Victoria Seafood Recommendations
We will be in Victoria for the Tall Ships Festival later this month. Would like your reccomendations for seafood dining - both informal lunch spots and evening dining restaurants. We are fresh-seafood starved Albertans! Would prefer restaurants that are walking distance from or in the Inner Harbour.
Try Red Fish Blue Fish along Wharf St. It's a tiny little shipping container that they dragged onto the dock and converted into a kitchen. It's only take out. They made the best Halibut Fish and Chips I've ever had. Their Fish Chowder is interesting. I believe it has coconut milk in it. Tempura pickles are also a must try.
If you have time, make a trip out to Fanny Bay. Look for Mac's Oysters - they sell the freshest oysters and clams. you can buy oysters shucked or in the shell. I believe we got 24 for $11-12. We just pan fried them with olive oil, butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. WOW. they were fabulous. Next time, I'm bringing a portable stove and a frying pan and I'm cooking them in the car right there.
Irish times pub is in Downtown - they have Oyster happy hour - $0.99 an oyster on the half shell with Guinness sauce (quite nice). Don't get their cocktails though - pricey and watered down.
Bear in mind that most of the good seafood on the west coast is NOT shellfish but, rather, salmon, halibut, tuna, sablefish. There ARE good local prawns, mussels, clams, oysters, and even scallops (which are cultivated up-island around the Oceanside area), BUT the west coast is nothing like the east coast in terms of variety or size of shellfish.
I wholeheartedly endorse Brasserie L'Ecole, which almost always has 3 or 4 excellent fish entrees on the menu. They usually have an excellent tuna dish, and they also feature mussels and oysters on the menu (both local). You need to make a reservation.
I second Red Fish Blue Fish, but expect long line-ups during the tall ships festival.
Kaz, on Wharf St., has really good sushi (although it is not an innovative type of place, and the ambience is only so-so).
Ferris' Oyster Bar is a good bet for, you guessed it, oysters.
Beware some of the touristy places that will overcharge you, especially close to the inner harbour.
I have not tried Pescatore's; I have read only so-so reviews, but they do sell local seafood, and the restaurant is very close to the inner harbour (right across the street from the Empress, in fact). You might wish to check out their menu on-line.
"I have not tried Pescatore's; I have read only so-so reviews, but they do sell local seafood, and the restaurant is very close to the Inner Harbour (right across the street from the Empress, in fact). You might wish to check out their menu on-line."
I had an incredible meal at Pescatore's a couple months ago. They have a daily fresh sheet. It is not inexpensive though.
Fanny Bay is a very long drive from Victoria. 3-4 hours depending on which road you take.
Swimming scallops are harvested from wild stocks, but they are not the same as East Coast scallops. They are a small pink shelled scallop and eaten whole, as opposed to only eating the muscle.
We also have great dunganess crab harvested from coastal waters, rarely will you wind red rock crab on a menu, as they are small and take a bit more work to eat.
Thanks for all the advice. We plan now to make lunch or dinner reservations at the Brasserie L'Ecole, Lure, Pescatores, Blue Crab and the Pacifica (we're staying in the Grand Pacific anyway). Also, we will join the line-ups at Red Fish Blue Fish at least once. I will report on our experiences after we return home to cattle country.