Last updated on May 6, 2023 by Wandering our World
A city known for its water activities and scenic landscapes, Port Alberni in British Columbia is one of those destinations that leave people awe-inspired.
But it doesn’t just stop there. Port Alberni is also home to some of the most incredible restaurants on Vancouver Island, so dining out should definitely be on your to-do list here.
To help you pick the best places, here’s our list of some of the best restaurants in Port Alberni, where you can experience everything from homestyle eats to Greek, Mexican, and even German cuisine. Bon appetit!
Our Top Eight Restaurants In Port Alberni: Food Worth Waiting For!
1. Pescadores Bistro
Mexican and Greek influenced breakfast and lunch picks served in a cozy atmosphere with a beautiful patio near the river
Right across from the marina, you’ll find Pescadores Bistro – a small, quaint little bistro featuring refined breakfast and brunch offerings.
Consider yourself lucky if you drop by here on a whim, because it’s one of those local restaurants in Port Alberni that is super cozy and friendly with equally delightful food.
The place has a very homey vibe inside, with window awnings, a whole lot of quirky and eclectic decor, and a pleasant little (dog-friendly) patio overlooking the gleaming water.
The food on the other hand is quite elaborate and served in huge portions, so coming here for brunch means being full to the brim well into the evening.
The extensive menu has everything one could possibly want for breakfast too, from various eggs benny and omelets to huevos rancheros and steak and eggs.
Highlights from the lunch menu include the Loaded burger stuffed with mushrooms, bacon, and cheddar, a portobello mushroom stuffed with seafood in spinach and artichoke dip, and the vibrant Mediterranean-style salad.
There are lots of vegan and GF options too, such as the Vegan Scrambler with spicy tofu or the delicious tacos.
Drink up some mimosas along with everything and you’ve got yourself a 5/5 experience. Do expect to wait a bit though when they’re busy, as they’re a small kitchen and make everything to order.
They’re open every day from 8 am – 2 pm with seating on a first come first serve basis.
Address: 5093 Johnston Rd, Port Alberni, BC
2. Brie & Barrel
Creative and elevated dishes served in an intimate atmosphere with a patio and outdoor garden seating
Brie and Barrel is owner Sharie and Colin Minion’s brainchild (who also happens to be the town’s mayor, at the time of writing!). Since its establishment in 2019, it has been the locals’ go-to spot for special dinners – the carefully-crafted seasonal entrees and the beautiful atmosphere is well-worth the occasional splurge.
The restaurant features a gorgeous weather-protected patio where string lights glow over you and live music takes center stage, while the inside is super intimate and cozy and feels more like a friend’s house rather than a restaurant.
There’s also a small garden with built-in fire pits on the tables. It’s elegant and bougie all the way!
Their menus rotate seasonally and are usually concise, but there’s not a weak link among all the items listed. Expect fresh seasonal veggies, hand-made pasta, and complex and innovative elements on each plate.
Not to forget, they’re all presented in a very 5-star boutique hotel style, all thanks to the head Chef’s expertise. We obviously can’t recommend dishes as the menu changes frequently, but you can be sure that all the ingredients are premium and the cooking techniques are absolutely phenomenal.
Oh and, did we mention their ridiculously extensive wine list? You’ll find plenty of rare picks along with local BC wines to complement the food. Reservations are necessary here – find them open from Tuesday-Saturday, 4 pm onwards.
Address: 5059 Argyle St, Port Alberni, BC
3. Porto Taco
Seasonal eatery serving fresh Mexican food with vegan options and a small patio
How good can a taco get? If that’s something you’ve wondered about, come try some at Porto Taco – one of the busiest restaurants in Port Alberni.
Savor truly authentic Mexican flavors here, where everything is made with fresh local produce, including the sauces.
Tucked at the corner of Kingsway Avenue, the place is counter-order, low-key, and perfect for a quick midday fix, with a small patio for crunching tacos and sipping margaritas under the sun.
What makes their tacos special? The super fresh ingredients and homemade sauces, of course, all of which are plopped on the tortilla in super generous amounts for that perfectly satisfying bite. We highly recommend the shrimp or halibut taco – people can’t help but drool when they taste these.
Aside from tacos, their overstuffed but not jaw-breaking burritos are just as popular, drizzled in their secret ‘triple sauce’ for that wow factor, or you could go for the chimichangas for extra crunch and richness. Bonus points for all the vegetarian options and vegan sauces to go with them!
No matter what you get, you’ll get to taste those true Mexican flavors that many places can’t achieve, alongside freshly-made complimentary salsa and chips of course.
Porto Taco only operates during spring and summer, every day from 11.30 am – 7.30 pm.
Address: 5304 Argyle St, Port Alberni, BC
4. Little Bavaria
Long-standing eatery serving German cuisine in a quaint and cozy atmosphere
As a restaurant that has been running since 1966, Little Bavaria has become a cornerstone among restaurants in Port Alberni. It prides itself on its authentic Bavarian dishes, and the current owner Brandon Ford ensures that he sources most of the ingredients locally for the freshest kind of homemade food.
The restaurant is rather small and much of the decor seems like it hasn’t been updated for years, but that only adds to the historical charm and cozy atmosphere of the place. Traditional music plays in the background to further add to the authenticity of the experience.
Much like the friendly service, their menu only reinforces the homey and comfy vibe of the restaurant, with dishes served in hearty portions.
You’ll find various schnitzels on the menu (including a seafood variety), all of which are made in-house and breaded right before serving, then topped with the various gravies and sauces available. Sauerbraten, cabbage rolls, and a rich Hungarian Goulash are also up for grabs, alongside many homemade desserts (apple strudel with ice cream, anyone?).
