I've been stopping by the Tree House Cafe at least once a spring/summer for the past several years and recommend it to anyone travelling BC's coastal waters and islands.
The burger is incredible - top 5 in my life, easy - and the other food I've tried here over the years is very tasty, too.
I don't mean to say anything bad about the staff with the 2-star Mediocre Service rating - just a warning that this place can be a victim of its own success on a warm, summer weekend night. They have limited space and the wait, both for a table *and* your food, can be a long time. The ever-changing floor staff does the best they can.
The ambience is the real star here: this has to be one of the best places to hang out and spend an evening in the country. Salt Spring Island is home to a disproportionate number of terrific musicians, and they take turns on an impressive nightly lineup from around May-September. The "inside" part of the restaurant is a wooden structure built around a tree, while outside in the courtyard extra tables are set up which about doubles their seating capacity. It's also steps from the picturesque harbour and marina.
Between sets, the staff collects a by-donation cover charge for the band; a once-per-visit deposit of between $5-20 into the pail is the norm.
It's sort of hard to write about the Tree House Cafe, since it's so unlike any other dining experience.
Just go there for a few hours one night and relax and enjoy it yourself.