Explore | Farm to Table: Brunch at Gabriel’s Gourmet Cafe

Guys, I don’t need to keep reminding you how much we love keepin’ it local here at LLN. So it should come as no surprise that this week we’re featuring Gabriel’s Gourmet Cafe. What should come as a surprise, though, is that I’ve lived in Nanaimo for ~9 years now AND THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I’VE EATEN AT GABRIEL’S. I know – shameful.


The silly thing is that I even used to live and work downtown but Gabriel’s fell into my dreaded “later zone”. You know the zone – we all have it. It’s that zone where it’s so close that you think, “Oh I’ll get to it soon” but you just. never. do.

Since I used to live literally 700m away from Gabriel’s, I thought it would be fitting to invite along my friend and last-but-best-ever-roommate, Rebecca, for a spot of brunch.


Gabriel’s Cafe prides itself on being a farm-to-table restaurant. Whenever possible, Gabriel’s sources their meat, eggs, veggies, bread, soda (and more!) from small-scale, family-run farms within a 100km radius of Nanaimo.


LOOK at this wall of basil. I want an herb wall in my house, although I probably couldn’t possibly use that much basil.

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No joke though, you can really taste the difference between locally sourced food and food that’s had to travel hundred’s of kilometres away before it reaches your plate. Gabriel’s proves that sourcing food from small, local farms produces richer, more fresh, and tastier food.


Gabriel’s also has a pretty expansive selection for their breakfast menu which is perfect for people like me who can never f**king make up their minds about what to eat (I’m such a picky eater). Gabriel’s is also gluten-free and vegetarian friendly for those that have dietary requirements.


On this occasion, I had the No. 5 (2 eggs any style, choice of bacon, ham, or sausage, served with pan fries and toast):


While Rebecca wanted to be surprised with No. 14 (Weekend benny special. Unpredictable just like our West Coast weather):


In University, Rebecca and I (along with our Uni friends) used to eat at an unnamed Nanaimo chain diner for breakfast after very late (and sometimes questionable) nights. The only thing more questionable than our nights? Those hungover breakfasts.

Not at Gabriel’s though, my tummy was so very happy with my breakfast (as was Rebecca’s).

I don’t know about you, but the hash brown’s usually make or break my brunch. Oftentimes the potatoes are too soggy or too bland, but Gabriel’s pan fries are DE-LISH. And that bacon? omg. Cooked to perfection.


After such a long-overdue, and incredibly tasty, breakfast, I’m determined to hit up Gabriel’s for lunch. I have a hungry eye on the Thai Green Coconut Curry Rice Bowl (*salivates).

What I want to know though, is what’s your favourite dish (breakfast and/or lunch)? What should I add to my list of must-taste menu items!?! Leave us a line below (hint: we LOVE hearing from you)!

– Sean

4 thoughts on “Explore | Farm to Table: Brunch at Gabriel’s Gourmet Cafe

  1. chairmanmado says:

    I LOVE Gabriel’s, and I’ve never made it there for breakfast, that looked soo good! everything is really good there.

  2. Amanda Ritchie says:

    As a friend of Gabriel and Gemma and someone that worked at his old location the teeny tiny Gabriel’s I can vouch that everything is fantastic!! My absolutely favorite in the winter or cooler days is the Hot and Sour chicken noodle soup with rice dumplings!! It’s seriosly flavorful ….another fave is his Thai green curry, it’s delish too!!! The veggie burger is hearty and perfectly seasoned and the pulled pork sandwich is my fave type …the tangy kind! Mmmmmm now I have to make a trip down as we’re in Comox now :/ Happy eating! Amanda

    • Sean Helmn says:

      Hi Amanda! Thanks for the lovely comment :) I went to Gabriel’s again the other day and tried the Thai Green curry – YUMMM. A new favourite of mine for sure! :)

      – Sean

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