Squamish is hot. Well, not literally–it is, after all, situated in the mountains, and an outdoors-person’s haven year-round, from the heat of summer to the snows of winter. But Squamish has evolved of late to become a hub for tech, urbanites looking for a new home base, and visitors alike.
With an uptick in visitors and population comes a need for local businesses to meet the needs of the people, and there are definitely some noteworthy places to enjoy meals, drinks, and treats in Squamish. Head up the Sea to Sky and take a bite out of the bounty of BC and taste the best of the region.
Here are eight must-try places to eat and drink in Squamish.
If ever there was a sign that Squamish was cool it would be the arrival of The Salted Vine–at least in the eyes of food lovers. Offering the community a more upscale place to dine, the restaurant showcases the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, using regional ingredients and serving them up in a space that is perfect for a date or a celebratory group outing.
Dishes like a twice-baked souffle demonstrate Executive Chef Jeff Park’s ability to meld traditional with contemporary, while an abundance of seasonally-driven fare culminate in a menu that can be tackled as a series of share plates (but doesn’t have to be; it’s Squamish, you can relax a bit). A thoughtful cocktail menu and wine selections pair well with the eats, and the well-appointed room reflects history and modernity. Open for Happy Hour and dinner service most nights, The Salted Vine is a welcome addition to Squamish.
Address: 37991 Second Ave, Squamish
Fergie’s Cafe in neighbouring Paradise Valley in Brackendale is part of the Sunwolf Lodge. The expanding restaurant is for many the calling card for the historic and updated facility. Dishing up soul-satisfying dishes for daily breakfast and lunch (they’re open 8 am to 3 pm) the always-busy cafe is known for their Bennies, bowls, and burgers, all made using locally-sourced ingredients.
Look for dishes like The Skipper, Fergie’s answer to bacon and eggs. Vegetarians need not despair, though, as you can find veg-ful options like the Veggie Bowl, which features a poached egg with braised beans, yam, kale, avocado, caramelized onions, and goat feta.
Address: 70002 Squamish Valley Road, Brackendale
Right on the main drag in town is a restaurant situated inside a small building that has served many purposes in Squamish’s history. The Copper Coil, with its 40ish seats, is all about bringing a taste of New Orleans to Squamish, with plenty of beer to go around, and a lot of personality (check out the Star Wars memorabilia on display).
Though they do serve up an array of burgers, appies, and salads for dinner nightly, on the weekend, The Copper Coil’s brunch is a fun option. With a trim menu of classic dishes on offer it’s hard to go wrong, whether you’re craving sweet, like their chocolate drizzled waffles, or savoury, like their Benedict. Make sure you get their insanely on point breakfast potatoes, though–they manage to straddle the balance of crisp exterior and tender interior without an abundance of grease like no other. Best damn hash browns in BC.
Address: 37996 Cleveland Avenue, Squamish
“Life is better here…” is the motto of this popular riverside hangout in Brackendale. Known for its’ excellent patio vibes, and a laid-back atmosphere, Watershed is a local favourite that visitors delight in discovering.
Tuck into this pub-like spot for their globally-inspired and oh-so-Canadian grub, from burgers to street food-inspired tacos, Baked Brie, and even Butter Chicken. Of course, they’ve got yam fries, poutine, wings, and fish & chips, too, for a true taste of Canada’s Western front while you watch the game on TV.
Address: 41101 Government Road, Brackendale
If you’re wondering where the plant-based eaters convene in Squamish, the Zephyr Cafe in downtown is a sure bet. The self-described “progressive cafe” does cater to omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike via their menu of casual eats served in a funky, cozy space.
Zephyr serves breakfast every day, with everything from a quinoa cereral to brekkie burritos. Lunch selections include burgers, bowls, wraps, and salads, and a rotating roster of raw foods as well–think zucchini noodles with nut-based sauces or a raw burger.
Address: 38084 Cleveland Avenue, Squamish
Craft brewing is booming, still, around the province, and Squamish is certainly in on the action. Howe Sound Brewing launched in the mid 1990s, and was ahead of the curve, for sure.
While you can certainly visit the brewery to get your hands on their beers, Howe Sound’s ample facilities include an onsite brewpub, where they showcase comfort eats designed for pairing with their brews. From appies to burgers, and artisan-style pizzas made using their own beer-infused dough, the brewpub’s menu also boasts an easy-to-follow coding system to let you know if the dish works best with a Hoppy, Malty, or Crisp brew from their lineup.
Address: 37801 Cleveland Avenue, Squamish
Squamish’s fave coffee stop is Caffe Garibaldi, where they expertly pour espresso drinks in the Italian tradition, using Moja beans from North Vancouver. Located in the Visitors Centre, many use Caffe Garibaldi as a quick caffeinated layover on the way to Whistler, but if your destination is Squamish, you can easily get your Sea-to-Sky coffee fix here. Try their Maple Latte, along with their baked goods (including many gluten-free choices).
Address: 38551 Loggers Lane, Squamish
While craft brewing has had a home in Squamish for several years, craft distilling is newer in the area, but Gillespie’s has stepped up in a major way. This small-batch distiller is known for their portfolio of eclectic spirits, like their Aphro Chili Chocolate Elixir, Raspberry Gin, and Rye Vodka–with eye-catching labeling to match.
While you may encounter their spirits in concoctions at cocktail bars, or for tasting at events or craft/farmers’ markets, you can also pay Gillespie’s a visit to check out an afternoon tasting or evening cocktail bar. Make sure to follow their social media pages for details and updates.
Address: 38918 Progress Way #8, Squamish