Vancouver and Victoria restaurant recs please
My husband and I are going to be in the area the first and second weeks of June. We like a variety of foods and want to find some local, tasty fare in the area. As long as it doesn't cost a car payment, we're good on all types/styles of restaurants, including cheap cheapos too. Any recs would be fantastic - thanks!
For lunch in Vancouver in June, here's two extremes:
Go Fish near Granville Island for great fish, decent chips and tasty tacones (order one with white fish if they have it, and ask for extra house-made hot sauce instead of the side of slaw you get as there is slaw inside already). Oh and if you call ahead and get it to go, you will avoid a big hairy lineup.
For a splurgish lunch, check out Fuel on 4th which has been getting talked up on a recent thread. This area is also fun to stroll around in (lotsa boutiques) and boasts the flagship 49th Parallel store for a mid-afternoon cuppa.
Lunch in Victoria?
Go with Starlady's recommendation of Zambri's.
Well cooked, rustic Italian fare served semi-cafeteria style at lunch, i.e. you order off the greenboard specials, pay for the food and take a seat and they deliver it.
Is in a rather off the beaten track in a strip mall that I think houses a London Drugs and is adjacent to the Yates Market. Parking within the strip mall can be problematic but we usually find meter parking on the adjacent street.
Well known pub off Songhee's Way and inner harbour. Great beer, better than average pub food with beautiful views of the inner harbour and if the weather co-operates the balcony is nice.
in the quaint Trounce Alley downtown between Government [it may be Douglas] and Broad Streets. Spanish influenced fare. Not particularly "tapas" in my view but we usually end up there at least once during our trips to Victoria.
I probably have the numeric component in the title mixed up. Help me again Victorians. Top of the Executive House or Chateau Victoria hotel that used to be called the Parrot House. We only went the one time and the food was quite good at lunch and the view...we too were/are tourists after all...wonderful.
Smallish Italian coffee shop off Bastion Square. Good panini grilled sandwiches, some pasta, salads and the like. This is often a spot where we'll stop walking into or out of the downtown area for an espresso and the like.
Good Japanese I am told because we have not managed to try it in the Nootka Mall [?]. Restricted menu and hours but a number of locals have recommended it.
Not one of my favourites. Rather conservative ambience and menu but once again the view is very nice. It is in the Coast Hotel on the Legislature side of the inner harbour.
Bustling, noisey popular spot. I personally would not go but will likely come up if you are reading reviews/recommendations.
Go or Gio
Popular, gastro-pub adjacent to the Gorge waterway. I would gived it mixed reviews. The food was not bad and with their windows open and the weather co-operating was a nice spot to have an afternoon lunch
If you do not mind driving out to Oak Bay, the Marina is a nice place. Good fish and good views. Feed the resident seals later but watch out for the "dive bombing" gulls who will steal the herring out of your hands.
Those are some which spring to mind that we try when out to Victoria. I am sure "locals" and have others.
Enjoy your visit, it is a beautiful city.
As far as dinner is concerned you have my old stand-by's recommended above.
re: Bob Mac
I'm a Victoria-area resident and pay close attention to the restaurant scene here. My recommendations would be as follows:
1) Mo:Le--Best Breakfast in town
2) Cafe Artigianno--Best coffee in town
3) Shine Cafe--Casual but good food, especially the omelettes. Not right downtown.
1) Pizzeria Primastrada--authentic Neapolitan pizzeria in the Cook St. Village.
2) Hernandez--In Sussex plaza; weekdays only; fresh and authentic southern Mexican cooking.
3) Daidoco--Good lunch spot for sushi. Kaz also has pretty good sushi and does dinners too.
4) Orale--really tasty Mexican 'fast food'; good tamales, tostados, salads, etc...
5) Pink Bicycle: Gourmet burger joint. Great burgers (including meatless options), onion rings, fries, sides, etc...
6) Re-Bar--Healthy but tasty vegetarian cuisine.
7) Red Fish, Blue Fish: Outdoor spot in the inner harbour; awesome local fish sandwiches, fish and chips, etc...
1) Brasserie L'Ecole--affordable French bistro. One of Victoria's most consistent restaurants
2) Paprika: Very good fine dining option. 'Localvore' choice.
3) Stage: 'Small Plates' wine bar. Good for sharing.
4) Ferris' Oyster Bar: Casual place. Good for pasta and burgers.
Hernandez is owned by a guy from, I believe, El Salvador or Guatemala (can't remember which country). He describes his food as "Mayan" style; in any case, his tortillas are very good. The place is a little hard to find as it is not on the street, but rather in a walkway through a commercial building (entrances on Yates and View Streets). It is worth the search, though. The food is inexpensive and very fresh. There are two menus: a slow-food menu and a fast food menu. The fast food menu is more American style (i.e. burritos); the slow-food menu is more traditional.
Orale is also a very casual place. You have to order a lot of food because the servings are small, but also inexpensive. It is also pretty authentic. Great tamales!
Otherwise, you are correct. The Mexican restaurant scene in Victoria is pretty dismal overall. We simply do not have the large Mexican population that would generate a better, more diverse Mexican food scene.
What Victoria does have is great coffee shops. They are everywhere. Local examples include Habit (a personal favourite) and Cafe Fantastico. Some small regional chains that are good include Cafe Artiggiano and Bean Around the World. All of the above have good coffee (Artiggiano has great coffee, but my wife complained yesterday that her Americano was not up to snuff).
The other thing Victoria has is good French restaurants. My favourites are Brasserie L'Ecole (reservation absolutely essential; you should book a month in advance if possible), Chez Michel, in Oak Bay (very traditional menu), and Restaurant Matisse (also very traditional). All three are reasonably priced (for fine dining) and are pretty consistent. Matisse and Michel are very old school, though, so if you are looking for more innovative, modern French fare, head to Brasserie.
re: Bob Mac
Here's a really recent post with a similar question to get you started http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/589686
Can you tell us where you're from, and where you're going to be staying (Vancouver is actually a decent-sized city)? Then we can help find you things you won't get at home, without driving all over the Lower Mainland (which is really big)!