The Historic North Shore Burger with the Best Yukon Bacon
The Tomahawk Barbeque, just a few seconds off of Marine Drive in North Vancouver, has been owned and operated by the Chamberlain family since 1926. Chick Chamberlain’s restaurant has remained a well-known and beloved spot on the North Shore, and an important part of its history. From the outside, the Tomahawk looks little more than an old house – brick walls, mossy roof, and all. What sets it apart are two large, colourful totem poles that stand guard on each side of the entrance door, welcoming you in.
My boyfriend and I have been coming to the Tomahawk for a long time. The staff (including Chuck Chamberlain, who carries on the family business) are so welcoming. You really feel like part of the family when you eat there. The menu at the Tomahawk is simple, yet effective: hearty breakfasts, filling lunches, and home-style dinners. Chick named most of his burgers after local chiefs he befriended over the years, and they’re amazing! Especially the Skookum Chief Burger.
The Tomahawk has always been ahead of the game in terms of ingredients for their menu. They use only certified organic Blue Goose beef, local produce when in season, and the most amazing “Yukon-style” bacon you will ever have. What makes Yukon-style bacon different from regular side bacon is that it’s made from the delicious, rich, fatty pork shoulder instead of the traditional belly. This ensures the bacon is incredibly meaty and flavourful. It will change your life, I promise.
The Skookum Chief Burger comes on a Portuguese roll, with shredded lettuce, fresh tomato, onion, Yukon-style bacon, a free range fried egg, a hot dog, and a special house sauce. There’s a choice of salad or fries on the side. The Portuguese roll is soft and slightly chewy, the perfect vehicle for the mountain of fillings it contains.
The first bite, if you can manage to get a bit of everything in it, is magic. The beef patty is juicy and well seasoned, and is complemented by the hot dog and smoky, fatty bacon.
Runny egg yolk adds another dimension of umami while bringing a luscious coating to your taste buds.
The crunch of the fresh tomato, onion, and lettuce gives the Skookum Chief Burger a burst of freshness and also brings another layer of juiciness to the burger. Hands down, the best part about the burger is the house-made sauce. It’s sweet, tangy, and really helps to balance out the more overwhelming ingredients. At first glance, a burger with this many elements (I mean a hot dog, really?) seems overwhelming and excessive. However, the Tomahawk does it in such a way that it’s wonderfully decadent without being overpowering.
Little has changed inside the Tomahawk in 80 years. The interior is warm and welcoming, with a plethora of beautiful artifacts that Chick collected and traded with the First Nations people in the area. There are statues, totems, tools, and clothing that give you a glimpse into the rich history of Canada’s First Peoples. Fun fact: the stools that line the bar are originals; people have been sitting, eating, and enjoying themselves in them for 80 years and counting! If you’re feeling (very) hungry and find yourself on the North Shore, make sure you stop at the Tomahawk. History and flavour like this can’t be missed.
Restaurant: The Tomahawk Barbeque
Featured Dish Name: Skookum Chief Burger
Dish Type: Burger/Sandwich/Wrap
Available For: All Day
Dish Price: $14.45
Flavour Profile: Savoury
Portion Size: Large