"Small, but Wonderful"
"taste Café & Bistro is no longer Parksville’s best kept secret."



Had a late lunch here with my sister & niece and we were very pleasantly surprise. The restaurant is situated at the entrance to a resort, so we were a bit confused trying to find it, but were happy we did as our meals were wonderful! The coffee & tea choices were plentiful and then the very tasty grilled cheese that my niece had was "to die for" , my sister's clam chowder was amazing and my hummus wrap with wild mushroom soup was simply delicious! Will definitely be back again & again when in Parksville to try more of the food here!

Reviewed 4 days ago









We just finished a nice 5 Klm walk on a sub zero snowy day. Came in for coffee and mid afternoon snack. Cappuccino,latte & Hot Chocolate were excellent. Berry apple crumble and carrot cake were equally delicious. Stop by this great little spot. Service was swift and pleasant from a young woman.

Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile


There is always something delicious to eat here!

Healthy if you're feeling that. Or naughty with the grilled cheese! Homemade soups are always delicious.

Reviewed 20 October 2017 via mobile


Taste Cafe has a different and very interesting menu. The pastries and desserts are all home made and delicious.

Reviewed 10 April 2017


"Excellent food."



Jason Hastings and Kirsten Ruryk  have made Taste Café and Bistro on Resort Drive one of the hottest new eateries in town. It opened with little fan fare but Taste Café & Bistro is no longer Parksville’s best kept secret.

Tucked away at Oceanside Village Resort on Resort Drive, the little café started serving great food on March 1 and since then has received so much positive feedback it is already number one on Trip Advisor.

With Jason Hastings and Kirsten Ruryk at the helm, the bright and airy little eatery offers comfort food made from scratch with a modern twist.

Hastings isn’t new to the culinary world. He was a partner at Lefty’s dishing up fresh food for 15 years but then decided to take things down a notch.

“Lefty’s was great but as it grew it was a little too much. I wanted to do something smaller,” he said.

Preparing fresh simple food in a small intimate environment allows Hastings to focus on the little details.

The menu which continues to evolve is cleverly attached to a bamboo cutting board and has plenty of options without being overwhelming.

Hastings and Ruryk collaborated on their menu and after some research came up with specialty paninis, soups, fish tacos with avocado cream and a smoked cheddar waffle BLT for some of their savory offerings.

“We really thought about the menu and would research Pinterest on-line. We just wanted to take a classic lunch and put a modern spin on it,” he said.

Hastings didn’t get any formal culinary training. The cook and restaurateur is self taught and over the years he said he has become skilled in the kitchen.

“I learned on my own, basically cooking for family and friends. Then I got hands on training at Lefty’s where I learned to cook on line in a busy kitchen, everything from making pizza in our pizza shop to making full on dinners and I became the breakfast cook for a little while too. I didn’t go to school.”

You won’t find anything out of a jar at Taste.  Hastings said they make everything from scratch.

“We make our pulled pork every day and we make our roast beef every day.  Kirsten makes all of the desserts,” he said.

Ruryk who loves to bake said her specialty is New York cheesecake with a mixed berry coulis as well as Guinness chocolate cake with orange chocolate grand mariner butter cream icing.

“It is the best icing I have ever made.  After a few tries with certain things, I found some that I really enjoyed doing and they tasted amazing so we kept them.”

The pair has been a couple for 15 years but it is the first time they have worked together and Hastings said so far so good.

“Kirsten used to work in a pharmacy.  We see the best in each other throughout the day and we work really well together,” Hastings said.

“He is right handed and I am left handed so we stay out of each others way which is awesome,” said Ruryk

May. 20, 2014


 "Great coffee and service"
"Tantalized at taste!"


Had the philly beef dip, chicken salad croissant, salad, loaded baked potato soup and Mt. Arrowsmith Pale Ale today - can you say YUM YUM YUM! Place packed as usual but the service is always top notch. Really admire how those girls can be slammed and stay so calm and look so relaxed and never miss a beat.Thank you for dealing with the birthday cake for my aunt. She actually got all teary over something so simple. She felt very special in your beautiful little eatery today.

Thank you.

Reviewed 25 July 2017


"A hidden Gem!"


I'm afraid to review this family owned restaurant. Why you ask? We may never be able to get a seat in this outstanding little gem!
Located in a little strip mall on Resort Way in Parksville the luncheon menu choices are consistently tasty and the deserts- yum.

