We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Our new favorite place in Nanaimo”

Simonholt Restaurant
Ranked #16 of 320 Restaurants in Nanaimo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $21
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Romantic, Large groups, Scenic view, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Takeout
Description: SIMONHOLT is a family friendly Nanaimo destination that features a diverse menu based on the refined palette of Chef Aaron Mayor priding itself on a 'mainly from scratch' kitchen. We offer an extensive wine selection of both red and white by the glass, a fully stocked bar and first class service. We have 3 patios including a rooftop deck with beautiful ocean and mountain views. We frequently host live music from both travelling and local Vancouver Island artists. Please check our website for upcoming shows. SIMONHOLT is locally operated and has been ranked in the top 3 best overall restaurants for 4 years and best patio restaurant in Nanaimo . We are located in the North Nanaimo commercial core and are neighbors to Woodgrove Center and Costco. SIMONHOLT is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the mild west coast weather.
Level Contributor
34 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Our new favorite place in Nanaimo”
Reviewed February 15, 2010

This is now our fav place to go when we go to Nanaimo. We've been 3 times, once for dinner, once for lunch and once for drinks. Great menu and food, very uptown.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Islandqb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

392 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    191
    104
    53
    29
    15
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Nanaimo
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Absolutely Wonderful!”
Reviewed February 15, 2010

We have been to Simonoholt now 4 times, and each time our food was fabulous. We have many favourites.........the Mac and Cheese is awesome, and it's nice to have the option of having it either in a smaller portion, or as a side! The ribs are also very good, great flavour and fall right off the bone. I think one of our very favourites is the seafood hot pot with all the different fish/seafood, the flavours are very good. We've tried almost all the appies, and although they are all great, I really enjoyed both the calamari and the 'bandito bites'.

Also............Creme Brulee is prepared perfect. I love to bake it myself, and I was impressed by theirs!

I really like the option of the higher end wines available by the glass. My husband and I don't ever finish a bottle of wine, so it's perfect to be able to enjoy a very nice wine, and not have to order an entire bottle.

It's great to have a fabulous restaurant in Nanaimo, it's been awhile since I have been impressed by my dinner out, and I must say it will be my restaurant of choice......can't wait for spring to check out their rooftop patio! Being experienced in the hospitality industry myself, I do strongly recommend checking them out!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Islander321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BC
1 review
“Loved it.”
Reviewed February 10, 2010

Hmm. I read the past reviews and must say I've had a very different experience at SimonHolt. Dropped in for lunch during the Christmas maddness for the first time. Even thought the place was packed we were greeted very warmly and didn't wait more than 5 minutes for a table. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu, was as attentive as she could be, and our whole group was happy in that regard.

I had the fish taco and loved it. I mean, I loved it. My husband had the lamb and thought it was pretty good. Our friends had baked brie, I believe, and were fighting over the sauce that was on top of it. The men didn't feel bad about the prices; my husband always complains and didn't bat an eye over the bill.

I've been back three times and haven't had a bad experience yet. It's not fine dining, but it's good for a relaxed (and tasty) meal with friends. I will definietly go back. - Maybe even tonight.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank dininggal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Needs new managment and kitchen staff”
Reviewed January 29, 2010

Great looking place in a much needed location. Place is set up very nicely by someone who knows the business. But the place is managed by the keystone cops. Have been there twice, will be quite some time before I return, perhaps in the summer when the deck is open and then only for beer and natchos. On my two visits, the food was mediocre, service slow and inattentive, food took forever, had to ask for utensils, bill etc. Fsh tacos showed up as a rubbery Asian wrap. The waitress look like they are wearing their Mother's trampy outfits from the 80's. Everyone there should go to the Cactus Club and take some notes.......

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank nanaimoboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Won't go back”
Reviewed January 23, 2010

Very disorganized at front desk. We asked to be seated at the bar as there was a fairly long wait for a table. The hostess gave us seats that were meant for other patrons. We didn't even know this until I told the other people we were told by the hostess to sit there, and then I went back to clarify. Very embarassing!

(After we had finished our appetizer and were wondering how much longer our entree was going to be, the hostess finally came by and asked if we wanted to move to a table. This was much later than if we had waited at the front for a table to begin with.)

We had to ask for wine list and menus (and wait way too long in between). Bartender didn't know what brands/flavours of ciders he had to serve. We managed to overhear what the beer selections were. I peeked at the cocktail menu that the person next to me had had to ask for.

Lettuce wrap was unwrappable as it was the wrong kind of lettuce for a wrap; undercooked noodles; marginal quantity/quality/flavour of meat/filling and sauce - basically not terrible(my husband disagrees), certainly nothing special, and definitely not re-orderable.

Ribs okay, but nothing special. Small amount of sides (veggies and rice) to qualify as a "Large Plate". Over priced for quantity/quality. Ordered to be split and just came with an extra plate, not already split for us. (We always do this at other restaurants, and 99% of the time, our order comes already split for us. )

Rice pilaf - awful.

Just really poor service - after we sat at the bar for a while, we realized that at least one owner was occupying a bar stool close by while people were standing at front door, waiting for seats.

Two other people that turned out to also be owners/management/family (one dressed in very casual/worn T-shirt) were also occupying seats at the bar and not rectifying or drawing service personnel's attention to people (us and others) who had no drinks, menus, basic service.

There were also at least four empty stools lined up against a wall, presumably removed from tables or the bar, that could have been brought to the bar for people to use, rather than have them stand behind their friends or wait at the front while the owners/management took up space. There was room for at least two stools to be brought in while we were there, even if the management stayed at the bar, but all these people ignored this.

Also, other personnel behind the bar ignored empty glasses, etc. basic clearing/ordering for people they weren't serving. (Maybe they should check with Cactus Club for service methods. A chain restaurant, but a successful one - because of their service, not their food.)

Prices are high - $7+ for a 5 ounce glass of wine!! (They have the option of 1, 2 or 5 ounce glasses so you can have a taste, but you pay a huge premium for a little bit. Adds up to $65+/bottle!)

We need a good restaurant at the north end of Nanaimo, but we will still go the extra mile (or whatever the distance is) to go to Cactus Club for service, or downtown for variety/quality, if this is all that SimonHold has to offer. It seems a waste of a beautiful building and a great location to put in an extremely marginal restaurant.

I won't complete the rest of this questionaire, as I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MissMillieBc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Simonholt Restaurant also viewed

Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
 
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
 
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
 

Been to Simonholt Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing