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.

“Wonderful and Interesting”

Dinghy Dock Pub & Floating Restaurant
Ranked #13 of 320 Restaurants in Nanaimo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $4 - $14
Cuisines: Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: The Dinghy Dock Pub & Restaurant has been an attraction in Nanaimo, British Columbia since 1989. The expansive views, relaxed atmosphere and great pub fare make us a popular destination year round. We are the only registered floating pub in Canada making your experience a unique one. We’re moored off beautiful Protection Island originally known as Douglas Island. The ramp that connects the pub to the island allows visitors to walk the rock beaches, visit the parks or view the heron rookery, making it feel like you’re on vacation. Whether you arrive by ferry, kayak or private boat it’s our goal to make your trip to The Dinghy Dock Pub and Protection Island a memorable one! The Dinghy Dock Pub was originally designed to function as a marina. This included a store with bait shop and showers. In 1989 patrons would order and pay for drinks at the bar and do the same for food through a hole in the kitchen wall! Over the years the Dinghy Dock Pub has expanded three times. The expansions included patios, a family area and enlargement of the kitchen. The original docks surrounding the pub were lower to the water to accommodate the dinghies of yachts anchored in the harbour. Presently our docks range in size and fit vessels as small as kayaks and as large as a 50′ sail or power boat. Along with the docks, we’ve evolved to become a full service pub and restaurant where minors can dine as well. The Dinghy Dock Pub and Restaurant are entirely floating, creating an amazing experience once aboard. Our menus show case delicious seafood, a twist on classic pub fare and local beers from Vancouver Island. Stunning views of the coast are featured from every seat in the house whether you’re inside or out. The fishing hole on the restaurant patio has great views of the Nanaimo Harbour and Vancouver island. Kids and their parents can try to make the big catch at our fishing hole while enjoying the sights and sounds of sea planes, boats and nature. Protection Island is situated between the beautiful Newcastle and Gabriola Islands. The population of Protection Island is 350 and measures a mile and a half long by a mile wide. The island is a relaxing walk before or after visiting the Dinghy Dock Pub. As you walk the island you’ll notice only a handful of cars and an abundance of golf carts. Most residents use golf carts for transportation and to haul groceries from the ferry or their private boat. Interesting areas of exploration are the community garden, beaches or parks and local museum. Next time you visit The Dinghy Dock Pub leave yourself extra time to check out this little island across the Nanaimo Harbour!
Vancouver Island
Level Contributor
52 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Wonderful and Interesting”
Reviewed November 8, 2012 via mobile

My family of 4 enjoyed a trip over for brunch one Sunday. They make to die for eggs Benny...I really enjoyed the smoked salmon eggs Benny and my husband liked the traditional one. Nice sized servings. Excellent service. A really unique experience. Following our meal we walked around Protection Island and took a later ferry back to Nanaimo. We were staying at the Coast Bastion Inn and they provided us with free ferry passes, which was great otherwise it would have cost us $16. Well worth the visit!

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

443 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Used to be a must visit place”
Reviewed October 30, 2012

A little disappointed last trip here. Menu was ok but not inspired. Atmosphere seems to have suffered... not the lively place I recall from past visits with good food, upbeat service and fun menu and entertainment... (the new pirate logo is a bit gruesome) ....still a nice boat trip over and the food was ok, so would still recommend it on a nice summer evening.

Visited August 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gabriola Island, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“unique access”
Reviewed October 28, 2012

While we arrived on a friends boat and docked at the front door, the little ferry from the Nanaimo Harbour makes this a unique experience. The food is pretty average pub food but the whole event is fun.

Visited June 2012
Thank Gabriolagirl1636
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Location-Disgusting Food and Service”
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We took our friends that were here visiting from Europe for lunch. We tried to persuade them to go elsewhere as our previous visit we were not able to eat the food it was so disgusting.They are consistent...the food was inedible, service was almost non existent. As we were leaving we walked around back to have a peak in the kitchen door.... the "cook" was on his cell phone with a lit cigarette hanging out of his mouth...he was angrily "negotiating" with his "supplier" to "bring me some F#$+&N weed man" ... Gorgeous atmosphere to bad it is wasted...

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Hugh J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“a boat ride away”
Reviewed October 27, 2012

I enjoy going to this pub, mainly because of the little Ferry trip to get there. The food is average, but its a fun place to go to and somewhere I would always take visitors. Great view of the city from this floating pub. Local sailors and dragonboaters find this a great place to tie up!

Visited September 2012
Thank Ruth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Dinghy Dock Pub & Floating Restaurant also viewed

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

Been to Dinghy Dock Pub & Floating 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