We arrived early on a friday evening. The locals were starting to stream in. Apparently, plenty of them would hang out there on friday nights. They had a big screen and were showing sports events as I remember. Since our group was pretty large the waitress seated us at a large table and gave us a great deal of attention. Food was relatively cheap and good sized portions. I just had a burger which was very tasty, good quality meat..not too greasy or too small.
Pretty laid back clientele, we had fun and as i remember most of us in the group left near closing time. Service and prices were pretty good
Favorite Dish: there was mostly bar food and i remember, but good quality meat. I had a burger. portion was pretty decent sized without being too much. well cooked and tasty.
Good pubs and great beers! Cheers mate! Beer in Canada was introduced by European settlers in the seventeenth century, and a number of commercial brewers thrived until Prohibition in Canada. Though short-lived, very few brewers survived, and it was only in the late twentieth century that new breweries opened up. The Canadian Beer industry now plays an important role in Canadian identity, though globalization of the brewing industry has seen the major players in Canada acquired by or merged with foreign companies, notably its three largest beer producers, Labatt, Molson and Sleeman. The result is that Moosehead has become the largest fully Canadian-owned brewer.
This was one of our favourite accommodation choices during our trip (see my other tip for details) and also provided us with one of our nicest meals, at least in mainland British Columbia – generally we found the food on Vancouver Island to be of a superior quality but this was definitely an exception to that.
We ate dinner on the deck of the main lodge. Judging by the website this has been newly built since we were there and the pictures look fantastic, but we were very happy with the set-up when we were there. It was lovely sitting outside in the midst of that beautiful mountain scenery, enjoying a really tasty dinner of pasta with scallops and prawns, with fresh strawberries to follow and a good bottle of wine.
I’ve checked out the current menu on the website and like the lodge itself the meals seem to have gone considerably “up-market” in the last few years. Sample dishes on offer are, as appetisers, wild mushroom ravioli, caramelized sea scallops and Canadian goat cheese and walnut terrine; and as entrees, pheasant Wellington, hickory wood smoked chicken and ragout of caribou. These certainly aren’t cheap (probably around $50 (Canadian) per head, plus drinks and service.
Be warned, there’s nowhere else nearby to eat, so you maybe need to come prepared to splash out a little – and if the quality is as good as we experienced you’ll probably agree it’s worth paying a little extra. We also had breakfast here, which was a good buffet with plenty of fresh fruit and croissants. This is included in the price of the cabin.
My photo shows the view of Cathedral Mountain from the Lodge and was taken by Chris.
Situated in the grounds of the Tiki Village Motel, this was a good choice for the evening of our stay there. There’s outdoor seating which overlooks the motel’s garden and so is set away from passing traffic noise. It’s a Japanese restaurant although it also serves Western choices such as burgers. You can choose from sushi, teriyaki and tempura dishes – I had a good noodle dish, but unfortunately the details aren’t recorded in my diary! You can also get breakfast here but we chose instead to go into town to a coffee shop (see my Bean to Brew tip)
The fabulous Sooke Harbour House has a restaurant which is one of the top rated restaurants in the world.
It is only open to the general public for dinner from 5 pm each evening. The menu is written during the day and literally the food is fresh from the sea -- I dined on seafood that was caught just of the pier on Whiffen Spit near the hotel, plus scallops that the owner himself dived for that day. The menu focuses on regional cuisine and they use many items from their herb gardens on site.
Book earlier in the week if you want to sit in the dining section overlooking the ocean. The food here is not cheap, and is a special occasion place for sure.
Favorite Dish: I could not get enough of the fresh seafood; the crab in particular. In my opinion, though, I have had this quality of food or even better (such as at The Post Hotel in Lake Louise) for cheaper prices, which lowered my satisfaction rating. However, they do have a captive market here from the guests here.
If your pockets are empty enough and you don't order dessert, at the end of the meal you are given a small plate of sweets, which I thought was a nice touch. The service here is good, and personalities of the wait staff ranged from snobbery (listen fella, we're paying you to serve us) to friendly and warm.
Huckleberry's is a log cabin restraurant. Our B&B lady told us about here, and also, how the Log cabin was built, this was very interesting.
Inside, it was lovely as well. We had a good waitress, good, cheap meal, what more could we ask for!
Our B&B lady recommended it to us, so if locals use it, it must be alright, it certainly was!
There is plenty of different dishes to choose from..........