Don’t forget to try the brandy-infused traditional Rudeshiemer coffee too!
Oh and, do get a reservation, even if it’s on short notice, as the place is compact with a small kitchen to whip up the flavorful food. They’re open every day from 4 pm onwards.
Address: 3035 4th Ave, Port Alberni, BC
5. Orestes Greek Kouzina
Family-run eatery serving authentic Greek cuisine in a quiet and quaint atmosphere
You know the food is going to be great when the restaurant is family-owned and the servers are family members, which is exactly the case with Orestes Greek Kouzina.
With the kind of authenticity the food is made with and the way everyone treats you like family here, you can clearly see how much the owners care about this place.
The inside is doused in quaint decor, plants, and soft music, so stepping in makes you forget you’re in a tourist town and transports you to a quaint street in Greece.
Their food is also pretty much like a slice of Greece, homemade with love and super refreshing flavors. Begin with their spanakopita or saganaki and a glass of one of their Greek wines. Move on to one of their hot picks like the succulent roast lamb, the rich and creamy moussaka, or a hearty family platter that has a bit of everything.
Don’t forget to try the souvlaki skewers that are grilled juicy and seasoned to drool-inducing perfection. The prices may be slightly steeper than other Greek restaurants, but you’ll come to realize it’s justified by the generous portions you get and made-to-order freshness.
They operate from Tuesday-Saturday, 4 pm onwards, and you won’t even need reservations for most days – they’re very accommodating about everything!
Address: 4505 Gertrude St, Port Alberni, BC
6. The Clam Bucket
Seafood entrees served in a laidback space with a charming patio near the river
As a restaurant that has been around for around 27 years now, The Clam Bucket has truly mastered the art of serving seafood and has garnered a city-wide following of locals.
Come here for some hearty chowder and delicious entrees, and on some weekends, a refined multi-course meal.
Most days the atmosphere is super comfy and casual inside, where pretty booths and funky decor make the ambiance quite pleasant. Even better is the garden patio, which is covered and surrounded by well-kept shrubs and flowers.
The ideal way to begin your meal here is to order some of their ultra creamy and rich clam chowder that is jam-packed with intense flavors.
You might want to share it though and save room for the delicious mains to come. Lightly-battered fish and chips, pan-fried oysters, halibut florentine, and chicken breasts topped with shrimps and bearnaise are some of the popular lip-smacking good stuff to choose from.
There’s plenty of options for the seafood-averse folks too, from burgers to a juicy NY steak, alongside local beers to pair your food with.
No matter what you get, expect to be very full after a meal here, after which you might want to take a walk by the river that’s right beside the eatery. Find them open from Thursday-Monday, 11 am onwards, and do expect to wait a bit during peak hours.
Address: 4479 Victoria Quay, Port Alberni, BC
7. The Starboard Grill
Casual but creative grub served on a waterfront patio with a laid-back atmosphere
It was when Chef Brad DeClercq decided to open a restaurant back in 2012 that this city was blessed with The Starboard Grill – the only waterfront dining restaurant in Port Alberni.
Located on Alberni Harbour Quay, Chef Brad hosts a casual menu of burgers and bowls on the airy patio directly overlooking the water, so you have sweeping views no matter where you sit.
String lights and potted plants set the pleasant mood, and on days when it’s cold or rainy, the patio is covered and super comfortable. This area does fill out quickly, in which case you can settle inside in the casual dining space with plenty of windows to view the scenic landscape outside.
Of course, the food has to be a 5/5 to match the atmosphere, which is what Chef Brad ensures with his incredible creations. Start with his signature candied salmon chowder that gets the waterworks flowing in the mouth, or some coconut onion rings for those feeling adventurous.
Next up are the poutines, and some of the irresistible variations include the beef dip, butter curry, and bacon cheeseburger poutine. Yum! The rest of the menu is all about burgers, bowls, and fish and chips (salmon and red snapper varieties included!), and you can imagine just how innovative all that is.
GF folks can enjoy picks from a dedicated menu too. Drop by any day from 11 am onwards for lunch and dinner – no reservations needed.
Address: 5440 Argyle St, Port Alberni, BC
8. Wildflower Bakeshop and Cafe
Small bakery and cafe dishing out scratch-made brunch fare in a cute dining space and a charming patio
Established by a local family in 2020, Wildflower is one of those cute hidden gems that everyone is delighted to stumble upon.
It features a concise menu of super refreshing, made-from-scratch eats in a small but aesthetic dining space doused in potted plants and light colors. Meanwhile, the patio, which is also dog-friendly, is just as charming to settle into.
Sourcing produce locally while keeping the ingredients organic where possible, the cafe dishes out mouth-watering food with seasonal specials rolling out every now and then.
Everything is elevated to its level best, so expect a cross between a croissant and a french toast with blueberry compote and pecans and a brisket biscuit stuffed with all things hearty.
Alongside coffee, baked goods, and some of the best bread in the area, you’ll also find remarkable pizzas for the perfect lunch fix.
Find them open every day from 8 am – 4 pm, with brunch starting at 10 am, and don’t be surprised when the wonderful owner greets you and stops by your table to chat!
Address: 5047 Argyle St, Port Alberni, BC
Our Top Restaurants In Port Alberni: Final Thoughts
We’ve made sure our picks among restaurants in Port Alberni have the local stamp of approval.
So go ahead and visit any of them – whether posh or casual – and we promise they’ll be one of the highlights of your trip here!