9 foodie road trip destinations less than three hours from Vancouver (MAP)

Jun 15 2022, 10:21 pm

Vancouver has plenty of incredible food and drink options, but sometimes it’s refreshing to leave your own context and see what there is to discover just outside the periphery.

From pizza joints to Italian cafes to family-run Vietnamese restaurants, these top food destinations are all within a three-hour drive from Vancouver.

Some of these spots require jumping on a ferry, some need a passport, and some can be accessed easily with a quick drive, but they all offer something special worth going the extra mile for.

Pilgrimme and Charmer Pizza

 

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Tucked away in the woods on Galiano Island, Pilgrimme is well worth the drive (and ferry ride). The restaurant focuses on hyper-local ingredients, using only things foraged, grown, or raised on either the island or nearby locations on the mainland.

This means Pilgrimme’s dishes change depending on the season, but it always aim to “highlight the harmony between simple ingredients.”

Charmer Pizza operates out of the same space as Pilgrimme from Thursdays to Sundays, offering naturally leavened sourdough pizza. Toppings are always hyper-local, fresh, and inventive (think kale butter, sieglinde potato, sprouting broccoli, Oyama nduja, and Kootenay Meadows Alpindon).

Address: 2806 Montague Road, Galiano Island

Pilgrimme and Charmer Pizza

Salt Spring Island Wild Cider

Drive too fast down this island road and you might just miss this hidden spot. Salt Spring Island Wild Cider makes its cider using the wild old orchards on the island with both traditional and modern cider-making techniques. It also has a house kitchen where you can enjoy a meal in a beautiful farm setting.

The food is designed to be enjoyed with cider and features dishes like charcuterie boards, slow-roasted lamb shank, and local clams with smoked chorizo. The ingredients are usually organic, ethically sourced, and available depending on the season.

Address: 151 Sharp Road, Salt Spring Island

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Pho Galaxy

 

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This little unassuming hole-in-the-wall spot serves some of the best pho in the Lower Mainland. Its menu features vermicelli platters (called bun), rice dishes, and other things like Vietnamese-style spicy and sour soup, but the real draw here is the pho.

Pho Galaxy’s pho broth is incredibly flavourful, and the spot offers several different varieties. The restaurant is always packed, no matter what day of the week it is, but it’s worth waiting for – and making the drive out for.

Address: 45863 Yale Road #104, Chilliwack

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Valley Commons Bistro & Tasting Room

This brand new wine tasting room and bistro in Fort Langley offers vino from the restaurant’s winery in the Okanagan. The small-batch production wines, and the tasting room space, are inspired by a more European way of life, where slowness, appreciation for food and drink, and gathering with loved ones are the pillars of each day.

Not only is this space incredibly charming, but the food menu also shines alongside the wine, with simple, ingredient-driven dishes like duck rillette, pan con tomate, and burrata. You can also buy bottles of their wine to bring home.

Address: 9124 Glover Road, Langley

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Bar Cicotti

 

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This tiny, romantic spot is tucked into the historic streets of Bellingham in Washington. Both wine bar and cafe, it makes for a cozy spot to dip into during the day, as well as a great place to end the evening with a glass of wine and small plate.

Bar Cicotti also has jazz nights on Wednesdays, spaghetti nights on Thursdays, bubbles nights on Fridays, and pizza Roman nights on Saturdays, so pretty much anytime you go you’re guaranteed to have a good time. It’s only about an hour and 40-minute drive from Vancouver, meaning it can easily become a fun day trip destination.

Address: 202 Grand Avenue, Bellingham, Washington

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Tell Your Friends Cafe

Hop on the small, quick ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Bowen Island and you’ll immediately find this sweet cafe on the harbour. This spot is so close to the ferry terminal you don’t even have to drive all the way there and can easily do a walk-on instead. Situated alongside a few other great local businesses (like Branch on Bowen, a must-try taco shop), Tell Your Friends Cafe serves plant-based dishes, pastries, as well as fantastic espresso drinks.

It’s the perfect first stop on a visit to the small, nearby island, especially if you plan to walk around for a while.

Address: 400 Bowen Island Trunk Road, Bowen Island

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Dino’s Tomato Pie

 

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Drive roughly three hours from Vancouver and you can get fantastic New Jersey-style pizza at Dino’s. This old-school style spot in Seattle serves up pizza the way the owner used to be able to get it in his home state – that is round or Sicilian-style, topped with those little pepperoni cups.

The space is fun, the pizzas are great – especially with a little cup of red wine – and the website is a true smorgasbord of 90s clip-art. It’s an absolute must if you’re willing to go across the border.

Address: 1524 E Olive Way, Seattle

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Rocko’s 24 Hour Diner

 

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For a fun, old-school-style diner experience, drive out to Mission and check out Rocko’s. This spot is pretty well-known, as it’s been featured in a ton of movies and TV shows (including Riverdale). It’s been serving up burgers, fries, milkshakes, and more standard diner fare since 1956 and makes for a great day out of the city.

Address: 32786 Lougheed Highway, Mission

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