By WAHEEDA HARRIS
Taking the Sea to Sky Highway, travellers are attracted to the vistas of Bowen Island, the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountains, and for a food-obsessed tourist, there’s plenty of local tastes to be found along the way.
Stop #1: Britannia Beach
Driving time: 1 hourAbout 50 kilometres north of downtown Vancouver, get a caffeine hit at Galileo Coffee Company. The scent of roasting coffee beans will be the lure to park; grab a cup of java or buy some beans for home brewing.
Stop #2: Squamish
Driving time: 15 minutes
After you’ve juiced up on joe, stop for a hearty breakfast (weekends only) at Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company brewpub. Consider the sun-dried cranberry and almond granola with yogurt or go savoury with vegetarian eggs Benedict with avocado and roasted tomato or Pacific cod and chips.
Stop #3: Whistler Village and Blackcomb Mountain
Driving time: 45 minutes
From Whistler Village, take the gondola to the top of Blackcomb Mountain to Christine’s for lunch on the patio. Tasty offerings to try include Wild Pacific Salmon Sampler, Raw micro-greens salad or Salt Spring Island mussels in garlic cream sauce with Pemberton russet fries.
Back on the ground in the village proper, stop at Alta Bistro for cocktail hour. This restaurant and cocktail haven serves up classic 19th- and 20th-century concoctions as well as veggie- and fruit-infused in-house inventions and Schramm vodka and gin from the Pemberton Distillery in a little town of Pemberton, about 30 kilometres north. Try the gin-based Vesper—shaken not stirred.Stop #4: Nita Lake Lodge
Driving time: 10 minutes
Just outside of Whistler Village, gorgeous Nita Lake Lodge resort is the ultimate choice for dinner. The must-have appetizer is Chef Owen Foster’s homemade charcuterie, served in the Cure Lounge. Head over to the resort’s lakeside Aura restaurant for the main event: seasonal offerings such as sunchoke-and-potato soup with black garlic cream, fresh halibut cheeks with bulgur and spinach or house-made gnocchi with morel mushrooms. And if you have room, make it a sweet finish with the Granny Smith apple, Saskatoon berry and pecan parfait. Too stuffed to head back to the city? Take a room with lake and mountain views at the lodge.