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Tofino and kid-friendly


daves
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We (me, my wife, and our 20m old) are about to take a tour of Vancouver Island -- our last vacation before growing to a family of 4. We're spending 2+ days in Tofino, and we're wondering about kid-friendly restaurants in the area.

We've got one night covered at the Pointe (the Wick's staff will babysit in our room so parents can dress up and go out :biggrin: ). We're looking for recommendations for other meals. The 20m old will eat almost anything, but she particularly likes shrimp, chicken, and beef along with her veggies (basically anything as long as not spicy).

Thanks!

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Best options:

Schooner - nice atmosphere, good mix of foods for all

Tough City Sushi - dinner only, no reservations, fun spot - child friendly

SOBO - as mentioned before great tastes in a nice location

Loft - nothing fancy - good basic food

Raincoast Cafe - dinner only - Pacific Northwest with an asian twist - very tasty

Coffee Shops galore!!! Common Loaf Bakery, Cafe Vincente, Patisserie Conradi, Breakers, Jupiters - all great, lots of sandwiches, salads and tastes.

have a great time!!!!

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My wife and I were last in Tofino and enjoyed a very nice meal at

the Schooner before embarking on a six day sea kayaking trip. The

only bad note was that the local oysters were off due to "red tide".

Enjoy the drive from Port Alberni to Tofino :biggrin:

I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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Enjoy the drive from Port Alberni to Tofino  :biggrin:

Wayne, the drive has not changed much [actually it is a little better] even if your last trip was 2001. :rolleyes:

We flew out in June but usually drive.

I love sitting in the Wick's Pointe restaurant for example and figuring out who are first time visitors. Yes, I have been told that I possess a rather "warped" sense of humour [?].

It is usually the ashen faced couple who down their first drinks quickly and inquire, "Tell me is there ANOTHER way out of here?".

Telling them that it used to be worse, logging roads where the "toursits" were definitely secondary concerns, is no consolation.

I remember one of my trips when all of a sudden a logging truck made a corner and seemed to be taking up half my lane that I saw my life "flash before my eyes".

Looking forward to getting back out there in October...this time taking the van rather than the plane...can only afford...and then just barely...one "Rock Star" self-indulgent trip per year at best

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Daves:

Back on topic...I agree with all of Tofino's recommendations.

I probably would not go for dinner at Shelter or the Wick's Pointe with children more out of the adult nature of their menus and ambience but you are getting the latter thanks to the Wick's staff in any event.

Otherwise, Tofino is generally "kid friendly"

If the Interpretative Centre is still open at Wickaninnish Beach within the National Park [it usually is closed when we visit] it was usually a nice spot to get a bite and enjoy the view.

Enjoy your trip. Hope the kids see lots of whales, eagles and the like and you all leave refreshed and revitalized as only Tofino can do.

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:huh: Will I have white knuckles due to the road itself or to the oncoming logging traffic? If due to logging traffic, is there a better time to head west from Port Alberni?
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The road isn't too bad...we went in March and there was a bit of construction, but it wasn't too bad. It's just really long and windy and up and down. Of course at this time of year there will probably be more logging activity, so that might make a difference. My advice, if you have anyone prone to car sickness, medicate them. And everyone needs to pee before you go :smile: It's a long long way to the next potty stop. A long way.

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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Sorry Daves:

Did not intend to get melodramatic about the drive and get you concerned.

In fact especially at this time of year when you should not have a string of "Winabozo's" to get around, the pavement is snowless and you are travelling during the day, it is a "fun" drive.

So long as you are not in a hurry and you pay attention to the signs and when it says 35 km. especially on the descent you drive that way should not be a problem.

I tend to have a bit of a lead foot so Badiane comments are good. We had to pull over at the rest stop when you come to the Ucluelet-Tofino junction because one of our golden retrievers was "car sick"....that came from yours truly driving a mini-van like it was a sports car thinking he was "Sterling Moss".

Have a good trip

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"Sorry Daves:

Did not intend to get melodramatic about the drive and get you concerned."

One word: Gravol.

Forwarned is forarmed.

As a prairie girl who was brought up on gravel roads at right angles, I tell you the road to Tofino was a big challenge for me and my gullet.

However, the reward upon reaching your destination is Paradise.

Zuke

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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now I'm totally looking forward to the drive. My foot isn't lead; I have one of Larwencium (Lr -- the heaviest element in the periodic table I have handy :biggrin: ). I'm just bummed that I'll be driving the family car (um, which did get us several laps around the Nordschleife at the 'ring a few years ago)...

