tofino, bc

We’ve only lived on the west coast for three years but I think we still act like giddy tourists, zooming around the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island any chance we get.

I am shocked by the amount of local people who have never been to Tofino.  I’ve been told that it is because it is expensive (true), a long trip (8 hours door-to-door for us, including a ferry ride), rainy (yes) and features a journey on treacherous roads (Also true.  We unwittingly drove through a snow storm across the island on the way home).  BUT.  It is worth the trip.  I call Tofino the Hawai’i of Canada.  Sleepy surfer towns at the end of the road are my favourite places. Tofino is akin to Hana or Hanalei in Hawai’i.

This is the third year we’ve ventured to Tofino on Spring Break.  It also happens to be our wedding anniversary – 15 years this year! – so we always go out for dinner to Wolf in the Fog.  This year we had no sitter, so we brought our youngest son with us and taught him how to sit patiently and happily for a two hour dinner (which is an important quality for any kid to have).

Tofino is a foodie haven, so let’s start with our anniversary dinner at Wolf in the Fog.  This is modern west coast food and decor done up fancy but with totally unpretentious, affable service.  Make a reservation and head upstairs to your table.  If you are lucky, you’ll get a booth with a sparkly view of the open bar and kitchen.

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Wolf in the Fog’s view

We promised our boy burger and fries, and Wolf in the Fog did not disappoint.  This place loves vertical food and their burger is no exception.  I stole a few fries off Aaron’s plate and can attest they were crunchy, salty and delicious, as a good fry should be.  I was not allowed one bite of his burger, which is always a good sign.

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Dude smelling fries

Both my husband and I ordered fish – Mike the halibut and gnocchi special and me the rockfish.  The halibut was delicate with a pesto sauce and the rockfish was punch in your face with Asian flavours.  Both fish, but two totally different dishes.

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BOOM the Rockfish Dish

As I’m apt to do, I had scoped out the menu online beforehand and decided I wanted the Carrot Cake Sundae dessert.  I could not resist the description:  Apple Butter, Cream Cheese Ice Cream, Pineapple Ginger Toffee Sauce, White Chocolate, Pecans but by this time it was getting dark and I was losing my light – so I took a crappy picture of it:

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Carrot Cake Sundae, better than it looks

Gods willing, we plan to be at Wolf in the Fog for our 16th anniversary too.

To save on costs, we vowed to eat out only one meal a day on our four day trip.  We always always go to the original Tacofino (an orange food truck parked off the highway, with a totally different, laid-back feel than the Vancouver locations) and are never disappointed.

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Tacofino Me.

Other highlights included brews at Tofino Brewery under the cosy heaters, the spectacular service (and sprinkles!) at Rhino Tofino coffee shop, chocolates at Chocolate Tofino, best thin crust pizza this side of Italy at a new kid in town, Basic Goodness Pizza and the awesome view at The Hatch Pub.  Previous years we got our noodle on at Sea Monster Noodle Bar too.

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Basic Goodness Pizza
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The Hatch Pub

Yes it rains, it is expensive, it is far, the road there is winding.  But STILL GO, if you possibly can, to Tofino.  Food aside, THIS is why you make the effort to travel there:

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Tofino 2010

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surf tofino. in a wet suit.

Thanks to Chowhound, I can pre-research food and dining choices before we travel.   Someone recommended Tough City Sushi in Tofino, so we went to Tough City Sushi in Tofino.   It was an excellent choice for date night.

Here are what my notes said afterwards:

Mike and I had a very delightful date night, complete with buttery fresh sushi on the patio, watching the float planes take off and the house German Shepard wander about.  Service is great everywhere in Tofino – very laid back and welcoming and unresentful of tourists.  Some towns that expand in the summer aren’t like that, but Tough City Sushi is.  I love the diversity of people in restaurants here – families, guys just getting off work, fancy tourists.  It doesn’t matter – everybody has to eat.

The food was in my belly quicker than I could take a photo of it.  But here’s the view:

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view at tough city sushi

There’s something magical about an evening that is a collision of adored company, interesting conversation, fresh off the boat sushi, stunning views and friendly service.  This was one for the memory books.

(And I’m never buying sushi at an Edmonton grocery store again).

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