With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought it prudent to round up a few of the best restaurants across Vancouver Island. While many of them are on the list because they are wonderfully romantic, a few of the ones mentioned below also offer something incredibly unique. No matter which option you choose, expect to have a fantastic date night with your loved one.

The list is based on both personal experiences, as well as those trending on outside sources (OpenTable, TripAdvisor, Google reviews, etc.). With that in mind, few could argue that this list also represents the very BEST restaurants found on Vancouver Island!

If your favourite date night restaurant isn’t mentioned, we’d love to hear from you. In the comments below please share with us what you feel is the best date night restaurant in your neighbourhood.

Updated: January 22, 2020

gourmet food at one of Vancouver Island's best restaurants

Greater Victoria

Saveur Restaurant

Cuisine: Contemporary French

Dining Style: Upscale casual

Location: 658 Herald Street, Victoria

Saveur offers fine dining food in a casual urban setting. Award-winning chef, Robert Cassels, delivers French-inspired contemporary cuisine through playful and elegant tasting menus, using local ingredients wherever possible. Chef Cassels works closely with the farmers, foragers, and fisheries of Vancouver Island to create an unforgettable dining experience.

Olo

Cuisine: Pacific Northwest

Dining Style: Simple yet stylish setting (smart casual dress style)

Location: 509 Fisgard Street

Olo offers a melting pot of techniques and flavours to the best seasonal ingredients from Vancouver Island and beyond. They take a farm-to-table idea to the next level with their belief in sustainable farming practices, seasonality and knowing the stories of the growers.

Summit Restaurant at Villa Eyrie Resort

Cuisine: Farm-to-table, Contemporary Italian, Contemporary Canadian

Dining Style: Elegant Dining with a business casual dress code

Location: 600 Ebadora Lane, Malahat (Victoria)

The Summit Restaurant sits atop the Malahat ridge and offers stunning views of the Saanich Inlet.  Menu ingredients are cultivated in their very own backyard garden,  as well as through a partnership with local farmers and vineyards. Think classic meets au courant with Italian-inspired, farm-to-table fare.

Sooke Harbour House

Cuisine: Canadian, Northwest

Dining Style: Fine dining

Location: 1528 Whiffen Spit Road, Sooke

This spectacular oceanfront restaurant serves local, organic, seasonal, and wild food. The gardens and grounds are an edible landscape with over 200 herbs, greens, flowers and vegetables. Executive Chef Thomas Yesdresyski uses the abundant natural resources of the area as a basis for fabulous cuisine. This is truly a place where one can get away from the stresses of the world and just relax.


Best Date Night Restaurants in Nanaimo

The Mahle House

Cuisine: Canadian, International

Dining Style: Fine dining

Location: 2104 Hemer Road, Nanaimo

Set in a historic home featuring an English-style ornamental garden, this upscale eatery offers farm-fresh European plates in an elegant setting. It’s a second-generation, family-owned and operated restaurant that has been a fixture in the Cedar community since 1983. They serve flavourful, unique food in a welcoming environment with relaxed, yet professional service.

Asteras Greek Taverna

Cuisine: Greek

Dining Style: Upscale casual

Location: 347 Wesley Street, Nanaimo

Located in the heart of the old city quarter of downtown Nanaimo, Asteras is an authentic Greek restaurant known for it’s traditional, delicious foods. Everything is made in-house daily, from whole foods and high-quality ingredients. The beautiful ambience is set in a heritage home that is over 100 years old, and the service is second to none.

The Nest Bistro

Cuisine: Canadian with a French or Italian influence

Dining Style: Upscale casual

Location: 77 Skinner Street, Nanaimo

Enjoy an extensive menu of handcrafted, locally sourced food, full bar, signature cocktails and an alfresco patio. The menu items are made from scratch by the chef/owners and their dedicated culinary team. Local fresh and organic ingredients are used whenever possible to create dishes that you just can’t find anywhere else in Nanaimo.

The Discovery Room

Cuisine: Contemporary French/American

Dining Style: Casual elegant (business casual dress style)

Location: Building 300 (at the side of the cafeteria)

By dining here you are not only helping the culinary students of Vancouver Island University but you get their very best creations at a fraction of the cost of other fine dining restaurants. Due to the learning environment, the students are extremely eager to please in not only food preparation but in presentation and service as well.


Top Date Night Restaurants in Oceanside

Kalvas

Cuisine: Pacific Northwest with a German influence

Dining Style: Upscale casual

Location: 180 Moilliet St, Parksville

Kalvas is situated in a classy, upscale log cabin with dark wood tables and a warm atmosphere. The semi-circular building offers almost every table a view from the large windows. Specializing in great seafood and premium meats, Kalvas offers a high-quality dining experience at a reasonable price. Chef Adel mixes classic dishes with fusion. He likes to take old recipes and change them into something new by adding unique ingredients.

Cuckoo Trattoria

Cuisine: Italian

Dining Style: Upscale casual

Location: Coombs Old Country Market (2310 Alberni Hwy)

Cuckoo Trattoria has a great atmosphere and beautiful surroundings. Since opening in 2011, it has become a destination for delicious and authentic Italian food. If you are there during the warmer Spring and Summer months, the outdoor patio is lovely. Complimentary blankets are offered if you find it chilly. Their thin crust pizza’s get rave reviews from many!

