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Beer, Goats, Doughnut And Gluten Free Food, Where To Eat In Parksville Qualicum Beach

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Where to Eat in Parksville and Qualicum Beach

I love Parksville and Qualicum Beach. It has been years since I’ve spent any time on the eastern shores of Vancouver Island and now that I’m back I wonder why I haven’t been back sooner. My belated Mother’s Day road trip with my Mom is everything I could ask for. A chillaxing stay at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort & Spa and some awesome walks that included my first ever forest bathing adventure. All that is missing from our stay is craft beer sampling, petting a goat, eating a doughnut and finding a gluten-free restaurant where my Mom can eat whatever she wants without worrying.  So in no particular order let me show you where to eat in Parksville and Qualicum Beach if you love craft beer, doughnuts and are avoiding gluten. Let’s eat and drink.

A beer flight from Mount Arrowsmith, where to eat in Parksville and Qualicum Beach

Goats On A Roof – is located just outside of Parksville and Qualicum Beach in Coombs on the Alberni Highway. This is a must visit when you are in the area and I visit every time I am here. It never gets old and there are goats on the roof! Sometimes the goats don’t want to be photographed. This is my attempt after 15 minutes of calling out.

Goats on a Roof in Coombs outside of Parksville and Qualicum Beach

The living roof at Goats on a Roof in Coombs

Goats on a Roof is actually a massive complex anchored by the Coombs Old Country Market. We always love coming here and stocking up on staples as well as local products like honey, baked goods and Vancouver Island cheeses.

Inside the Old County Market in Coombs

My favourite spot is the doughnut shop. This is completely new to me so I had to pop inside and order up a half dozen. I swear I took photos of what I picked up but all I could find on my camera as proof was this shot of me devouring one. THEY ARE SO GOOD and baked fresh on site every day.

This is just a small sampling of what you can do at Goats on a Roof. You could easily spend the entire afternoon exploring. There is a cafe, a Taqueria and an Italian restaurant plus there is even a surf shop. There is a bit of everything at Goats on a Roof.

Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company – Located in Parksville, Mount Arrowsmith was named the 2017 Brewery of the Year at the BC Beer Awards. Quite an accomplishment as they only opened for business that same year.

The brewery may be young but the man making the beer has plenty of experience. David Woodward got his start as a home brewer. He then moved to the UK where he studied and worked in the British beer industry before returning back to BC to start at Whistler Brewing and then to help open Tofino Brewing.

Today he’s the man behind the hops at Mount Arrowsmith and you can sample all of his recipes in the tasting room. Find one you like and fill up a growler or two. My personal favourite is the Comfortably Chum Hefeweizen. Perfect to enjoy on a hot summer day.

A line up of beer at Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company

Realm Food Co is in Parksville and is the answer to your search for a great restaurant that serves up gluten-free fare. My Mom has celiac disease so I am always on the lookout for great dining options when we are together.

If you aren’t avoiding gluten don’t stress because this place has it all. They have vegetarian options, vegan options, and of course meat options for hungry eaters like me. I feasted on this Jerk Chicken Sandwich and couldn’t have been happier.

Jerk Chicken sandwich at Realm Food Co in Parksville

My Mom had something equally fabulous and it wasn’t a gluten-free substitute version. Two thumbs up and definitely on my list of places to go back to.

Love Shack Libations I have been to many microbreweries over the years but Love Shack Libations may just be my first Nano brewery. Brewed in Qualicum Beach, if you love craft beer you have to schedule some in time for a visit here. Monday and Tuesday visits are by appointment only. Wednesday the tasting room is open 5 pm to 9 pm and on Saturday from 1 pm to 5 pm.

Love Shack Libations tasting room information

Brewer/Owner Dave Paul is quite the character and Love Shack is a true passion for him. This passion is reflected in his beers and his unwillingness to waver from his vision of what Love Shack Libations is all about. He brews beers he wants to drink and only under his own manpower.

Love Shack Libations beer box

As he is a nano brewery with limited production and support staff, it is just him, tastings are limited to 12 oz. Depending on his supply he will also limit how much you can buy. I love it. A true beer artist.

I sampled a few of what he had available and was shocked to hear my Mom could even have one as he had brewed a gluten-free beer. We bought two of those as my Mom thought they tasted great.

Beer flight at Love Shack Libations

I don’t want to give away too much of Dave Paul’s story as I think it is part of the charm hearing it directly from him. Please put a stop at Love Shack Libations on your where to eat in Parksville and Qualicum Beach itinerary. You will not be disappointed. His stories are as good as his beer.

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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.


  1. All the travels we’ve done on the island, I have never seen the Goats on the Roof 😉 Perhaps one day when we’re not in a rush to get to Tofino we might stop off.

    We typically eat at two places when we’re going through Qualicum though; Lefty’s and The Shady Rest Pub. Though we tend to find places that don’t mind us having kids tag along with us

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