With the growing interest in immersive Indigenous tourism experiences and locally-sourced, wild-harvested food, Indigenous restaurants are on the rise. Take a seat at a timeless and contemporary table where eating is learning and every morsel is a connection to the land and its people.
Salmon n’ Bannock Bistro in Vancouver
Located in the traditional Coast Salish Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh First Nations, this celebrated and casual restaurant is currently rated tenth out of more than 3000 restaurants in Vancouver. Co-owner Inez Cook of the Nuxalt First Nation does her best to procure fresh ingredients from First Nations suppliers. Saskatoon berries and soapberries; stinging nettle and sea asparagus; birch syrup and cedar jelly; caribou and salmon all make appearances on the menu of this small but always packed restaurant. Reservations are highly recommended.
Kekuli Café in Merritt and in Westbank, Kelowna
Husband and wife co-owners Sharon and Darren Bond-Hogg reassure guests: “Don’t panic…we have bannock!” The café was named by Sharon for the kekuli (say ke-koo-lee) a traditional Indigenous winter dwelling built half into the ground and made of logs, tule, dirt, and grass. The traditional and gourmet bannock delights are made fresh daily at locations in Merritt and Westbank, Kelowna and they have a gluten-free version. Their famous frybread is always vegan and is the glorious, golden centrepiece in Breakfast Bannockwiches and Venison Flatbread Tacos. This friendly coffeehouse environment showcases Indigenous art and music and hosts an open mic night.
Lelem’ Arts and Cultural Café in Fort Langley
Lelem’ (say lay-lem) means home or place to come together in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm, the language of the Kwantlen people. Situated on a low bank of the Fraser River in the historic village of Fort Langley, the Lelem’ Arts and Cultural Cafe showcases arrowheads, tools, and other artifacts found on traditional Kwantlen land – some more than 5000 years old! Menu options, like venison sliders and sockeye salmon chowder, make use of locally-sourced elements of a traditional Coast Salish diet. The bright, cedar-rich cafe hosts Indigenous cultural workshops and features live Indigenous music performances on the first Saturday of each month.