Salt Spring Island Part II – Lunch At The Tree House Cafe

Did you catch the first part of my Salt Spring Island experience? Because you should – so many great photos!


So, after getting my fill of spectacular market offerings, I was looking to get out of the crowds and explore Ganges a little more. The tide was out, so I took a little stroll along the beach.

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I love all the bright green sea grass carpeting the rocks. But it was super slippery to walk on!

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In order to avoid taking a face plant on the rocks, I took my exploring back up to the town.

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Soon enough my tummy was telling me it was time to seek out some lunch. Taking another recommendation from Kelsey, I found my way to the Tree House Cafe.


The Tree House Cafe is this funky little restaurant built around a very large, very alive tree. It gives it a very open, one-with-nature, west coast vibe.  Plus their menu looked fresh and delicious. Perfect lunch spot for a day on the island.

IMG_1513 When I arrived at 11:30 am looking for lunch, I was disappointed to find out they were still serving breakfast, and were very adamant about not changing the menu over to lunch until 12:00 pm. No offense – but people are up early for the market on Saturdays, and will be wanting lunch earlier than noon. I know it’s a pain to have that transition in the kitchen, but I was a little put off that I couldn’t even look at a lunch menu until the kitchen said they could go out. Regardless, I had them get me a table and drink menu while I impatiently counted down the minutes until I was allowed to view my dining options.


Since I had a little while to wait, I thought it might be a good idea to satiate my grumbling tummy with something more than water. My eyes went directly to the Blender Specialties section of the menu. When I spied the Blended Matcha Latte, I didn’t need to read any further.


When I ordered my drink, the waitress asked me what kind of milk I wanted. Me, thinking she meant skim or 2%, asked what my options were. I was pleasantly surprised when she said “dairy, soy, or almond”. I happily asked for my latte to be made with almond milk.


Tasty, but I think they need to check that their blender is working properly, because I had some giant chunks of unblended ice hiding in there. At least it was cool and refreshing and kept me occupied as I waited. As did the little birds sitting beside me, hoping for some food fall out.


Once I finally had a menu in my hot little hands, I didn’t even bother to look at anything other than what Kelsey enjoyed on her trip to the Tree House Cafe. The Tree House Veggie Burger it would be, with a the green salad and a side of guacamole. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for the food to arrive, and I was very impressed with what was presented to me.


Tree House Veggie BurgerOur very own handmade veggie burger, with cheddar cheese served on a grilled ciabatta bun with mayo, greens, alfalfa sprouts, tomato and purple onion. I went sans tomato, of course.


Doesn’t it look eerily like a beef patty? I assure you it was not. But you could fool some people into thinking they were getting a regular burger for sure.

Loved the giant dill pickle spear as well. Not the most practical to eat in the burger, but a great accompaniment. 


House GreensLocal organic mixed greens topped with teriyaki roasted sunflower seeds, sprouts, purple onion, tomato, and grated carrots. Served with homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Again, I nixed the tomatoes.


I slathered my side of guacamole (which you can just barely see in the lower left corner of the above photo) onto my beautiful burger, and put the top on in preparation to dig in.


Time for a big bite!


Seriously loved this burger. It had a very dense, meaty, chewy texture unlike any veggie burger I’ve ever had before. I asked the waitress what they make their burgers with, and she said it was a soy protein. I’m wondering if it might be TVP? I’ve never used it in cooking before, but I would imagine it’s the only thing that would give you that meaty burger texture. It was seasoned and cooked perfectly, and very filling with the side salad. Everything was very fresh. Big fan of the teriyaki roasted sunflower seeds – might need to make some of my own. Their guacamole wasn’t my favourite. Tasted like they include cumin in the mix, which gives it an interesting smokiness, but I would have rather had a more traditional, clean tasting guacamole. I’m all about the pure avocado flavour with a bit of heat and splash of lime.

I would definitely recommend the veggie burger at Tree House Cafe, and the restaurant in general (even if I couldn’t get lunch when I wanted it). Great portions, and decent prices ($12 for the burger/salad, with $1 extra for the guac). I only wish Salt Spring Island were easier to get to, so I could try out some of their other menu offerings.  

After lunch, we decided it was time to head back to the ferry, as we had plans that evening in Victoria, and wanted time to clean up/nap before going out. So sadly, we had to skip out on visiting the wineries and other little artisan locations. For a small island, there is a lot to see and do on Salt Spring.


Fulford Harbour ferry terminal.

We *thought* we only had about 20 min until our ferry was to depart, so we kept close to the terminal. Fortunately there are a collection of little shops and cafes, perfect for keeping ferry traffic entertained while they wait.


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I actually went into Morningside Cafe to try and get a coconut water as I was thirsty, but the people working there were slow, and I was afraid I was going to miss the boat, so I went next door and ended up with a soda instead.


The coconut water would have been so much better.

The ferry was still nowhere in sight, so I kept wandering around, taking pictures.

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Tye dye is a big thing on Salt Spring. Gotta love those island hippies!

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How cute is the post office, painted all purple and yellow?!

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Then…our ride finally arrived…30+ min late. We’ll just say they were running on island time.


It was time to say farewell to the gem that is Salt Spring Island.


And amuse ourselves with ferry signs on the way back to Victoria.

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Until next time Salt Spring. Until next time…


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Categories: BC, Local, Lunch, Restaurants, Vegetarian


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2 Comments on “Salt Spring Island Part II – Lunch At The Tree House Cafe”

  1. August 31, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    This place looks like HEAVEN!! I want to go! The latte (iced) sounds wonderful. I never knew this but Starbucks adds something to their iced drinks that helps them get blended better, perhaps the Tree House Cafe needs to look into that.
    The veggie burger looks so tasty, especially with the “speared pickle spear”…ha!


  1. The Chocolate Chronicles – Denman Island Chocolate Rosemary, Baby | french fries to flax seeds - September 12, 2011

    […] to explore any of our amazing Gulf Islands other than Salt Spring (remember my trip – part 1 and part 2). But I imagine it would be just as amazing, but less busy. One day I will get there. Anyone up for […]

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