Victoria has the second-highest number of restaurants per capita of all North American cities! The waterfront tourist area is home to a wide variety of restaurants and eateries, including several English-style pubs. Try the fish and chips or shepherds pie for a taste of England in Canada. For a more eclectic Victoria experience, check out the classy restaurants that surround Chinatown, offering interesting west-coast fusion and asian dishes.
Garrick’s Head Pub (est. 1867), 69 Bastion Square, +1 250 384-6835. A simple pub — and “One of the oldest English pubs in Canada” according to their website — but with excellent food and amazing friendly service. As is typical in such pubs, not a great selecton for veggheads, but their veggie burger (nuts and chick peas) is really fantastic. The fries are beer-battered to a lovely crispy dark golden colour and the fish is cooked really well, flaky, not squeaky. Mushy peas that come with the steak pie are very tasty. Lots of traditional British food… but with taste. Not enough for you? How about that fireplace?
Bent Mast Pub and Restaurant512 Simcoe StPhone: +1 250 383-6000In James Bay. A great place to drink, eat, make friends, and have fun. Talk to the staff for a bit of the history of this old Victorian house and invite your friends! Spinnakers Brewpub308 Catherine StPhone: +1 250 386-2739Within walking distance of downtown. A great place to go for a drink or a meal. Pub: 7 days a week, 11AM-11PM. Restaurant: 7AM-10:30PM. There is a restaurant on the main floor, and a brewpub upstairs. Great atmosphere and a nice view of the inner harbour, especially in the evening. A variety of in-house brews, as well as whatever else you want to drink.
North American Cuisine
Blue Crab Bar & Grill146 Kingston StIn The Coast Harbourside Hotel & Marina, 480-1999 Beautiful harbor-view dining with elegant atmosphere. Chandlers Seafood House1250 Wharf StPhone: +1 250 385-3474A lovely seafood restaurant located in downtown Victoria. Voted best local seafood restaurant many times. Intimate food at reasonable prices. Great selection for all courses. Reservations recommended. Fairfield Fish and Chips1277 Fairfield RoadPhone: +1 250 380-6880They are closed Sunday and Monday and most holidays. Get your chips to go and take them 4 blocks down to the waterfront and enjoy the view of Juan De Fuca Strait. They do an especially light and fluffy batter. John's Place723 Pandora AvePhone: +1 -250-389-0711A local favourite with some of the best staff in town and excellent food at decent prices. Brunch for two is about $27.50 including tax and tip. The Eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce is to die for (10 varieties, $8.95-10.95)! Great place for Saturday or Sunday brunch. Comfortable, casual family & friends atmosphere. Open 364 days/year, M-Th 7AM-9PM, F 7AM-10PM, Sa 8AM-10PM, Su 8AM-9PM.
Shine Cafe1458 Fort StA very popular brunch spot located at Oak Bay Corners (Fort and Pandora), outside of downtown. A particularly interesting dish they make is Scottish breakfast with black pudding and potato scones. Expect a long wait after 11AM on weekends.
Big Wheel Burger341 Cook StA classic American cheeseburger joint with a focus on sustainability. It is Vancouver Island's first and only carbon-neutral restaurant. Delicious cheeseburgers and shakes gluten-free, vegetarian options and kid-friendly. Serves beer and wine as well.
Brasserie L'ecole1715 Government StPhone: +1 250 475-6260Open Tu-Sa 5:30PM-11PM. A highly-acclaimed fine dining destination with the atmosphere of a classy but comfy Parisian restaurant. Probably the best food in Victoria.
Cafe Brio Restaurant944 Fort StVictoria - Cafe Brio is open seven nights a week for dinner from 5:30PM - Advance reservations are highly recommended; phone +1 250 383-0009 or Toll-Free at 1-866-270-5461 "Cafe Brio, the hottest restaurant in Victoria, is a destination for serious diners from all over the U.S. and Canada." writes Northwest Palate Magazine.
