A quaint ocean bistro sits brightly on a short, concrete pier at the end of Beacon Avenue in Sidney, BC. It’s dwarfed by the fish market next door, but with the scrumptious variety of dishes on the menu and the fantastic ocean view, this place has BIG presence!

If you’re like me and think that there’s no better way to eat seafood than beside the ocean with a crisp glass of white wine or sparkling light beer, then here’s a lovely place to do that.

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A colourful little outdoor patio beckons anyone wandering to the end of this picturesque pier to come in, relax and experience a taste of the ocean or if you’re not a seafood fan there are many other options too.

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Being the first time inside this bistro, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The lovely little outdoor patio is just the beginning!

Inside Sidney Pier Bistro

There is a lot more to this place than meets the eye from the outside, however you know right away that it likely embraces the sea.

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The fantastic view and the railed deck made me feel like I was entering the dining room of a nice yacht except for no rocking.

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Brass marine-style lighting fixtures with helm backings and other ocean-themed decor give the place a cozy nautical ambiance.

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Kailey, a young smiling waitress, led me to the deck where I chose a small table for two. She recommended a light Pilsner beer, from Phillips Brewing Company, a Vancouver Island based brewery. She brought out the bottle and poured it into a chilled mug.

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My imagination drifted off to Maui for a few moments while I sat back slowly savouring the cold crispness. Nets adorned with colourful wooden fish caught my eye. Blanched shells, sparkling glass beads and bits of sea glass brightened the windowsill.

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Cold sparkling Pilsner bubbles livened my palette as I admired my distant view of Sidney Spit and of a few sailboats leaving the marina en route to a relaxing day at sea.

Sidney Spit is another great place to explore with its beautiful beaches and forest trails. It even has a campsite! The ferry leaves from this same pier. See ferry ticket info at the end of this post for further details.

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The outdoor seating deck is protected from any wind that might crop up and is lined with a few tables for two. It’s a perfect place for a lunch date or to share a quiet conversation.

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If you want to treat yourself to something special and dine solo this is a great place to do that too!

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Of course, if you have a larger group, like these lovely ladies celebrating a 60th birthday, you can certainly dine inside and still have a great view! Although, ahem…I had a little trouble with the exposure on my camera in this shot. But look at those salads!! Wowza!

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The Food

It was a tough choice picking something from the lunch menu. There were so many options from juicy burgers with all the fixings and healthy salads with salmon, halibut or shrimp on top to stacked sandwiches, quiche dishes, and the clam chowder with crab cakes that Pier Bistro is very well known for.

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I decided on the clam chowder since I was curious to know what was so special about it.

It looked delicious! My new friend, Mr. Seagull, thought so too.

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Yes! The chowder was certainly delicious and it paired really nicely with my Pilsner beer.

The chowder is made in-house. It was hot and creamy with bits of potato, carrots and celery mixed in. The best thing though was that each spoonful was chock-full of good-sized chunks of meaty clam.

Ahhh, there’s nothing like enjoying a seafood specialty on an ocean-view deck with an ice cold beer. Such a treat!

From Coffee Shop to Bistro

At one time, this bistro used to be a coffee shop, but in 2004 it expanded into quite a hopping little restaurant with many popular dishes. Favourites among restaurant patrons include:

  • Crab Cakes and Thai Salad
  • Fish n’ Chips
  • Crab Cakes Benny
  • Halibut and Salmon Quiche
  • Crab Cakes with Clam Chowder
  • Crab Cakes Cheese Toast

The Pier Bistro is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and seats guests on a first come first serve basis for breakfast and lunch. It is recommended, though, that you make a reservation for dinner.

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Kailey, Donna-May (owner), and Nicole

Sidney Spit Ferry Tickets

For a great full day outing you may want to explore the beautiful beaches and forest trails at Sidney Spit! Charge up at Pier Bistro ahead of time with a Crab Cakes Benny or a Halibut and Salmon Quiche or wind down afterwards with a glass of wine and a delicious meal.

View the current fares and ferry schedule here.

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