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Quick trip to Victoria

Hey all, we're heading over to the capital for the 25th weekend, so only looking for one or two dinner and lunch places. Did a search here but it's a bit thin on the ground. Came up with Ulla which sounds great if we can get in. Will do Red Fish Blue Fish for a lunch if it's open and would love to give Devour a go. Any other ideas would be welcome, lunch or dinner. Prolly not looking for Asian this time. Many thanks.

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  1. I enjoyed the Japanese homestyle food at Uchida. And maybe check out Fol Epi?

    2 Replies
    1. re: flowbee

      Forgot to mention, Uchida is lunch-only.

      1. re: flowbee

        RF/BF is even harder to spot from the street than Go Fish the roof of their shack is covered in moss and you need to be right on the wharf to see the place unless there's a crowd.

        More selection/nicer people/better cooking than GF IMSNHO.

    2. I usually eat at family and friends homes when I head to Victoria these days so haven't personally experienced any of the following but:

      the Veneto Tapas Lounge in the Hotel Rialto looked interesting.

      Stage Winebar gets good reviews as well and the space looks inviting and popular when I've walked by

      Two sets of friends both had very good Dine Around Victoria experiences at the Victoria Harbour House Restaurant (not to be confused with the Sooke Harbour House :))

      1. Eat magazine had a good review of Uchida recently. I actually find the publication (I usually pick one up on the ferry over) a good source of interesting foodie info for the island.

        1 Reply
        1. re: islandgirl

          I love the uncoated paper stock they use for Eat Magazine. So tactile!

        2. Uchida looks interesting -- a bit like Chef Naoko's in Portland. We don't have anything like that in Vancouver.

          RFBF is indeed hard to find, but once you get there the perpetual lineup gives it away :-). Friday will prolly try Devour or Uchida as they are both closed on the weekend. I wonder if either is close enough to where my meeting is on Monday to sneak out to for lunch *rubs hands and heads over to Google Maps.*

          Have tried Stage and it was quite good. Will check out your other ideas as well, islandgirl, and see what I can find in EAT online. I had forgotten about it. Mebbe look for it on the ferry too.

          When I called to book at Ulla, I asked the staffer there for reccs and she suggested a new French bistro in Fernwood called Ca Va. So I'm taking a flyer on brunch there for Sunday. Menu looks very nice and they take resos, woot.

            1. re: fmed

              Thanks, that's great, especially the burger!

            2. Hi Greyelf: You might want to try the following places:

              Padello Bistro: same chefs as La Piola, which, sadly, is now closed. They make really good pasta, and there will be a new menu as of April 16. They are in Estevan Village in Oak Bay. My wife and I ate there just last weak and were pleased with our meals.

              Sizzling Tandoor (Johnson Street location): Finally there is good curry in Victoria (despite the restaurant's unfortunate name). Service can be slow, but the food is always good and there are lots of Indian families and groups in the restaurant every time I eat there.

              Ca Va is a new restaurant directly across from the Belfry. When I ate there 2 months ago it seemed promising: they did some things really well (i.e. their goat cheese and lemon ravioli) and they had a few dishes that were not perfect. Overall it is an interesting place that is trying to bring modern food to the capital.

              There is also the Crooked Goose, a new "gastropub" a bit out of town on the corner of Wilkinson and Interurban. My wife and I ate there a few weeks ago and were pleased with our meals. I had the porchetta sandwich, which was a bit greasy but delicious. My wife had some good crab cakes and some pretty good house made mushroom soup.

              Two areas in which Victoria excels are craft cocktails (Veneto, which also has small plates, and Clive's Classic Lounge are two of the best) and artisan bread (Fol Epi and Fry's Red Wheat Bread, both in Vic West, are good examples).

              As mentioned, there is Stage for small plates in Fernwood. And there are always the old standbys for nice dinners like Restaurant Matisse, Camille's, and Brasserie L'Ecole. My wife and I ate at Matisse a few months ago and it was as good as ever.

              For lunches, try Foo (very informal) for "Asian street food,"
              Hernandez for tacos or enchiladas, or Choux Choux Charcuterie for whatever their daily special is (it is usually really good, although seating there is limited).

              Have fun, and please report back on how your trip went!

              2 Replies
              1. re: anewton

                Thanks for that great rundown, anewton. Not only is this whole thread a huge help to me but really adds to the Victoria info for other visitors!

                Hadn't heard of Padello, Sizzling Tandoor or Crooked Goose, and didn't realize there was a burgeoning cocktail scene. Fol Epi was great last time we were there, Fry's noted! I've done Foo's for lunch as it is near where my meetings are, ditto Hernandez. Choux Choux has been on the radar for a while.

                The lineup is looking very good with my Friday reso at Ulla and Sunday brunch date at Ca Va bookending the weekend. We'll target a couple of the other spots and I'll report back.

                1. re: anewton

                  Thanks for the intel on La Padella. My parents loved La Piola so will be happy to hear their favourite pasta is still available. This looks like it's the old Paprika bistro space. Any connection?

                2. Was just in Victoria last weekend...had great dinner at Stage (wine bar / small plates), also worth the trip for its cool neighborhood. Good coffee and baked good at Fol Epi (sp?) across the harbor from downtown, also a great place to sit outside on a nice day should you be lucky enough to get one. Finally, nice brisket poutine at Pig on Blanchard should you swing that way. Have a great trip!

                  1. it's so funny (i mean in terms of ironic) to read "the capital" on the op's msg - victoria who? it makes me think of all the peoples who write here who also go to pdx - do they ask about SALEM? (or Sacto for those who go to the bay area in CA) ... what about olympia? (tho there are good oysters nearby - friend grew up out there on oyster farm - no judgement - random thought about food and cities and how it relates and then down the line - becomes meaningful

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Georgia Strait

                      Hey GS, not sure what you mean. This is the BC board and there is only one Victoria, which also happens to be the capital city.