Spinnakers is the longest running of the Victoria brewpubs, having opened its doors in 1984. It has expanded considerably since that time and has gone a bit more upscale, calling themselves a Gastrobrewpub for good measure. This is a now a sprawling operation, taking up a few floors of a spacious facility on the other side of the Inner Harbor.
I visited the original brewpub in 1994 and this place in no way reminds me of it. If it has not changed physically I definitely had too many pints that year! It is a very nice place and homey despite its upscale leanings. It is obviously a place to be seen and a local of well-to-do Victorians were frequenting the place when we were there. There is quite a bit of outdoor seating which is very popular especially in the good weathet.
We went twice, once sitting at the small bar downstairs and once at a stand-up table during happy hour as they had tapped a special keg up there that afternoon.
Favorite Dish: We had only two nights in Victoria and since we had already had a typical pub dinner at The Swan and Spinnakers menu had gone very much upscale, we decided to just go there for a few beers. Besides, there were numerous other places in town with more interesting ethnic food we wanted to try.
While Spinnakers has many of their beers on tap, not all are cask-conditioned. If looking to try something rare and authentic, please ask for something that is cask. If you are unsure, ask for a sample. Once you get used to the soft palate of cask beer, you won't want to go back.
We stopped by Spinnakers twice for beers and tried: 1) Mitchell's Extra Special Bitter-Amber session beer in the London tradition. Low carbonation & sudsy head. Fruity malt palate w/ perfect hops to dry out the finish without imparting an overbearing bitterness. Quite good. 2) Summer Stout-Light bodies coffee-ish stout w/ bittersweet semi-dry finish.
Every weekday at 4 PM, they tap a new cask at the upstairs bar. Actually, ON the bar as it is gravity poured. Pints are C$5 until it kicks compared to their more typical C$7.
Along with their fine dining, they also sell artisan chocolate and bread in a small shop inside the multi-use sprawling brewpub/guesthouse. It was very nice chocolate but as you can imagine, not cheap.
Though the name, The Swan sounds like an English pub, this former Canadian Brewpub of the Year has a decided British Colombia edge, like Native American art and open air windows, but from hand-pulled ales to Sheppard's Pie, this places breathes UK.
This is quite a large facility, occupying the entire first floor of its namesake hotel but it's broken into a couple of rooms connected by a smallish and not highly frequented bar so you never feel lost in it. It's certainly more of a restaurant than a real pub and has a bit of a high end vibe to it. There are big windows everywhere and on the day we visited, they were open to let in whatever sea breeze was blowing along with lots of sun. Service was friendly enough but not overly efficient.
We decided to share one meal and one appetizer as prices for eating out in Canada are generally much higher than in the US. The Sheppard's Pie (C$ 13.95) which according to their menu has a tradition at the pub for 20 years was handsomely presented and full of stout infused lamb and fresh vegetables, topped nicely with mashed potatoes. It seemed smallish for the price but the quality was very high and came with a very nice salad of mixed greens topped with various seeds. Poutine (C$ 8.95) is a classic Canadian dish and this appetizer plate was quite large and a meal in itself. Perfectly done fresh cut fries were covered in a nice brown gravy and beautiful melted curd cheese
Favorite Dish: Now, for the beers. Though The Swan does have some regular tap beers, they are most noted for their cask-conditioned beers. These ales are under secondary fermentation in the keg and thus change over the course of their shelf life. They are more perishable for this reason. It makes for a softer palate and much less carbonation and hence easier to drink. This is part of where the term session ale comes from. Ales as a rule are fermented at higher temperatures and should be served like-wise so the hand drawn ales at The Swan are at cellar temperature. It's not warm, just not ice cold as North Americans tend to be used to. All are also served in proper Imperial Pint glasses so close to 20 US ounces.
We had all three of their current cask line-up: 1) Appleton Brown (5% alcohol)-Light brown w/ thin head & soft mouthfeel. Fruity palate w/ some drying hops for balance. A bit on the sweet side but after a month of drinking in the Pacific Northwest anything would taste sweet. That said, more hops would do it well. 2) Buckerfield's ESB (5%)-Light amber w/ sudsy head. Fantastic go at an English session ale. More of a bitter than an ESB. Fruity & dry. Clean bitter dry finish. Lovely. 3) Swan's Oatmeal Stout (5.4%)-Black w/ thin tan head. Some roast coffee in this primarily malty brew that dries just enough in the bittersweet finish.
The two meals with three pints came to C$ 49 including a modest but typical for Canada 10% tip.
