A Tasty Tour of Bowen Island's Food Offerings

Jan Stevens and her son Akira recently got a chance to go on a Savoury & Sweet Food Tour of Snug Cove, Bowen Island. Always wanting to be able to recommend fun activities to her guests, Jan was happy for this chance to get to know one of the many tours provided by Jody Lorenz, owner/operator of Bowen Island Tours, as well as deepen her knowledge of food offerings on Bowen.

The group met at the Visitor Information Centre at 2pm, a wonderful resource for visitors and locals alike. You can find maps, trail guides, Bowen merchandise and lots of helpful advice in this small cottage off Cardena Road. It was a gorgeous July day for strolling Snug Cove, and the selected restaurants were ready for the group’s arrival. The group was small, including Jan and Akira, a couple, and a freelance food writer.

The Snug Cafe's welcoming entrance sign

The first stop was local establishment The Snug Cafe, where the group sat outside under patio umbrellas sipping iced coffees. Jody served up the Snug’s sausage rolls, steak pies, and brownies, which Akira loved so much he made sure to pick one up later, before leaving Bowen.

Next, they stopped in to Candy in the Cove, the world’s smallest candy store, apparently as confirmed by Google. Owner Jan Chilvers was there to offer samplings of modern and vintage candy. If you take the tour, be prepared for a quiz on what is regarded as the oldest Canadian candy? A hint, it was popular in the 1800s.

Candy in the Cove's interesting candy selection

The next stops were a tour of the Bowen Island Beer & Wine Cellar, and carrot cake samplings at the Ruddy Potato deli. While circling back to the lower part of the Cove, Jody gave the group a tour of the Heritage Cottages in the Crippen Park orchard, featuring a display cottage replicating the swinging steamship days of Bowen’s past, and 100-year-old apple trees. Jan especially liked how, throughout the tour, dimension was added as Jody shared Bowen Island facts and history wherever they went, whether in Crippen Park and the Memorial Gardens, or walking past historic buildings like the cottages and the Library (old general store).

Rustique Bistro's lemonade (with "add Vodka" option)

A Niçoise salad served at Rustique Bistro

Next was French Paté and Niçoise salad, served by Celine Boyer of Rustique Bistro, followed by blueberry cream cheese gourmet toast at Branch & Butter on the pier. Jan was especially thrilled to have gluten-free pie at Lime & Moon Pie Company, also located on the pier. While serving, owner Stani Oben talked about the company’s organic ingredients and philanthropic policies.

Pie on the pier - a tasty offering by Lime & Moon Pie Company

Blueberry toast from Branch and Butter

After a walk through Crippen Park on the north side of the main street, enjoying views out to the lagoon and Howe Sound, the group made their way to a restaurant new to Bowen this winter, Barcelona Tapas & Wine Bar. They enjoyed sangria, and Jan was surprised at how much she liked an octopus dish. “The texture was more like chicken than squid, and the sauce was delicious.” Cocoa West truffles were enjoyed afterwards, for a final dessert.

Barcelona's soon-to-be famous sangria

While they didn’t go to every food-serving establishment in Snug Cove, it was probably a good thing; portions were big enough everywhere that by the end of the 3 hours (well, 3.5, they went overtime), the group was satiated, quite full, in fact. Jan and Akira thought it was a great sampling of what Bowen Island has to offer, and exposed the group to some really tasty dishes they might not think to try on their own. If after 60 years on Bowen Island Jan is impressed with the tour and her newfound knowledge of Snug Cove, our visitors would no doubt find it helpful to get to know the island through Jody's Bowen Island Tours.