Giovanni’s Ristorante

Cuisine: Italian

Dining Style: Upscale casual/casual

Location: 4-180 Second Avenue West, Qualicum Beach

Giovanni’s is a classy yet laid-back go-to restaurant for Italian favourites, from pizza and pasta to steak and seafood. While the cozy restaurant side is perfect for date night, if you are looking for something a little more casual, the lounge is a great spot to stop in for a pint and their excellent pizza.

The Dark View Restaurant

Cuisine: Contemporary

Dining Style: Upscale casual

Location: 731 Island Hwy E., Parksville

One of Parksville’s newest restaurants is also the most unique. The Dark View Restaurant gives you the opportunity to dine in a room that is completely dark, and perhaps get a glimpse into the world of those who are blind or visually impaired. Many big cities around the world (including New York, Paris, Los Angeles, and London) offer similar experiences. So the fact that small town Parksville has something like this is quite extraordinary.

Bistro 694

Cuisine: Seafood / Canadian

Dining Style: Casual Fine Dining

Location: 694 Memorial Ave, Qualicum Beach

Bistro 694 combines global flavours with fresh local ingredients. Out of the many great restaurants in Qualicum Beach, they are voted as #1 on TripAdvisor – so that absolutely says something about their dishes, service, value and setting! Reserve a table at this cozy little restaurant for your next date night and I doubt you will be disappointed!


Best Comox Valley Restaurants

Martine’s Bistro

Cuisine: Gourmet bistro (Canadian)

Dining Style: Upscale casual

Location: 1754 Beaufort Avenue, Comox

Rated as one of the best in the Comox Valley, Martine’s Bistro has a continually revolving menu incorporating fresh, local, in-season ingredients. Their professional chefs are well known and garner rave reviews as some of Vancouver Island’s finest. During the warmer months, head to the patio for stunning marina views!

Locals Restaurant

Cuisine: Seafood / Canadian

Dining Style: Casual elegance

Location: 1760 Riverside Ln, Courtenay

Locals recently won the 2019 Comox Valley Record Readers’ Choice Award for Best Fine Dining and Best Local Chef. So you know it’s good! Food Day Canada also recently honoured Locals Chef, Ronald St. Pierre, with a “Good Food Innovation” award. Chef Ronald has a passion for using fresh, in-season, high-quality ingredients that speak for themselves to make his incredible dishes. The fact that Locals is located in a remodeled Comox Valley Heritage building only adds to the elegance of this restaurant.

Il Falcone

Cuisine: Italian

Dining Style: Upscale Casual

Location: 536 6th St, Courtenay

For classic Italian cuisine in the Comox Valley, head to Il Falcone. Chef and owner Andrey Durbach brings his many years of experience at some of Vancouver’s best-loved neighbourhood restaurants to Courtenay. Located in a charming yellow house with a beautiful garden, Chef Durbach provides a culinary experience similar to what patrons would find in an Italian villa. For those who love Italian wine, you will be overly impressed with their selection!


Top-Rated West Coast Restaurants

The Pointe

Cuisine: Pacific Northwest

Dining Style: Fine dining

Location: Restaurant for the Wickaninnish Resort in Tofino (500 Osprey Ln)

The Pointe Restaurant is the ultimate in fine dining, but not in an overly stuffy way. According to the website, the dress code is “west coast smart casual”.  It is one of Tofino’s top restaurants and, we can attest, a must-go-to Vancouver Island dining destination. The panoramic ocean views are enough to sweep you off your feet. While the refined West Coast cuisine is more than worth the indulgence.

Wolf in the Fog

Cuisine: Pacific Northwest

Dining Style: Upscale casual

Location: 150 Fourth Street, Tofino

Wolf in the Fog serves fresh seafood right from the ocean, plus much more. Nestled near Tofino’s coastline, the restaurant’s interior is a rustic setting with beautiful wood throughout. The food and drink menus are inspired and influenced by the place, the people and the produce. Whether it’s freshly-landed salmon from local fishermen or chanterelle mushrooms foraged from the forests of Tofino, the dishes are created using seasonal locally-harvested ingredients.

There is also a sizable bar that offers a great selection of wine, beer and cocktails. The outdoor patio offers beautiful, scenic views of the ocean.

Shelter

Cuisine: Canadian/American

Dining Style: Casual

Location: 601 Campbell St, Tofino

Set in a contemporary timber house with a patio, this restaurant serves bistro fare sourced from local farms and waters. They pride themselves on serving ethically and free-range beef and poultry, and using locally sourced vegetables and pork from the valley. All of the herbs and spices used in their dishes are grown on site.

If you are looking for something uber romantic, request to sit upstairs where the only lights are the flickering flames of candles.

Pluvio

Cuisine: Canadian

Dining Style: Casual elegance

Location: 1714 Peninsula Rd, Ucluelet

Pluvio restaurant offers a unique experience celebrating the best local products and natural elements of Ucluelet, Tofino and the rest of Vancouver Island. Pluvio gets rave reviews from their patrons and was recently selected as the number 4 best new restaurant in Canada by Air Canada and enRoute magazine. The small restaurant and open kitchen allow for personal and refined service in an environment inspired by their beautiful surroundings.


Please note: Due to the popularity of many of the above-mentioned restaurants, reservations are highly recommended.

So, have we paid tribute to your favourite date night restaurant? If we failed to mention one that you feel should be on this list please let us know in the comments below.

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