We stopped at this small, charming home-style Italian restaurant on our way to Vancouver. As the name implies, they specialise in pasta dishes, of which they had a wide selection. I especially liked the make-your-own pasta option where you pick your noodle and sauce separately. The owner was very sweet and her husband did the cooking. The portions were hearty and prices were reasonable. Even the house wine was good. My one complaint was that the pasta was a bit salty, but I would return to this restaurant.
This is a good independent coffee shop in Vernon, which my internet research suggests is still there despite the huge spread of the chains since our visit five years ago. We visited twice – for a refreshing iced coffee in the afternoon, and again the next day for breakfast when we enjoyed good lattes and very large muffins! They also do soups and sandwiches at lunchtime.
This resort offers a couple of dining options, which is good as it’s very isolated and you probably won’t want to go out looking for somewhere to eat. Of course if you’re camping or staying in one of the cottages you can cater for yourself, but if like us you’re staying in the Lodge you’ll have the choice of the more casual bistro or the Pinewoods Restaurant. We visited the latter for both dinner and breakfast. For the former we shared a starter of hummus, which I followed with Wiener Schnitzel, thereby thoroughly mixing my European cuisines! The next morning at breakfast I had a very good smoked salmon omelette.
In the basement below the restaurant is the Bears Den Pub – we came here for an after-dinner drink (a great melon margarita!) but there are also light meals available here too.
This is a welcoming café in the small town of Hope, which is famous for its chainsaw carvings (see my General tip). In addition to great coffees (we both enjoyed a cooling mocha frappuccino as it was a hot day) and a good range of light meals such as wraps and sandwiches the café offers internet access. The atmosphere is cosy with comfortable seating and art on the walls – plus this giant moose to welcome you! We were there during the day, but in the evening there are regular live music events with a small ($5 Canadian) cover charge.
Current opening hours are Monday – Saturday 8am – 10pm, Sunday 9am – 10pm
Burrowing Owl winery and vineyards is probably one of the most impressive wineries I've ever been too. It sits up on a bit of a plateau between Osoyoos and Oliver, and it is surrounded on all sides by massive fields of grapevines. You can climb up to the roof of the winery to get a 360 degree view of the vineyards. Fantastic!
We decided to try the winery restaurant during our road trip in 2005. We arrived late, perhaps 1:00 pm, and the winery and restaurant were packed. We ended up waiting for at least 30 minutes for a table. Once we were seated though, we were treated to a delicious lunch. We were fortunate enough to get a seat out on the patio where we enjoyed the amazing views and the sunlight.
The atmosphere alone would make this restaurant worth visiting again.
Favorite Dish: We enjoyed Burrowing Owl wine, which, Jesse agreed, was delicious. For lunch, I was treated to a cool summer squash soup to start, with my main dish being a tuna filet with orzo. Everything we ate was fantastic and I was sad we couldn't afford to try everything and that we didn't have time to come back.
The menu at Burrowing Owl changes regularly, but if our meal was any indication, the food is always good.
This little mom and pop place is located just off Highway 97, and we found Mom and Pop behind the counter when we arrived.
This little roadside diner serves a wide variety of items, but is of the fast food genre: milk shakes, ice cream, burgers, fried chicken, fries, that sort of thing. There is a little run-down dine-in area that is made up of mismatched formica tables and chairs, pictures of Mom dressed up as an ice cream cone for the local town parade, plus an old calendar hung on the wall. However, it was clean and service was prompt. We even go to talk to Pop as he ate his own lunch at the table across from us.
Favorite Dish: I recommend the shakes and burgers; they make their shakes very thick, and the burgers are made as you order them. We tried a piece of fried chicken to see if it was any good, and it wasn't bad. Stick to the burgers, fries, and shakes. Eat in, and if Mom and Pop aren't busy, you can have a very pleasant chat.
I'm pretty sure that this restaurant would be part of a chain, meaning you would find it throughout...im not certain about that though.
Our visit here was just delightful. We got very good food, and the service was exceptional. If we were staying in Kamloops for longer, I'm sure we would have eaten here for the duration of our time.
The pantry runs parallel to highway 1, so the surrounds as you would imagine aren't superb. The resturant is one you would expect from the likes of sizzler or dennys or similar.
But the food was just really good, with a great variety on the menu, at a good price.
Favorite Dish: They offer all sorts of dishes here, and cater for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I really loved the chicken medeira for about $11, and it comes with your choice of vegies.
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