On our recent trip to the Sunshine Coast, we spent our days indulging in many of my favourite things: hiking, beaching, exploring and dining out. It was an unusual experience to be waking up in a tent each morning, substituting showers with swimming, but then be putting on nicer clothes (i.e. not my usual camping attire) to go out for a nice dinner or brunch. By the sixth day it was starting to feel a bit gross, even with the swimming, so I think our trip was probably the perfect time away. While we managed to have many a BBQ at our various campsites, we were still able to fit in a decent amount of cafes and restaurants too, particularly helped when the weather wasn’t so flash.
On a previous trip to Gibsons Landing, I managed to eat out a fair bit despite the factI I had just had a tooth removed. I wrote an entire post on food in Gibsons, which can be read here. We ate at a few of the same places again: I don’t think any trip to Gibsons is complete without a visit to Beachcomber Coffee or Persephone Brewery. Both excel in their respective liquids: the Beachcomber Coffee is one of the most ‘sessionable’ coffees I have ever had (we bought yet another bag to take away with us) and Persephone has one of the coolest brewery settings I have ever been to. It is set up on a lifestyle block, with produce and farm animals and hops all growing on the property.
This time around we also managed to squeeze in a visit to Drift Cafe. We had tried to go here last year but we couldn’t get a table and couldn’t afford to wait. We arrived at the perfect time on a week day to get a table for lunch and were seated on one of the verandah seats overlooking the ocean. It is an absolutely beautiful spot and the food entirely backs it up. The menu is pretty limited, but the options are all delicious in their own right. We order the Korean fried chicken burger as well as the fried chicken on waffles (original I know) but we were both absolutely ravenous and nothing hits the spot like fried chicken! The food was to an extremely high standard and I think one of the nicest cafes I have been to in Canada.
Slightly further up the coast in Davis Bay are two more excellent cafes. Well, the Wobbly Canoe is probably more accurately described as a beach bistro, but we went there for lunch and it did not disappoint. It has a great set up, across the road from the beach, and a great indoor to outdoor flow. The menu was huge, the tables were large, and the whole place just radiated good fun. Not only that, but our food was everything we ever wanted in that particular meal! We left as very happy customers.
Gourmet Girl is just down the road and has a slightly different vibe. It has a huge cabinet selection and relatively slow service, meaning that the queue tends to stretch out the door most of the time. There is a shop inside, which sells lots of fun knick-knacks, as well as some very cool gifts. We picked ourselves up some beautiful bamboo bowls there. We ordered brownie, coffee, fish and chips and a breakfast burrito, and all of the food was tasty and well priced, although we didn’t love the fact that everything was given to us in takeaway containers, despite us specifying we were eating in. I suspect it was because they are short staffed (which also explains the slow service) and don’t have anyone to do the dishes, but it felt pretty wasteful throwing our stuff in the bin as we left. It was a cute spot though, and I would happily visit again!
We went to two great cideries in the area and we loved both, despite having two very different experiences. Sunday Cider is near to Gibsons Landing and we had been recommended to come here on a sunny afternoon, as there are lot of outside picnic tables centred around a little garden and rotating food trucks. When we arrived we immediately saw the appeal; it seemed like the perfect setting for some low key outdoor music on a summer’s afternoon. The only problem was that it was absolutely pouring with rain and we were the only customers there! The hole in the wall set up meant there was no indoor seating for us to shelter in. Fortunately the day was not a cold one, so we wiped down a picnic table, bought a bottle of cider and spent the next few hours playing cards in the rain! We ordered perogies from the daily food truck, which were extremely tasty and warming, albeit a little overpriced. The cider was fantastic: in Andy’s words ‘the best cider ever’, so we grabbed a bottle of the stone fruit cider on our way out.
The other cidery we visited is called Brickers Cider and we probably chose the best possible day to visit it. Nestled amongst the apple trees, we both ordered a flight and then made our way to a table in the sun. There was plenty of shelter available if needed and a little shed with a kitchen, seemingly churning out some of the most delicious looking food. It was a picture perfect scene: blue skies, green trees, apples reddening and SO MANY DOGS! We were very entertained watching all the four legged companions interacting and lazing in the sun.
Our time in Sechelt brought with it a bag of very mixed weather. Thankfully Sechelt is the biggest township on the Sunshine Coast, so we were able to entertain ourselves with some great food options.
First up was a morning trip to The Bakery, which conveniently coincided with a bit of a downpour! We were fortunate to get a window table and everything on the menu was so cheap, we ended up spending way longer there than I had ever intended. We had a savoury scone, which reminded me how long it had been since I last ordered one (I think that is because nothing compares to the Mojo cheese and chilli scone back in Wellington), a sausage roll, a butter tart and a piece of brownie. We also had big ol’ mugs of drip coffee, which we positively nursed! The brownie was 10/10 and although the butter tart was yummy, I was kicking myself as soon as I sat down because I had seen the pear and almond tart in cupboard as well as the carrot cake, neither of which I had noticed as I was ordering.
We visited newly opened Twenty Two, a huge modern tap house that had only a billion different screens playing various sports channels. We were deliberately killing time here, so we were ordering appetisers one by one so that we always had something to eat! It was pretty fun though, sipping on our drinks and people watching. We ordered the guacamole and chips which was tasty as well as the onion bhaji, which was super crisp and flavoursome.
From Twenty Two, we made our way to Batch 44, the local brewery. It was a bit more pub-like than a brewery and none of the beers were particularly memorable, although we still had a really good night. Because, BECAUSE, Rock’n’roll bingo!!! Andy was so reluctant to begin with (which is funny, because he possesess 99% of our combined general knowledge and 100% of our music knowledge), but I think he actually had a really good time. It was essentially bingo with songs from the decades gone by, which we had to mark off our sheets with giant bingo markers. It was such a blast and although we didn’t win, we kind of came close! For dinner, Andy had a chicken burger and I had a big ol’ plate of ribs, both of which were great value.
Another brewery we visited was Townhouse Brewery. Far more authentic, it is up in Powell River and located in the old post office in a historic part of town. It has a beautiful set up and a great range of beer on offer. They had a very cool beer garden, which we were sadly unable to sit in because we had ordered flights (and for whatever reason they weren’t licensed to serve flights in that area) but we sat out the front in the sun. The beer was less to my taste than more modern breweries (i.e. its IPA tasted like a bottled draught beer) but the vibe was perfect for the sunny afternoon we found ourselves in. The other recommendation I have if you’re up that way is Nancy’s Bakery in Lund. While I didn’t take any photos (I was in a huge rush to catch my ferry) the cinnamon buns are *chef’s kiss*!
Speaking of cinnamon buns, the last place worthy of a mention is Skookumchuck Cafe. I wouldn’t go out of your way to visit this cafe, but if you are walking to Skookumchuck Narrows it makes for the perfect stop. The iced coffee and the cinnamon buns were both on the money, and exactly what we felt like after our return hike to watch the whirlpools (read more about that in my hiking post here). There is some seating on the deck, but there are also a few picnic tables down below.
We ate pretty well considering it was a week long ‘camping trip’. I get so much enjoyment out of scoping out new places for us to visit and it was lovely to have eating and drinking as one of our main activities for the week. There were so many places we didn’t make it to, however I was stoked with all the places we did go to – I had a great time at all of them!