I’ve lived here for five years and I continue to be surprised at all the local offerings of Chilliwack, and at how new quality businesses keep opening up in this city nestled in between the mountains. Every few months, there seems to be a new round of openings and these past few months, even in the face of a pandemic, that trend has continued.
If you live in British Columbia, add the city of Chilliwack to your next local travel destination (and for those international travellers, add it for the future!) if you like outdoor activities with a side of good food. This area boasts truly epic hikes (which I will write about in my next post) and is consistently building up a solid roster of places to eat.
Herewith my top suggestions for dining in Chilliwack:
Hugo’s Mexican Kitchen. This place is a vibe. The outside isn’t anything special as it sits on the main road but it’s nice to be outdoors so we normally go that route. The inside is adorable – think pink accent wall and a trendy tropical atmosphere – as if you’re in Mexico (which is especially welcome during this no travel era!). All of the food is pretty tasty but my favourites are the Beef Barbacoa tacos and the Churro Bowl for dessert. The pricing is also totally reasonable, and they usually have a good play list going.
Bravo Restaurant and Lounge. This fine dining spot has been around well before all the new cool and trendy establishments came to town. So in a sense, they are the OG’s of good food and atmosphere in Chilliwack. They are great for a good glass (or bottle!) of wine, martini, and gourmet food. I’ve never ordered something here that I didn’t love. There are a couple of cute intimate booths if you’re looking for some privacy but the entire place as a whole is really quite cozy. Always a good go-to for dates, celebrations, something a little extra fancy.
Harvest Store + Cafe. If you’re looking for a takeout treat in the AM, Harvest has incredibly delicious doughnuts and good coffee. This area is building up super nicely and there’s a store a couple of doors down with a bunch of super cute Scandinavian inspired home items called Vaxjo Nordic.
Bow and Stern. This is a seafood restaurant that just opened up, and to say that I’m happy to now have a go-to place for fresh oysters, is an understatement. The family and I went there on opening weekend. First impression was good in that the street facade is beautiful and inviting, the staff are wearing clear masks so you can still see their expressions, and the overall decor is charming. There were definitely a few kinks for the team to work out, which is expected during the first few weeks so I’m looking forward to visiting in a month or so, when they should have have a good flow going. The wine and beer list is comprised of all locals wineries and breweries which is really exciting. The hot + cool cajun tiger prawns were my favourite out of everything we ordered, plus they have good fries (which is not a given in my opinion!).
Beyond these four favourites of mine, Earl’s is always a reliable and tasty bet, and C-Lovers Fish & Chips is super solid for proper fish and chips.
Mariko Izumi lives in the mountains in Chilliwack with her partner Kevin, and their two kids Yale and Tiger. They own and operate Izumi Estrada Management and the leading conservation based sturgeon fishing guide company Sturgeon Slayers.