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Aug 26, 2008 10:22 AM

Hwy 4 from Nanaimo to Ucluelet and Tofino

Hello Chowhounds,

We're traveling to B.C. this week and I'm really looking forward to our three days on Vancouver Island. We'll be driving from Nanamio to Ucluelet along Hwy 4 and staying in Ucluelet Can you recommend places for food either in one of the above towns or on the road?

We don't have the budget for anything more than casual, but if you could recommend little fish and chip shacks, mom and pop diners and the like, we'd really appreciate it. Also, suggestions for a good place to pick up fresh seafood to throw on the BBQ would be great.


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  1. Hello foxy,

    Couple of spots for you - Nanaimo has mostly fast food joints, but downtown good local spot called Acme Grill, in Port Alberni really fun spot is J&M Drivein for good burgers and fries etc., not far off the main road as you head to Ukee!

    In Ucluelet, the Hot Dog store (funky name can't remember) is good, the Mexican spot on the outskirts of town is also quite tasty and inexpensive. In Tofino, SOBO is a must, and the pub at the Weigh West is reasonably priced with nice views. Also Breakers deli on the main drag has a good selection of sandwiches/salads etc, and the Common Loaf has very good breads and treats.

    Enjoy the trip!

    2 Replies
    1. re: tofino

      Thanks tofino. Do you mean Ukee Dogs in Ucluelet?

      1. re: foxymoron

        Try the salmon and dill pie there - no, try two of them!

    2. In Ucluelet, there's a place called Star Fish Cafe (close to the fudge/chocolate store). It's a modernized dinner in my opinion with burgers and sandwiches but it's really tasty. I think hubs had a schnitzel and he loved it. My sandwich and yam fries were quite tasty too. I would say it's moderately priced but not expensive like some of the other restaurants along Ucluelet and Tofino.

      In Tofino, there's a trailer along the main road, not sure of the name but it's close to Breakers Deli (almost across from it). Their deep fried prawns are amazingly good, not over cooked and still got that crunch to it. The fish'n chips are pretty good. The crab cakes were okay, nothing to rave about. The pricing here was quite expensive for a take out place, especially one that's a trailer/shack.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gourmet wife

        I had the best seafood chowder in Ucluelet just last week. I wish I could remember what the name of the cafe was - it was close to the water and very tiny with a computer/internet in the back. Perhaps somebody knows the name? Anyway, do not have the sushi in Tofino. It was terrible - some of the worst i've had. Instead, go to the places that Tofino (above) recommends. The Common Loaf was nice, and I had a good chai latte at a coffee shop on the main drag close to the laundrymat (we were camping!)

      2. Slightly off the road in Qualicum and Parksville is Lefty's. They specialize in fresh food. They have a selection of sandwiches with your choice of soup or salad, I believe. Here's a link.

        Slight correction: the J & L Drive-In in Port Alberni. Their burgers are excellent, and the drive-in aspect is fun. The #4 takes you through Port Alberni. Just make a left onto Gertrude and the J & L is two blocks down. I usually just get a burger, a shake and split onion rings. It is truly a Port Alberni institution.

        Also, you can stop at Naesgaard's Farm Market just outside of Port Alberni for peaches and cream corn for the BBQ, and sweet peas for snacks. As you leave Port, there is a marina on the left, the you follow the Somass river on your left. Naesgaard's is on the right.