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Which of these restaurants in Tofino?

Calgary
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Which of these restaurants in Tofino?

We will be visiting Tofino in January 2006 - Storm Season! - to celebrate a milestone evening with a memorable meal. It's my Dad's 80th, not to mention a wedding anniversary, various other combined birthdays, etc. Anyway, the the Wick is CLOSED, and I'm choosing from among a few others. Anyone care to weigh in on the relative merits or demerits of The Shelter, the The Schooner, or The Long Beach Lodge Dining Room. We will be 10 celebrants in all , and are looking for a delectable meal in a delicious setting. Vote now, vote often!

Vancouver
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26 posts
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1. Re: Which of these restaurants in Tofino?

My husband and I go to Tofino every year for our anniversary. Usually we eat at the Wick for our dinner primarily for the view. But after only a so-so experience on our last visit we branched out last time and ate at both the Shelter and the Schooner. I'm so happy we did as both had fantastic food and were much cheaper than the Wick.

The Shelter is a newly renovated restaurant with a more modern feel and slightly younger crowd (not rowdy by any means). The Bouillabaise is truly the best I've ever tasted. The seafood was just fresh, fresh, fresh -- like it had just been caught.

The Schooner is a little less "funky" -- it's an older building with an older crowd but their seared Ahi Tuna is to die for. And I can't complain about the service or price.

Its hard to pick between the two -- try both if you can. The main difference is the atmosphere and for that reason I think the Shelter might be a little bit more what you are looking for -- especially with 10 people.

With either restaurant you are bound to have encredible eats. Enjoy!

Vancouver, Canada
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1,849 posts
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2. Re: Which of these restaurants in Tofino?

Gimme Shelter!!!!

Canada
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79 posts
17 reviews
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3. Re: Which of these restaurants in Tofino?

We had a terrible experience at The Schooner. After waiting over 50 minutes for our food and watching everyone else around us being served, I decided to discreetly ask the waitress if perhaps there was a problem with the order. She simply replied that there was no problem but she was too slow to get around to picking it up! When our lukewarm food finally did arrive there was never an apology. Had the food arrived in a timely manner it still would have been so-so. One of our party did not care for food and did tell the waitress that when asked. The waitress offered to bring something else, but of course by that time no one was in the mood to wait around. We felt that at the very least the one meal should have been comped, but nada. My question is: Why Tofino? I could see it if the Wick was open, but if you want a memorable meal, Tofino is not the place unless it is just the scenery you are after and the food is secondary. My experience in Tofino was that the locals just tolerate you. They need the tourism $$$ but are not willing to really admit by providing outstanding service.

Tofino
5 posts
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4. Re: Which of these restaurants in Tofino?

I found the comments from LizGo needed some rebuttal.

Tofino is full of excellent restaurants and the service and attitude of the locals is without question not as she describes it. Perhaps LizGo confused the definite relaxed atmosphere of Tofino with a lack of caring. Not so.

I have personally never had a bad meal at the Schooner and think that the offer to replace a meal that was not acceptable to a guest a fair offer. i guess everybody wants something free these days and being in a hurry in Tofino defeats the purpose of the visit.

The Wick is a nice place to go, if you can afford it, but as far as restaurants in Tofino goes, probably not my first choice, unless for a special occasion.

Shelter, the Schooner, and the Pointe at the Wick are all solid choices, but my favourites would be SoBo at the Botanical Gardens (www.sobo.ca) for lunch and dinner, the Raincoast Café for an outstanding dinner and Mathias Conradi's new Pasticceria Conradi for breakfast and lunch.

Also, do a google search for 'tofino time readers choice' for this years published list of the locals' favourites for 2003 and 2004 at www.tofinotime.com

www.chefmoz.org also has some reviews on the tofino food scene.

cochrane, alberta...
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54 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: Which of these restaurants in Tofino?

We've been to Tofino 4 times and have eaten everywhere from stromboli buns at the bakery to an intimate feast at the Wick. I don't recall poor service anywhere, but we were not impressed with the food quality at the Schooner last time we were there. I'm not familiar with the Shelter or the Long Beach Lodge Dining Room, so can't comment there. Our current favourite is absolutely the Raincoast Cafe - no view, but unique, excellent food in a cozy cafe.

Redmond, WA
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130 posts
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6. Re: Which of these restaurants in Tofino?

We just returned from Tofino where we stayed at Long Beach Lodge. Because of the expense of our cottage ($600!/night) and the expense of the restaurant, we only ate one meal at Long Beach Lodge. We absolutely loved it! They have large picture windows overlooking the beach. They also have a nice selection for their children's menu. The rest of the meals were things I prepared in our cottage.

We each started with a salad, I had Ceasar, he had shrimp. My husband had steak that was cooked in some kind of apple cider reduction. He said the flavor was good, just a little sweeter than he was used to. I had brie and basil stuffed chicken. It also was very good. We ended by sharing strawberry cheesecake and the children had homemade vanilla ice cream. The service was a bit hurried, but it is the peak of tourist season. I made reservations in the afternoon for that evening and we were able to be seated. We were seated at the big window and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Our entire stay at Long Beach Lodge was wonderful. The views are amazing, the rooms are great, and the service provided by all the employees was spectacular.

My 8-year-old daughter said she will definately return there when she is bigger. I will be the first to volunteer accompanying her there.

We looked at the menus of the other restaurants you spoke of, but just didn't try them. So, Long Beach gets my vote!!

austin, texas
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6 posts
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7. Re: Which of these restaurants in Tofino?

The Long Beach Lodge! What a wonderful place, great food, totally fresh and local, beautiful views, good service. Loved staying there, also. Last Sept. and two years ago.