We had just finished a classic Pacific Westcoast meal at the full service restaurant half of Nanoose Bay Cafe, and the day after we were back for breakfast at their coffee bar adjacent.
Walking into their spacious cafe that leads towards their unobstructed view of the bay, you a met to a fork in the road. If you follow the shelves of goods, this leads you to our early morning destination on this day.
On said shelves are a treasure trove of unique finds. All sourced locally from small independent businesses. And therefore great as souvenirs for those visiting from out of town. Available for purchase are art prints, stickers, stationary, and Nanosse branded apparel.
Plus products that may further your enjoyment and stay at Fairwinds Residence. From activities like paint by numbers art kits and felt project. To Hermit sea salts and Rosco + Emmit soap bars for a more indulgent bath experience. And even buck wheat pillows and artist knitted blanket to use then take home.
At the time of this visit there was a collection of over 50 local vendors, with the goal to source and showcase many more. A pet project by the owners, and love letter to the community.
And as reported on in the previous posts, there is also a lot of food stock. Ideal if you are looking for a snack, or something to grab and take with you when adventuring out for the day. This selection includes dry goods like tortilla chips and pasta plus the dips and sauces to go with them. And even a refrigerator of fresh vegetables and frozen meats to round up your snack into a meal. Sadly we didn’t have the time during our limited stay to do the latter, but were entertaining the idea of utilizing our well equipment Fairwinds resident kitchen to fry up some breakfast sausages, thick cut bacon, and organic eggs for brunch. Such local ingredients are used by the restaurant, from suppliers like Nanoose Bay’s own Natural Gift Seafood and Echo Valley Farms.
We could have even purposed a bag of the coffee that they serve at the coffee bar: French Press Coffee Roasters, based in Qualicum Beach.
Like the restaurant next door, you get a great view of the marina with the option to either dine within the shop, or to take a seat overlooking the water from a narrow bar or one of their highly coveted tables.
We would quickly learn that this was a local hub, for as soon as they opened customers rushed to the counter for their caffeine fix.
As for what is available hot and fresh, we pursued through their glass showcase of pastries and cookies. And ordered more fulsome dishes and drinks from their menu.
Diana of @foodologyca ordered an iced coffee and picked up an unclaimed hot latte, because why not? She had smoked salmon avocado toast with sliced avocado, whipped cream cheese, wild smoked salmon, pickled red onion, and crispy capers. You get a choice of rustic whole wheat bread or sourdough, she went for the former and had the bowl of fruit over chips. This was classic, well prepared with quality ingredients. And for dessert a flaky and crispy chocolate croissant.
I had one of their smoothies of the day, today it was a mixed berry blended to order. And with it enjoyed their ham and tomato toast. Similarly opened faced as the salmon above, but with Black Forest ham, heirloom tomatoes, evoo, cracked pepper, smoked Maldon sea salt, and fresh basil. I had my sandwich over sourdough and with a side of chips. I find chips are the perfect side to a sandwich for crunch and additional salt. I was surprised by how good this simple dish was. Clean and light, it was a great start to the day, alongside a super thin and crispy chocolate chip cookie for dessert.
In closing Nanoose Bay Cafe is a great one stop shop and a must visit hot spot when in or driving past the area. So bookmark it for your next trip to the island.
Nanoose Bay Cafe
3521 Dolphin Dr, Nanoose Bay, BC V9P 9K1