Vancouver’s Sunshine Coast is a treat for the eyes as well as your taste buds with high-quality eateries dotted along the coastline from Gibsons to Lund. Come for the pristine coastal views and stay for the premium cuisine.
Check out these eight spots, complete with recommended dishes, for a taste of what the Sunshine Coast has to offer.
Perched at the end of the boardwalk overlooking an oyster bed in Lund, and just a 30-minute drive from Powell River, sits the aptly named Boardwalk Restaurant. Pull up a seat and enjoy fresh local seafood, while you watch the sun dip behind the mountains. All dishes are also gluten free.
Owner and head chef Roy Blackwell recommends:
Starter: Fresh Oyster Plate
Six local oysters served on the half shell with a green garlic mignonette. The oyster selection changes with what is available and can be up to six different varieties of oyster in one serving.
Main: Fish and Chips
Fresh local fish, a choice of salmon, lingcod or halibut, served with chips, made from Vancouver Island potatoes, and a side salad with a berry vinaigrette. Choice of one or two pieces.
Dessert: Chocolate Love Cake
Flourless chocolate cake: rich, moist and decadent.
Location: Longacre Rd, Lund
As you cruise along Powell River’s main street, Marine Avenue, you’ll come across a colourful casa painted purple and turquoise. Step inside Costa Del Sol and the colours continue, inviting you to sit down and stay to enjoy the vibrant flavours of this little eatery’s award-winning Latin cuisine.
Owner and Head Chef Mike Salome recommends:
Fresh corn chips are topped with a medley of cheeses, homemade verde and roasted tomato salsa, then baked in a cast iron skillet and served with guacamole or chorizo.
Main: Fish Tacos
Local ling cod is battered and topped with homemade salsa, chipotle aioli and avocado mousse, and served on a white corn tortilla. Mike’s fish tacos were awarded best seafood dish in Powell River.
Dessert: Key Lime Pie
A classic graham cracker crust and the sweet bite of freshly squeezed key limes have earned this pie the title of Powell River’s best dessert.
Location: 4578 Marine Ave, Powell River
Located just a stone’s throw from their first restaurant, Costa Del Sol, Mike and Sarah Salome also own Coastal Cookery. While Sarah heads up the front-of-house, Mike works his magic in the kitchen cooking up West Coast comfort food at its finest.
Owner and Head Chef Mike Salome recommends:
Starter: Salt Spring Mussel
Fresh Salt Spring Island mussels are cooked in a creole white wine sauce, topped with a touch of smoked salt and served with a garlic baguette.
Main: Backyard Beer Can Chicken
Vancouver Island chicken breast is dry rubbed, soaked in beer and roasted. It comes served with red-skinned mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Dessert: Smores Smash
Homemade marshmallows are brûléed and topped with vanilla gelato, a housemade cinnamon graham cracker and chocolate ganache.
Location: 4553 Marine Ave, Powell River
A popular spot for travellers arriving by boat, the Laughing Oyster sits tucked away in the forest overlooking the waters of Okeover inlet off of Desolation Sound. This peaceful perch, just a short drive from Powell River, has been treating diners to breathtaking views and find food for the past 19 years.
Head Chef David Bowes recommends:
Starter: Gunpowder Prawns
Five sauteed prawns served in a spicy lobster, beer, tomato and parsley butter.
Main: Wasabi Lime Aioli Salmon Filet
Grill seared salmon filet served with a balsamic vinegar reduction and pink ginger.
Dessert: Sticky Date Pudding
A soft pudding cake served warm with hot toffee sauce and ice cream.
Location: 10052 Malaspina Rd, Powell River
Boasting a large wrap around patio, green space and a lush vegetable garden, Gumboot is a pleasant place to post up for a meal. The focus is on fresh, organic when possible and local. So local in fact, that 50 per cent of their summer produce is from their own backyard garden. Gumboot is also vegetarian, vegan and allergy friendly.
Starter: Pacific Cod Fish Cakes
Two fish cakes, made East Coast style with mashed potatoes, served with truffle aioli and a side salad.
Local Butcher Dave’s grassfed rib eye served with hasselback potatoes, seasonal vegetables and finished with a local mushroom and peppercorn demi glaze.
Dessert: Chocolate Quinoa Cake
Made fresh daily from the Gumboot Bakery next door. Gluten and dairy free, decadent and topped with tofu icing.
Location: 2W0, 1041 Roberts Creek Rd, Roberts Creek
A visit to the Lighthouse Pub guarantees good company, great food and stunning scenery. Walk, boat or drive up to this marina-side restaurant overlooking Porpoise Bay and enjoy everything from casual bar snacks to a full-fledged steak dinner while enjoying panoramic views from their waterfront patio, the largest on the Sunshine Coast.
Lighthouse Pub recommends:
Starter: Snake Bites
Breaded chicken nuggets are cooked until crispy in a spicy chili mixture and served with your choice of dipping sauce.
Main: 8oz Steak
Every Monday guests can order an 8oz striploin steak cooked to their liking and served with grilled vegetables and rosemary roasted potatoes.
Dessert: Banana Cheesecake Churro
A secret recipe, the details of which are limited to: battered bananas, fried, coated with cinnamon sugar and served warm with vanilla ice cream.
Location: 5764 Wharf Ave, Sechelt
When Russ Snitchuck opened Harbourside Bistro a year ago he decided to let his customers design the menu. Starting out with tapas style small plates, he invited guests to determine what should stay and what should go. The restaurant now offers a diverse selection of guest-approved dishes that are sure to please every patron.
Owner Russ Snitchuk recommends:
Starter: Duck Drummettes
Duck drummettes seasoned in a five spice rub before being confited in duck fat with honey and onions, and slow cooked for four hours. Fall-off-the-bone delicious, this all-star starter takes the number one spot.
This Sicilian-style seafood stew is made with fresh mussels, clams, prawns, crab legs and a large piece of either ling cod or rockfish. The seafood is steamed and served in a tomato basil sauce.
Dessert: Apple Brown Betty
The dessert selection at Harbourside Bistro changes seasonally and now that blueberry season has wrapped, it’s on to apples! A traditional apple compote is served warm with a brown betty top. Made fresh to order.
Location: 643 School Rd, Gibsons
Now in it’s third year, Smoke on the Water BBQ Shack has made Gibson’s landing the go-to destination for authentic southern style barbeque. All smoking is done on site in an old hickory smoker built specially in Missouri, and all meats are locally sourced when possible. Typically closed during the colder months, Smoke on the Water will stay open throughout the winter season.
Head Chef and owner Chris Van Nus recommends:
Side Dish: Cowboy Beans
These aren’t just any old beans, Smoke on the Water’s beans take three days to make and are worth the wait. Soaked overnight and then cooked in bacon, molasses, garlic and onions, the beans are finished in the smoker right under the brisket, soaking up the drippings as they cook together for 12 hours.
Main Course: Meat Lover’s Poutine
Crisp Kenneck fries are served with slow smoked brisket, pulled pork, topped with fresh cheese curds and homemade chicken gravy and garnished with pig candy. What is pig candy you ask? Thick sliced bacon covered with ancho and brown sugar and then smoked for roughly five hours until nice and crispy.
Dessert: Smoked Almond Tart
A puff pastry shell is filled with a smoked almond frangipane and seasonal fruit. Fall fruits include apples, figs and pears.
Location: 611 School Road, Gibsons
Presented by Sunshine Coast Tourism