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Cowichan Valley, British Columbia Culinary Tour

In Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley there’s a growing food scene that’s defiantly (and deliciously) local.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Multiple days

Overview :  If you live anywhere south or east of, say, Vancouver, you’ve probably not heard of the Cowichan Valley. This bucolic corner of... more »

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Points of Interest

Stop in for a pint at the convivial Craig Street Brew Pub, whose Shawnigan Irish Ale is the best of several house-made beers.

Address:
25 Craig St.
Duncan, British Columbia
Canada

Phone:
(250) 737-2337

2. Deerholme Farm

Chef Bill Jones is a passionate forager, and wild mushrooms are often the highlight of his tasting menus, served in his cozy farmhouse. Working with a single sous-chef, Jones puts a French and Asian spin on farm-to-table cooking: a recent meal included a Chinese-style duck with hoisin sauce made from Deerholme’s own squash, and a hen-and-egg... More

3. Duncan Farmers’ Market

Sample local products at the Duncan Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday in Duncan, the valley’s workaday hub.

Address:
200 Craig St., City Square
Duncan, British Columbia
Canada

Phone:
(250) 732-1723

4. Fairburn Farms & Guesthouse

The crown jewel of the Cowichan food scene, thanks to proprietor and chef Mara Jernigan, who also leads a terrific Saturday cooking class. Five guest rooms are upstairs in the 1896 farmhouse, with interiors that are just the right side of twee: patchwork quilts; tulip sconces; flatiron doorstops. Wander the farm’s 130 acres and visit the resident ... More

5. Hilary’s Cheese & Deli

You can assemble a great picnic lunch at Hilary’s Cheese & Deli, where the young, mushroomy goat’s-milk blue is the standout among nearly a dozen local varieties.

Address:
1737 Cowichan Bay Rd.
Cowichan Bay, British Columbia
Canada

Phone:
(250) 748-5992

6. Merridale Ciderworks

Hike through the orchards of Merridale Ciderworks, seven miles south of Cowichan Bay. Rick Pipes and Janet Docherty make their cider from English and French heirloom apples and distill a fine Calvados-style brandy using a traditional copper still.

Address:
1230 Merridale Rd.
Cobble Hill, British Columbia
Canada

Phone:
(250) 743-4293

Waterfront white clapboard inn known for its food, much of which is sourced from the on-site garden. Room to Book: The split-level Edible Blossom Room has its own garden and an oversized outdoor Japanese soaking tub. Doubles from $172, including breakfast.

Address:
1528 Whiffen Spit Rd.
Sooke, British Columbia
Canada

Phone:
(250) 642-3421

The waterfront gastropub Spinnakers serves creamy Fanny Bay oysters, rich seafood chowder, and the pub’s own ESB cask ale, served on a deck overlooking the harbor.

Address:
308 Catherine St.
Victoria, British Columbia
Canada

Phone:
(250) 386-2739

9. The Masthead

A maritime-style tavern filled with acres of worn wood, flickering oil lamps, and a winningly retro vibe (tableside Caesar salad service; a pianist playing “Theme from St. Elsewhere”). Sit out on the deck above the marina and order Whaletown oysters from Cortes Island and seared scallops from Qualicum Beach, just 60 miles north.

Address:
1705... More

Seemingly every resident makes a daily pilgrimage to True Grain Bread & Mill, whose organic loaves you’ll smell from blocks away.

Address:
1725 Cowichan Bay Rd.
Cowichan Bay, British Columbia
Canada

Phone:
(250) 746-7664

11. Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery

Stop in at Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery to sample the excellent honey and strong mead.

Address:
8750 West Coast Rd.,
Sooke, British Columbia
Canada

Phone:
(250) 642-1956