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Chowhound in Victoria

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I'm looking for some reccommendations for places to eat in Victoria. My husband tends to avoid anything that smacks of "trendy" but we would like to find a place on the water and a good pub (or reasonable facsimile). Also are there any places that do tea, besides the Empress which I hear is very touristy and expensive. I realize that I am going to a tourist city ( I'm from Orlando, so I know what that means, retaurant-wise)) but I would like
that hard-to-find-but-memorable-restaurant - the one that tourists like, but still serve a good meal.

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  1. v
    viola da gamba

    See the comments below re: Il Terrazzo - and I can certainly second the recommendation for Spinnakers as a great pub. There isn't really anywhere directly on the water that isn't touristy, for obvious reasons, but the fish at the Wharfside, although on the expensive side, is very good. Have fun!

    2 Replies
    1. re: viola da gamba

      i used to live in Victoria... and Il Terrazzo is incredible. pricey as hell, but well, WELL worth it.

      for a good beer-drinking time, i'd recommend Swan's... good selection, and it's a brewpub, so..

      swan's is located on wharf street, one street north of johnson.

      1. re: danbird
        v
        viola da gamba

        The comments about Il Terrazzo weren't all that complimentary - have you been there recently?

    2. Hi, yes the Empress I think is very expensive and touristy - and not that great. Funnily there aren't a lot of great tea rooms in Victoria, but the one I like is called the Windsor tea room in Oak Bay. It is cosy and small, very homey! Spinnakers is great, on the water and has a lovely walkway. Cassis is very "untrendy" but good. Let us know how it goes and good luck!

      1. I just posted recently about a great experience at Cafe Brio. The owners are omnipresent, warm and very attentive. The food was outstanding. This felt like a 'local' bistro but executed far beyond. Highly recomended.

        Sorry but I haven't been to tea in Vic.

        good luck!

        4 Replies
        1. re: David

          David, where is Cafe Brio? I might have to investigate on my next trip to Victoria! Is it operated by the fellow that used to be at Oak Bay Marina and before that Herald St Cafe?

          1. re: Allison

            hmm. Honestly, I went on a recommendation and hit it on a day trip. So all I remember is dialing 411 and following directions. The ownership history I know is storied in Vic, but I don't know the particulars. Someone told me to ask for the outrageous chocolates that the owner creates!

            1. re: Allison
              a
              Annie,Vancouver

              Cafe Brio link below. I haven't been so I'm just providing the info for you.

              Link: http://www.cafe-brio.com/

              1. re: Allison

                Cafe Brio is on Fort St. (between Vancouver and Quadra streets), and about a 7 minute walk from the waterfront in Victoria. It has a gorgeous patio (a bit chilly at times, but they'll give you a blanket) and the atmosphere inside is great. The owners were both previously at Herald St. cafe; not too sure about the Marina. Try the chef's tasting menus -- they are an incredible deal and often very imaginative.

            2. I would second the recommendation for Spinnakers for good beer. Also recommend Swans Pub (& Hotel).
              For tea suggestions, try Point Ellice House. The best way to get there is to catch one of the little harbour ferries in the Inner Harbour (in front of the Empress Hotel). The boat will drop you at the Point Ellice dock (reservations recommended). It's a little gem of a place with a wonderful museum and tea served in the garden. Beautiful.

              1. a
                Annie, Vancouver

                Zambri's and Brasserie L'Ecole are recommended by my brother and his wife who go to Victoria fairly often.