Dining Options in Long Beach/Tofino/Ucuelet with children
Thinking of a quick trip to the Wet Coast with the little one. We'll have a kitchen but will likely eat dinners and a few lunches out. Haven't eaten out in the area in ages so any suggestions of restaurants would be great. Our 3 year old is well-behaved but "fine dining" a la The Pointe would probably be a bit too much to expect him to handle.
Also, where would be the best place to buy a few groceries (milk, sandwich fixings, snacks)
I thought I would report back on our trip earlier this month. Sorry it's a bit long. We only ended up having two meals out as our kitchen was well supplied and breakfast was included in our room.
We had dinner one evening at the Long Beach Lodge Resort which was lovely. The room is very cozy with a great view of Cox Bay. Their menu is quite diverse with classic fine dining selections, more casual "apres surf" options, sushi (but only during the week it seems?),and thin-crust pizzas. The restaurant is also very welcoming for children. And as an added bonus, if you reserve for the 5:30 seating children eat for free.
We weren't that ravenous on our visit here so my SO had the Sidney Island Venison Chorizo pizza with kalamata olives, red onion and red pepper. It was a good size for one person, nice thin crust, pretty good char. They were having a pizza & beer special for $20 which was a nice touch. I had a couple of selections off the Apres Surf menu. The maui ribs were a bit fatty but the sauce was yummy and it was a larger portion that I expected. They were served with a grilled pineapple and a frisee salad. My other dish was the crispy prawn and crab cakes. Now, "cakes" plural is a bit of a misnomer as there was only one cake but it was a nice size. I also assumed that it was a "prawn and crab cake" but it was actually a very nice crab cake (with corn, mango and other yummy goodness in the mix) and 4 large crispy prawns on top. It too was served with a frisee salad and a tomatoey sauce. The frisee salad on both dishes was exceptionally well dressed and delicious for what was essentially a garnish. We were both two full for dessert unfortunately.
Our 3 year old enjoyed a very gourmet macaroni & cheese off the kids menu with a selection of veggies (asparagus, baby carrots, broccoli and snap peas) on the side (he doesn't eat salad or fries which are the side choices offered on the menu). The kids items also come with a choice of beverages and a scoop of vanilla or chocolate gelato for dessert.
Our other meal out was at Shelter in Tofino. The ambience was nice, if a bit dark (most of the light seemed to come from the big screen tvs playing old school surfing movies). I understand the "Cactus Club of Tofino" references I heard. The food and service was good but not exceptional. We had the burger with sweet potato fries, soba noodle salad with tuna, calamari and the pasta with tomato sauce. I don't know if I would rush back here but it was a good solid choice. They also had the Tofino Brewery's beers on tap which was a nice local touch.
We had been hoping to have lunch at the Pointe at the Wickanninish Hotel but unfortunately the whole property was closed for January for massive renovations and updating. Next time.
Sobo was also closed for the season although the new permanent location looks great.
Also a note on groceries, the Coop in Tofino was well stocked and had what looked to be a great deli section and salad bar. The little Beaches grocery "shack" was also amazingly well stocked for such a tiny place but sadly it was too wet for chantrelles.
I have in the past from just about, if not the actual, the year they opened. Lisa and her husband of SOBO were part of management in the early days and that is where I had my first "Killer" fish taco.
In years gone by...although not this last visit in October...we would usually pop in for at least one lunch. The Great Room within the Lodge affords a beautiful view of Cox Bay and the rolling surf there differs from that which one sees from Chesterman Beach where we stay. Always pleasant but not outstanding and they seem to have quite the staff turnover.
Another option when you want an ocean view so SoBo and Shelter are out, you do not want to splash out $ at the Wick and the weather drives you inside from the Wildside Grill.
Look forward to reading your post when you finish your visit
Just lunches there us as with the Black Rock in Ucluelet.
SoBo immediately springs to mind. Decent food, friendly relaxed service and atmosphere. Definitely family friendly especially in the afternoons when a lot of the local moms are eating and chatting accompanied by their children.
You mentioned the Pointe. Agree that dinner is probably out...besides at this time of year you will not have the great ocean and Chesterman Beach views unless you are eating as early as possible. However, they are more relaxed at lunch and children were there when we lunched two or three times in October.
We bought most of our provisions at the Co-Op in Tofino. The renovations and expansions over the years have meant that you can get just about anything there now. Cold cuts, cheeses and salad fix in's can also be purchased at Beaches out on the highway close to the turnoff to Lynn Rd and the Wick or in town at Breakers.
Enjoy your visit.
One time we will have to get out there at this time of year.