One of my absolute favourite pastimes while on vacation is to just eat my way through wherever I am, and in all my travels I still come back to Powell River and Lund as some of my favourite places to munch. Whether you want pasta or pancakes, beer or coffee, tacos or fish and chips, this area really has everything you’re craving. Regardless of how long you stay, I highly recommend taking a sizable doggy bag home…preferably filled with all the desserts.
Costa Del Sol Latin Cuisine
Not only is this place a necessary stop if you have a hankering for tequila and tacos, the building makes for a truly unique dining experience. The restaurant is set in an early 1900’s rebuilt police station, and displays a plethora of local art. Admire the classic Mexican masonry as you chow down on pablano fritos and sip margaritas. Most dishes can be made gluten-free on request, and there are many vegetarian options.
Basecamp Coffee + Food + Art
A staple of the Powell River identity, Basecamp Coffee keeps locals and visitors satisfied with their carefully crafted drinks and wide variety of sweet and savory goods. Not only does is the cafe laden with local artistic talent, you can choose from breakfast, lunch or dinner, in addition to an array of grab n’ go items – including vegan options! No matter what you have planned for your Powell River trip, this place is a can’t miss!
So it has taken me far too long to write this entry, mainly because I simply got lost salivating over the dessert menu. This is one of those occasions where you might want to have dessert first, just in case you don’t have room after your main meal – which, by the way, is also guaranteed to be AMAZING. With the same owners as Costa Del Sol and Culaccino, Coastal Cookery is one in a string of some of the most quality and mouth-watering food Powell River has to offer. With a handful of vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free options, in addition to West Coast staples like Salt Spring mussels, this is a place you would remiss to pass by. But seriously, get dessert.
The third and newest addition to the family of restaurants owned by Sarah and Michael Salome, Culaccino is the authentic Italian cuisine you know your heart is yearning for. Open for lunch and dinner, you can choose from a medley of appetizers – including but not limited to flatbread, meatballs, and polenta fries – as well as “primi” and “secondi” courses. Whether you’re in the mood for squid ink pasta or roasted cauliflower gratin, this is one stop you won’t want to pass(ta) by…too much? I know, sorry, over here just dreaming about polenta fries.
The Seasider Bistro + Wine Bar + Patio
If relaxing around a fireplace sipping a gorgeous glass of wine or tasty cocktail with family and friends is more your style, then the Seasider Bistro + Wine Bar + Patio has you covered. Its ambiance allows visitors to playfully dress up for a cheeky night out, at the same time delightfully giving permission for a more relaxed attire. Located within Beach Gardens Resort & Marina, The Seasider offers dishes that evoke conversation and have a ‘big city-like’ feel in their presentation. Make no mistake though – flavours are incredible, dishes well executed and the staff will make you feel like you’re part of their community. So sit back, relax with your favourite glass of grape juice and watch the sun go down below the ocean on one of the best patios in town.
Want a truly one-of-a-kind culinary experience? How about a world-famous blackberry cinnamon bun munched while looking out over the ocean at Mile 0 of the longest highway in the world? If that sounds hard to pass up, I would tend to agree. Not only will the baked goods here have you salivating seconds after walking through the door, they have a variety of savory options including pizza and a handful of favourite breakfast staples. If you find yourself on the North Coast and looking for a true Sunshine Coast experience, you have to check out Nancy’s.
The Boardwalk Restaurant
With 180km of coastline, you had to know a few people would be smart enough to take advantage of the view. The Boardwalk restaurant in Lund has one of the greatest and most serene dining atmospheres you will find anywhere on the Coast, and just to make it all even sweeter…their menu is almost entirely gluten-free (including the fish and chips)! At Boardwalk they take pride in serving the finest local and organic ingredients, and the dessert menu always has everyone finding that little bit of extra room in the tummy.
The Laughing Oyster Restaurant
I’m sure I sound a little like a broken record at this point, continually talking about the stellar views from the patios of these North Coast restaurants, but here we go again. At the Laughing Oyster you will enjoy your meal whilst gazing out at Okeover Arm – in inlet facing Desolation Sound frequently visited by those looking for a little paddling excursion. You could even paddle in and keep your boat on the beach while you chow down on BC barbequed salmon, sip wine, and follow it all up with a slice of bourbon pecan pie. This is also a favourite venue for weddings and other events, and makes for some pretty spectacular photos!
While it is not a “foodie fav”, strictly speaking, I would be remiss to talk about the best spots on the North Coast without mentioning Townsite Brewing. When their doors opened in 2012 they quickly became a staple of the Sunshine Coast, proudly brewing award-winning beer and offering behind the scenes brewery tours. Serving a selection of staple beers, in addition to a number of seasonal brews and single-batch projects – called ‘Hulks’ – Townsite is usually high on everyone’s to-do list. Not only does their brew master hold an Engineering degree in the science of Brewing, he’s also Belgian, so you know the beer is guaranteed to be top-notch. Whether you choose to stay and sit in their newly expanded tasting room, or take a few bottles to go, I’d be willing to bet this won’t be the last time you make the trip.