Oh Gelato! Italian Ice Cream, 1013 Government Street. 66 flavours of beautifully-presented gelatos, garnished with bits of fruit or chocolate to illustrate their flavour, at $6.95 for a two-scoop cup. Also snacks and Canadian food souvenirs. Worth a stop to photograph the gelato.
Pagliaccis1011 Broad StPhone: +1 250 386-1662One of the most popular Italian restaurants in town. Intimate settings and addictively scrumptious endless free bread. Always a good experience.
Rathskeller Schnitzel House, A taste of Bavaria, best German food and beer in town; authentic interior and atmosphere! Live accordion music most nights.
West Coast Fusion
Venus Sophia Tea Room & Vegetarian Eatery, in the heart of Chinatown on 540 Fisgard Street. Tues - Sun 10 AM - 5.30 PM. Vegetarian gourmet meals, creative cooking style with inspiration from all over the world. Great coffee and desserts. Lots of vegan and gluten free options. $10 - $15 meals. Telephone: (250) 590 - 3953. www.venussophia.com
Rebar Modern Food, 50 Bastion Square, +1 250 361-9223. M-W 8:30AM-9PM, Th-Sa 8:30AM-10PM, Su 8:30AM-3:30PM (brunch). A partially vegetarian restaurant with a diverse modern menu, and a nice location. Limited vegan options, and many menu items contain fish. Lunch for under $10 per person, dinner for under $15.
The Mint1414 Douglas StreetBetween Pandora and Johnson, 386-6468 & 361-9223. Nepalese and Tibetan cuisine in a swanky atmosphere, DJs included. A popular spot for students.
The Noodle Box626 Fisgard St+1 250 360-1312, and 818 Douglas St., +1 250 384-1314. Hours M-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su noon-8PM. Another very popular spot for locals. Serves southeast Asian food fresh and in a takeaway box. Wait times vary depending on the time of day (for example, 20-25 minutes during lunch hour rush), but the meal is worth it. Minimize the wait by phoning in your order in advance. The boxes look deceptively small, but they make a very filling meal.
Mo:lé, 554 Pandora, between Government and Wharf, +1 250 385-6653. A trendy restaurant serving fusion breakfast, lunches and dinners.
Afternoon Tea at Venus Sophia Tea Room & Vegetarian Eatery, in the heart of Chinatown on 540 Fisgard Street. Charming tea room with unique décor and ambience. Offers a fresh twist on traditional afternoon tea - locals love it. Generous portions of finger sandwiches, dainty tarts, shortbread, fruit, scones and more to be enjoyed with a fresh pot of organic loose leaf tea from an extensive selection. Tea is served in antique English teacups and teapots. Served daily from Tuesday to Sunday 09:00-17:00 Price: $25.50 per person (tax and 15% gratuity not included). Children's tea available for $15.50. Dress code: Casual/Smart-casual. Telephone: +1 250 590-3953. Reservations recommended, walk ins welcome.
Afternoon Tea, at the Empress Hotel (see under "Lodging"). This is quintessentially Victoria or unbearably kitsch, depending on your taste. Afternoon Tea, served from 12:00, includes fine teas, fruit with cream, and elegant petite sandwiches. Altogether it is a full meal. Price changes with the season, from $48 per person in summer to $38 in the winter. West Coast Tea, served Th-Sa from 19:00 onwards during the summer only, builds on the concept but is designed for cruise ship visitors. $42 per person. Reservations required, and should be made 1-2 weeks in advance at +1 250 389-2727. Dress-code is "smart casual": dresses and ties not required, but avoid tank tops and flip-flops.See also.
Green Cuisine5-560 Johnson StPhone: +1 250 385-1809Hours: Summer: daily 10:00-20:00, Winter: M-Sa 10:00-20:00, Su 10:00-17:00Vegetarian Restaurant offers a buffet of 100% vegan dishes. $1.75 per 100g, with fruit drinks and soy milk shakes about $4 on top of that. A generous meal for two was under $30.