Victoria Inexpensive - Moderate Dinner Rec's
3 nights dinner rec's- Staying at Swans Hotel on Pandora
Rec' s Seafood , Pub food - regional , water view , etc
The pub which your rooms are attached to is decent. They brew pretty fair beer. I like it for the outstanding native art collection the original owner collected.
Go across the Johnson Street bridge and walk along the inner harbour for Spinnaker's and more decent beer and food. Both the restaurant and pub have views of the inner harbour.
I seem to be on a pub theme. A couple of blocks away there is Canoe on the Gorge Waterway which has a bigger than many menu and wine list.
If you head up toward Government there is the popular Wok Box for moderately priced food. I cannot remember if it is on Pandora or one of the adjacent blocks.
Those are some which spring to mind.
For moderately priced seafood, I would suggest Brasserie L'Ecole. They primarily serve fish like tuna, salmon, trout, skate wing, etc...in other words, not much shellfish, other than the Mussels and Frites (it is a Belgian-influenced restaurant)).
I can't think of a better place. If you want fish and chips, I think that the Willow's Galley on Estevan in Oak Bay has the best battered fish in the city. More of a take-out place, though.
For a lunch, I would head to the tiny Choux Choux Charcuterie on Fort ST (between Douglas and Blanshard, i believe; but then again maybe it's between Blanshard and Quadra?). They do a daily Plat de Jour that is generally superb and costs around 9 or 10 bucks.
Another place that springs to mind is the Tapas Bar. They have some delicious prawns (i.e. prawns in Chipotle; prawns cooked in garlic, white wine, and butter). It is a fun place for a meal with a youthful crowd; it is in Trounce Alley which runs between Government ST and Broad St.
The Superior Cafe in James Bay (a short walk from downtown) has good food and focuses on using local ingredients.
for a quick lunch, the Noodle Box is pretty decent and inexpensive. There are two locations, one on Douglas and one on Fisgard. Despite its generic, chain-like sounding name, there are only three locations altogether (2 in Victoria, 1 in Vancouver). They serve spicy Asian stir-frys and use good fresh ingredients.
Ferris' Oyster Bar also springs to mind. Not everything on their vast menu is great, but if you want a mean burger or a decent plate of pasta, they do a good job for a reasonable price. They do a peanut-oil cooked mixed basket of fries(yam and potato), and while I believe they cut their potatoes too small, I love the trio of house-made mayonaisses you can order with the fries (usually variations like ginger mayo, chipotle mayo, wasabi mayo...you get the idea).
Haven't been there yet, and it's not downtown, but some people I know like Glo for pubfood. It's an easy walk from town, on the Gorge in a development called the "Selkirk Waterfrond."
There are lots of choices. Just be weary of undiscerning guidebooks that recommend mediocre (at best) places like Pagliacci's, Fifth Street Bar and Grill, John's Place, or any of the many tourist traps along the touristy part of Government Street. And if you're thinking seafood, the Oak Bay Marina is vastly overrated and will probably disappoint (at a high price!).
I just returned from a trip to Victoria. Suggest you try Med Grill @ Mosaic, which is at 1063 Fort Street. While many of the regular dinner entrees are over $20, they also offer a special for about $17 that includes appetizer, main course and dessert (several choices for each). Terrific value and pretty decent food.
I had fish and chips at Haultain Fish & Chips, a little hole in the wall place on Haultain St. near Cook St. I understand it's been there forever. I don't know where it ranks in the local "fish and chips derby" but I thouroughly enjoyed my meal!