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Rejuvenated Nanaimo Bar Trail beckons for those looking for a sweet treat

Amplified tour offers some options for enjoying signature dessert well off the beaten track
Biting into a Nanaimo bar is one of 101 things that everyone should do in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)

It’s always the right time to take another tasty trip along the Nanaimo Bar Trail.

A scaled-down COVID-19 version of the self-guided tour, based on the taste bud-tantalizing treat, operated last year, explained Jenn Houtby-Ferguson, Tourism Nanaimo interim executive director, but things should be pretty much back to normal by now.

While the traditional Nanaimo bar will be offered at some new places this year, like White Rabbit Coffee Co. in the Old City Quarter, Houtby-Ferguson said there are also some non-traditional offerings.

“One of the other things that we’ve added is a Nanaimo ‘barre’ stop, which is at Zen Revolution Yoga and Spin,” said Houtby-Ferguson. “So that’s kind of fun, right? It’s downtown and if people want to get their exercise on, they can work off their Nanaimo bars in a different kind of way.”

Burnt Honey Dessert Company is offering Nanaimo bar macarons, which while not “super sweet,” are still delicious, said Houtby-Ferguson.

“There were also some other additions that aren’t necessarily Nanaimo’s,” Houtby-Ferguson said. For example, there was a Nanaimo bar liqueur that was introduced just before Christmas and [Nestlé Aero] makes a Nanaimo bar chocolate bar, so it’s that notoriety and that helps continue to raise awareness.”

Brochures with suggested stops on the Nanaimo Bar Trail are available at the visitor centre at Northfield Road as well as at participating businesses and on Tourism Nanaimo’s websit,

Interest in the Nanaimo bar isn’t limited to the city – the dessert is world-famous, as witnessed by a social media post from the New York Times last year. It started a kerfuffle, recounted Houtby-Ferguson, as the picture used didn’t have correct ingredient ratios. It only served to amplify awareness of the Nanaimo bar.

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Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

After interning at Vancouver Metro free daily newspaper, I joined Black Press in 2010.
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