Gina's Mexican Cafe


47 Skinner St.
Nanaimo , BC V9R 5G9
(250) 753-5411


Sun-Thurs 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Fri 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM


Gina's Mexican Cafe
Photo Credit: Cheryl Oakes
Perched atop the cliff, in downtown Nanaimo, sits one of the gaudiest houses you’ll ever see. From several vantage points in town, your eye can’t help but catch the bright blue, purple, and pink exterior as it sits amid office buildings. This small house is an artistic statement and home to Gina’s Mexican Café. This restaurant offers incredible views of Mount Benson in the west and overlooks the Old Island Highway (Terminal Ave.) that snakes through Nanaimo at the foot of the cliff.

One of the most popular restaurants in the area (the line outside to get in will convince you of that), Gina’s is, in the words of its owner, a "tacky but friendly place." The converted house, decorated with a hodgepodge of Mexican memorabilia, is truly tacky but offers one of the best values for your dining dollar. Its lively atmosphere and somewhat cramped interior adds to its popularity. Convenient "Gringo Cards" on the tables, define the extensive Mexican offerings on the menu with great descriptions of the entrees, making your choice much easier. Try the excellent Shrimp Chalupa or the fabulous Halibut Soft Tacos with Chilpolte sauce. Ample servings are complimented with Mexican rice, Mexican corn and peppers, and refried beans. Gina’s also offers the best margaritas in town. Get a pitcher and enjoy.

The service at Gina’s has always been exceptional, but getting a table on a Friday or Saturday night can be a problem. A wait in their tiny bar is almost assured but well worth it. As the boat basin is just a short walk away, Gina’s is a popular destination for the boating crowd. It can be noisy and cramped but that is part of its friendly charm.

Great Mexican home cooking, super friendly and efficient staff, and excellent prices make this one of the best bets for dining out in Nanaimo. Great sunset views add to your dining experience.
Written By: Cheryl Oakes
On: 7/19/2001


Turn east off Highway 1 (Terminal Avenue or Old Island Highway) at the junction with Comox Road and head to the waterfront. Comox turns into Front Street as you round the corner at the top of the hill. Skinner Street is the first street to the right off Front Street.


Kid Friendly | Beer and Wine | Dinner | Full Bar | Lunch | Outdoor seating | Smoke-free | Take-Out


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