood Restaurant

1. The View Oceanside Grill

2. Troller’s Fish and Chips

3. Nori Japanese Restaurant

Best Sushi

1. Nori Japanese Restaurant

2. Umai Sushi

3. Sushi Ryu

Best Tacos

1. Gina’s Mexican Café

2. Baby Salsa

3. Jalapeños Mexican Food

Best Take-Out Food

1. Poké Page

2. Huong Lan Vietnamese Restaurant

3. Mambo Gourmet Pizza

3. Smokin’ George’s BBQ Restaurant

Best Vegetarian Food

1. Eve Olive

2. Gabriel’s Gourmet Café

3. Delicado’s Deli

Best Local Campground

1. Living Forest Oceanside Campground and RV Resort

2. Westwood Lake Campground Resort

3. Brannen Lake RV Park and Campsite

Best People-Watching Spot

1. Maffeo Sutton Park

2. Harbourfront Walkway

3. Commercial Street Night Market

Best Place for a Picnic

1. Saysutshun Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park

2. Pipers Lagoon Park

3. Neck Point Park

Best Place for Paddling

1. Westwood Lake

2. Departure Bay

3. Newcastle Channel

Best Place to Jog, Walk or Hike

1. Westwood Lake Park

2. Neck Point Park

3. Harbourfront Walkway

Best Place to Swim Outdoors

1. Nanaimo River

2. Westwood Lake

3. Departure Bay

Best Place to Mountain Bike

1. Doumont Hill

2. Mount Benson

3. Steve Smith Bike Park

3. Westwood Lake Park

Best Place to Take Guests

1. Neck Point Park

2. Crow and Gate Pub

3. Harbourfront Walkway

Best Place to Walk Your Dog

1. Colliery Dam Park

2. Westwood Lake Park

3. Neck Point Park

Best Place to Watch Birds

1. Buttertubs Marsh

2. Nanaimo River Estuary

3. Morrell Nature Sanctuary

Best Tourism Activity/Adventure Business

1. Saysutshun Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park

2. WildPlay Nanaimo

3. Kitties and Cream

3. Explore Vancouver Island
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