Local Winter Getaway Guide 2023/2024: Top 5 dining spots on the Sunshine Coast

From old-school faves to the freshest modern menus, here are five awesome Gibsons-area restaurants to check off your Sunshine Coast to-do list

1. If you feel like comfort food…

Drift Cafe on the Sunshine Coast
Credit: drift-gibsons.ca
Perched just up the hill from the Gibsons main drag is the cozy Drift Cafe (546 Gibsons Way), a restaurant with a truly spectacular ocean view—if a window seat is available, grab it. The menu features elevated comfort-food classics (think spaghetti and lamb meatballs, prawn benedicts and vegan kimchi fried-rice bowls). The walls are splashed with local art that’s for sale, so you can go home with more than a full tummy. drift-gibsons.ca

2. If you feel like plant-based…

The Gumboot Cafe (1053 Roberts Creek Rd.) is a hippie haven in the best way

The Gumboot Cafe (1053 Roberts Creek Rd.) is a hippie haven in the best way—the sun-filled interior feels more like a house than a restaurant, and the breakfast menu is fantastically veggie-forward: avocado toast, beet cakes and kale salad are the heroes. If that’s sounding a bit too green for you, there are also plenty of pastries—the vegan salted caramel bar is an obvious winner. thegumbootcafe.com

3. If you feel like seafood…

Seafood from Smittys oyster house
Credit: smittysoysterhouse.com

Smitty’s Oyster House (643 School Rd.) is a living legend: it’s the oyster restaurant so good, they took it to the big city (Smitty’s on Vancouver’s Main Street opened early last year). But the Gibsons digs—sitting right by the water the iconic shellfish live in—will always be the benchmark. Besides the delicious raw oysters and housemade sauces, order the crab cakes and chili lime prawns… they’re the secret stars on this menu. smittysoysterhouse.com

4. If you feel like something new…

Brassica restaurant on the Sunshine Coast - the shelves are stocked with jams, spreads, snacks and more
Credit: brassicagibsons.com

Brassica (292 Gower Point Rd.) launched in the fall of 2022, but it’s already developed a stellar reputation with the locals. A marketplace greets you when you first enter (the shelves are stocked with jams, spreads, snacks and more from Coho Commissary, the shared commercial kitchen that operates behind Brassica). The family-style menu changes often, but you can expect delicious, coast-focused dishes like skillet cornbread with Roberts Creek Honey, koji-marinated sablefish collar, roasted beetroot with pistachio and grilled octopus with roasted pepper vinaigrette. brassicagibsons.com

5. If you feel like just desserts…

Ice cream at Lunitas (645 School Rd.)
Credit: facebook.com/lunitasmexican

Okay, there is a lot more than dessert here—awesome Mexican dishes like quesabirria and beef tenderloin carne asada tacos are highlights—but make sure you save room at Lunitas (645 School Rd.) for that post-dinner sweet thing. For tradition with a twist, go for the churros (heavy on the rum-cinnamon whipped cream). For a treat that’s Insta-worthy and delicious, there’s the Mayan chili chocolate pot de crème (spice plus chocolate has to be the best winter dessert duo). The space itself is gorgeous, too: bold floral murals and colourful papel picado punctuate this lively room. lunitas.ca

While you’re there, visit…

A room at Shades of Jade Inn and Spa
Credit: Shades of Jade Inn and Spa

The Sunshine Spa

If you live in the city, basically any spot you stay on the Sunshine Coast is going to feel tranquil. But the Shades of Jade Inn and Spa (1489 Henderson Rd.) brings that tranquility to another level entirely: nestled in the forest just off of Henderson Beach in Roberts Creek, this boutique Japanese-influenced accommodation is beautiful and spacious, all warm woods and natural stone. There’s a hot tub and spa on site, and the two units both offer steam showers, heated tile floors and a bubble massage tub. Host Sylvie Bruce greets you with the calming demeanour of your favourite yoga teacher. Just try to be stressed out here. We dare you. shadesofjade.ca

Shades of Jade Inn spa

This story was originally published in the November/December 2023 issue of BCBusiness Magazine.