Salt Spring Island, BC is known for its sustainable farming and locally grown food. Every Tuesday you will find locals sourcing the freshest produce at the farmers market. Organic and locally grown ingredients combined with the island's creative flair make for some delicious eateries. We list the 25 best restaurants on Salt Spring Island, each for a unique reason. You will find most restaurants in Ganges since it's the main hub of Salt Spring.
Top Restaurants on Salt Spring Island
Best Restaurants in Salt Spring Island
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1. Best for a date night: House Piccolo
House Piccolo is a quaint upscale restaurant in Ganges serving West Coast-Finnish cuisine. It’s located in a heritage building and has a cozy atmosphere making it ideal for a date night. The must-try items on the menu are the Wiener Schnitzel and Salmon Chowder Finlandia Soup.
Some nights they feature lamb rib chops, which are absolutely delicious. There is something special about the lamb on Salt Spring and you have to taste it to know what we're talking about!
Must try: wiener schnitzel, salmon chowder & lamb rib chops
2. Best for a unique setting: Tree House Cafe
Located in a wooden heritage cottage with a large plum tree as its centrepiece, Tree House Cafe is a fun place to eat at. It gets busy in summer, but the wait is worth it to dine in the treehouse.
Adding to its allure, from mid-May to September, the establishment hosts "Music Under the Stars," treating guests to live musical performances every evening from 7pm to 9pm.
Must try: Grilled halloumi gyro wrapped in fresh warm naan bread
3. Best for a relaxed vibe: The Hen and Hound Brasserie
New to the Salt Spring scene, The Hen and Hound Brasserie combines ocean views with some of the best farm-to-table cuisine on the island. Everything on the menu is locally sourced, embracing a true connection to the island.
The setting is wonderfully relaxed, with its off-the-beaten-path location overlooking the Trincomali Channel. Take a seat in one of the cottage chairs beneath the sprawling Arbutus tree and enjoy a leisurely brunch.
Brunch is from 10 AM - 3:30 PM and tapas & drinks are served from 3:30 PM until the end of the evening.
Must try: waffle and the braise
4. Best for a picnic: Kutatás Vineyard
Enjoy a wine-tasting experience at Kutatás while seated at one of their picnic tables overlooking the vineyard. This unique winery warmly welcomes you to bring your own picnic ingredients to complement their wines. Enhance your tasting with a charcuterie picnic—pick up baked goods from Francis Bread, meats from South End Sausage and goats cheese from the Salt Spring Island Cheese Farm.
5. Best for cheap eats: any of the food trucks!
Indulge in a food crawl through Ganges by trying different specialties from the local food trucks. You will find Indian cuisine, authentic Japanese dishes, poutine, tacos, and an assortment of other comfort foods.
6. Best for fine dining: Hastings HouseHastings House is a 1940s Sussex-style manor hotel with a fine dining restaurant serving farm-to-table cuisine. The charming hotel is part of the Relais & Châteaux brand, which is a collection of gourmet restaurants and luxury boutique hotels from around the world. At the restaurant, you can either order a-la-carte or choose the three-course Chef's Menu. Combine dinner with a stay at Hastings House for a blissful romantic getaway.
7. Best neighbourhood restaurant: Off the Hook
The highly-anticipated restaurant, Off the Hook, is now officially open. Taste their coastal-inspired dishes with an innovative twist. Occupying the former Twig & Buoy space in Fernwood, the restaurant has a nautical charm, complemented by a blue neon sign proclaiming "The world's your oyster." The servers are very friendly and you can feel the passion behind the dishes. We were told there are more exciting things to come, and we can't wait!
Must try: Vietnamese Crispy Chicken Wings, Wild Salmon Fish & Chips, and the Smash Burger - it's our favourite burger on the island.
8. Best for sushi: Express Sushi 2 Go
This takeout restaurant serves fresh sushi on par with the best sushi joints in Vancouver. Order takeaway and enjoy it back at your stay or at a scenic picnic spot with island views. Don't forget to pick up some sake from the liquor store!
Must try: spicy salmon roll and crunch roll
9. Best for sandwiches: Buzzy's Luncheonette
This Jewish deli serves up delicious Montreal smoked meat sandwiches on fresh marble rye. The sandwiches are mouthwatering and one of a kind! You can either take away or grab one of the few tables inside or outside. It's a convenient place to stop for lunch after browsing the Saturday Market. Just make sure to get there before they run out of meat!
