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The Sunshine Coast, a stretch of Pacific paradise just a stone’s throw from Vancouver, is a sailor’s dream. Not just for its breathtaking landscapes and tranquil waters, but for its hidden culinary gems. Our journey begins at Gibsons and winds through secret coves and marinas, each stop a celebration of food, history, and character. This isn’t just a yachting trip; it’s a gourmand’s pilgrimage.

Smitty’s Oyster House, Gibsons

Our odyssey starts in the heart of Gibsons, at Smitty’s Oyster House. The town, once a bustling fishing village, now attracts artists, dreamers, and those seeking solace by the sea. Smitty’s, perched on the water’s edge, is a testament to the area’s maritime heritage. The big blue warehouse exudes rustic charm, a perfect setting for the culinary treasures within.

Stafford Lumley, the owner, speaks with a passion that borders on reverence for the ocean’s bounty. “The beauty of it is, it’s right here on the water. It’s tucked right next to the wharf—which is a working fishery, by the way, so you’ve got prawn boats and crab trawlers and halibut fishermen coming and going. There’s even one guy that does tuna.”  He adds, “It’s all very casual and fun, it’s just a loose environment here.”His oysters, mostly sourced from local waters, are the stars of the show. Fresh, briny, and kissed by the sea breeze, they’re a perfect introduction to the flavours of the coast. Pair them with a crisp local white wine, and you’re in heaven. 

La Bettolina, Secret Cove Marina

A short sail north, a floating barge in Secret Cove Marina houses La Bettolina, a small, unassuming trattoria that’s anything but ordinary. Secret Cove itself is one of the more sheltered marinas on the Sunshine Coast—serene, secluded, and steeped in natural beauty. A Royal Vancouver Yacht Club outstation is located in one of the scenic arms.Chefs Adam Pegg and Anthony Santi

 La Bettolina, helmed by chefs Adam Pegg and Anthony Santi, offers a slice of Northern Italian cuisine crafted with love and tradition using produce, meats and seafood from local suppliers.

Knowing the vagrancies of the weather for their cruising clientele, reservations are taken solely for their tasting menu leaving tables open for their à la carte or tasting menu for boaters who drift in. Handmade pasta, rich ragùs, and the freshest seafood are best enjoyed on the deck as the sun dips below the horizon.

Lagoon Restaurant, Painted Boat Marina

Further along, at the Painted Boat Marina, the Lagoon Restaurant beckons. This modern, sophisticated venue contrasts sharply with the rustic charm of our previous stops. The marina itself is a luxurious retreat, and the restaurant mirrors this with its sleek design and innovative menu. 

Chef Frederic Haut-LaBourdette is new creative force here. A French native, he has set up his young family on the Sunshine Coast now. His menu reflects this journey—local ingredients are elevated with a global twist. Imagine succulent Shrimp & Scallop Cakes, perfectly golden and crisp, paired with a zesty Asian slaw, tangy lime and sriracha aioli, and a sweet, smoky grilled pineapple salsa—an unforgettable explosion of flavours and textures that’ll transport your taste buds straight to culinary nirvana. 

If you’re arriving by boat, complimentary moorage is available for vessels up to 30ft for those wanting to ‘dock n’ dine’.

Osprey, John Henry’s Marina

Next, we sail to historic John Henry’s Marina and Resort in Garden Bay, Pender Harbour, home to “Osprey” a brand new port-of-call on the fine dining scene. With panoramic views of the sparkling waters and rugged coastline, this waterfront haven invites you to indulge in a culinary adventure like no other. 

“Trust the Chef” is a blind tasting menu inspired by the seasonal bounty of the Pacific Northwest along with global inspirations that reflect the chefs’ roots and personal journeys. Small plates and Exclusives such as whole fish or Seacuterie boards are available by preorder, subject to availability. Every dish is a masterpiece crafted with passion and precision. which also extends to the creative cocktail menu.

John Henry’s has been a staple of the community for decades, offering a slice of history along with its picturesque views. Moorage is available. 

Osprey created by executive chef Heidi Murphy of the “Tribe Called Zest” Hospitality Group the team behind el Segundo, The Shameful Tiki Room and The Shed, is open Thursday to Sunday, 5pm til late. Reservations recommended.

The Inlet Restaurant, Egmont

Our penultimate stop on the Lower Sunshine Coast, The Inlet Restaurant situated at West Coast Wilderness Lodge, boasts one of the finest patios on the Sunshine Coast, alongside a soaring yet cosy indoor dining space. Breathtaking views of the majestic Jervis Inlet, vie for attention with a West Coast menu that emphasizes fresh fare—think squid ink risotto, salmon gravlax, and pan seared halibut—and an local wine list.

Moor at the Back Eddy Resort and Marina and ramble up the road to dinner at the lodge. You can make this a two night stay with a local and seasonally inspired gastropub menu at the Back Eddy Pub after stretching your legs trekking into the world famous Skookumchuk Narrows. Chef Mike Denomey and his culinary team highlight BC’s pacific northwest heritage in modern style. Complimenting the food menu, house cocktails, local Sunshine Coast craft beer selections and carefully chosen wines are on offer.


Seasider Bistro,  Powell River

With stunning views of Malaspina Strait and Texada Island nothing beats a sunset dinner on Powell Rivers only oceanfront patio at the Seaside Bistro. Watch for whales while enjoying a range of casual menu favs such as tuna tataki, seafood spaghettini, and the St. Louis pork ribs then stroll down the marina to your boat for a quiet night. The location of this small marina makes it an easy day’s reach from Pender Harbour or Jervis Inlet. Entrepreneur Jack Barr has long standing ties to the Sunshine Coast and big re-development plans for Beach Gardens. Expect this to become a more popular stopping place for points north and a destination on it’s own.

The Laughing Oyster, Okeover Inlet

Cruising on up Malaspina Strait past Lund, the Copeland Islands and around Sarah Point is our final destination, The Laughing Oyster in Okeover Inlet. This gem is nestled in a serene cove, the perfect end to our journey. The restaurant’s panoramic views of Desolation Sound mountains are breathtaking, but it’s the food that steals the show.

Longtime Chef/Owner David Bowes and wife Patty have recently passed the torch to Scott Wilshaw and Shannagh Avery who cut their teeth at the Lund Resort. Signature dishes from the historic menu are still there with new additions to refine the “Oyster” legacy. Hungry yachters have been flocking here for years to experience the lively atmosphere and elevated galley of seafood offerings. Singing for your supper takes on new meaning with notable customers such as Brian Smith of Trooper or Bill Bourne along with David Bowes himself frequenting this bucolic outpost near the end of the road-literally!

Moor at the government dock below or anchor nearby and saunter up through the gardens and orchard. Open Wednesday to Sunday 4-8pm.  You can also trade the cabins  of your boat for a tiny home with new land-lubbing accommodations offered by, a clever play on words with some nice amenities to relax your sea legs.

As the sun sets on our voyage, the flavours of the Sunshine Coast linger, a testament to the region’s rich culinary heritage and the passionate souls who bring it to life. This is more than a journey; it’s a love letter to the coast, where every meal is a memory, and every sailor a storyteller.

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