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Apr 6, 2009 07:43 AM

Requesting Tofino updates

OK: My wife and I are making an impromptu trip up to Tofino this week. I have searched this board and gleaned the following: the best restaurants for dinner are Raincoast, SoBo, and, if one is wanting to splurge, Wikannanish (sp?). 600 Degrees bread is worth seeking out. Common Loaf is a decent place for baking and breakfast. I have a few questions left unanswered though.

1) Good coffee? Anything on par with Artiggiano or Habit?
2) If you were to choose just ONE place for lunch, ONE for breakfast, and ONE for dinner, what would your choices be?
3) Dress code? Is it okay to assume that because it is Tofino, one can dress casually just about anywhere, or would one feel uncomfortable wearing jeans in some of the restaurants?
4) Any new places that are 'do not misses?'

Thanks in advance.

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  1. anewton:

    Aw, I envy you being able to take an "impromptu trip" to Tofino. We try to go annually but the next trip will be not be until Thanksgiving.

    I am sure others who have been there more recently will chime in but here are my thoughts current as of last Fall.

    Unfortunately, I understand that the Rain Coast is now no more. You were right, it used to be quite good with an asian/thai influenced cuisine for dinner.

    It apparently has been or is in the process of being replaced by The Spotted Bear Bistro operated by Vincent Fraissanage. Not sure if it is open yet. Check the Tofino column in the current issue of EAT Magazine for more details. It can be accessed on-line.

    SoBo is good. Since taking over the spot formerly occupied by Conradi [sp] Pasticerria across the street from the liquor store they are not restricted to the catering truck and/or the space at the Botanical Gardens.

    As far as your questions go:

    1) Java:

    Cannot think of an equivalent spot in Tofino. I have had decent coffee at Cafe Vincento or Vincenzo and I know there are several places that feature coffee but not at the same level of the spots you have recommended.

    When I have "needed" an espresso and wanted to check my email I usually end up at the Tahitian [sp?] coffee bar which is in the parking lot that also houses some surf related spots, a surprisingly good little grocery store, Tofino chocolates. It is the same place that housed the original SoBo out on the highway just past the turn off into the Wick and Chesterman Beach;

    2) Lunch:

    Definitely the Pointe at the Wickaninnish Inn.

    Absolutely, it is a splurge and the menu is more limited than at dinner but the views of the Chesterman Beach surf are outstanding. I would "kill" ... well not quite [smile] ,,, to be there right now sharing a good bottle of wine as is our custom with my wife;

    We are usually out there when the sun sets by about 7:00 p.m. so have not had dinner for quite a number of years. No point in paying for the view, when you cannot see it and dinner is certainly a significant "hit".

    In years gone by we have good lunches in the restaurant which adjoins the interpretative centre at Wickaninish Beach [not the same one as the Wick itself] within the National Park. However, it has been closed by the time we now vacation but may be open by this week-end but it too may not open until after the May long week-end.

    We have had lunch at SoBo on at least a few occasions.

    The Long Beach Lodge has a beautiful view of Cox Bay but in my view the food has been inconsistent.

    Breakfast and Dinner:

    We usually rent a place with a kitchen so breakfast at "home" and usually dinner too ... i.e. more wine and no driving.

    That is why we are more familiar with lunch spots and will have to leave the breakfast/dinner recommendations to others.

    You also have Shelter in town which in our experience has been "hit and miss" as well as the Schooner and Tough City Sushi.

    3) Dress code? Your comments are spot on. Sure there will be people in jackets at the Wick from time to time but it is not expected as may be the case at some places in the Rockies. I have always been perfectly comfortable where even at dinner the most I will have "dressed up" might be a pair of dockets and a sport shirt

    4) New places:

    What about the new Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet? Looks to be have been constructed on a bluff overlooking the ocean. Do not know anyone who has been there yet but their internet site indicates fairly grand ambitions for their restaurant and wine bar.

    Let us know how your week-end goes.

    1. I'm not entirely sure...but Raincoast could be closed now (I saw an announcement a few months ago regarding its impending demise).

      Good coffee the likes or Artigiano or Habit? I didn't see a place that came close last summer. Please report back if you find one.

      One place? breakfast:Common Loaf lunch: Sobo, dinner: The Pointe or Shelter (the food is not fantastic, but decent...and the architectural design is interesting).

      I wasn't able to go last time I was there, but the Wildside Grill looks worthy of a visit.

      Definitely seek out 600 Degrees. Great sourdough leavened bread baked in a wood-fired brick oven she built herself.

      Dress code? - I think the only place that may have one is the Pointe...though I don't think they enforce.

      1 Reply
      1. re: fmed

        A tangential update - former owners of Raincoast are opening a "wine-forward" restaurant on Main St here in Vancouver called Latitude.