Food with a View: Sea to Sky's 5 Must-Visit Eateries

Researchers say food tastes better when eaten from white plates or with silver cutlery. If a dish and a spoon can provide 'mental seasoning' for a meal, don’t overlook the flavour-enhancing potential of a killer location. The Sea to Sky corridor in the Canadian province of British Columbia is a cornucopia of to-die-for vistas. Highway 99, the classic road trip from Vancouver through Whistler to Lillooet, is winding enough to warrant two hands on the wheel at all times, so don’t fall back on your fast food drive-and-dine road-trip ways.

Whether or not it’s true that food tastes better when served with a view, or on a fancy plate, these places offer no-bullshit ingredients from within a hundred miles. Genuine local flavour that's worth seeking out. Choose local flavour, all the way. Here's where to eat along the Sea to Sky Highway.

 The view of Howe Sound from a First Nations canoe. (Image: Destination BC/Patrice Halley)

Galileo Coffee Company, Britannia Beach

Overlooking the orca-frequented waters of Howe Sound, Galileo Coffee Company is a cafe and small-batch roastery in a 1905 heritage house that once housed the manager from the nearby copper mine. (After decades of decrepitude, the mine and sometime movie set has been completely transformed into the award-winning Britannia Mine Museum.)

Order your flat white (that’s a latte in Canadian), short black (an espresso) or long black (an Americano), but to really ingratiate yourself with the locals, try Galileo’s riff on the latter, the Canadiano – black coffee with a shot of maple syrup.

 Brunch at Fergie's Cafe, Squamish. (Image: Fergie's Cafe)

Fergie’s Café at Sunwolf, Squamish

Eagles and salmon are regulars on the Cheakamus River, and so is the rest of Squamish since Fergie’s Café at Sunwolf, once the site of a legendary fishing destination, became the town's go-to brunch spot.

Spill onto the picnic tables under gnarled trees and let the kids 'stretch their legs' (run amok) while enjoying locally sourced and house-made pulled pork, sausages and eggs bennies drawn from independent organic farms just up the valley.


Work up an appetite. Hiking The Chilcotin On British Columbia's Central Coast

Then cool off with an aleHoppy Endings In Vancouver - Canada's Craft Beer Capital


 Bannock and venison chili at Thunderbird Cafe. (Image: SLCC)

Thunderbird Café at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Whistler

This mountain- and river-rich country is the traditional territory of the Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations. Connect with the culture, and local aboriginal ambassadors, at the award-winning Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre, at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, where mountains and rivers literally meet. Downstairs, the cafe, with separate (free) admission, dishes up indigenous-inspired fare  - cedar-plank wild salmon salad, salmon chowder, bannock or venison chili Indian tacos.

 Mile One Bloody Caesars with Pemberton Distillery Vodka,house-made clam nectar and topped with Two Rivers Pepper Bite. (Image: Mile One Eating House)

Mile One Eating House, Pemberton

On the patio, with the in-your-face 2,591-metre Mount Currie in, well, your face... enjoy a burger made with house-fresh buns, hormone- and steroid-free natural beef pastured just up the road, and potato wedges from spuds grown here on a local family farm. (They don’t call Pemberton 'Spud Valley' for nothing.)

For the truly Canadian experience, order a Caesar. It's like a bloody Mary with kick, made with award-winning vodka from Pemberton Distillery - the world’s only organic potato vodka distillery - located just up the way. (Open for tours, and worth checking out).

 Fort Berens vino with a view. (Image: Steven Evans)

Fort Berens Estate Winery, Lillooet

Once you leave the rainforest and the epic Coastal Mountains behind, the climate and geology transitions abruptly into desert. It’s surreal, it’s dusty, it’s once-upon-a-gold-rush country, and a couple of smart Dutchies realised it was also the perfect climate for growing wine. Several awards later, they’ve opened a showroom, restaurant and tasting room.

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Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Canada.

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lisarichardson

A Brisvegas girl who got hooked on snow, Lisa Richardson is now based in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, where she writes, blogs, mountain bikes, skis, climbs, and requests deliveries of Vegemite and Violet Crumbles from anyone who visits. She's always up for an adventure - the dirtier and more self-propelled, the better.