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Jun 30, 2008 09:27 AM

Tofino - Shelter or Raincoast or somewhere else?

Hello all.
After lurking for some time, I've decided to post as I require some assistance. We're in Tofino for 2 nights only and I need to make dinner reservations asap. The first night we're eating at the Wick Inn. For the 2nd evening, do we go to Shelter or Raincoast or somewhere else entirely?

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  1. Raincoast has more refined food, IMO than Shelter. So if food is the focus, Raincoast would be my choice.

    Shelter is good, but I see it more like a higher-end chain restaurant with a good bar. If you plan on stretching out the evening with a bit of pub-style drinking....then Shelter is the place to go.

    Some pics from my last trip:

    1. heavenstobetsy:

      Lucky you. I would love to be enjoying a Tofino summer day right now.

      Although it has been a few years since we have visited either, we enjoyed our meals at both Shelter as well as the RainCoast.

      The first probably has more of the standard west coast fare that you will be familiar with, whereas the latter makes very good seafood with an asian/thai influence. Both probably are in the same price range.

      You might want to consider SoBo across from the liquor store in what used to house Pasticceria Conradi Chef Lisa Ahier's food is not for everyone.

      If you like sushi, Tough City apparently does a good job.

      I will be interested in reading your comments concerning dinner at the Wick's Pointe restaurant. Certainly is a beautiful physical plant. There has been a change in chefs since we visited last Fall.

      I am envious...enjoy

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bob Mac

        I would love to see a review of Wildside Grill...I didn't get a chance to go this time around, but I hear good things. They are seafood-focused.

      2. We went to the Schooner Restaurant which was very good. We haven't been to the other higher end restaurants so I don't have anything to compare but what we did have there is recommended.

        Down the road from Schooner's is a trailer that serves fish'n chips. It's quite tasty but very expensive for take out. The fried prawns and oysters are good too, cooked perfectly so it's not overcooked and rubbery. Another good spot is Star Fish (I think it's what it's called), it's located in Uclelet. It's kinda like a diner but the food is more refined. Hubs had the burger and it's one of the best we've ever had. I had the crab cakes and it's well worth trying. More reasonable prices here than some of the other places.

        1. Raincoast was the best meal I had during a five day visit to Tofino earlier in the month. It beat out Shelter, Sobo, and Tough City. The food at Raincoast is more refined, and demonstrates a more technically sophisticated kitchen. The combinations of flavors are spot-on. Whereas Shelter serves very simple preparations of very fresh seafood, Raincoast uses technique to bring that seafood to the next level.

          Shelter does have a nicer atmosphere - the building is beautiful.

          The price point at both restaurants is comparable.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            Indeed they did a fantastic job with the building itself. Metal art embedded into giant wood beams, etc.

            Know that I think of it, I don't think this is a "one or the other" choice. I say book at both - Raincoast for the early evening for some great food....then Shelter for later on for some (very good) pubbish apps and requisite drinking.

            I also have to add the Shelter had some of the best bread basket bread I have had in a long time. It was so good, I thought they sourced it from the esteemable 600 Degrees bakery...apparently not. They get it from Sysco (a very common industry source for all things restuarant related.)

          2. ok, raincoast is booked.
            that gives us wick inn and raincoast in tofino (and possibly shelter for post dinner beverages as recommended by fmed!). have also booked amuse bistro for one night when we are on the south end of the island....which leaves me with one more night to book while we are in sidney. perfect! thanks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: heavenstobetsy


              As I remarked to fmed above, there is a decent article in this month's online version of EAT with thumbnail sketches of many of the restaurants in Tofino including Shelter and RainCoast