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Victoria BC asap

I am heading this weekend to this vacation spot. Any suggestions on fun places to eat or places that are must try? I am from Seattle. I am looking for anything that is hole in the wall to expensive big night out. If you have been or live there what are your suggestions?

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  1. Try The Tapa Bar at 620 Trounce Alley off of Government St. It's a great place to eat with something for everyone. It is really awesome! You can check the menu out online also. I won't leave Victoria without eating there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodbound


      Funny you should mention Tapa. It is not that I think it is outstanding but like you, rarely have we visited Victoria without having popped in for lunch. I like their patatas bravas, spicey prawns and usually a decent Spanish wine. My wife can check out the shops in Trounce Alley while I have another glass.

      If you liked Tapa, have you tried Stage? Very much a wine bar with a tapa concept. Excellent food but the plates and prices can certainly pile up. Worth a try in my view especially the octopus.

    2. Some good suggestions already...

      How "expensive" are you thinking for your big night out? Have a look at Sooke Harbour House just outside of Victoria (in....um...Sooke).


      World class food.

      3 Replies
      1. re: fmed

        I have heard tons of really good things about Sooke Harbour House... but to be honest, I was pretty underwhelmed when I went. I just didn't find the food that innovative and the service was a bit overly stuffy (maybe it was just my waiter). However, I did go during the winter, when it maybe harder to come by interesting local ingredients. Also, it was dark during the dinner hours so we couldn't enjoy the view. The biggest draw from what I've read at SHH is their herb garden, which probably isn't blooming right now. I suspect it may be more worthwhile to visit SHH during the spring/summer season, as opposed to this time of year.

        As to other places, my picks are Brasserie l'Ecole or Rosemeade for higher end. Tapa Bar for fun. Choux Choux or Daidoco or Zambri for lunches. Spinnaker's or Swans (they have live music daily) for a drink, or, as someone suggested, maybe Phillips has a tasting room (yum... double chocolate porter!).

        1. re: twinkienic

          >> The biggest draw from what I've read at SHH is their herb garden, which probably isn't blooming right now. I suspect it may be more worthwhile to visit SHH during the spring/summer season, as opposed to this time of year.

          That will make a difference, I'm sure. The kitchen has committed to using only locally sourced ingredients. You must try again in the summer. (And have the tasting menu).

        2. re: fmed

          i lived in sooke for 18 years. the harbour house is an amazing place to eat. sooke is a nice town to visit aswell.... only visit though.

        3. I always go to Rebar for brunch/lunch when I go to Victoria. Vegetarian, yes, but it is delicious food, vegetarian or not: http://www.rebarmodernfood.com/

          1. 2% Jazz and Habit for coffee. Pig for a quick pork sandwich. Brasserie l'École has always been on my list. I think some combination of these would be a solid trip. And yes, Sooke Harbour House is excellent. Great regional.

            1. The Superior is a phenomenal small plate/tapas style restaurant, and I'd say more reasonable than Stage, though the wine selection does not compare. Pig is one of the best places in Victoria for a quick lunch. I'd suggest Lady Marmalade for a breakfast/brunch joint and absolutely check out 2% Jazz for a cup of coffee. Finally, the Mint is a kind of fun place to grab a great drink and good food.

              1. Thanks!! I have been researching and think that I am going to do Niche, 2%, Red Fish Blue Fish, Pig. and Murchies + others. Thoughts, comments, other high tea suggestions? Any good brewhouses, bars, lounges?

                5 Replies
                1. re: natalie.warner

                  The White Heather tea room. It's out in Oak Bay, about a 10 minute drive from downtown. Another nice place in Oak Bay is Pure Vanilla. They're a bakery/restaurant. They are owned by the same people as Rebar, but they serve meat.

                  I also like the Fifth Street Bar and Grill, but again, it's out of downtown. It's usually pretty busy with locals. Their chicken is amazing.

                  A typical place for lunch to me is Pagliacci's. It's a casual Italian-ish restaurant. They have a quirky menu, but the lunch menu is inexpensive for what you get. They have a bottomless soup special. And I love their checkerboard cake. It's right downtown on Broad St.

                  And I have to say for a hole-in-the-wall: Naanwich. It's a fast-food place. They're like subway, but they serve naan wraps with Indian-influenced fillings, like lamb with ginger, beef and peppers, butter chicken and garbanzo bean. They cook the filling on a flat-top, then throw it on the naan with your choice of toppings (lettuce, red cabbage, bell peppers, cucumbers, cheese, tamarind chutney, raita to name a few). It's on Douglas St. It's basically a lunch-break walk-in, walk-out with your naanwich. I love it.

