Located between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, this Southern Gulf Island may be small, but its farm-to-table and artisan culture make it a destination worth visiting to eat well and relax.
We've created a guide of our favourite places to eat on Pender Island that give it a special charm. Our list combines fun foodie experiences and unique restaurants on Pender Island.
Planning a trip to the island? Don't miss our list of the 23 best things to do on Pender Island.
Overview: 5 Pender Island restaurants you have to try
5 Foodie Experiences & Unique Restaurants on Pender Island
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1. Best for farm-to-table cuisine:
Coffee + KitchenDine at Coffee + Kitchen for fresh, farm-to-table cuisine made with ingredients sourced from local producers and their on-site greenhouse. The intimate restaurant is located at WOODS on Pender, one of the best stays on the island where you can glamp in a vintage Airstream.
Our meal at Coffee + Kitchen was the best we had on the island. We were impressed by the attention-to-detail and creative dishes. I ordered the aged prosciutto pizza topped with seasonal veggies, fior de latte, fresh herbs and aged balsamic. Ari ordered the juicy chuck steak burger with bacon jam, smoked cheese and fried onions. They offer gluten-free crust and bread options.
The cocktails are also a hit. They are well crafted and beautifully garnished with fresh herbs. With a full list of unique cocktails to choose from, you may just leave a bit tipsy.
Reservations are highly recommended since it's one of the best places to eat on Pender Island. The place is small and they are only open Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm - 7pm.
Coffee + Kitchen is also open for breakfast from Thursday-Monday from 9am - 11am. They serve fresh-baked pastries (get the cinnamon sticky bun!) and coffee from Victoria-based Fernwood Coffee Company. If it's a sunny day, sit on their large outdoor patio with colourful chairs. It's a great way to start the morning.
2. Best for the setting:
The Hub at Hope Bay
Dine seaside at The HUB at Hope Bay, a waterfront bistro serving vegetarian Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. We ordered the chef's salad and mushroom gnocchi and both were delightful.
Combine these views with live music, and you're in for a special evening. Check out the HUB's website to see when their next event is - they happen sporadically. We were lucky to see Clanna Morna, a west coast traditional Celtic quartet.
As we sipped French 75s at our table with ocean views, we listened to the musicians play Irish, Scottish and Bulgarian songs with an assortment of instruments: banjo, guitar, fiddle, Irish flute, mandolin and accordion. The evening was full of energy and a ton of fun.
Cover costs $15 per person, which is added to your bill at the end of the evening and given directly to the musicians.
3. Best for brunch:
Sit among sports memorabilia, pop culture prints and chatty patrons for the best brunch in town. Jo's Place is a local favourite known for its comfort food, great value and ample portion sizes.
Visit on a Sunday, when they feature seven types of eggs bennies with unique toppings and house-made hollandaise. Which one will you choose?
- The Wilbur - the classic with honey ham and hollandaise
- The Jo - chorizo sausage with banana peppers and sriracha hollandaise
- The Blackstone - smoked applewood bacon with beefsteak tomato and hollandaise
- The Duck - with pesto hollandaise
- The Patty - pork sausage with mozza and hollandaise
- The Salmon - smoked salmon with dill hollandaise
- The Top Green - vegetarian option with grilled beefsteak tomato and pesto hollandaise
4. Best for wine & bites:
Truss Food Truck at Sea Star Vineyards
Visit Sea Star Vineyards for wine and bites on their grassy patio overlooking the ocean and sun-lit vineyard. The boutique winery was named one of the "9 Wineries to Visit Before You Die" by Sip Magazine and offers tastings for $15 in their West Coast-inspired building.
During high-season, the Truss Food Truck parks at the vineyard. After your wine tasting, pick your bottle of choice and sip a glass on the patio with some bites from the farm-to-food truck. In the off-season, pick up one of Truss's picnic charcuterie boxes sold in the tasting room.
Winery hours: Wednesday - Sunday from 12 pm - 6 pm. You can make your wine tasting reservation online in advance.
5. Best for a unique island experience:
Picnic goodies from the Farmer's Market & Farm Shops
Ok, it's not exactly a restaurant, but this is one of the best ways to experience the islander way of life. Farm shops and farm stands are a unique part of Pender Island's culture and a great way to support local farmers.
Gather fresh charcuterie items and create an appetizing spread for a picnic in nature. Here are our favourite spots to get your started:
- Southridge Farms Country Store - stop into the family-owned local grocer and pick out a hard cheese, soft cheese and salami from the deli counter. In the fridge near the cashier, pick up some olives and their should-be-famous French Onion chip dip. Don't forget a bag of Hardbite chips!
- Amy's Bread Shed - pick up a fresh baguette
- Gulf Islands Gourmet Preserves - get your hands on their red-pepper jelly. It goes perfectly with a soft cheese and baguette.
- The Artisan & Farmer's Market - On Saturdays, farmers and artisans gather inside and outside the Pender Islands Community Hall. Browse the stalls for more items to add to your picnic.
We hope you enjoyed these unique places to eat on Pender Island!
Start planning your trip to Pender Island
- 🍷 Fun activities: See our list of the 23 best things to do on Pender Island
- 🌃 Book your accommodation: Booking.com and VRBO are our go-to for finding places to stay. Sort by top reviewed.
- ⛴ Book your ferry: BC Ferries
- 🚗 Car rental: see Rentalcars.com to compare car rental prices across different companies.
- 🏥 Travel insurance: World Nomads. Already traveling? You can purchase insurance with World Nomads while you're abroad. A 48-hour waiting period just applies for coverage.
Explore more of the Southern Gulf Islands
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