The Fraser Valley

When it comes to culinary tourism, Vancouver seems to get all the love in BC’s lower mainland. With some newly minted Michelin stars, it’s certainly a destination for glitz, glamour and some really great food. But for those who like to really dig in and forage for the hidden gems and discover the stories behind the food, the Fraser Valley is the place for you. There’s a lot to choose from, so we’ve put together some “must-dos” to supplement your own journey of discovery.

Where to Stay

We LOVED our stay at the quaint, Hollywood romance-themed Brookside Inn Boutique Hotel in Chilliwack. We stayed in the gorgeous Roman Holiday room and enjoyed a peaceful stroll along the neighbouring Pepin Brook Vineyard Estates after a delicious continental breakfast and a chat with friendly owners Chris and Sandi Buis.

Brookside Inn Boutique Hotel |

Circle Farm Tour

Like any great food destination, the Fraser Valley has covered all the bases by creating a self-guided circle farm tour that offers a ready-made itinerary of between 10 and 20 venues depending on the day, date and time. From honey to dairy, vineyards to berries, venues span Chilliwack, Langley and Abbostford areas as well as Harrison-Agazziz to the northeast. A great website has all of the details including suggested itineraries based on who you’re travelling with, what time of year you’re going and what your interests are.

Fraser Valley Circle Farm Tour |

The Local Harvest

Sustainable Farming and Cabbages Bigger than your Head

Celebrating 10 years in 2023, the Oostenbrink’s 30-acre family farm is a fascinating intersection of a family business and modern farming practise. This no-till, carbon-sequestering, soil-regenerative farm fosters biodiversity, and uses only 100 per cent natural growing. Book a farm tour to experience first-hand the passion and expertise behind the farm and don’t miss the in-house organic bakery, which serves wood-fired pizza on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Local Harvest | Chilliwack |

Fraser Valley

For The Hop-Heads

Calgary, of course, is known for the best micro-breweries in Canada, but the Fraser Valley’s no slouch either. The Fraser Valley Ale Trail highlights 12 local breweries making for a great alternative to the wine-tour for those who prefer brews to Bacchus. We stopped at Old Yale Brewing and enjoyed a flight of small-batch brews. Try the 2014 Canada Brewing Awards beer of the year Sasquatch Stout or one of their popular tea radlers. Locations in Chilliwack and Abbotsford.

Field House Brewing is a great stop for dinner, particularly on a Thursday evening. Field Sessions live local music, enjoyed on lawn chairs in what feels like your friend’s backyard, comes complete with pet pooches. The thin-crust pizza is great and order a flight so you can pick and choose from a huge selection of beer, barrel-aged cocktails, ciders and more. Locations in Chilliwack and Abbotsford.

Fraser Valley Ale Trail |

Beer Flight

And the Oenophiles

With its first winery opening in 1994, the Fraser Valley wine region is still in its infancy, relatively speaking. Having said that, the offering is plentiful with 37 licensed grape wineries in the region.

We sat down for a picnic at a gorgeous former ranch, Whispering Horse Winery. A family business since the ’60s, Whispering Horse was Chilliwack’s first winery. The most successful variety has been l’Acadie blanc from Nova Scotia, which thrives in the local terroir. They’re also experimenting with their WILD line, which uses a natural winemaking approach with spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeast, no additives, no fining, no filtration, and minimal use of sulfites. These wines are offered in limited quantities and are intended for the adventurous tasters.

Whispering Horse Winery |

More Wineries

Operated by the Joseph Richard Group out of Surrey, the Glass House Estate Winery is a family-owned affair that pays homage to its start as a greenhouse operation. This gorgeous dining room is almost an almost-entirely-glass house with sweeping views of the countryside. Grab a charcuterie kit for a picnic on the hill outside the dining room, take a seat at the bar for a wine tasting, or really treat yourself to the luxury couples helicopter estate tour for something truly memorable.

Glass House Estate Winery |

Don’t Forget to Eat!

Under the leadership of chefs Matthew Nichols and Jeff Massey, Restaurant 62 is the original farm-to-table restaurant in the Fraser Valley. At Restaurant 62, the menu changes with the seasons with daily updates for market-fresh ingredients highlighting products sourced from local farms. This is a really beautiful menu with wonderful pairings available from a thoughtful wine list. Don’t miss a meal here.

Restaurant 62 | Chilliwack |

We loved our lunch visit to the gorgeous Saba Bistro with a fantastic menu featuring Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours. The seafood here is spectacular as is the pasta. A secret (whoops!) courtyard transports you from the charming town of Fort Langley to an Italian piazza. This is a great place to spend a few hours eating and sampling a delightful cocktail menu.

Saba | Langley |

We could have hung out at Tangleback Gardens all day. The on-site Brambles Bistro specializes in fresh, made-from-scratch, comfort food with much of the produce, fruit, and even the honey, coming from the gardens and hives at Tangleback. A beautiful drive on country roads lands you at this oasis where the food is as beautiful as the flowers. Warning: Calgary gardeners may experience a pang of jealousy while strolling the gardens.

Brambles Bistro at Tangleback Gardens | Abbotsford |

Other Heavenly Fun

Pick some berries and try some cider at Taves Estate Cidery in Abbotsford

Take a cooking class at Well Seasoned in Langley

Pet a goat and eat some cheese at Millner Valley Cheese

Learn a thing or two at Fort Langley National Historic Site

Get into the spirit of things with a tasting at Fraser Valley’s first craft distillery, Roots & Wings

Enjoy some award-winning wines at Backyard Vineyards

Snack ‘n’ Stroll in historic Downtown Abbotsford: Don’t miss Oldhand Coffee, Duft and Co. Bakehouse, The Polly Fox and Yes Chef.