Explore | Cuckoo in Coombs : Trattoria & Pizzeria

Bonjour, mes amis! Or should I say, ciao, il mio amici! Guess what? This is my first ~official~ Local Loves Nanaimo post since returning home from my grand adventure. And it’s a good’un. If you love Italian food, quirky named-restaurants (or just love me), you’re gonna wanna stick around.

Since coming home from my whirlwind, across-the-world vacation backpacking trip I’ve been pretty lazy. Aside from sending out resumés upon resumés, and catching up on all my tv shows (must do), I literally do nothing but eat, breathe, and sleep. Which is why, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, my mom persuaded me to have lunch at Coombs’ Cuckoo Trattoria & Pizzeria. Now, I’d heard of Cuckoo’s before – in fact Sarah and her family have been known to frequent this little slice of Italian heaven.

My first impression upon walking up to Cuckoo’s doors is daaaaamn this place be pretty. Honestly, the architecture of this old slash new farm-style house is stunning. Apparently a 60-year-old farmhouse hides beneath Cuckoo’s exquisite modern exterior. Some remnants of that old farmhouse can be seen inside Cuckoo’s via its brick fireplace and living space, among other things.

I think my favourite part of the exterior is its seamless interaction with nature. I haven’t been in the summer months to Cuckoo’s but I can only imagine how gorgeous the farmhouse looks with its blooming vines that crawl along the second floor balcony. I hear there’s also an outdoor patio that backs into the surrounding woods – I must come back in warmer weather and experience that.


As it was the weekend, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that its dining room was packed to the scuppers. People from all different walks of life were gathered to enjoy their Italian fare.


Since there was no room in the main dining area, we were escorted to the left where my mom and I were nestled into a quiet, cozy corner:

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We were handed our menus and were left to impossibly decide which dish to order. I say impossibly because there were so many deliciously viable options.

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I really wanted to try some of their homemade pasta but I had a hankering for something a little lighter so I went with the Focaccia sandwich. My mom, also feeling the lighter side of things, opted for a garden salad and Cuckoo’s soup of the day.


While we waited for our dishes to be prepared, our waitress brought out a bread basket for us to munch on.

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We didn’t want to fill up on bread before our meal, so we each tried the focaccia. I mean, sure, I could have tried the other bread since my sandwich was focaccia but if you love something, never let it go. Despite what some inspirational posters may tell you.

As if expertly timed, our lunch came out just as our tummies began to grumble.

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I was super excited to mow down on my sandwich, however, the height of that thing was going to pose some problems…


Chalked full with perfectly grilled chicken breast, fresh tomatoes, crisp romaine lettuce, and creamy mozzarella cheese, this sandwich was definitely something to write home about (or blog about). The fire baked focaccia was crisp on the outside and wonderfully soft on the inside, making this the perfect home to house all that inside goodness.


My mom was as equally pleased with her house salad and minestrone soup!


Now that I’ve sampled one of their tasty sandwiches I must try a homemade pasta dish. I also need to check out that outdoor patio. Just hopefully I don’t wait until then to try their pasta – that’s much too long of a wait!

Have you been to Cuckoo in Coombs? Are you as smitten with this trattoria as I am?! Leave a comment and let’s chat :D

– Sean

2 thoughts on “Explore | Cuckoo in Coombs : Trattoria & Pizzeria

    • Sean Helmn says:

      Thanks Courtenay! Man, a wedding at Cuckoo’s in Spring will be so beautiful! I’ll be photographing one there in September – you’ll have to let me know how it goes!

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