It has been a Steveston Village magnet for years. But there’s more to Fisherman’s Wharf – a floating dockside walkway that threads between the fishing boats – as well as the accompanying Steveston Landing boardwalk of shops and eateries than meets the eye. The shoreline attraction is a direct link to the local fishing industry and the region’s cannery-era heyday, and it’s also a perfect place to explore for a few hours whether you are a local or a visitor.
Keen to plan a first-time excursion or make a long-overdue return trip? Read on for our overview of the top things to do at Steveston’s Fisherman’s Wharf area.
Strolling the boardwalk is a highlight of the Fisherman’s Wharf area.| Photo: John Lee
PURCHASE SOME SEAFOOD
At Fisherman’s Wharf visitors can wander down the ramp, walk the floating pathways and peer at the seafood sold from the small armada of boats moored alongside. This public fish sales market offers a cornucopia of glistening goodies, which can include salmon, rockfish, and brimming baskets of shrimp. Look out for fresh-caught sea urchins and keep in mind that the highly anticipated spot prawn season (typically mid-May to June) is a must-see.
Wondering what else is in season? Check here for the year-round menu, and keep in mind that you’ll usually you’ll find the greatest number of vendors here on weekends.
Fresh seafood can be bought from the boats here. | Photo: John lee
EAT FISH & CHIPS
Steveston is generously salted with aromatic fish and chip restaurants. But one ever-popular spot for this delicious dish is located at the boardwalk’s western end. Pajo’s has been serving its crisply battered wild cod, salmon, and halibut (plus other offerings such as burgers) from its floating, ramp-accessed restaurant since 1985. On sunny days it seems like everyone in Richmond is dining here – which means a meal at an off-peak time is recommended if you want to snag a sought-after outdoor table.
A visit here should always include fish and chips at Pajo’s. | Photo: John Lee
INDULGE IN A SWEET TREAT
Strolling the sun-dappled boardwalk with a decadent dessert is always a good idea. Luckily, you’re spoiled for choice at one of Steveston’s most popular businesses. On hot days, join the queue at Timothy’s Frozen Yogurt, and, while you’re waiting, make your selection from the gelato, sorbetto, and frozen yogurt flavours labelled on the blackboards. Options-wise, you can enjoy flavours ranging from salted caramel to bubble gum and from black sesame to chocolate peanut butter.
DISCOVER YOUR INNER PHOTOGRAPHER
One of Richmond’s most visually appealing locations, the Wharf area serves-up a kaleidoscopic array of photogenic features, inviting you to explore your camera settings and capture some cool images. Lens-ready subjects here include the seafood-selling fishing boats, the working harbour, and even some quirky restaurant signs. It’s a great opportunity to fill up your Instagram feed- feel free to share your photos using our #RichmondMoments hashtag.
Steveston is incredibly photogenic. | Photo: Tourism Richmond
SPOT LOCAL WILDLIFE
Stop for a few moments on the boardwalk and look closely at the water. You’ll likely spot ducks and swans swimming around the docks and wooden piles. Sometimes you can even spot a sea lion or two nosing around the Wharf’s fishing boats. Seagulls flying above are common to see, along with bald eagles a little further offshore (if you have binoculars, point them towards nearby Shady Island, where eagles nest). A few good rules of thumb to keep in mind: never feed the animals, don’t get too close; and don’t scare or harass the wildlife.
Looking to venture out on the water? Whale watching tours depart daily from Steveston from April to October.
Whale watching tours depart daily from Steveston. | Photo: Tourism Richmond
SHOP FOR SOUVENIRS
There are also a few souvenir stores to check out at Steveston Landing, perfect for some easy browsing. From nautical knickknacks including seagull-shaped salt and pepper shakers to Canadiana clothing items such as moose-motif socks, these cheery boutiques are jam-packed with fun gifts. And if you’re looking for T-shirts for everyone on your list, check out the options and price points in each store before you decide.
VISIT STEVESTON FISH
Seafood might be the Wharf’s best souvenir, though. But since filling your backpack with fresh shrimp isn’t necessarily wise, nip into Steveston Fish instead. The freezers in this popular store are stocked with everything from halibut to octopus. But they also have a good array of canned Pacific salmon, an easy-to-transport local seafood that directly recalls Steveston’s canning heritage.
If you’re interested in Steveston’s fishing history, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site is a short walk away. It was once BC’s biggest salmon cannery – as many as 2.5 million cans of salmon were packed here each year until the 1930s – and it’s a richly evocative reminder of the area’s bustling yesteryear industry.
Steveston Fish is a popular pit stop for seafood shopping. | Photo: John Lee
INDULGE IN DINNER
If your fish and chips lunch seems like a long time ago, it could be time for dinner. The Wharf is lined with patio-fronted casual dining options but there are also a couple of elevated spots to consider. Head upstairs to Catch Kitchen + Bar for great views and a delicious menu (house-made crab cakes recommended). Alternatively, Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant is the perfect finale to any Wharf visit, especially if you indulge in a delicious seafood share platter – served with a side dish of golden harbour views.
If you do nothing else on your visit, sitting on a bench, drinking in the blue skies and basking in the sun would be more than enough. Keep in mind that the busy eastern end of the boardwalk is lined with storefronts and restaurants, but a few steps west it changes to a more open area of benches and railings that overlook Fisherman’s Wharf and the fishing boats and pleasure vessels. From Savoy to Anvil Cove, see how many exotic boat names you can spot here – then stick around for a breathtakingly scenic sunset.
Last Updated on November 5, 2022 by Tourism Richmond