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Jul 15, 2010 08:09 PM

Out of towners visiting Victoria - need some recs for MUST-EAT joints!

Hey Chowhounders on the west coast!

I'm going to be visiting Victoria, BC, next Friday for a little over a week and was wondering if anyone could recommend any must-eat joints, restaurants, cafes and what have you that an out-of-towner can't not visit.

So far I've been recommended to hit up Moka House, Noodle Box and the Tapa Bar, so I got those already down on the list. I know I'm being pretty broad with what I'm looking for, but really - I'm just looking for some great eating joints, be they a proper restaurant or just a great cafe with amazing coffee and snacks. I'm assuming that seafood joints will be forming a large portion of our diet while we're there, so are there any places along the Wharf or Harbour that would be recommended?

We're staying at the Parkside Victoria Resort and Spa, so we're quite close to all the main tourist spots, I suppose.

Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance :)


Moka House
1503 Admirals Rd, Victoria, BC V9A2P8, CA

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  1. Just my two cents...

    Skip Moka House. Nothing to recommend there. Lousy coffee and lousy food. No offense. Good coffee can be found at Cafe Artigiano (though I do not like the ambience) or at Habit or at Discovery coffee.

    Noodle Box is not too good either. All their food tastes sickly sweet and definitely a western take on Asian food. A better rec for pan-Asian fast food is Foo on Blanshard at Yates.

    Tapa Bar is so-so. Best small plates in Victoria by a country mile is Stage on Gladstone near Fernwood. Their menu changes regularly and their current menu looks fantastic. Lots of local produce and a really fun ambience, too.

    Restaurants along the harbour tend to be tourist traps, honestly. The patio on Canoe for a beer is a safe bet, though the food is nothing special. The best place in the inner harbour area is Red Fish Blue Fish, near the sea plane terminals.

    ON the other side of the harbour near the Bay St bridge (across the bridge, actually) is Fol Epi bakery (on Harbour Road in Vic West). Amazing breads and pastries, and pretty good sandwiches, too. They also make little pizzettes. You can sit out on the patio and watch the activity in the inner harbour.

    You might want to search this board for other recommendations.

    6 Replies
    1. re: anewton

      I don't live in Victoria but have been there a few times recently. I'll second Stage, Habit, Discovery, RFBF. I'll also add (though it is a bit out of the inner harbour area) Pizzeria Prima Strada.

        1. re: grayelf

          fmed is right on the Pizzeria P.S. rec - and your hotel is not a bad walk to there - about a km. Earlier is better - they get a line-up by 6pm. If you really want to have the pizza, but not the wait - grab a take-out one and walk a block to beacon hill park (and the other side of the park has great soft ice cream - beacon drive-in) - then you can stroll back to the hotel - great circle tour. Just eat the pizza as soon as you can - it's thin crust and is best eaten asap.

          1. re: cassie

            And please don't eat anything at the Beacon Hill Drive Inn except the soft serve -- really. Ice cream is great though (the large cone will kill you).

            1. re: grayelf

              The sunday brunch at the Empress Hotel used to be very good!

      1. re: anewton

        Also agree, skip Moka House. Cafe Artigiano has better coffee for sure and it's right downtown on Government St.
        Stage is definitely a great place to go for small plates. It's a wine bar so you'll find a great list on the wall. Sit at the bar!
        Fol Epi is a good bakery, it's a bit of a walk out of downtown over the blue bridge and up Harbour Rd. Cafe Fantastico is right next to Fol Epi and they generally have good coffee.
        Sweet Memories on Government St. is my fav for homemade ice cream and fresh waffle cones... mmm..

        Moka House
        1503 Admirals Rd, Victoria, BC V9A2P8, CA

      2. I'd also have to agree that Moka House, Noodle Box and Tapa Bar aren't worth checking out. This post and greyelf's link covers a lot of good places! :) I'll also second Habit, Devour, Pizzeria Prima Strada, Brasserie L'ecole, Red Fish Blue Fish, Fol Epi.

        I'd also like to add:

        Foo - 769 Yates Street
        Way better than Noodle Box. Haven't been disappointed with anything on the menu yet and I think I've tried most of it by now. I probably order the octopus salad every time.

        Pig - 749 View Street
        Southern style sandwiches: pulled pork, smoked chicken or beef brisket.

        Hernande'z - 735 Yates (in the arcade; across from Pig)
        Lovely soft tacos with a variety of fillings. When I'm starving their Huarache de Puerco is perfect.

        Cafe Brio - 944 Fort Street
        Beautiful local food. Lots of small plate options (which means room for dessert!) Reservations recommended.

        The Superior - 106 Superior
        Also serves a beautiful array of dishes for those with a more modest/smaller appetite.

        Spinnakers - 308 Catherine Street
        Pub food done right and fresh.

        Sorry, this is a lot now and I'm sure there'll be more recommendations!

        Red Fish Blue Fish
        1006 Wharf St, Victoria, BC V8W, CA

        Pizzeria Prima Strada
        230 Cook St, Victoria, BC V8V3X3, CA

        Brasserie L'ecole
        1715 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W1Z4, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: jubilant cerise

          Cafe Ceylon is a must for foodies...great food, spice, colourful plating, worth traveling for...