The tiny rural community of Cedar, near Nanaimo, is home to British Columbia’s very first neighbourhood pub. The Crow and Gate Pub is located on 10 bucolic acres in a classically-British pub environment. The place is surrounded by spectacular gardens and a pastoral setting that helps to make it one of the most authentic ‘British’ pubs in the country.
Built in 1972, the Crow and Gate has been a favourite destination for many ever since its’ opening. Tremendous attention to detail in construction and décor has produced a traditional English-style tavern that could easily be plunked down anywhere in the British countryside and not look out of place. Exposed beams, diamond-paned windows and massive stonework open fireplaces combined with heavy wooden trestle tables offer a cozy retreat from the world in foul weather or fair. During the warm-weather months diners also have the option of enjoying their meals outdoors in the beautifully-maintained gardens, which offer pretty views as far as the eye can see.
While the enduring charm of the place itself is a huge draw for Island residents and visitors alike, the food on offer certainly deserves to take equal billing. Traditional British fare such as roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast lamb, ploughman’s lunches and steak and kidney pie are complemented by lighter offerings such as soups, salads and sandwiches. There are daily specials and, of course, that stalwart of all British pubs – a variety of beers, ales and stouts. Servings at the Crow and Gate can’t be described as anything less than generous, and the wait staff is cheerful and efficient. If we head there around mid-day we do as the Brits do, and consume a repast that is large enough to be our main meal of the day.
One of the things we like most about the Crow and Gate offerings is the fact that much of the food is sourced locally or made in-house. I enjoyed one of the pub plates featuring fresh local oysters; the pub’s meat pies are produced fresh daily, and the crab cakes feature ‘real’ crab meat (as opposed to the insipid whitefish impersonator that neither tastes like, nor has the texture of, crab – but nonetheless makes it on to the plates of some restaurants.)
Truly, the Crow and Gate is one of the most unique and charismatic places for a meal anywhere on the Island– the fact that it has survived and thrived for 40 years is testament to that! And, here’s a bonus: the ever-popular Cedar Farmers Market is held in the large field bounded by the Crow and Gate driveway, so if you head there during market season you will be able to score some delectables for your own culinary masterpieces
The Crow and Gate Pub is located at the end of a long driveway at 2313 Yellow Point Road in Cedar, just a few minutes drive south of Nanaimo. Further information can be obtained by going to the website at
The website for the Cedar Farmers Market is
GPS co-ordinates are:
N 49 05.382 W 123 50.458
Price rating: $ – $$