The Dining Room
B.C.’s capital city is big on food. From farm-fresh cuisine and fine-dining restaurants to quirky cafes and pubs, Victoria has a wide range of eateries to suit all tastes. Here, we scout a few of the city’s best spots.
This perpetually busy almost-vegetarian spot has been serving fresh juices and smoothies and nourishing meals—soups, salads, enchiladas, burgers and bowls, plus indulgent desserts—since 1988.
Try this: The Eggs Kurosawa is a seasonal hit with its combo of scrambled eggs, organic tofu, red pepper, avocado and green onions on top of brown rice and topped with nori, toasted sesame seeds and a soy-chile sauce.
Walk or take the harbour ferry to this excellent Vic West bakery, soon to open a downtown location. Breads are made with wheat flours stone-ground on the premises and mostly leavened with wild yeast; the lunch menu includes pizza, sandwiches and quiches, while the pastry shelves might be filled with croissants, cookies, fruit tarts and macarons.
Try this: Eclairs and choux pastries come in rotating flavours; on our visit, the hazelnut eclair satisfied every sweet tooth.
Nutrient-rich and plant-based is the name of the game here. Everything on the food menu is free of wheat, gluten, dairy, meat and processed sugar, with 95 per cent organic ingredients sourced as locally as possible. The extensive drinks menu covers fresh juices, smoothies and tonics as well as natural wines, beer, spirits and superfood cocktails.
Try this: Counteract a rough night with a Summer Tonic juice, a blend of cucumber, celery, apple, dandelion, fennel and lemon.
Look for the neon elephant to find this bar and restaurant known for its creative cocktail list and seasonal, regional eats. The happy hour menu features fresh oysters and truffle pommes frites, while the drinks menu includes local beer, wine and cider.
Try this: In homage to the city of Saskatoon, the Paris of the Prairies is a blend of Alberta Premium rye, crémede cassis, dry vermouth and cinnamon bitters served on Saskatoon berry ice cubes.
For a white-tablecloth dining experience with premium ocean views, head a half hour east to The Dining Room at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Make a day of it by adding on a visit to the oceanfront spa, whether for a treatment or simply to indulge in an afternoon soaking in the hot outdoor mineral pools.
Try this: The Spicy California Crunch Roll combines indulgent panko-crusted B.C. rock crab with avocado, spicy mayonnaise, sweet soy glaze and tobiko (flying fish roe).
Small-batch and high-quality, the ice cream and other treats at this Fernwood shop are worthy of the indulgence, whether you drop in directly or pick them up at retailers around town. Flavours are creative, seasonal and constantly changing: they’ve made 350 so far.
Try this: Some of the ice cream sandwiches are made with thin almond meringue instead of cookies, which means they’re both gluten-free and ultra-delicious. We’re still dreaming about the rosemary and sour cherry flavour.