                  1. re: natalie.warner

                    Spinnaker's has great beer, brewed in house. I'm not sure if Phillips has a tasting room at their brewery, but their beer is excellent. If they offer beers at the brewery, it would probably be worth it.

                    1. re: natalie.warner

                      I would avoid Murchie's for tea. The last time we were there the tea was luke warm and we had ordered earl grey which is not what they served us. When we informed them, they were really unfriendly about it, implying that somehow we weren't being honest or were trying to trick them.

                      1. re: natalie.warner

                        We thoroughly enjoyed our experience when we had high tea at Butchart Gardens when we were on the island in September. Beautiful setting, wonderful food, excellent service...though I'm not sure if it would be the same in February.

                        1. re: GaryR

                          Butchart Gardens is beautiful in the Christams season when there's snow and all the lights. Otherwise the winter is blah. But isn't it closed right now anyway?

                          And I second the ok Murchie's. I like their teas, but I buy bags and take them home.

                      2. THANKS EVERYONE!

                        We did...
                        First day-
                        Lunch- Red Fish Blue Fish- salmon and spicy fish tacones with curry fries- AMAZING... but hard to find :) We were given free chowder samples as we waited. I mentioned to the jack of all trades worker that I had located them on Chow and he was excited and honored- he wrote down the website and was asking questions :)
                        Dinner- Spinnaker's burgers and beer- Great burger! and in house beer was good- really nice view.

                        Second Day-
                        Snack for the road- crossant and roll + coffee from a great french bakery that makes their own pate, cheeses, breads, etc. and also has a restuarant.
                        Lunch- Tapa Bar- Great 4 bean salad with salted cod and chirizo fondue, ok fried mussel sandwich (so large it was almost on the gross/overwhelming side- but still tasty)- not great sangria but we weren't expecting much* Fun atmophere and placement in the city.
                        Dinner- Niche- our best meal of the visit... starter of duck panchetta on potato pancake with apple parsnip puree- followed by grain bread with a apple parship butter- and finished with cornish game hen and tuna. The cornish game hen was finished in two manners- deep fried and a french traditional style and came with a cabbage roll filled with shitake mushrooms and a vanilla sauce. The tuna was actually seared albacore with a tomato and squid sauce. The tuna dish flavor was that of parsley, lemon, and slight butter. The tomatos took on a whole other flavor and the seared tuna was salted and peppered perfectly. Both dished exceeded expectations. FYI- they do not offer a tasting menu anymore though it is still on their website. Also, don't be fooled by the outside- the inside is modern and comfortable with glass art, deconstructed Monet-like paintings, and dark woods.
                        Drinks- Temple- great mixed drinks with fun names like sin and kama sutra + relaxing modern upscale lounge atmosphere... the chocolate torte was decedant and a great finish

                        Third Day-
                        Morning snack- Blenz- The matcha latte reminded me of my Starbucks green tea latte, which made me happy, but with a more wholesome flavor.
                        Lunch- Blethering Heights Tea House in Oak Bay- it was pricier then posted on the website and was filled with sort of old and creepy dolls and whatnot- boardered on slightly odd slightly charming. The waitresses were in costumes and the devonshire cream was a great addicting item. The plate we recieved had finger sandwiches, buiscuits, a bumbleberry compote, a couple chocolate items, carrot cake pieces, a few baked cookie goods, and devonshire cream. The biscuits were moist and the little bites of this and that were good- I was surprised I like the curried carrot finger sandwhich. Our tea was hot and came with a knitted cozy. Not a huge variety of tea to choose from but ok. Overall it was a good experience- I might try a different place on my next visit. White Heather Tea room was closed the day we went.
                        Afternoon snack- Pita Pit- because we were not filled up on anything but sugar and carbs from the the we went to pita pit and got chicken with ceasar sauce and veggie- great staff and tasty protien filler.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: natalie.warner

                          The coolest new place in victoria is The pink Bicycle Gourmet Burger Joint located right downtown near everything. 1008 blanshard. They are like a hole in wall but to new to be called one yet. By far the best burgers in town!

                          1. re: morgano

                            The Pink Bicycle is just around the corner from my office but I haven't tried it yet. Looks pretty $$$ for burgers/sandwiches, but if it's worth it...

                            Anyone else been there?