Locals Restaurant – Review (photos)

Located in The Old House, Locals is one of the true fine dining experiences in the Comox Vally.

My wife and I both love eating out here in the Comox Valley, and writing about our experience in restaurant reviews. Here’s a photo of HelenMarie sitting at our patio table at Locals getting ready to order a nice lunch that we can write about here.

Locals’ lovely patio is right on the Courtenay Riverway Walk and the estuary. Photo by Jim Van Wyck

Locals Restaurant is all about respecting the foods of the Comox Valley and Vancouver Island as they carefully choose their ingredients. They take pride in their commitment to serving many of the “Best” BC wines on their list and offer an amazing selection of ciders and locally brewed beers.

They have strong associations with a variety of local food producers in order to ensure they are always stocked with fresh and innovative ingredients. They work hard to create delicious meals that are bursting with fresh, local flavors.

Since opening in 2008, Locals has set a new standard for the Comox Valley’s already illustrious food culture. Locals is renowned for its high-quality, locally sourced ingredients which complement an ever-evolving menu that showcases a truly innovative menu that changes with the seasons.

Where is Locals Restaurant?

Locals has a lovely location in the well-known Old House. Its grounds extend to the Courtenay Riverway Heritage Walk.

Address1760 Riverside Ln, Courtenay, BC V9N 8C7

Website: https://localscomoxvalley.com/

What’s it like to go to Locals?

Because we live only 3 blocks away, we often walk over to Locals.

Walking up to the front entrance you go past a small fountain and walk into a garden setting.

Entrance to Locals. Photo by Jim Van Wyck

Walking in you’ll be greeted by the friendly host and taken to your table. Reservations are suggested and they want you to make your reservation on the Locals website.

The main rooms in The Old House are on 2 levels, with lots of space between the tables, and many with great views of the Courtenay River estuary and the riverwalk. The rooms have all wooden construction and the building itself is listed as a historic place because of it’s history and Arts and Crafts architecture.

There are 2 patios, one with a retractable roof that opens in the summer and closes during colder weather. Because the grounds are so lovely, we always try to get a patio table.

Locals has a notable chef

The head chef of Locals is Ronald St. Pierre. His work has been recognized with a lifetime achievement award with the Canadian Chefs Culinary Foundation.

Chef S. Pierre works with local food producers to help celebrate the food culture here in the Comox Valley. All the local providers of meat, fish, produce, beer and wine are named right on the menu.

If you support great food and local businesses like we do here at the Comox Daily News it’s worth the small extra we pay for local, fresh and often organic.

Here’s what HelenMarie said about her lunch

Locals is an awesome restaurant nestled beside the river walkway in a garden-like setting.  It is an easy walk for us so we go to Locals often. We have never been disappointed. Every meal has been a delight.

I chose to go conservative and I decided to try the burger. how would the award-winning chef present this Canadian Classic?

The burger came with Duck Fat Fried Potatoe Wedges as an extra bonus. If you love your fries as I do you will be delighted at the deliciousness of duck fat imparts to potatoes.

The Beaver Meadows BC Certified organic burger was served with a difference. Homemade balsamic fig and bacon jam, local farmhouse cheese, artisan mayonnaise, organic greens, and pickled onions made this burger a taste experience like no other burger.

As mentioned served with Duck Fat Fried Potato Wedges and greens for the garden it was a delightful lunch for a hungry gal. 

Who knew a burger could be such an amazing taste experience. 

Cheeseburger at Locals. Photo by Jim Van Wyck

I had the Pacific Rim Seafood Stack

I’m a seafood lover.

I often try different seafood dishes when I eat out, and this dish has it all.

It’s a beautiful little stack of Albacore Tataki (tataki means pounded in Japanese) that was lightly seared. Below that was a little circle of sticky rice with a hint of vinegar, very reminiscent of the rice served with sushi. Then a layer of west coast rock crab and another layer of sticky rice. Below that was a layer of prawns.

A few tiny little micro-greens were sprinkled between the layers, with pickled ginger, toasted sesame seeds and just a dab of wasabi aïoli. My friend Shane calls aïoli  “woke mayonnaise.”

Every layer had a very different taste and texture. The rice between the layers and the wasabi freshened up my mouth and made it ready for the next.

Seafood Stack at Locals. Photo by Jim Van Wyck

Ridiculously Small Salt and Pepper Shakers

I always have a chuckle when I see the tiny little salt and pepper shakers at Locals.
HelenMarie says it might be a subliminal message that the food is already perfectly spiced.
That’s a good point. It is!

Locals tiny salt and pepper shakers. Photo by Jim Van Wyck
Great Food - Locally Sourced - Served in a splendid historical location

Restaurant Name: Locals Restaurant

Restaurant Description: Fresh, fresh, FRESH locally grown & produced fine food from a renowned chef.

Price range: $15 - $45

Address: 1760 Riverside Ln, Courtenay, BC V9N 8C7

Cuisine: Pacific Northwest Local

Telephone: 250-338-6493

Locals Website

  • Locally produced food
    (5)
  • Fresh and imaginative menu
    (4.5)
  • Locally produced beers and wines
    (4.5)
  • Plates are beautifully presented
    (5)
  • Wait staff is friendly, attentive and very professional
    (4.5)
  • The historic setting is wonderful
    (4.5)
  • Menu has something for everyone - even kids!
    (4.5)
4.6

Quick Summary of Locals

Historic location – notable chef – locally sourced food, wines, and beer.
Great service of imaginative and delicious meals.
A fine addition to the food culture of the Comox Valley.

Pros

  • fresh local meats, produce, beer and wines
  • splendid location
  • attentive professional wait staff

Cons

  • the main room inside has low ceilings and can get noisy
  • not the least expensive lunch or supper in the valley
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