Modern Cafe, Nanaimo

Nathaniel Christopher 3 Comments


Modern Cafe, Nanaimo
Modern Cafe, Nanaimo

So… if you read my last post you’ll know I had a horrible dining experience on Sunday night.

On Monday morning my friend and I decided to take positive action in order to recover from our Dinghy Dock nightmare.

“Let’s go have lunch somewhere nice!” I suggested.

My friend recommended this place called the Modern Cafe. Back when I was a kid it was this greasy spoon with cafeteria style food and this giant wrap-around counter complete with trays and coolers devoted to Jell-o and pie.There were also shelves for dolls… hundreds of dolls.

It’s probably most famous for its fantastic neon signage, which once appeared in a commercial.

It’s an old restaurant under new management. And it’s an awesome place to eat.

My first thought when I went in there was “I think this place will be about as good as the Dinghy Dock was bad.”

The decor was awesome. All of the tacky 1970s cafeteria-style decorations are gone. The dolls are gone. The ugly wrap-around counter is gone as are the trays and juice glasses.  They’ve left a few of the original booth seats intact, but they blend seamlessly with all the other furniture and art.

The lighting fixtures and art are all modern and sophisticated. Nothing appeared to be from Ikea.

My only complaint was that I had no idea what to get. Everything on the menu looked really good. They had a salmon wrap, some kinds of pasta, nice wine and so forth. I settled on the chicken quesadilla. It was only $10 or so, but the portions were very generous and I was able to save half for dinner on the ferry.

The food was delivered to our table within 10 minutes. The server was friendly, prompt, knowledgeable and hard working.

Everything about this place was just right. I’ll definitely go back again.

When we arrived this sheriff showed up without about 10 people. She sat right next to me.

“Uhm… are you going to arrest me?” I asked.

“Nah! Too much paperwork for that,” she said. “And you’re way down on my list of people who need to be arrested, believe me.”

I think it was a jury

I am a resident of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, who has been blogging here for nearly 25 years. I enjoy sharing my thoughts and feelings on my own online platform. From 1998 until 2017, I worked as a journalist, and I have posted most of my articles in the 'News' section of this website.


  1. I am sad to say we had a terrible lunch at Modern Cafe after eating a chicken wrap had terrible stomach pains forced to used the washroom which was very unpleasant floor wet toilet paper looked like it had been rolling in the wet floor, friend had vegi wrap with tahini guess what no tahini very dry. Complained to the fellow behind bar who was a bit arrogant. Would not recomend the place and certainly wouldnt return.To bad

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