Modern Café Nanaimo

Modern Cafe, 221 Commercial St., is one of Nanaimo's most fashionable restaurants. Its neon sign is a registered historic landmark from the mid-1940s. Inside, art hangs from the red brick walls and jazzy music plays over the speakers. Even the washrooms have paintings and large antique mirrors. The soft padded seating with high backs gives privacy. You can pull up a stool to the long bar or sit at a counter with a view up Church Street. The four comfortable armchairs in back are a great place to meet from a drink.

The “wrap–tures” and “hand held” sandwiches or burgers are a full meal with a generous heap of excellent French fries and a small Caesar salad. Try the New York steak sandwich or the seafood chowder. For something more exotic there's “global fare” such as Asian rice bowls, Bengali prawn linguini, and pasta vegetali. Ask for the special tapa menu with tuna sushi, chicken satay, calamari, and coconut prawns. A sinful choice of decadent deserts is available.

Modern Café also has a full drinks menu with 14 kinds of 2 oz martinis, plus cocktails like margaritas, Singapore slings, black Russians, mojitos, and blue maitais. A choice of VQA wines is available or order the house wine. If you're staying at one of the downtown hotels or in town for a meeting, Modern Café couldn't be more convenient.

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