Edited by daves (log)
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now I'm totally looking forward to the drive.  My foot isn't lead; I have one of Larwencium (Lr -- the heaviest element in the periodic table I have handy  :biggrin: ).  I'm just bummed that I'll be driving the family car (um, which did get us several laps around the Nordschleife at the 'ring a few years ago)...

Actually the drive is really not that bad anymore, I just took a trip with my kids at the end of July and went camping. They have done tons of work to the roads and other then the hike in parking fees for Pacific Rim, It was great. SOBO was excellent and honestly the best place to eat. We tried other restaurants and found it all very bland and expensive. When I figure out how to post pictures I will add the pic of my killer fish taco! awesome! Have a great trip :biggrin:

Fish is the only food that is considered spoiled once it smells like what it is. - P. J. O'Rourke

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for the recommendations everyone. We had a great time touring the Island. Here's some food highlights of our trip: the beef chowfun at J&J Wonton Noodle House in Victoria, the polenta fries and the tacos at SoBo in Tofino, the whole dinner (with complementary babysitting!) at the Pointe in the WickInn, and dim sum at Sun Sui Wai in Richmond on the drive home.

The drive was lots of fun too, except for the 10 km of dirt road and some of the 'questionable' drivers out there. Do these people even read the “Use Pull Out if you are Holding up Traffic” signs? One stellar example had a few dozen cars lined up behind him, and he would actually speed up to make passing zones too dangerous to attempt.

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  • 2 years later...

I'm heading up to Tofino next week with a family group that ranges in age from 5 to 88 - staying at Pacific Sands. Any recommendations?

Andrew Morrison if you are checking in please report - you are there fairly regularly. What's the best place to buy crab, coffee, baked goods? I know about Sobo but what else is relatively kid friendly.

Cheers,

Anne

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For kid-friendly full meals I highly recommend Sobo and the outdoor Wildside Grill (in the little "strip mall" outside of town just after the Wick). Sugar Shack for hot dogs. Shelter and Raincoast may be trickier avec kiddies, but hit them up just the same if you can steal away. For breakfast I get a ham and egg croissant with pesto mayo at Cafe Vincente in town. For coffee and picnic fare I go across the street to Breakers.

Coincidentally, I'm soon to return too, for a week starting July 1st. The new EAT will be out within the next few days. Pick it up if you can find one. My feature story this month is on Tofino's food scene.

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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  • 3 weeks later...

We're back. Shelter was the overall winner in terms of pleasing the most people most of the time. Other than the $9.00 for a kids grilled cheese with fries, I found the prices reasonable, food good, good selection of beers and wines and the staff were very helpful with our multiple generation group. SOBO was loved by some and less so by others and the cafeteria style was a little harder to manage with our group. A splinter group had a good meal at the Wildside Grill. We checked out the place in the Botanical Garden but the menu looked pretty limited and it wasn't all that appealing looking. Too bad as that is a nice spot, but it may just have been a bad day so it is worth a look.

We stayed in a place with a full kitchen and brought everything with us, including the espresso maker - it is amazing how much can fit in the trunk of a full-sized rental car - so we really only went out for lunches. We bought bread, cookies and brownies at at Sweet T's - nothing remarkable but I thought it was a better option than Common Loaf. A number of places carry the 600 Degrees bread which has been much lauded but all I saw was a 3 grain loaf and I find a white loaf is more versatile.

For those who are looking for information:

Aside from Andrew's article in the July/August EAT Magazine, there's also an article on Tofino and Uclulet in this month's Vancouver Magazine

Cheers,

Anne

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well I'm curently vacationing in Tofino. What a gem. A small ecotourist/fishing village perched on the edge of the Pacific Rim. And not a Starbucks, McDonalds or Tim Hortons for miles. Heavan

I haven't eaten at too many places because we simply buy fresh fish (Chinook salmon/halibut/prawns), steam-bake on the BBQ and walk the 50m to the beach where a campfire awaits. Sitting on the beach eating fish that was swimming a few hours earlier, that is something special.

The Common Loaf is great at what it does best (bread, muffins and pizza) and not very good at everything else. The dialy changing pizzas are very good. The pasta, on the other hand, is truly aweful.

The Wildeside Grill does the best fish n chips in town (panko breadcrumbs), but it is a shack. Two generous portions of spanking fresh halibut and chips is a reasnable $17.

SoBo doesn't take reservations. And since we cycle into Tofino from Chesterman beach, no business from me I'm afraid. Not a great loss (for me) given its canteen style layout and open kitchen. You have to shout to hear yourself.

May give Shelter a try tomorrow.

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