Where to Eat on Salt Spring

A 30-minute float plane hop is all it takes to transport you to a world of peaceful, eco-conscious island dwellers comprised of artists, big-city escapees, and maybe even a few misanthropes.

Salt Spring is clearly a respite to this eclectic population. The creatives, the nature-seekers, the literary introspectives, the locavore chefs, the trail-runners, the road-racing cyclists and the luxury lifestyle-seekers – they all contribute to the unique demographic of this island get-a-way. And, no matter what your personal itinerary, Salt Spring Island will transport you, so completely, to a place far from the frenzied and hectic pace of city life.

Adding to Salt Spring’s healing, peaceful vibe is its focus on sustainability. Community supported agriculture (CSA) programs are offered at several local farms, surplus produce is sent to those in need and the island’s Nut Tree Project makes plant-based protein (which bears a lesser carbon footprint) accessible to all.

The Island food scene includes 224 farms (many of them organic), a bustling bi-weekly market and a collection of friendly “Cheers-style” restaurants. You’ll also find a variety of coffee houses, pasta bars, patio eateries and at the top of the scale, for your fine dining desires, the Relais & Chateaux experience.

Though Salt Spring is home to just 10,000 residents, community festivities are not lacking. Upcoming events include the Garlic & Music Festival (August 8-9), Apple Festival (Oct 4) and Sip and Savour (Oct 10-12).

So, if you’re fortunate enough to be spending a weekend exploring this unique retreat, here’s where to eat and what to do:

More Salt Spring Island activity suggestions from Salt Spring Island Tourism

Hastings House

160 Upper Ganges Rd | 250-537-2362 $$$$ | Fine Dining

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The luxury of Hastings House feels extra special enjoyed in the midst of island nature. Salt Spring's only Relais & Chateaux property offers a cozy fine dining restaurant, a less-formal bistro and an ocean-front verandah on which pre-dinner cocktails are an absolute must. Choose from well-crafted classics or modern creations, like the icy cold-pressed citrus turmeric cocktail with gin. Nibbles like smoked salmon and olives will satiate your appetite before you move on to your next destination.

Cafe Talia

122 Hereford Ave | 250-931-7070 $$ | Coffee Shop

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Where you must get for morning coffee or an afternoon iced coconut milk latte. European-inspired Cafe Talia sources micro-roasted Mt Maxwell Coffee (from just up the road) and serves house made baking that includes vegan, gluten free options like peanut butter bliss balls. Salads and sandwiches are also made fresh to order.

Barb's Bakery & Bistro

124 McPhillips Ave | 250-537-4491 $$ | Bakery Cafe

@barbsbuns | Visit website

A homey cafe, bursting with good smells, that serves classic breakfasts from 7am and a casual lunch menu until 5pm. This is a true locals’ spot well-known for their fresh daily baking (pastries, cinnamon twists, breads, muffins etc.). A smoothie bar, featuring tonics and vegetable juice, draws the health nuts, who will appreciate free range eggs and organic tofu. If you're heading for a kayak to Chocolate Island, this is the spot for lunch to-go.

Garry Oaks Winery

1880 Fulford-Ganges Rd | 250-653-4687 $$ | Winery

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The source of my new favourite wine: the Garry Oaks Zweigelt. With notes of spiced red cherry, this bold red absolutely delicious. Stock up on few cases if you can. Using naturally grown grapes, 100% of them from their own vineyard, Garry Oaks is a true-must visit of the Salt Spring wineries. And clearly wine judges agree - the walls of this intimate tasting room are laden with medals.

Salt Spring Vineyards

151 Lee Rd | 250-653-9463 $$ | Winery

@saltvineyards | Visit website

Salt Spring's beautiful property, complete with a pond and a sun umbrella-clad picnic area, is the perfect destination for a winery lunch. Bring your own snacks or purchase local cheese sold from their tasting room. Salt Spring's wines are sustainably produced and made without the use of herbicides or pesticides and if you have to pick just one, my vote goes to the 2014 Blackberry "Port" made with organic wild island blackberries picked by locals.

Mistaken Identity

164 Norton Rd | 250-538-9463 $$ | Winery

@mivwine | Visit website

One of Salt Spring Island's biggest organic wineries run by a team of passionate wine folk. Their modern tasting room and vineyard patio is a must-visit for your afternoon wine-tasting - they offer several reds and whites. New Mistaken wines are extra covetable thanks to their labels which feature the works of renowned Canadian artists Laura Harris and Jill Louise Campbell.

Moonstruck Organic Cheese Inc.

1306 Beddis Rd | 250-537-4987 $$ | Cheesemaker

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Cheesemakers Julia and Susan Grace believe the happier and healthier their purebred Jersey cows are, the better their milk will be. They are focused on preserving its natural flavour and goodness by using old-fashioned, simple methods. Ash-ripened Camembert, Baby Blue and Farmstead Feta are three of their nine certified organic, artisan cheeses that are made in such small batches, you won't find them at the big retailers.

Salt Spring Island Farmers Markets

Oceanside at Centennial Park | $$ | Farmers Market

@visitsaltspring | Visit website

Farmstands and markets produce everything Salt Spring's 10,000+ residents and visitors could ever need or want. And with over 200 of them on the island, one could only imagine the local farmers markets to be beautiful and abundant. Are they ever. The long row of colourful produce is seemingly endless. On Tuesdays and Saturdays during warmer months, the islands growers, producers, bakers and artisans conglomerate in Ganges Village to sell their (often organic) bounty.

Rendezvous Patisserie

126-4 Upper Ganges Rd | 250-537-8400 $ | Patisserie

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Salt Spring’s own French patisserie where every pastry is made with pure butter. Fruit is bought locally and organically from surrounding farms and the macarons are naturally gluten free.


113-109 McPhillips Ave | 250-931-5433 $$$ | Ethical Fashion & Decor Shop

@shop_thrive | Visit website

One peek into this adorable shop and you won't be able to resist treating yourself. Focusing on ethical fashion and home decor, this forward-thinking, socially-responsible boutique is the modern shopper's dream. Think local pottery, neutral colours, eco-friendly materials.

Salt Spring Adventure Co.

7-126 Upper Ganges Rd | 250-537-2764 $$ | Adventure Company

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Dedicated to sustainable tourism, Salt Spring Adventure Co. offers kayaking, biking, whale-watching and stand-up paddle boarding tours - all of which are educational, challenging, safe and fun. Guides are knowledgeable and experienced. Beyond technical advice, they'll provide you with a Salt Spring history lesson and nature/wildlife facts. At just $45, a two-hour, double kayak rental is a must. Grab a picnic and head to Chocolate Island for a lounge on this semi-secluded beach.

Cusheon Lake

Salt Spring Island | $ | Lake

Head here for a peaceful summer dip surrounded by nature.

Hedgerow House

238 Park Dr | 250-538-1716 $$ | Bed & Breakfast

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One of Salt Spring's charming bed & breakfasts that comes highly recommended from a trusted source. Homemade breakfasts are inspired by Ottolenghi's cookbook, "Plenty", bed linens are European and towels are large and fluffy. Tucked away just outside of Ganges Village center, you can easily walk into town or enjoy the serenity of your comfortable haven.