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Sep 13, 2006 04:24 AM


I will be in Tofino in early October for three evenings. I would appreciate recommendations for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All price points and ethnicities welcomed from fine dining to crab pots on the beach. I appreciate the help.

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  1. Love To Dine:

    Someone else will have to "pitch in" with breakfast suggestions as apart from the times when we have stayed at the Wickaninnish Inn I have not had that meal in a restaurant.

    For the past few years we have rented places with kitchen facilities so usually have that meal before heading out for the day. Mind you my idea of breakfast is usually something basic with lots of strong coffee to help shake the cobwebs from the night before. Mind you a morning walk in the rain or at least mist helps too.

    I am not sure about the hours for some of the spots in the townsite itself like Caffe Vincente, Alley Way Cafe, Pasticceria Conradi and the like. They might provide an option if open for breakfast.

    Same for The Schooner and The Loft. Both may be open for breakfast but am not sure about their hours come October when things have "slowed" somewhat...not as much as in years gone by now that the construction of the resorts like the Wick, Long Beach Lodge Resort, Middle Beach Lodge and the like have made Tofino a 12 month destination point.

    The Common Loaf bakery is always an option too. Freshly baked goods along with java.

    Lots of options for lunch. This is the meal we are more likely to eat outside of the place we are staying in.

    My favourite is the Pointe Restaurant at the Wick. I suggest lunch over dinner because of price...although it remains pricey particularly if you take "advantage" of their excellent wine list...and in particular the view.

    Outstanding. Waves crashing onto Chesterman Beach made even the more impressive if they turn on their directional microphone and you can hear the surf as well.

    By the time of dinner reservations that view may have been lost with the setting of the sun. The food has definitely improved with the arrival of Chef Springett [sp?].

    Another nice spot vis-a-vis view is the dining room at the Long Beach Lodge Resort. It provides a different look of the waves rolling onto the beach of Cox Bay. Food has been inconsistent. Sometimes very good but on other occasions, just ok during our annual visits since it opened a few years ago.

    Very different is SoBo. This is the catering truck that Lisa and Arni Ahier [sp?] opened after they left as the original chef and I think manager respectively of the Long Beach Lodge Resort. Casual dining. Great "Killer" fish tacos and varied offerings of that kind. Used to be parked up behind the surf shop and grocery store on the highway into town but has now moved into what was formerly Cafe Pamplona restaurant at the entrance to the Botanical Gardens.

    One benefit is that if the weather is not co-operating [mind you after the summer drought, they will be looking for "rain forest sunshine" of the wet kind] you can move inside with your food and get a glass of wine.

    Pasticceria Conradi in town across the street for the liquor store is a nice addition. We have had a few nice lunches of thin crust pizza and salads. Also have pastas and the like. He used to be a pastry chef at the Wick and then was at the original Pamplona so there are a lot of delicious pastries on offer.

    The pub at Weigh West can be good for your typical pub/bar fare. Not sure what has changed since the owner of the Middle Beach Lodge acquired it. The property seemed to have been "sliding" of late.

    If you like sushi try what is on offer at Tough City which is more on the inlet/harbour side of the town. I have not tried it myself.

    Quite a number of dinner options. The Wick is terrific as mentioned above albeit quite expensive and I am not sure that I would spend the money on the "splurge" ... unless staying there of course and eliminating the need to drive ... I can "handle" the elevator button after multiple bottles of vino ... particularly at this time of year with the issue of darkness.

    Shelter occupies the space that was formerly the "Crab Shack" or "Crab Dock" as one drives into Tofino. We have only eaten there the one time and it was quite good.

    Also in town is RainCoast Care. It is only open for dinner and years ago we quite enjoyed our meals there. Although we have not been recently, it consistently receives good reviews. Lots of seafood with an asian flare or influence.

    I think that a few others may have opened since our last visit but I cannot comment. One I know has opened above The Schooner.

    Cannot think of anyone who offers a beachside "crab boil" or salmon barbeque at this time of year. Let us know if you find one. We tend to buy our crab in town and boil them back at the house.

    Another option if you just want to "crash" at "home" is pizza and the daily specials from Surfside Pizza. Delivery only.

    Hope you enjoy your visit. Tofino is a wonderful place.

    Please post your likes and dislikes. We are heading out there for 10 days toward the end of October.

    1. Did some "web sleuthing" and confirmed that one of the "new places" I referred to earlier is called Upstairs Dining and Lounge and it is literally "upstairs" from the Schooner. I am assuming that it is in the space formerly occupied by various art and gift shops.

      Their web-site [rather limited www.schoonerrestaurant.com] advertises small plates. Open for tapas and drinks in the evening. The most recent issue of EAT Magazine indicates that Michael Bebault from the Wick has recently jointed the kitchen team headed by Nigel Davidson for the Fall Season.

      The same web-site says that the Schooner itself is open for breakfast.

      One spot which I forgot to mention is Breakers Deli which if memory serves me correctly is diagonally across the street from the front entrance to the Co-Op. It too offers an affordable alternative for breakfast and lunch including box lunches should you decide to go kayaking or beach walking. [ www.breakersdeli.com


      Perhaps purplestar or some of the others who replied to her/his inquiry a few days ago will "chime in" with more current information.

      I know walking my dogs this morning in the rain here in Edmonton reminded me of our pre-breakfast treks along Chesterman Beach. Minus the surf, barking sea lions and beach dogs..some friendly, some not...of course. Just over a month to go, can't wait but will have to!

      1. Breakers is a great place for a healthy lunch. They now have a new location right on Campbell street across from the park.

        Can't remember the name of the place but there is a great fish and chip trailor located next to the Tofitian coffee shop and Beaches Grocery. For a trailer the menu is quite extensive. Great fish and chips.

        Tough City Sushi is very nice. It is run by a long time character of Tofino. Say hi to his dog.

        1. Thank you for the recommendations. I will let you know how it goes. This is the week of the adventure.