Must try: The Hungry Jew or The Rabinowitz
10. Best for comfort food: Salt Spring InnSalt Spring Inn is your go-to-joint for your favourite comfort foods, like poutine, onion rings, burgers, caesar salad, chicken wings, coconut prawns and nachos. The dining room is located inside the cozy hotel built in the 1930s . There is ample patio space, so on a sunny day you can people-watch down the main street of Ganges.
Salt Spring Inn is also a great choice for accommodation. It's great value and is located right in the heart of Ganges.
Must try: crispy cod burger (ask for extra tartar sauce!)
11. Best for Italian: Auntie Pestos
Step inside the cozy eatery to enjoy mouthwatering Italian cuisine and seasonal specialties. Their pasta is homemade and they are proud to support local producers.
We particularly love the ambience and jazz music that plays. It's a great spot to go out with friends or to bring a date. We always take our friends here.
Must try: chilli lime prawns and beef carpaccio
12. Best for coffee: Switch Board Cafe
Tucked away on a side street in Ganges, Switchboard Cafe is a quirky spot serving specialty coffees and tasty baked goods. It's a lovely place to start your morning on their outside patio. They also offer unique coffee-free lattes, like beetroot, chili turmeric and reishi cacao.
13. Best for breakfast: Barb's Buns, Dagwoods Diner or Salt Spring Inn
Barb's Buns is the best spot if you're looking for a quick bite. They have delicious fresh baked goods and sizeable breakfast sandwiches. Try one of their sourdough cheese twists, the perfect salty hangover treat.
Dagwoods Diner is the best spot if you're looking for a classic greasy spoon diner. It's great value and a favourite with locals. We usually go for their breakfast special or eggs benedict.
Salt Spring Inn is the best spot if you're looking for a country-style breakfast including buttermilk pancakes or buttermilk waffles. On Sundays, they serve breakfast until 2pm and have extra options like a traditional eggs benedict or a crab cake bennie. You could even start your Sunday with a mimosa.
14. Best for daytime drinks: Salt Spring Wild Cider House
Salt Spring Wild Cider House is not only our favourite place to drink cider but also our favourite spot to have lunch. The huge outdoor space with picnic tables overlooks the farm, making it a great spot for a sunny day. The items on the menu are perfect for sharing and light enough that you won't have to lie down from a food coma after.
We recommend trying a flight of ciders. There are up to 10 to try! Our favourites are the bitter orange-rosemary, farmhouse scrumpy, plum and elderflower/elderberry.
Too cold to sit outside? Salt Spring Wild Cider has an indoor dining room with great tunes. Their menu changes frequently and we are always delighted by the new arrivals. For small plates, we love their mezze platter, roast aubergine with whipped feta and pan-fried scallops. For larger plates, our favourites are the pan-seared wild coho with chimichurri and jerk chicken. Yum!
If someone in your group doesn't drink cider, they also offer BC wines, regional craft beers and local kombucha.
15. Best locals pub: Moby's Pub
Moby's Pub is the best locals bar where you can listen to live music, have a couple of cold beverages and order pub favourites. Ari's favourite dish is their 18-Hour BBQ Brisket. Kitchen hours are from 11:30 AM - 9:00 PM. Check out their event calendar for live music shows, karaoke nights and music bingo.
16. Best for food made-from-scratch: Rock Salt
Down south in the quaint village of Fulford Harbour, you will find Rock Salt. Their delicious food is all made-from-scratch and focuses on local ingredients. They have a dining room with 180° ocean views and a cafe where you can order food to go. This is great if you need to catch the ferry nearby. The best quick treat to grab is their cheese bun stuffed with different daily ingredients, like pulled pork and mushrooms.
Must try: Cider braised pulled pork burger served on a potato bun
17. Best for Pizza: True Love Pizza
At last, the pizza place we've been waiting for on Salt Spring - wood-fired, bubbly sourdough crust with creative toppings that all come together to make the perfect pie. Try the Wise Guy, an olive-oil base pizza with house-made lemon & fennel sausage, roasted onions and aged mozza. It's absolutely delicious!
Must try: Wise Guy
18. Best for the sunset: Seaside Restaurant
Seaside Restaurant is one of the best spots to see the sunset. Grab a spot on the outdoor patio and take in stunning views of the ocean and Vancouver Island across the way. Seaside Restaurant is known for its tasty fish & chips. You can choose from fresh-battered halibut, cod or haddock.