                      Salem is not on the same board as Portland, so mentioning the capital there would be off topic. Same with Sacramento on the Bay Area Board -- it is on the California one.

                    2. I can second the rec's in the urbandiner link - if you want to hit a food truck - Refiner Diner is great (on Yates, across from London Drugs - about 2 blks up from Foo, open Sat). Also Taco Justice League - typically M-F on Cook at Yates, behind Wellburn's food store, but open 'til 6pm, also open Sat (deep fried avocado taco was excellent). Not a truck, but Relish is excellent. Typically Tue-Fri lunch, but Sat they do brunch. Small place though. Excellent, fresh, local – love, love this place.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: cassie

                        You had me at df avoc taco, cassie -- appreciate the other reccs too.

                        1. re: grayelf

                          their facebook page is best for updates on menu - the avoc is the "green b*st*rd" (tacos are named as wrestlers).

                          1. re: cassie

                            Gadzooks, I was doing up my list for our little trip last night and realized I had neglected to ask for coffee reccs. Is Shatterbox any good? Other thoughts? TIA!

                      2. In case it will be of use to others:

                        Food trucks:

                        Refiner Diner (950 Yates Street, across from London Drugs, next to Shatterbox Coffee- about 2 blks up from Foo, open Sat sometimes otherwise M-F 11:30-4ish). 250-884-5643, cash only, go for crispy cheese burger, also has oyster, falafel and creole bbq sando, poutine, fries, https://www.facebook.com/refinerdiner for updates

                        Taco Justice League - typically M-F on Cook at Yates, behind Wellburn's food store, but open 'til 6pm, also open Sat (deep fried avocado taco).

                        Brunches/Lunches:

                        Ca Va new restaurant directly across from the Belfry, goat cheese and lemon ravioli good, some dishes uneven, interesting place that is trying to bring modern food to the capital.

                        Relish Tue-Fri lunch, Sat brunch. Small place. Excellent, fresh, local

                        Devour closed on weekend; open for early dinner at 5 pm on Thurs and Fri only, otherwise lunch till 4 pm 762 Broughton near Blanshard; (250) 590-3231

                        Uchida is lunch-only, closed on the weekend 11-2 M-F (250) 388-7383

                        Red Fish Blue Fish

                        Pig for brisket poutine

                        Foo (very informal) for "Asian street food"

                        Hernandez for tacos or enchiladas

                        Choux Choux Charcuterie for whatever their daily special is (it is usually really good, although seating there is limited).

                        Clay Pigeon

                        Italian Foods for their grilled panini

                        Chorizo & Co. for Spanish bocadillos

                        Dinners:

                        Ulla(250)590-8795

                        Padello Bistro same chefs as La Piola, which closed. They make really good pasta, and there will be a new menu as of April 16. They are in Estevan Village in Oak Bay (old Paprika Bistro space).

                        Sizzling Tandoor (Johnson Street location): Finally there is good curry in Victoria (despite the restaurant's unfortunate name). Service can be slow, but the food is always good

                        Restaurant Matisse, Camille's and Brasserie L'Ecole: good choices for nice dinners

                        Wine/cocktails/tapas/pubs:

                        Stage Winebar for small plates

                        Crooked Goose new "gastropub" a bit out of town on the corner of Wilkinson and Interurban. porchetta sandwich a bit greasy but delicious, good crab cakes and house made mushroom soup.

                        Victoria excels at craft cocktails (Veneto in the Hotel Rialto, which also has small plates, and Clive's Classic Lounge are two of the best)

                        artisan bread:
                        Fol Epi and Fry's Red Wheat Bread -- both in Vic West.

                        1. Ulla
                          Discovery coffee
                          Fol Epi - their bread is unmatched in all of BC.
                          Pizzeria Prima Strada
                          Picnic

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: koshfoodie

                            Thanks for Discovery and Picnic. Not in search of pizza this trip but agree PPS is definitely worthy!

                          2. Thanks to all who posted in this string. I took the advice of many here and wanted to provide some feedback and input. My husband and I were in Victoria from May 30 to June 2, 2013 and did a ton of walking and plenty of eating and drinking.
                            Here is what we thought of the following:
                            Uchida - delicious and inviting; recommend a fish collar, if available, or a don bowl
                            Ulla - spent my husband's birthday dinner there; plates were interestingly composed and beautiful; my dinner was outstanding and my husband's was very good; great recommendation; only complaint? It was too hot in there.
                            Fol Epi - could not get enough of this bread; fabulous!
                            Foo Asian Street Food - outstanding variety of fresh Asian dishes in a super casual and fun atmosphere; I would eat here every weekday for lunch given the opportunity
                            Oyster - great for you guessed it, oysters, sidewalk seating, sun and people watching; enjoyed the service too
                            Ten Acre Bistro - only open a few weeks but great indoor and outdoor spaces and beautiful, delicious food; they're working out a few kinks but nothing major; Scott was a great server! Would definitely return.
                            Choux Choux - great selection of sausages and cheeses for nibbling; oh, and they carry Fol Epi Bread too!
                            Whole Beast Salumeria - fabulous, fabulous sopressata, head cheese, mortadella and salame; great butcher cuts as well
                            Veneto - delicious cocktails; Ken was the best!
                            Clive's - more delicious cocktails; loved Nate!
                            Murchie's - fun open faced lunch sandwiches and beautiful pastries; the coffee is fine, not great
                            Discovery Coffee - great coffee
                            Bard and Banker - touristy but the inside of the building (a refurbished bank) is gorgeous and I loved my pulled pork sandwich and local Vancouver Island IPA; staff is friendly