With British Columbia’s capital, Victoria, laying claim to the second largest number of restaurants per capita in North America, there’s destined to some fantastic food in the city. However, Victoria isn’t the only place to find good eats – the rich land and temperate climate of Vancouver Island mean you can find restaurants with fresh, tasty meals everywhere on this little paradise. Better yet, there are multiple ways to explore the food scene; not just your run-of-the-mill food tours.
From the Comox Valley, through Cowichan Valley, down to Victoria and across to the rainforests of the Pacific Rim, the bounty of Vancouver Island is plentiful. Read on to find some of the best and most unique kinds of food tours around!
Classic Food Tours
Hop in a van and cruise from stop-to-stop sampling all the best treats and eats around. There’s a reason why people love classic food tours. It’s simple, yet effective. Here on Vancouver Island, even your basic food tour is a delight – everything is so fresh! Whether you’re exploring Tofino and Ucluelet, the Comox Valley, or anywhere else on the Island, your guide will know the best spots. Even better – you’ll likely get first dibs on a one-of-a-kind seating and experience.
A walking tour is a great way to see the place you’re visiting, while discovering its food culture. Not to mention, you earn every bite! In cities like Victoria, you’ll visit top restaurants, as well as lesser-known treasures. In smaller towns, you’ll get priority in favourite spots and more intimate knowledge of where the ingredients come from.
Cover more distance to eat more food! Not only is the comfortable pace of a bicycle perfect to take in your surroundings, you’ll earn your eats and get to see plenty of places. Campbell River and the Comox Valley are beautiful towns to discover by bicycle, and you’ll visit to not only fantastic restaurants, but also farms and wineries!
Cowichan Valley, aka. “The warm lands” offers plenty of farms to explore. Those in turn offer places to stay and find and prepare great food! Farm-stays are great to get a firsthand experience as to what makes Vancouver Island a treasure trove of farmer’s markets and fresh eats.
For those who love to get back to nature, foraging for food is a fantastic option. Head out into the wilderness with someone who knows the Island’s forests like the back of their hand; you’ll be surprised by the edible wonders that wait! Not only will you get to create a feast from your foraged finds, but you’ll have a whole new understanding of the amazing plants in our temperate rainforests.
While wine doesn’t quite constitute a food tour, you DO sometimes get cheese and crackers, so it counts. Plus, the Island has so many wineries, it would be shame to miss out on such an important part of the lifestyle. Have someone cart you around in style as you sip your way through some of B.C.’s top wineries. It doesn’t get better than that.
If you didn’t know, Victoria is known as the Beer Capital of B.C., although the microbreweries don’t stop there. From Victoria, to Cumberland and Courtenay, brew tours will let you indulge in a liquid lunch (barley is a food, right?) and dinner at some fantastic breweries. Again, not quite a “food tour,” but certainly a part of the foodie culture.
What better way to get to know a place than by indulging in its food? No matter what way you choose to sip, munch or lunch your way around Vancouver Island, you’re truly in for a treat. One thing is certain; you can never go wrong when food is involved.
Contributed by: Laurissa Cebryk