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“Excellent Margaritas!”
Review of Penny's Palapa

Penny's Palapa
Ranked #64 of 321 Restaurants in Nanaimo
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Outdoor Seating
Description: Penny’s is all new for 2017. New Owners and a New Chef! All the margaritas, enchiladas and tacos you love!
Gig Harbor, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Excellent Margaritas!”
Reviewed October 6, 2012

Penny's Palapa is a small seasonal and very casual restaurant on the docks at the Port of Nanaimo. Closed from October 1st until the good weather (next May, I think). I split an order of halibut tacos with a friend... half was quite enough for a light lunch... and had one of the most delicious fresh lime juice margaritas ever. I think they must have added some secret "essence of lime" to the drink. It was delicious! The people I was with also had fresh local oysters <shudder> but I am not a shellfish fan. I'd go again in a heartbeat for the drinks, the view and the ambience of being so close to the bustling little port. Loads of fun for this tourist!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PIFFKA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    74
    57
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    14
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Parker, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Positive Experience and Good Food”
Reviewed September 14, 2012

I have seen many mixed reviews of Penny's Palapa here on TripAdvisor. Let me add mine into the positive side! After a long day of travel - driving, flying, ferrying, more driving - the last thing my wife and I wanted was a long search for a restaurant for dinner. We headed to the waterfront after checking in at our hotel and saw Penny's Palapa as an inviting location - a floating restaurant!. After about a 30 minute wait (it was a Saturday night), we were seated. The fresh lime margaritas were outstanding, as were the freshly prepared entrees. The restaurant was packed, and that might have affected service just a bit. The only complaint we had is that I would have liked another margarita but it was difficult to flag down a waitress. All in all, this was a great way to start a week of great eating on Vancouver Island and in Vancouver!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank billk1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
west coast, b.c.
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Love the food and you can't beat the location!”
Reviewed September 5, 2012

Nothing says relaxation better than dining on a floating dock! Penny's is located in the Nanaimo Harbour and it's fantastic! We always have great meals there and the margaritas are authentic tasting! Love it!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Dawn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“80% of ceviche was lettuce !!”
Reviewed September 4, 2012

With this beautiful location we were thrilled to have dinner there, however the ceviche was a real bummer... it should be renamed lettuce ceviche, since the fish at top is barely the main ingredient of this dish. At the end the location can't compensate the feeling of disappointment. By the way, we didn't see any mexican chef, so we wonder where did they get that recipe from?

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ErikaCast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“Watery”
Reviewed August 26, 2012

I was disappointed in Penny's. I had expected so much more. The food tasted fine, but the "famous fish tacos" left a pool of lettuce water on the plate (good thing we were sharing or else I'd have had one soggy taco) and the ceviche mixta was 9/10ths water and iceberg lettuce. Too bad because Penny's has a great location and an excellent reputation, but I won't be back.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank ColleenCoplick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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