10 Restaurants Vancouver Island

Home to British Columbia’s capital of Victoria, Vancouver Island is a nature-lover’s oasis with its ancient rainforests, natural beaches, mild climate, and snow-capped mountain peaks. 

But that’s not the only thing this beautiful island is known for! Vancouver Island is also home to some of the best restaurants in Canada, and foodies from all over the country have travelled here just to get a taste. We have created a list of the 10 most popular restaurants on the island so that next time you’re in the area, you can be sure you won’t miss out on any of the great food and drinks these restaurants have to offer. 

1. Il Terrazzo Ristorante



555 Johnson St., Victoria, BC

(250) 361-0028

Il Terrazzo Ristorante

What is it: Il Terrazzo Ristorante is a fine-dining Italian restaurant in a rustic courtyard setting. This award-winning restaurant has an amazing selection of wine and food, as well as providing the perfect ambience for a romantic night out. The enclosed patio is climate-controlled with candlelit tables and truly makes diners feel like they are in old-town Italy while they enjoy their meal. 

Why go: If you love Italian food, Il Terrazzo will definitely not disappoint. With dishes like homemade pasta, fresh salads, and perfectly seared tenderloin steaks, the extensive menu offered at this restaurant has a ton of amazing Northern Italian-inspired selections. 

Price: A bit pricey, but very large portion sizes

2. Blue Fox Café



101-919 Fort St., Victoria, BC

(250) 380-1683

Blue Fox Café

What is it: This hidden gem in Victoria is a local favourite for breakfast and brunch. The prices are fair, the portion sizes are large, and the quality of the food is top-notch. Breakfast is served all day and you’re likely to see a lineup of people that are waiting to get their fix of some of the best breakfast on the island. 

Why go: When you’re looking for a quality breakfast spot, the Blue Fox Café is the place to go. There are the traditional breakfast plates of eggs, meat, toast, and home fries for people who prefer a more classic breakfast, and for those who love eggs Benedict, this restaurant offers 10 different takes on this famous breakfast dish! Additionally, Blue Fox Café serves pancakes and French toast, a good selection of sandwiches for lunch, and a ton of breakfast drinks ranging from coffee to cocktails. 

Price: Average

Blue Fox Cafe

3. Vista 18



740 Burdett Ave, Victoria, BC

(250) 382-9258

Vista 18

What is it: Vista 18 is an upscale restaurant located on the top floor of Chateau Victoria that boasts the best view in the city from the ocean to the mountains. No matter where you’re seated, you’ll be able to take in the spectacular views while you enjoy your meal. The unique menu is filled with local, free range, and organic selections and every single dish is beautifully presented. There is also live jazz music every Friday and Saturday evening that only adds to the romantic ambience of this restaurant. 

Why go: Vista 18 is not only home to the most stunning views of any restaurant in Victoria, but is also home to a wonderfully curated menu of locally-sourced food items that are transformed into 5-star dishes. The chefs here pride themselves in creating a versatile menu that everyone can enjoy while maintaining the highest level of taste and quality. With beautifully presented dishes ranging from house-smoked duck breast to artisanal charcuterie boards, you can be sure that everything on this menu will delight all of your senses. 

Price: Pricey

4. The View Oceanside Grill



70 Church St., Nanaimo, BC

(778) 441-4229

The View Oceanside Grill

What is it: The View Oceanside Grill is a beautiful harbourfront restaurant in the heart of downtown Nanaimo and offers a menu full of fresh local seafood, chicken, vegetables, and duck, just to name a few. The head chef, David, has years of experience in fine dining and prepares and serves only the freshest, most innovative, and most delicious meals to his guests.

Why go: If you love seafood, this restaurant is one place you definitely need to try. All of the fish and seafood served on the menu is locally caught and prepared fresh to order. Aside from the outstanding seafood, The View Oceanside Grill also offers an amazing selection of pasta, steak, and salads, as well as dessert, cocktails, and even brunch!

Price: A bit pricey

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5. Nikkei Ramen-ya



320 5th St., Courtenay, BC

(250) 897-4700

Nikkei Ramen-ya

What is it: Another great restaurant that prepares everything fresh (including the noodles!) and with local ingredients, Nikkei Ramen-ya is a place that specializes in authentic ramen and Japanese cuisine. 

