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Forest, Farm and Sea to Table at Its Best

For such a tiny town, Tofino has a BIG culinary reputation. A plethora of locally owned, independent food and drink businesses are showcasing the best produce the region has to offer with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Whether you're after a dirty burrito, artisan coffee or a slap-up three-course meal, there's something to suit every palette in this Vancouver Island seaside paradise. 

1. Tacofino

A trip to Tofino wouldn't be complete without a pilgrimage to Tacofino's original food truck, where the mini-empire all began. This is a great local community spot. On a nice day, people come and relax outside the truck, locals and visitors alike, while they wait for the fresh Mexican food to be cooked to order. You can even enjoy the fresh music the staff pump out of the van. The menu has now expanded beyond tacos to include burritos and refreshing homemade soft drinks. The buffalo chicken burrito special was so good, we went back twice! 


2. Tofino Brewing Company 

A small brewery offering beer tasting in their warehouse 7-days a week. You can choose sample seasonal drafts or classics by ordering a flight of beers. They are stocked in most restaurants in Tofino, as well as across Vancouver Island and Canada. Though they only serve a small selection of bar snacks, you can bring in your own food if you're feeling a bit hungrier - the perfect excuse to grab a takeaway from Tacofino just down the road. 


3. Shelter Restaurant

Warm up from your outdoor pursuits and grab a seat by the multiple open fires in the Shelter restaurant. They have views across the Clayoquot Sound on the east coast of the peninsula, giving you a unique experience of the setting sun over the harbor. Enjoy the locally-caught seafood, fresh herbs from their garden and free-range produce from Vancouver Island Farms.  


4. Tofino Coffee Company 

This local roastery in Tofino roasts small batches of green beans for their cafe (just down the road) and wholesale customers. You can purchase their beans and coffee at either location. We highly recommend a visit while you shelter from a storm or warm up after a surf - take along a book or your latest creative project and have a true moment of Hygge. We especially love that they encourage customers to bring their own travel mugs to save 25 cents. They also collect donations of unwanted travel mugs to give to customers who have forgotten theirs! 


5. Wolf in the Fog

With the philosophy of 'Fish. Forage. Feast', Wolf in the Fog is a true farm to table restaurant showcasing the best of the natural ingredients in their surroundings. A visit here will see you sampling adventurous menu combinations - we particularly loved the potato-wrapped oysters. 


6. SoBo

An established fine dining restaurant in the heart of downtown Tofino. Short for Sophisticated Bohemian, SoBo serves what it called "grassroots gourmet cuisine" - meaning wild, foraged and organic local food is central to their identity. With a strong commitment to local, they do an incredible job of profiling the area's local producers by featuring their ingredients on the menu. Nettle pizza anyone? 


7. Picnic Charcuterie 

This deli offers something a little different - fine cured meats, preserves and cheeses using local ingredients, traditional processes and minimal preservatives. Pop into their store to sample some unique homemade charcuterie, such as their orange and walnut sausage or to indulge in a platter. For a special occasion or a romantic date, you can order one of their picnic platters to dine al fresco at one of Tofino's numerous stunning beaches. It even makes a nice memento to take home and remember your culinary adventures on Vancouver Island. 


Is your stomach rumbling enough to get you planning a trip to Tofino? Make sure you check out our guide for 5 days of adventure on the Wild Pacific Coast! If your visit to Vancouver Island is going to be longer, why not stay in some unique eco-friendly accommodations as well.

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