From fresh seafood to bountiful Okanagan fruits to decadent Nanaimo bars, there’s lots to savour in beautiful British Columbia. Discover some of the unique flavours and rich culture that make West Coast fare distinct.
The Ultimate Nanaimo Bars
The history of the Nanaimo bar can be traced back to the Vancouver Island city of Nanaimo, B.C., with the first known recipe published in 1953. Requiring no baking, Nanaimo bars have become a favourite dessert thanks to the ease of making them along with their undeniable sweetness.
Salt Spring Island Lamb
A favourite of the Queen herself, Salt Spring Island’s tender lamb is known for its unique flavour and texture.
There’s nothing quite like bright, fresh sockeye salmon during the holiday season. The firm, fluorescent-fleshed fish is full of rich, intense flavours and is best enjoyed fresh from BC waters.
West Coast Fish Chowder
Smoked, candied salmon and rockfish star in this creamy, comforting soup that will warm your belly and your soul after a chilly walk along the beaches of Vancouver Island.
Okanagan Valley Fruit Salad
This delightful fruit salad is laced with slices of bocconcini for a sweet and savoury take on the classic dessert.
Another local B.C. delicacy, spot prawns are best savoured as fresh as possible. These large, sweet shrimp are a West Coast specialty, and are served fresh during their short-lived 6-8 week season each spring.
Wild Onion and Mushroom Tart
Deep and earthy wild B.C. chanterelle and morel mushrooms are lightly fried with wild onions, leeks and butter in this Parmesan-topped savoury tart.
As the story goes, the ubiquitous sushi staple, was invented right in Vancouver by Chef Hidekazu Tojo. Despite the name, Chef Tojo stands by his claim of creating the famous sushi star.
During the Great Canadian Cookbook’s stop in Tofino, B.C., Marnie Helliwell brought this bannock to the potluck with Lynn Crawford. Marnie learned this simple, traditional recipe from her friend, Grace George, an elder of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations, where every family has their own unique version passed down from generation to generation.
World Famous Hot Smoked Salmon Sandwich
There’s so much bold British Columbia flavour stuffed between this ciabatta bun. Wild, smoked salmon, maple mustard coleslaw and spicy Sriracha mayo are layered in this mouthwatering combo of Asian and Western flavours.
Fresh ginger and lots of garden-picked garlic gives this simple pacific salmon recipe tons of flavour.
Brownie Dominoes with Wild Blueberry Cinnamon Sauce
Rich, chocolate brownies are made even better when topped with a luscious, berry sauce made with hand-picked wild B.C. blueberries and a hint of warm, comforting cinnamon.
Seared Albacore Tuna Loin
Buttery pacific tuna gets a simple sear before being sliced crosswise into thin 1/4-inch pieces and smothered in gingery-garlic ponzu sauce.
Baked Halibut with Fresh Hemlock Spring Buds
Inspired by Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations cuisine, this delicious fish dish incorporates hemlock tree buds, which can be harvested in the spring along Vancouver Island’s west coast.
Apple Cranberry Cinnamon Buns
Not just for Christmas, cranberries are a booming crop in British Columbia. Celebrate the tart little fruit with these delightful apple and berry buns.
PiDGin Chicken Wings
Straight off the menu of Vancouver’s PiDGin restaurant, these juicy wings are a delicious example of Asian-French fusion that makes this coastal city a coveted foodie destination.
Dungeness Crab Tacos with Radish Sprouts
Sweet and tender Dungeness crab makes a delightful filling for these fun, seafood tacos the combine fresh B.C. flavours with everyone’s favourite Mexican dish.
Lemon Ginger Halibut
Wild halibut gets a touch of Asian flavour as it’s marinated in a Granville Island sake, fresh ginger, soy sauce and chili sauce.