Tofino’s culinary scene is growing quicker than chanterelle mushrooms after a rainfall (and that’s fast).  This tiny town of 1,800 residents has BIG flavour.  If you’re looking to eat on a budget, here are some pocketbook and taste bud-friendly picks:

1. A housemade sandwich at Jupiter Juicery and Bake Shop will only set you back $7.25 plus tax.  These lunchtime favourites come in many varieties including turkey, brie and pesto, ham and cheese for the traditionalists.  Tip:  If you’re out by Chesterman Beach, Beaches Grocery gets their almost-daily delivery around noon.

2. Tacofino’s signature fish taco, filled with tempura ling cod, salsa fresca, cabbage and chipotle mayo, is popular – and cheap at $4.50 a pop.  Their rice and beans dish, with a touch of feta cheese to add some rich flavour, is also a good cheap eat at $3.50. Olé!

3. The kitchen opens early at the Common Loaf Bake Shop and produces a range of whole foods goodies and meals.  Their daily soup is a deal at $5.50 (including tax) and comes with a slice of the Loaf’s bread, a Tofino classic.

4. If you’re here in summer, get a taste of the Tofino Public Market every Saturday from 10:00am to 2:00pm on the Tofino Village Green.  Try Sarah’s Tamales (one for $5 or two for $8), made with care by Sarah Platenius with vegetables grown in her rainforest garden.  Eat your way through the market with cool tea from the Tofino Tea Bar, popcorn with a choice of toppings including seaweed and nutritional yeast, and naturally-leavened organic breads and rustic pastries made by Jules at her 600 Degrees Brick Oven Bakery.

5. The Fish Store and Oyster Bar has an offer that’s difficult to refuse:  “Buck a shuck” oysters!  Get your $1/oyster fill Tuesdays through Saturdays from 7:00pm-9:00pm, then quench your thirst with $4 bottles of Vancouver Island’s cult classic for beer lovers on a budget, Lucky Lager!

Bonus tip:  We’re not advocating chocolate as a meal…  Then again, do as you please on your vacation.  Pick one or two of the handmade chocolates at Chocolate Tofino, like Wild Blackberry Buttercream or Classic Mint Truffle, which can cost roughly between 80 cents and $2 a piece.  Their gelato is also a deal at $4 a cone, including taxes.  Save your receipt from neighbouring, happiness-inducing Wildside Grill and get 10% off your gelato.

Are you hungry now?  Have you eaten some made-in-Tofino food that was bith delicious and inexpensive?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.



Updated Highway 4 Road Closure Schedule at Kennedy Hill