Sunshine Coast Dining Guide
Curling along the mainland northwest of Vancouver, this rustic region serves-up a heaping bowl of welcoming communities and independent, hidden-gem dining.
Local flavours: an idyllic foodie road trip
British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast feels like a far-away secret. Accessed via ferry from West Vancouver, its island-like vibe makes visitors feel as if they’re a million miles from big city life. But since the scenic crossing takes just 40 minutes and the lower coast’s main communities – Gibsons, Roberts Creek and Sechelt – nestle like peas in a pod along Highway 101, self-directed exploring couldn’t be easier – especially if you’re hungry. From farm-to-table restaurants to fresh-off-the-boat seafood joints and from foodie-focused markets to aromatic neighbourhood bakeries, this sparkling waterfront region is jam-packed with taste-tripping pit stops just waiting to be discovered.
Bright-painted waterfront restaurants plus the new food-forward Gibsons Public Market.
Roberts Creek Road:
The ‘downtown’ stretch resembles a woodsy Hobbit hamlet with cute, shingle-sided eateries.
Cowrie Street restaurants jostle for taste-bud attention with a hopping Farmers Market.
Beyond bacon: best brunches
The beacon-yellow Gibsons diner from TV’s The Beachcombers is a comfy, wood-floored favourite. Snag a marina-view table plus crab cake benny.
Catch-up on Roberts Creek gossip over a belt-busting plate of hash royale – then return for a chatty dinner on live music Wednesdays.
Don’t wait for a seat at Sechelt’s tastiest nook; order breakfast to-go – a house-baked biscuit sandwich layered with juicy smoked salmon.
Sweet treats: buns, cookies and more
Communing over coffee and treats is the Sunshine Coast’s main social activity – and everyone here has a favoured hangout. Roberts Creekers drop into the art-lined Gumboot Cafe for lattes and bulging cookies; Sechelters pit stop for gooey, oven-warm cinnamon buns at downtown’s The Bakery; and feverish fine choccie fans buy dainty squares and velvety truffles for everyone they know (including themselves) at Gibsons’ La Petite Souris – lavender caramels recommended.
Restaurant Hit List
The jaw-dropping waterfront vistas from the patio of Gibsons’ tiny hilltop bistro provide a perfect side-dish for regionally-sourced duck, sturgeon or pork belly. Don’t miss the hyper-local craft beer menu.
Sharkey’s Fish Locker:
This near-legendary Roberts Creek takeout – snag a scenic picnic perch at the beach – serves the Sunshine Coast’s finest, made-to-order fish-and-chips. Add some crisp, highly-addictive batter-fried coconut shrimp to your order.
Colonizing a pink-sided Gibsons house, this romantic, white-tablecloth charmer fuses regional ingredients with clever continental flourishes. Aim for a richly succulent lamb dish and a summertime table on the deck.
Meat with a view: the region’s best food shack
With golden sunlight dappling the tethered boats, the chunky wooden wharf at Gibsons Landing is an idyllic summer evening promenade. But it’s not the only reason locals amble downhill here. A sought-after alfresco perch at the rustic-but-gourmet Smoke on the Water BBQ shack adds heaping dishes of butter-soft brisket and belt-busting pulled pork sandwiches to those sigh-triggering marina views.
Drink up: top thirst-quenchers
Persephone Brewing Company:
B.C.’s ever-frothy beer scene peaks at this bucolic Gibsons microbrewery. The comfy, den-like tasting room appeals but summer is all about sipping crisp Persephone Pale Ale at a breeze-kissed outdoor table.
Sechelt’s favourite watering hole combines heaping pub grub (fish and chips recommended) with regional craft beers and panoramic views of the droning floatplanes arriving and departing on the inlet out back.
Even if you’re not staying at Madeira Park’s delightful Painted Boat Resort, sample its Lagoon Restaurant patio. Order appies and cocktails then drink in the life-affirming, forest-framed waterfront before you.
Must-taste dish: don’t leave without trying…
Seafood is a Sunshine Coast staple but Smitty’s Oyster House in Gibson’s Landing is a fresh-shucked standout. Bivalve-lovers pilgrimage here to perch on the wharf-facing patio, gaze at the bobbling boats and slurp through the region’s finest raw or fried treats – perhaps with a glass of three of B.C. wine.