Let me tell you about my new home. Tofino is beautiful, with its picturesque beaches, even when it’s raining, and lush forest! Some of my friends asked me, “Why do you go to the remote places?” Sure, the nearest Wal-Mart is an hour and half drive away in the winding roads of the “Pass”, but the drive specially on a nice clear day is gorgeous. And even if it’s the end of the road, there is no lack of good food. And we all know, I love food.
Let’s start in Ucluelet…I know it’s technically not Tofino but they have Hank’s BBQ. This little smoke house off of the harbour. It’s all the BBQ you can ever want. There’s a line up as they open and it can get pretty busy. Try the BBQ Pork Belly, I mean everyone knows I zero in on the pork belly when I see it on the menu.
Getting off from the Pacific Rim National Park and into the “end of the road” you will pass by Beaches. Nope, it’s not by the beach. In the compound you will find Wildside Grill, Chocolate Tofino, Live To Surf and in the back in a little truck is Tacofino.
Tacofino was featured on Food Network’s Eat St., you know that show that showcases food trucks all over the US. Or so I thought, until they featured Tacofino in BC. Tacofino have since expanded to the mainland since then with branches in Vancouver and Victoria. You know how you watch those shows and sometimes you wonder, is it really that good?! In Tacofino’s case, yes it is really good. Try the Pork and Kimchi gringa (quesadilla) or the Crispy Chicken burritos! And on hot summer day the Watermelon and Basil slush is a must. Call ahead too! The wait can be long — up to half an hour or more!
Wildside Grill is also decent, it’s a fish and chips/burger shack kind of place. One of the owners is a fisherman so their seafood is as fresh as it can be! Their Chicken Burger is also one of my favourites! And like Tacofino, they can also get busy specially in the summer time! They also have breakfast sandwiches!!! Try the Breakfast Tacos, add sausage!
Chocolate Tofino has since expanded into a much bigger space from its little spot in the corner of the building it shares with the Tofitian — great coffee and banana bread from RedCan Gourmet, btw. I mean I can’t really blame the Chocolate Tofino team, I have been in there on a hot summer day trying to get my Salted Caramel Gelato on a waffle cone. It can get pretty tight. It’s safe to say that I haven’t really liked any other gelato since I had theirs — I mean with the exception of the excessive gelato I had when I was Italy. In the summer they also offer the Salted Caramel Sundae, which is my sugar coma poison on those days I am feeling extra generous with myself. HAHA I am really very partial to the salted caramel gelato, so I can’t really say much about their other flavours but my friends’ favourites include the White Chocolate Raspberry, Hedgehog and Strawberry.
Further down the road from Beaches is RedCan Gourmet. Awesome burger! I think that it’s my favourite Tofitian Burger! Also best banana bread so far! Their pizza’s are also good and everyone says that the dirty mac and cheese is good. But I thought that it had too much cheese. LOL And they let me change my toast to french toast one time that I came in for brunch! Yes, I was THAT person.
As you enter downtown Tofino — yes that 500 meter stretch of road from the corner of 4th St and 1st St is considered downtown, you will find The Wolf In The Fog , which came in number 1 in the 2014 Best New Restaurant in Canada by EnRoute. Downstairs is the den which feels like a bar and lounge with huge TV screens playing surf videos. Upstairs is a full dining room with another bar with a wall of different liquors. The upstairs feels like a huge cabin made for entertaining guests. Let’s go back the liquors, I overheard the bartender saying that they pretty much scoured all the liquor stores they passed all the way to Victoria — and just to prove a point, I even saw a bottle of Fundador on the shelf. I haven’t seen Fundador since I went home to the Philippines and brought one with me!
Being in a small town also means that there are is a lack of chains! That means no Tim Horton’s! But check out Rhino and get good coffee and donuts! They also have sandwiches for those who are hungry!
Off of Campbell Ave past the post office is SOBO, also awarded one of the best new restaurants in 2003 by EnRoute, with its casual vibe and good food. They have a grab and go freezers for things to take home like soups, ice cream, pies — all made in-house. And let me just mention the Key Lime Pie and Salted Caramel Cashew Cookie — soooo good!
On Main St. you will find Sea Monster Noodle Bar, it is relatively a new addition to the restaurant scene of Tofino. I have only been in here once. They close early, 6 PM — I know right?! I had the Dan Dan Noodles and the flavours were all there. I just thought that my noodles were drowning in way too much sauce. But I will definitely come back and ask for less sauce next time.
Tofino has a total of 30 something food establishments, according to Trip Advisor, and with the size of town, some might not expect to have such abundance of good cooking. But it’s here! Our own little piece of beach, food and nature — ah it’s like paradise! Wait, what am I saying! It IS paradise!!!!
Hank’s Untraditional BBQ 1576 – B Imperial Lane, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0 (250) 726-2225
Tacofino (In Tofino) 1184 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 (250) 726-8228
Wildside Grill 1180 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 (250) 725-9453
Chocolate Tofino 1180 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 (250) 725-2526
RedCan Gourmet 700 Industrial Way, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 (250) 725-2525
Rhino Coffee House 430 Campbell St, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 (250) 725-2558
Wolf In The Fog 150 4 St, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 (250) 725-9653
SOBO 311 Neill St, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 (250) 725-2341
Sea Monster Noodle Bar 5-421 Main St, Tofino, BC V0R (250) 725-1280