Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > B.C. (inc. Vancouver) >
Jun 25, 2011 06:32 PM

Road Trippin' - Kamloops, Victoria, Abbotsford, Chiliwack, Hope Suggestions?

Hi all,

Going on a road trip from Edmonton to Jasper to Kamloops to Abbotsford then a jaunt in the US, then back around to Victoria. We go to Vancouver often enough so I'm gonna leave that out.

Are there any roadside diners or restaurants of note on the Highway #5 from Robson down to Hope, BC?

Also, been a while since we're in Victoria.. but Cafe Brio and Red Fish Blue Fish are on our list. Any other noteworthy suggestions? Do they still serve afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel?

Lastly, are there any noteworthy BC wines or beers from the microbreweries worth bringing home? I'd like to pick up a case of Joie Noble Blend.. (I went to high school with Heidi Noble :) )

Much thanks..

Red Fish Blue Fish
1006 Wharf St, Victoria, BC V8W, CA

Cafe Brio
944 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8V3K2, CA

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. taiphun:

    With regard to "roadside diners or restaurants of note...", nothing immediately springs to mind although there is an apparent "truck stop" outside of, I think, McClure that usually has a number of transports in its parking lot which supposedly is a good sign.

    We usually grab some lunch and walk our dogs in Jasper and thereafter do not stop between Jasper and Kamloops or Merritt except for a "pit stop" or need to refill the gas tank.

    We are off on that trek Wednesday morning but this time only as far as Vancouver rather than the Island.

    There are quite a few threads regarding Victoria. The two you mentioned are popular as are Brasserie L'Ecole and Zambri's in its new location which we enjoyed a couple of times when we were out there at the end of February, early-March.

    Yes, they still serve tea within the venerable Empress but "locals" usually recommend other places but a "tide" of tourists washes in every day....I had a prof who taught constitutional law who said that every Canadian should travel from sea to sea including a stop at the Empress for tea.

    Noteworthy BC wines are numerous particularly those which never find their way across the Rockies to Alberta. I agree with your positive comments regarding the Joie Noble Blend. It is a label which has maintained its quality whereas its Rose (used to be all pinot noir rather than the current blend) and Unoaked Chardonnay have IMHO are not as good.

    When in Victoria try out the wine related shop on Broughton downtown or Spinnaker's liquor store in the strip mall off Songhees for some good selections and advice.

    Enjoy your trip and safe driving.

    911 Yates St, Victoria, BC V8V4X3, CA

    1. I know you only asked about Hwy 5, but if you take the TCH from Kamloops to Hope, you can stop at Herbie's Drive In in Cache Creek. They have great fried chicken, the Quenchers really do quench your thirst and the soft serve is ice cream not ice milk.

      If Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, ever comes to Canada, I am sure Herbies will be featured.

      When we drive to or from Kamloops we make sure to stop at Herbies at least one way.

      While on the Island, come up to the Cowichan Valley, about 45 minutes north of Victoria. You can try to brews at Craig Street Brew Pub, local wineries and Canada's only Slow Food Community at Cowichan Bay.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mlgagnon

        mlgagnon, thanks for the suggestion. If time permits we'll definitely do the hwy 1 route back home, some variety in scenery. Only problem is I'm driving the whole way.. wifey won't learn to drive a manual.

      2. The Blue Moose Cafe in Hope always makes us happy for a quick stop. Panini sandwiches are the usual pick but everything looks good. (I just posted this spot on another traveler's question coming from Calgary and no, I don't work for them, just enjoy them whenever we travel from the Okanagan to Vancouver.


        Blue Moose
        322 Wallace, Hope, BC V0X1L2, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: mickie44

          I can second the prop for the Craig Street Brew Pub, good beer and great food. I love Tinhorn Creek Gewurztraminer, and they do have a lovely winery if you are near Oliver. Also Blue Grouse Vineyards, just north west of Mill Bay is a favorite of mine if you are a fan of German style wines. I love the Ortega.

          1. re: mickie44

            Good call on the Blue Moose in Hope. It's always my go-to place for muffins, coffee, and sandwiches before making a road trip further.

            Blue Moose
            322 Wallace, Hope, BC V0X1L2, CA

          2. Hi taiphun,

            For Kamloops this Love of Eating food blog will give you some ideas:

            I like the Noble Pig Brew house for tasty locally made beers and better than standard brew house food.

            In Chilliwack, Cookies Grill is a divey diner that serves good hearty breakfasts. I haven't tried their lunches.

            As others have mentioned you may want to take the #1 Trans Canada Highway rather than the Coquihalla #5. It's a bit more scenic and there are little stops that can be made along the way. Stops like the Packing House in Spences Bridge, or Pizza Hot Spot in Lytton, or that odd ball diner: Elvis Rocks the Canyon (which I didn't really love the food, but the novelty was too much to resist!) I don't know when you are road tripping but the fruit stands are starting to open up too with some early cherries. You won't see these on the Coq.

            If you are taking the ferry to Victoria you may consider returning by ferry from Nanaimo. That way you can take a tour and eat you way up island. To give you an idea of time: It only takes approx 2 hours to drive from Victoria to Nanaimo without stopping.

            Yes, they still do Afternoon tea at the Empress but it's a little overpriced IMHO. I do however really enjoy the Afternoon Tea service from the White Heather Tea room in Oak Bay. Fantastic homemade everything and great stories from her motherland of Scotland to share.

            From your eating options in Victoria you can drive north to Cobble Hill. Here there are Merridale Cidery ( and the Amuse Bistro (

            Others have mentioned the Craig Street Brew Pub ( this is located in Duncan, which is the half way point between Victoria and Nanaimo.

            Continue north and just outside of Nanaimo there is a super quaint English style pub called the Crow and Gate (, it is tucked in a rural area called Cedar. In Nanaimo proper, Ryan Zuvich is doing some fine things to pork at the Markt Artisan Deli ( My next visit to the island will be next week and I can't wait. You can catch the ferry back to the mainland via Duke Point (next to Cedar) or in Departure Bay (downtown).

            These are just a few off the top of my head that I've enjoyed in the past. I hope this helps. Enjoy your trip.

            Elvis Rocks the Canyon
            43111 Trans Canada Hwy, Boston Bar, BC V0X, CA

            Packing House
            3705 Riverview Ave, Spences Bridge, BC V0K, CA

            Cookies Grill
            , Chilliwack, BC V2P, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: Burma VonFurston

              Merridale Cidery is an awsome place for lunch, lovely view over the orchards, and their cider is delish!

              I think a road trip might be eminent!

              have fun

            2. JASPER - i always go and get the chicken curry sandwich at Patricia St Deli - you can't miss it - there is a bank nearby - the owners are glen and jennette
              also - there is a popular bakery called Bears Paw (and a second location called "other paw" - but i have had better baked goods. I would put my calories on the sandwich. before the bakery. --- if you have the budget - then of course the food at JPL Mooses Nook is wonderful . reserve ahead for a great table and enjoy the views and the atmosphere --- that is part of what you are paying for. no view from the actual restaurant, but have a before dinner refreshment on the emerald lounge patio. (seasonal) ------ ps re: hope - are you kidding?! we drive all the time thru there and get gasoline etc -- the white spot burgers at the chrevron stn are good.