Chemainus’ Dayliner Cafe a ‘delightful little bistro’


Dayliner Cafe

The Dayliner Café is tucked away on Chemainus Road

The sign above the entry door says it all: ‘delightful little bistro’.  The Dayliner Café is one of the more recent additions to the dining scene in the Cowichan area, having opened in May, 2013 in a charming building that started life in the 1940s as a store.  Known locally as the Saltair Station House, the place also served as a commercial garage prior to its latest incarnation as a cute, comfortable and cosy spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner.     


Thanks to the two huge retractable garage doors at the front of the building and plenty of windows the place is flooded with natural light – a happy compliment to the cheerful service, casual ambiance and simple-but-good food.           

House-made crustless  three-cheese quiche and spinach salad

House-made crustless three-cheese quiche and spinach salad

We dropped in for a late lunch on a weekday afternoon and were faced with a multitude of choices on the blackboard menu just inside the door. My husband ordered one of the house favourites – the roasted turkey and brie wrap, accompanied by the excellent soup of the day, which was cream of spinach.  I opted for the individual crustless quiche of the day, a  flavourful cheddar/mozzarella/gouda blend.  A fresh spinach salad topped with toasted flaked almonds and a light vinaigrette dressing rounded out my meal and left me feeling satisfied but not, happily, over-fed.           

Interior Dayliner Cafe

Comfortable sofas offer an alternative to sitting at a table or the soda fountain-style counter

While we waited for our meals we enjoyed the opportunity to take in all the unique and interesting features of the Dayliner. We loved the two different types of old-fashioned flooring, the far end of the bistro that offers comfortable sofas for those who want, perhaps, just to enjoy a quiet coffee, and the soda-fountain style counter.  The seating options are many and varied but are nicely laid out to avoid the feeling of being crammed in.  Warmer weather brings the opportunity to sit outdoors on the patio or in the large garden area.           

Interesting décor touches throughout the bistro add up to unique ambiance

Interesting décor touches throughout the bistro add up to unique ambiance

A glance backwards through the café’s Facebook page reveals that there is always interesting food (including some gluten-free) on the menu.  It’s also great to see that the folks at the Dayliner source many of their ingredients locally, and that the ever-changing menu is influenced by the shifting seasons. Because we are always on a quest for new stories for the website we seldom re-visit places we have already written about, but my salivary glands tell me that this won’t be the case with the Dayliner – too much good-looking food there, and the promise of al fresco dining in a pretty garden seals the deal.

            The Dayliner is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, and from 5:30 – 9 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening for their popular Bistro Dinners (reservations advised)

            Further information on the Dayliner Café can be found at the website:

Price rating: $ – $$          wheelchair-mThe Dayliner is located at 10445 Chemainus Road in Saltair.

            GPS co-ordinates are:

            Lat. 48.940786216299486  Long. -123.74811023300117

             N 48 56.447  W 123 44.887

Dayliner Cafe on Urbanspoon


About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers.
In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.

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