Family Lunch Pick: Chef Suzi in the Square

Suzi Charlton at Suzi in the Square. Photo by Deanna Ladret

In a far off corner of Bastion Square, halfway between The Maritime Museum and the Yates St. Parkade, there lives a little restaurant that serves wholesome coffee breaks and lunches to summer tourists and the Bastion Square 9-to-5 crowd. Unbeknownst to many of us downtowners, Chef Suzi in the Square has been producing tasty homestyle brunches and lunches since September 2009. Now firmly established as a go-to spot for office workers, Chef Suzi is hoping to gain some ground beyond the Square and welcome new faces to the cafe in the upcoming year.


As a young child, Suzi Charlton developed a love for homestyle cuisine while learning to cook in her grandmother’s Halifax kitchen. Years later, with a Red Seal Certificate and more than 20 years of experience under her belt, Chef Suzi holds true to the notion that oftentimes, the best food is the least complicated. Her maritime roots are reflected in many of the cafe’s specials, like the ever-popular Lobster Chowder and the cake and cookie recipes from her family’s collection.

Chef Suzi in the Square is definitely a child-friendly establishment. If the “Relax, this ain’t the mainland” bumperstickers aren’t enough of a clue, the oilcloth covered tables, multi-coloured chalkboard menu and acrylic canvas adorned brick walls echo the cafe’s relaxed vibe and unassuming attitude. Also, the food is wholesome and quite inexpensive. For $3, you get a bottomless Salt Spring Island Coffee and a freshly baked muffin. $5 gets you coffee and a hefty slice of housemade carrot cake.


An impressive list of breakfasts and sandwiches are written on the chalkboard above the bar, while a spread of pastries, cookies, and baked goods sit on cake plates adjacent to the cash register. Though it’s counter service, the cashier will usually bring your food to your table if it isn’t busy. And during the summer months, the patio is a fantastic vantage point for Bastion Square people watching.


The cafe will be closed for the holidays from December 20-January 8th.

Hours of operation: Open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-3pm. Closed on weekends.

Chef Suzi also offers catering and home cooking services. For more information, visit




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