Why go: If you’re looking for delicious ramen but don’t want to make the trip to the mainland to get it in Vancouver, this small restaurant in Courtenay will satisfy all of your cravings. Nikkei Ramen-ya offers 10 different types of ramen bowls, with options ranging from chicken and pork to vegetarian and even vegan bowls. They also carry 4 gluten-free options for those who have a serious wheat allergy or intolerance, so everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions, can enjoy their amazing ramen. 

Price: Average

6. Crow and Gate Pub



2313 Yellow Point Road, Nanaimo, BC

(250) 722-3731

Crow and Gate Pub

What is it: This pub is a local favourite and is set in a Tudor-style building on a property filled with beautiful English gardens in the countryside of Nanaimo. This,  combined with the exceptional selection of food and drinks, makes this restaurant one of the most authentic British pubs you will ever experience in Nanaimo

Why go: For anyone that is looking to enjoy some classic British pub food at a reasonable price, Crow and Gate is the place to go. Menu items include favourites such as pot pies, burgers, and the beef dip, as well as a good variety of local and imported draught beer. 

Price: Inexpensive

Crow and Gate Pub in Vancouver Island

7. The Pointe Restaurant 



500 Osprey Lane, Tofino, BC

(250) 725-3106

The Pointe Restaurant 

What is it: A fine dining experience that is complemented by the outstanding panoramic view of the sea rolling onto the shore. The Pointe Restaurant offers a menu that is full of locally-sourced food from the island and the sea, as well as exquisite local BC wine offerings. Everything on the menu is prepared fresh and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options as well. 

Why go: For a romantic evening out complete with fine wines, spectacular views of the ocean, and great food, The Pointe Restaurant will not disappoint. Cheese-lovers will be in heaven here, as this restaurant offers a Canadian Cheese Showcase featuring 9 different Canadian cheeses, as well as a rotating daily cheese selection. 

Price: Pricey

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8. Black Bird Schnitzel Haus



What is it: Black Bird Schnitzel Haus is the only German-style restaurant on eastern Vancouver Island that is locally-owned. This family-owned restaurant specializes in schnitzel and has over 20 different toppings available ranging from shrimp, scallops, and hollandaise to the classic fresh lemon. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available. 

Why go: There’s something to be said about a classic, home-cooked meal, and that’s exactly what this restaurant serves up to its guests. While schnitzel is their specialty, Black Bird also offers other types of classic German comfort food such as bratwurst and spaetzle. If you’ve never tried German food before, this is definitely the place to have your first taste!

Price: Average

Black Bird Schnitzel Haus Vancouver Island

9. The Kebap



1420 Wingrove St #3, Nanaimo, BC

(250) 758-3650

What is it: The Kebap is known for having the best Turkish food on the island, so don’t let it’s location fool you! Even though this restaurant is small and tucked away, it is the most popular kebab restaurant on the island. Locals just can’t get enough of the fresh and delicious food they have to offer, and keep coming back for more. 

Why go: If you’re looking for authentic Turkish kebab served with excellent customer service, then The Kebap is a must-try. The kebabs are made with your choice of chicken or beef and lamb, and are served on a sandwich, wrap, or platter. Although the menu is small and most orders are made for take-out, what the selection lacks in quantity is made up for in quality.  

Price: Inexpensive

10. Schooner Restaurant



331 Campbell St., Tofino, BC

(250) 725-3444

Schooner Restaurant

What is it: This restaurant has been open since 1949 and started off as a coffee bar. Since then, it has evolved to become the seafood and steakhouse restaurant it is known for today. There are even claims that this restaurant has a friendly resident ghost named Morris. However, there is no need to worry about having an encounter with him, as you will be so enthralled with your meal that you won’t be able to think about much else!

Why go: For anyone that loves the vibe of the sea and all it has to offer, this restaurant will provide all of that and more. The menu features an extensive list of seafood and steak options that include local oysters, salmon, halibut, and cod, as well as juicy tenderloins, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and tenderloin burgers. Vegetarian options here are very limited, but most of the dishes can be made gluten-free. 

Price: A bit pricey 

Schooner Restaurant Vancouver Island

No matter what your reason for coming to the island is, you are going to need to eat while you’re here. For that reason, we recommend you treat yourself and your tastebuds to one or more of these amazing restaurants during your stay! 

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