Now that you’ve booked your accommodation it’s time to explore our eclectic coastal community with a little insider information. There’s a million and one things to do in Tofino so we thought we’d give you a head start with some suggestions. Local knowledge is key, always.
We’re foodies, and we’re not ashamed to admit it. Thankfully Tofino boasts a wealth of amazing eateries specializing in organic local cuisine rich in the flavours of the Pacific Northwest. Here’s a list of some of our fav’s.
Lunch & Dinner
Shelter 601 Campbell St – This is a local favourite offering great atmosphere and a fantastic wrap-around patio, definitely a go-to spot for both lunch and dinner on sunny days. Try the salmon bowl and fresh oysters, also the ling cod burger is insane. Late nights offer $3 beers and a variety of tasty cocktails. Keep your eyes out for celebrity surfers they flock to Shelter after a long day in the waves.
Sobo 311 Neil St – By far the best organic restaurant in town. Don’t expect pumping music or a party atmosphere, but do expect some of the best food in town featuring locally sourced seafood, meats, and veggies. Try the Thai roti chicken and broiled miso oysters. A cup of chowder with a slice or cornbread is a must order item every time. Sobo also makes the best margarita in town, though in all fairness we should warn you – they’re not to be underestimated. You have to literally prove to the restaurant that you can handle two before they’ll agree to serve you a third. Viva tequila!
Schooner 331 Campbell St – A local favourite, and for good reason. Schooner offers an incredibly diverse menu focusing on seafood and steaks. Their Bawden Bay halibut is the best halibut dish in town and their Japanese style oysters “Nami Nori” are so addictive we usually order two plates. If you’re a martini drinker you’ll be in heaven, Schooner martini’s are some of the best we’ve ever had, anywhere.
Tacofino 1184 Pacific Rim Hwy – You wouldn’t expect great Mexican food in a little coastal community on Vancouver Island, but Tacofino will change your mind. The taco’s and burritos they serve from this little food truck are so addictive that you’ll probably come back two or three times during your trip. Try the beef or baja-style fish tacos, and be sure to order a pork gringa or two. This place is super crowded almost any hour of the day so make sure you allow plenty of time in your day for lunch, average wait times are 30 – 45 mins but it’s worth it we promise.
Breakfast & Coffee
Schooner 331 Campbell St – These guys get another vote because they offer the best breakfast in town, hands down. Their eggs bennies with smoked salmon are the epitome of culinary perfection. You better be hungry, because Schooner is never shy about their portions.
Tofino Roasting Company 605 Gibson – A great stop for coffee and something to go. You’ll see a lot of locals grabbing coffee here in the morning and it’s a great spot to catch up on local gossip like fishing or surf reports. Their blueberry muffins are superb, as are their croissants. Try the caramel latte it’s rich, creamy and dosed with enough caffeine to get your day going.
Pointe Restaurant 501 Osprey Lane – We usually only go to the Wick for a fancy brunch every now and then, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. The Pointe offers fantastic views of the surf and local wildlife. Watching whales while you sip your juice and coffee is a common occurrence. The Point Breakfast is a favourite of ours and their in-house jams are always tasty. Not cheap, but the view and hash browns are worth it.
Rhino – Rhino is located in the same building as the Tofino Vacation Rentals office. It’s a dangerous place for us, with the homemade donuts and bagels, which are made in-house daily. The coffee and breakfast are definitely a go-to for most of us in-town.
Boredom has been cured by Tofino. It’s a fact, we checked. Literally endless possibilities for adventure await in every direction. The only problem is choosing what, where, and how to experience the best that Tofino has to offer. Don’t worry, we’ll point you in the right direction and you’ll probably see us out there. We love adventuring as much as you do.
Sport Fishing – No trip to Tofino is complete without getting out on the water for a half or full day of fishing. Reeling in salmon and halibut for dinner or your BBQ at home is one of the most exciting things to do on the water and the best part is Tofino offers some of the best fishing in the world! Here’s a list of the best charter companies in town.
Viewwest Adventures – Viewwest Adventures offers a 22’ Weldcraft aluminum that boasts a covered cabin and all of the amenities you’d expect in a top-notch fishing vessel. Capt Chris boasts a lifetime of fishing experience and has earned a reputation as one of the best tuna fishing captains in town. Salmon, halibut, and tuna are his specialty by far and you are guaranteed to enjoy a wonderful day on the water with Chris.
Prime Time Adventures – Prime Time Adventures offers a 33’ Parker (insert pic next to listing) with a bathroom and plenty of space to enjoy a fantastic day out on the water. Capt Josh is a bit of a local celebrity and his reputation as one of the top captains in the world is well deserved. He’s great with families and kids, and his enthusiasm for fun is contagious. Prime Time Adventures offers both salt and freshwater fishing, including fly fishing trips for steelhead and trout via float plane and helicopter.
Surfing & SUPing – Shred the gnar, dude. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for? Surfing should be considered one of the “must-do” activities while in Tofino. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done it before, there’s literally waves for every experience level. Don’t be turned off by the chilly water temps either, wet suits these days keep you very warm and comfortable. Here’s a list of our favourite surf shops and schools.
Live To Surf: This is definitely a surf shop experience. Located in the outside break complex, this surf shop has it all. Live to surf has the largest surf rental selection in Canada. The store offers everything from surf lessons, rentals, SUP equipment, skateboards to a great selection of clothing. You are guaranteed to have fun in this surf shop. 250-725-4464
Wildlife Safaris – Whales, bears, sea lions, sea otters, eagles, we lose track of all of the incredible creatures that call Clayoquot Sound home. Spending a half or full day on the water with these animals in their native environment is a life-changing experience that is not to be missed.
Ocean Outfitters 368 Main St – These guys have it covered. The nicest fleet of boats, most experienced local captains, huge retail space at the Shore building, and an incredible support staff that genuinely care about your experience on the water. By far our number one choice for whale watching, hot springs, bear viewing, etc.
Hot Springs – A trip to the hot springs should also be considered a must-do activity while in Tofino. The springs are small, so try and schedule your trip for either early or late in the day to avoid the crowds. Flights and boat trips depart throughout the day from Tofino and can be booked through Ocean Outfitters or Atleo Air.
Sea Kayaking – Tofino harbour’s calm, protected waters offer incredible paddling opportunities. Half or full day options are available and if you are looking for an intimate way to interact with local wildlife and a water-level view of the wonders above and below the tide line than a sea kayaking trips is perfect for you.
Tofino Sea Kayaking 320 Main Street – The original sea kayaking company in Tofino these guys are the best in the business and offer great equipment and fantastic guides. Novice to expert paddlers will find options on tours, lessons, and adventures.
Golf – Not many people associate Tofino with golf, but that’s a big mistake. The Long Beach Golf course is a fantastic 9-hole course featuring par 5’s and breathtaking views of the mountains and coast. A full service restaurant and bar, mini-golf, and driving range are all available on site. Bring the clubs, you’ll thank us for suggesting it!