Pirate Chips Nanaimo

Pirate ChipsThe best fries in Nanaimo are dispensed at Pirate Chips, a funky, seven-stool fish and chip joint at 1 Commercial Street downtown. It's independently operated by Angela Negrin, a colourful character who ran for Nanaimo City Council in the 2008 municipal elections (she got 6,032 votes). Angela isn't the first Nanaimoite to exploit the pirate theme. Ex-Mayor Frank Ney would dress up as a pirate whenever he could and his statue in Maffeo Sutton Park depicts him such, perhaps because of all the loot Ney and cronies pocketed from real estate developments in North Nanaimo during his terms in office.

The wooden Indian-style pirate advertising fish and chips outside Angela's open-kitchen restaurant bears an uncanny resemblance to Ney. Were he alive, Ney might also vouch for the perogies, nacho fries, and calamari dished out at Pirate Chips. The food there certainly is a steal, and the portions of fries which come with your fish are swashbuckler-sized. You're sure to like the aerosol vinagars available to spray on your chips.

Pirate Chips is something of a youth hangout and the park bench outside is well used. The Thirsty Camel Café at 14 Victoria Cres. nearby is another cool place to see and be seen. Otherwise, draw your stool up to Pirate Chips' counter and stare out at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre just down the street. Now that's a sight to warm the hearts of Nanaimo's pirates: The proof is in the poutine.

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