19. Best for live music with a view: Oyster Catcher
If it's a nice day, head over to Oyster Catcher to take in stunning waterfront views on their large outdoor patio. During summertime, the restaurant has live music every day of the week starting at 6PM. Enjoy listening to cheerful classics and take in the island vibes. Don't go if you're in a rush - it's a busy spot, so service can be slow at times.
Must try: Salt Spring mussels
20. Best for cheese lovers: Salt Spring Island Cheese Cafe
During summertime, Salt Spring Island Cheese Farm opens up its cafe and outdoor terrace. Order one of their specialty pizzas, like their truffle chevre pesto pizza, and sit at a picnic table in the back overlooking the farm and cute goats. For dessert, try their chevre cheesecake.
The kitchen is open from 11AM-4PM, however, their pizzas and cheesecake can run out beforehand on busy days.
Must try: any of their pizzas with goat cheese
21. Best for cocktails & dancing: Mateada
Mateada is one of Salt Spring Island's hottest new spots. The lounge features live music, creative cocktails and tasty bites, and has a funky ambience with its rich textures, coloured lighting and ornate woodwork.
Outside of their creative cocktail selection, Mateada serves a unique selection of non-alcoholic drinks, like kombucha and yerba mate served in a traditional gourd. Their food is easy for sharing and includes plant-based and gluten-free options.
We saw The Della Kit with David Morin perform a groovy set of jazz-inspired neo-soul songs. The atmosphere was lively and a ton of fun. About halfway through, almost everyone got up to dance on the dance floor in front of the stage.
Mateada hosts different styles of music from Thursdays-Saturdays, so don't miss checking out their list of events!
Top Tip: Arrive 30 minutes before the show starts to order food before the kitchen closes and to get a good seat. You can purchase your ticket online in advance, but tables are not assigned.
22. Best for a party vibe: Cassette
Cassette is Salt Spring's newest bar located in a former 1950s gas station, where old Top 40 and upbeat alternative hits play over the lively indoor and outdoor space. Its picnic tables can accommodate larger groups, so it's a good place to go if you're spending a weekend with friends. It's not the kind of place where you want to take your parents unless you want to hear them complain about the music volume.
The specialties here are the fried-chicken sandwiches and slushy margarita-style cocktails. The menu may be small, but the food is tasty. Expect longer wait times for the food, since it comes out of a food truck.
Must try: Korean Cauliflower Nuggets and the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
23. Best for daily features: Francis Bread
Recently opened in Merchant Mews, Francis Bread has become a quick hot spot for its wood-fired bread using BC-grown organic grains and sandwiches made daily with their signature sourdough. Look out for their daily features, which could easily be your best meal on Salt Spring. We had their Chinese spice BBQ pulled pork sandwich and it was amazing!
24. Best for Mexican: Dos Amores Tortilleria
Dos Amores Tortilleria produces fresh corn tortillas and serves mouthwatering Mexican food through their takeout window. The head chef was born and raised in Mexico, so it's a treat to try authentic Mexican dishes.
Must try: Deb's Carnitas (Pork) Taco and Mushroom Pibil Taco
25. Best for prepared meals: Woodshed Provisions
Starting as one of the best farm shops in the south end of the island, Woodshed has now expanded with a storefront in the burgeoning Merchant Mews. If you're in search of local, seasonally inspired dishes to enjoy in the comfort of your accommodation, Woodshed Provisions is the place to go. This is a great option, especially if you're travelling with a group and want delicious, but effortless meals you can heat up in the oven.
Must try: Chicken Marbella
We hope you enjoyed these 25 fantastic places to eat on Salt Spring!
Our top hotel picks on Salt Spring Island:
- Best for value: Salt Spring Inn
- Best for luxury: Hastings House Country House Hotel
- Best for groups: The Cottages on Salt Spring Island
Start planning your trip to Salt Spring
- 🏡 Accommodation: see our list of the best Airbnbs and hotels in Salt Spring
- 🍷 Fun activities: see our list of the top 21 things to do in Salt Spring Island
- ⛴ Book your ferry: BC Ferries
- 🚗 Car rental: see Rentalcars.com to compare car rental prices across different companies.
- 🛫 Flights: see the Kayak tool to compare flights (includes float planes)
Explore more of the Gulf Islands:
- 5 Restaurants on Pender Island You Have to Try
- Best Restaurants on Galiano Island
- 7 Top Restaurants on Gabriola Island
- 6 Hornby Island Restaurants you have to try
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