9 foodie road trip destinations within three hours of Vancouver (MAP)

Vancouver has plenty of amazing food and drink options, but sometimes it’s refreshing to leave your own context behind and see what there is to experience just outside the periphery.

From pizzerias to Italian cafes to Vietnamese family restaurants, these top foodie destinations are all within a three-hour drive of Vancouver.

Some of these places require hopping on a ferry, some require a passport, and some are easily accessible by car, but they all offer something special that is worth going the further.

Pizza Pilgrim and Charmer

Nestled in the woods of Galiano Island, Pilgrimme is well worth the detour (and the ferry ride). The restaurant focuses on hyper-local ingredients, using only things sought after, grown or raised on the island or nearby on the mainland.

This means that Pilgrimme’s dishes change according to the season, but always aim to “showcase the harmony between simple ingredients”.

Charmer Pizza operates in the same space as Pilgrimme from Thursday to Sunday, offering naturally leavened pizzas. The toppings are always hyper-local, fresh and inventive (think kale butter, sieglinde potato, sprouted broccoli, Oyama nduja and Kootenay Meadows Alpindon).

Address: 2806 Montague Road, Galiano Island

Pizza Pilgrim and Charmer

Salt Spring Island Wild Cider

Drive too fast on this island road and you might miss this hidden spot. Salt Spring Island Wild Cider makes its cider using the island’s old wild orchards with traditional and modern cider making techniques. It also has a home kitchen where you can enjoy a meal in a beautiful farm setting.

The food is designed to be enjoyed with cider and features dishes like charcuterie boards, slow-roasted lamb shank, and local clams with smoked chorizo. Ingredients are generally organic, ethically sourced and available seasonally.

Address: 151 Sharp Road, Salt Spring Island

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Galaxy Pho

This unassuming little place serves up some of the best pho in the Lower Mainland. Its menu features vermicelli platters (called rolls), rice dishes, and other things like Vietnamese-style hot and sour soup, but the real draw here is the pho.

Pho Galaxy’s pho broth is incredibly tasty and the spot offers several different varieties. The restaurant is always crowded, no matter what day of the week, but it’s worth the wait – and the trip.

Address: 45863 Yale Road #104, Chilliwack

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Valley Commons Bistro and Tasting Room

This brand new wine tasting room and bistro in Fort Langley features wine from the restaurant’s cellar in the Okanagan. The small-batch production wines and tasting room space are inspired by a more European way of life, where the slow pace, appreciation of food and drink, and meeting loved ones are the pillars of each day.

Not only is this space incredibly charming, but the food menu also shines alongside the wine, with simple, ingredient-driven dishes like duck rillette, pan con tomate, and burrata. You can also buy bottles of their wine to take home.

Address: 9124 Glover Road, Langley

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Bar Cicotti

This romantic little spot is tucked away in the historic streets of Bellingham, Washington. Both a wine bar and a café, it’s a cozy place to dive into during the day, as well as a great place to end the evening with a glass of wine and a small plate.

The Cicotti bar also offers jazz nights on Wednesdays, spaghetti nights on Thursdays, bubble nights on Fridays and Roman pizza nights on Saturdays. So whenever you go there, you are guaranteed to have a great time. It’s only about an hour and 40 minutes drive from Vancouver, which means it can easily become a fun destination for a day trip.

Address: 202 Grand Avenue, Bellingham, WA

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Tell your friends Coffee

Hop on the little fast ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Bowen Island and you’ll immediately find this lovely cafe on the harbour. This place is so close to the ferry terminal that you don’t even have to drive all the way and can easily take a walk instead. Located next to a few other great local businesses (like Branch on Bowen, a go-to taco shop), Tell Your Friends Cafe serves plant-based dishes, pastries, as well as fantastic espresso drinks.

It’s the perfect first stop on a visit to the nearby small island, especially if you’re planning on wandering around for a while.

Address: 400 Main Bowen Island Road, Bowen Island

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Dino Tomato Pie

Drive about three hours from Vancouver and you can enjoy fantastic New Jersey-style pizza at Dino’s. This old-school style spot in Seattle serves up pizza the way the owner used to get it in his home country – that is, round or Sicilian style, topped with those little cups of pepperoni.

The space is fun, the pizzas are great – especially with a little cup of red wine – and the website is a veritable assortment of 90s clip-art. It’s an absolute must if you’re ready to cross the border .

Address: 1524 E Olive Way, Seattle

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Rocko’s 24 hour dinner

For a fun, old-fashioned dining experience, head to Mission and head to Rocko’s. This place is pretty well known, as it’s been featured in a ton of movies and TV shows (including Riverdale). It’s been serving burgers, fries, milkshakes and other standard fare since 1956 and makes for a great day out of town.

Address: 32786 Lougheed Road, Mission

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