Food & Nightlife

Nelson is a cosmopolitan town so there is an array of options for dining and drinking. Baker St is the centre of the action and during the day there are art cafes and hippie tea drinking establishments, whilst at night there are a collection of good restaurants and pubs. You can get great bang for your buck in Nelson. Food in particular is very cheap!

Nelson Restaurants

A highlight of Nelson dining is Relish Bistro (301 Baker St Nelson), a funky restaurant bar with intimate, dark and cosy décor. The international fare has a few twists on conventional dishes. When you read the menu the combination of some of the foods sound really weird, but then you try it and it’s fabulous. They’ve also got some very standard meals such as burgers in case you’re not feeling too adventurous. The main courses are awesome, but save room for the dessert menu with specialties such as avocado and chocolate pie! Meals can be accompanied by BC wines or a great range of cocktails. The service is also top notch. And as is typical of Nelson BC, the prices are incredibly reasonable considering the quality dining experience

In addition to various Nelson restaurants in Baker St, the Nelson hotels are home to some of the best restaurants. Louie’s Steakhouse and Lounge is situated in the New Grand Hotel, whilst the Prestige Lakeside Resort has Frisco’s Steak and Fish House, as well as the chic Manhattan’s Waterfront Lounge.

At the Hume Hotel in Vernon St, there are also a couple of restaurant options. The Library provides an intimate setting for a drink or dinner in amongst heritage furnishings. It’s a very charming place, and the ambience is further enhanced on the weekends with live music playing quietly in the background. The menu is extensive, so it’s incredibly hard to choose what to have for dinner. The other problem is that the food is very inexpensive, so it’s tempting to order three courses even when the waist-line doesn’t need that much food. The General Store Restaurant has the same menu, but is more geared for casual family dining.

A pub-meal option is at Jackson’s Hole and Grill (524 Vernon Street Nelson). Adjacent to the bar is the bistro that serves up steaks, burgers, salmon fillets, prime ribs, soups and salads. This too offers very economical dining.

If you need something a bit different, try Baba’s Indian Cuisine (445 Baker St). The décor is very plain, but the staff are really cheery and the food is pretty authentic. Some nights they have an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Daytime Restaurants Nelson BC

For breakfast or lunch in Nelson, swing past Baker Street’s Kootenay Bakery Café Cooperative (377 Baker St Nelson).

Or try The Preserved Seed (202 Vernon Street) by the covered stairway. This is very Nelson; very organic, hippy and vegetarian, with lots of steamed sandwiches, soups and salads.

Après Drinks at Whitewater

The 19th hole or last run at Whitewater Ski Resort is Coal Oil Johnny’s Pub off to the side of the cafeteria in the day lodge. It affords views of the ski area, so it’s a perfect après place to watch the stragglers coming off the ski hill. If the legs are weary there are tables at which to sit, or it’s possible to loiter around the bar whilst drinking one of the local Kootenay brews. Like the beers, some of the appetizers are fabulous. Unfortunately après doesn’t last for long as most people need to drive down the mountain.

Nelson BC Bars & Nightlife

The Nelson nightlife can be pretty good. The bars tend to be more sports bar and pub style than lounges or cocktail bars, but there are a few sophisticated nightspots for a drink. Nelson also has a nightclub that has DJs and live bands.

Mike’s Place Pub at the Hume Hotel is a large old English style pub spread across split levels. They have lots of beer options, pool tables, big screen TVs and a festive atmosphere. Another good option for a drink is The Royal Pub and Grill in Baker St, or Jackson’s Hole and Grill.

A must-do activity is a visit to the Ymir pub which is about a 20 minute drive towards Salmo. If you thought Nelson was colourful, then wait until you see the Ymir pub! This is a tourist attraction, and whilst the company of the patrons and the drinks are great, the main drawcard is the décor. Nearly every inch of the wall is covered in an eclectic mix of artwork, there are musical instruments to play, and lots of other decorations that could either be described as kitsch or weird. And the publican is an icon of the area. He’s a tourist attraction in himself!