Victoria B.C., named for a British monarch, draws visitors with its craggy shoreline, verdant landscape and quaint nods to an era long past. The city’s seaside location produces lush, green trees and blossoming pansies, tulips, daffodils and cherry trees as early as February. The city’s dining scene has likewise bloomed in recent years, with chain restaurants and tourist traps having been replaced by establishments with progressive cocktail lists and thoughtful menus.
This spot on Pandora Avenue, offers healthy, traditional brunch fare including dishes suitable for vegan and gluten-free diners. Try the thyme-roasted mushrooms and back bacon with local, farm-fresh scrambled eggs.
Come to Blue Fox Cafe on Fort Street for eggs Benny with Moroccan spices or an omelette jammed with cinnamon-tinged bananas.
At this Old Town locale, the southern end of Vancouver Island meets the Southern United States in chicken and waffles, red velvet pancakes and biscuits with gravy.
Lunch and Dinner
Located in a refurbished shipping container on the wharf just off Broughton Street, Red Fish, Blue Fish is a natural spot to enjoy halibut and chips. Crisp, golden batter envelops perfectly cooked fish that neatly flakes into perfect mouthfuls. This seasonal spot is open from mid-February to the end of October.
Thin-crust pizzas lightly sauced, topped with Italian meats and cheeses and kissed by flames in a wood-fired oven, are the signature of beloved Pizzeria Prima Strada.
In the Fernwood neighbourhood, Stage Wine Bar offers big flavours on small plates. Featuring local and seasonal ingredients, the spiced meatballs and gnocchi (which is impossibly light) are always excellent.
The vegetarian dishes at Rebar are standard fare—quesadillas, veggie burgers and filling salads—but the flavours are a cut above.
Chocolat Chocolaterie de Victoria satiates chocolate lovers’ desires be they sweet, savoury or spicy. Opt for creations that use saffron, rosewater, lemongrass and more.
Crust Bakery serves flaky croissants, Danishes and pastries filled with local fruits and berries as well as specialty breads like its signature olive, onion seed and rosemary sourdough.
Bubby Rose’s Bakery & Cafe satisfies sweet cravings with its tightly coiled cinnamon rolls, seasonal pies in all-butter pastry and cookies, like the spice-spiked Beezlebubby.
Locally brewed craft beer bolsters the extensive and ever-changing drinks menu at The Drake Eatery in Market Square. With no TVs and lots of cozy seating, this spot is an ideal place in which to unwind.
Set in the city’s historic Hotel Rialto, Veneto Tapa Lounge offers cocktails with a focus on local spirits. Can’t choose? Bartenders are happy to create something to suit your mood and flavour preferences.
Getting there: WestJet flies to Victoria 14 times a day from four Canadian and two International cities.
Vegan Meat and Cheese for Your Charcuterie Board
As the vegan lifestyle continues to gain popularity, creative businesses across Canada are offering up a variety of delicious, plant-based cheeses and meat alternatives. Here's where to get cashew cheese, smoked meats and more while visiting Ottawa, Victoria, Charlottetown, Montreal or Toronto.
10 Multicultural Dining Experiences to Have in Canada
Throughout the country, innovative chefs and restaurateurs are serving cuisine influenced by cultures from around the world. From Spanish shared plates in Halifax to Indian curry in Vancouver, here are some of the best-loved places to sample global dishes made with distinctively Canadian twists.
Five Places that are Totally Gluten-free
Gluten-free dining has become more accessible in recent years, but these spots in Nashville, Toronto, Saskatoon, San Francisco and Victoria do an exemplary job of creating completely gluten-free fare. There are no special menus at these restaurants, markets and bakeries, so simply sit back and dig in.