Reviewed 8 April 2017 via mobile




It’s bright and cheerful.  It has a lively vibe. It has good, in-house-made food.  And it’s very, very busy after only two months of being open.  Taste Café and Bistro is Parksville’s newest entry into the dining-out scene and judging by what we found there recently it’s no surprise it is already rated #1 in the area.

We had heard about this tiny (20 seats) new bistro via the foodie grapevine in the Oceanside area but, as is our habit, decided to put off visiting for a bit in order to allow for a settling-in period.  Glad we did, too – we had no complaints, and came away after a nice lunch feeling more than satisfied with the culinary offerings, the ambiance and the service.

Taste is operated by Jason, a veteran of the Oceanside restaurant scene, and his girlfriend Kirsten. The two of them make a great team – he creates the main course offerings at the bistro while Kirsten produces all the sweet treats and desserts in-house. It has turned out to be a happy pairing of two complementary talents.

Jason and Kirsten – a great pairing of complementary talents.

Our first visit to Taste was just after noon on a Thursday, and we got the last available table.  We feel that is always a good sign in a young restaurant, and our instincts were certainly right on the mark this time around.

The bistro is a long, narrow space with the small kitchen area and counter running along one wall, tables set at the front, back and along the other wall. There are big windows that let in plenty of natural light and jazz music adds to the upbeat atmosphere.

Taste offers a set menu along with daily specials for the lunchtime crowd.  My husband opted for the very flavourful butternut squash soup and one of the patron favourites – the cheddar waffle BLT sandwich. The cheddar waffle BLT offers up great flavour and texture combinations.  I ordered the daily special, a pulled-pork mac and cheese dish.  Generously augmented with the house-made pulled pork, half of the serving left me more than satisfied – the remainder went into a container destined for home and lunch on another day.

We also split Kirsten’s version of a ‘skinny trifle’, designed to cut calories but not flavour.  It was delicious and certainly much less guilt-inducing than some of the desserts we have consumed over the course of ‘researching’ our feature articles.

A recent innovation at the bistro is an early closing on Fridays and Saturdays (at 4 p.m.), but then re-opening at 6:30. On those two evenings only each week Taste will offer a tapas menu for those who want a light meal complemented, perhaps, by an alcoholic beverage. Sounds like a great option for those nights when you may not want much to eat but are looking for quality food in a nice setting.  Hmmmm – I can already envision a nice summer evening spent in such a way.

Posted on May 21, 2014 

"Parksville has a new ‘taste’ sensation"

"A tasty lunch"


Taste is aptly named. It is a bright, small cafe in the resort area of Parksville with tasty food and a cheerful ambience. We really enjoyed our lunch. Delicious soup and salad

Reviewed 30 March 2017

"A delicious lunch"


My wife and I have wanted to eat at Taste for quite awhile but because it is very popular and seating is quite limited, we have not been able to enjoy their menu. This time we were lucky enough to have a table open up just as we entered. While we were there, several people were turned away or had to wait. Although the menu is not extensive, there are plenty of delicious choices. I enjoyed the Heavenly hummus wrap, which is one of the best veggie wraps that I have ever had. It was filled with an abundant variety of fresh veggies that complimented each other. A well-presented side salad accompanied it and had just the right of dressing for me. My wife had the Italian salami panini because she was drawn to the variety of ingredients giving it a distinctive Italian favour. It was delicious as well as the soup of day, a freshly prepared creamy vegetable, with the added touch of shaved Parmesan cheese. Although we did not have dessert, don't miss checking out the temptations that are on display when you enter Taste. The service was friendly and attentive to all the tables. I have to thank our server, who I believe was Amanda, as she shared a tip with us. I believe that they do not take reservations BUT they are willing to hold a table for you if you call prior to heading down to Taste. We will certainly be doing this as we will be back and want to try more from the menu and some of the delicious looking desserts being offered.

Reviewed 25 February 2017

"First time at Taste Cafe"


Finally got to go to Taste Cafe on Resort Drive today for the first time and it was a great experience. Good food and service with a smile. What more could one ask for. Will definitely be paying a few return visits.

Reviewed 10 February 2017


First time eating at Taste Cafe and I have to say it was phenomenal!!! We were greeted by two friendly staff and started with a latte from heaven. Next I had the Turkey cranberry brie panini and my boyfriend had the equally amazing Italian salami panini. Fresh ingredients and well prepared meal. We will definitely be back. Loved the comfortable chairs and soothing ambience. Taste Cafe is one the finest places to eat in Parksville.

Reviewed 9 December 2016 via mobile

"Best meal ever!!!"