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Victoria’s Love Affair With Local Fare

Victoria has more Restaurants, Eateries, Pubs and Bars Per Person than any other city in Canada. With many different types of cuisines and delicacies, Victoria is a destination that all food lovers will be chomping at the bit to come visit!

Farm-to-table

In Victoria, it’s common to find restaurants proudly serving dishes made with local ingredients. The community built between vendors, providers, and restaurants means that local produce is used whenever possible. Surrounded by the rich farming regions of the Saanich Peninsula and Cowichan Valley, Victoria’s restaurants and cafés are blessed with an abundance of local ingredients. Seafood—particularly salmon, halibut and shellfish—can be caught fresh from Pacific waters and are a mainstay of west coast cuisine.
10 Acres grows and ethically raises many of their ingredients on their own organic farm in North Saanich and the rest of the ingredients are sourced from other like-minded farmers and fishers. Other top tier restaurants like Spinnakers Gastro BrewpubFireside Grill, and Zambri’s all source from local vendors. The farm-to-table scene in Victoria is flourishing and the offerings are endless. Find a full list of restaurants here.

 

The brunch capital Of Canada

Victoria was named the brunch capital of Canada by Food Network, and we’re not surprised! Grab a table at the ever-popular Floyd’s Diner, where you’ll be greeted with a quirky atmosphere and kind people. Try your luck at ordering the Mahoney for a real food challenge, where the chefs whip you up whatever they please, and flip a count at the end for double or nothing! Serving up sharing plates with worldly inspiration is Aura Waterfront Restaurant + Patio, located at the Inn at Laurel Point, BC’s first carbon neutral hotel. Newly opened Bear & Joey Café gives you best of both Victorias, taking inspiration from their Australian home (the joey) and new west coast home (the bear). And don’t forget a stop at the storied Bard & Banker, a historical pub that originally opened as a bank in 1885 as the Bank of British Columbia that famously employed the poet Robert Service, the bard of the Yukon.

 

Pinkies up

Tea culture has been engrained in the history of Victoria since the first wave of European settlers arrived. Often considered a traditional, formal affair, tea culture has been wonderfully modernized in Victoria. Think tea-infused cocktails at Q at The Empress, tea-infused beer at Spinnakers, tea-based spa treatments, a tea tasting bar at Silk Road Tea, and a range of Afternoon Tea experiences with delicious bites at the city’s many hotels, tea rooms and The Butchart Gardens.

 

Sustainable culinary

A fast-food joint that practices sustainability? That’s right! Big Wheel Burger is Canada’s first carbon neutral fast-food restaurant and uses 100% compostable packaging that they break down into compost for their FED (Food Eco District) garden to grow edible plants. Smell fries when the Big Wheel Burger van drives by? This van is fueled by their used fry oil that is turned into biodiesel. Also taking care of our planet is Finest At Sea, whose products are 100% wild and caught by their own fisherman through sustainable fishing practices. Vic Tip: Don’t forget to try the tuna tacos!

 

Fine dining

Fine dining has taken off in Victoria with new restaurants opening like the west coast inspired Ugly Duckling and FATHOM who focuses on the art and magic of food that looks (almost) too good to eat. Classic fine-dining restaurants like the Italian inspired Il Terazzo or The Courtney Room (who are celebrating their fifth birthday this year) are not to be missed. Further out of downtown Victoria are stunning restaurants like Callisto located on Bear Mountain, and famous chef, Castro Boateng’s House of Boateng located in Langford. Enjoy an immersive culinary journey following Le Petit Chef at Fire + Water. Watch your meal get prepared right before your eyes by the world’s smallest Chef, powered by 3D visuals to give you a truly unique theatre and dining experience.

 

Flavour trails

The Flavour Trails is a self-guided expedition that really celebrates the richness of the region. A diverse array of culinary and agritourism providers allow you to plow your own furrow as you create a self-guided tour that fills your needs (and stomach!). The Flavour Trails are where foodies come to feast, and following the journey from field to table is as easy as apple pie. Just don’t forget to pack your stretchy pants! Travel by car or go by standard or electric bike for a leisurely tour that seems to perfectly match the rhythm of the region.

 

Food tours

With so many foodie destinations to choose from, it’s tough to decide which to try. Skip the guesswork with a guided culinary tour. For options on foot, try Off the Eaten Track’s Chinatown & History Tour or A Taste of Victoria’s Food Tours. For culinary discovery by bike, try The Pedaler’s Hoppy Hour Ride, a three-hour tour with stops at several local breweries.

 

A toast to Victoria

Cheers with beers! Victoria is known for its beer scene, with popular local breweries like Phillips Brewing & Malting CompanyVancouver Island BrewingDriftwood BreweryWhistle Buoy Brewing and many more. It doesn’t stop at just drinking great beer, breweries like Phillips take sustainability to their core with environmental initiatives including CO2 recapture, water reduction and glass repurposing. Not only is there a large beer scene but gin to match. Sip on some cherry blossom or seaweed infused gin from Sheringham distillery or watch in amazement as your glass of the famous purple Empress Gin mixed with acidity turns to pink, right before your eyes. Stillhead Distillery captures the essence of Vancouver Island in every bottle with wild picked berries, locally farmed rhubarb and more.

The libations don’t stop there, try your taste of whiskey at Macaloney’s Island Distillery and TWA Dogs Brewing. Playing on their traditional Scottish whiskey making routes, together with the best of west coast craft brewing comes a delicious experience. With whiskey on your mind, don’t miss a stop at Clive’s Classic Lounge who recently won the “Whisky Hotel Bar of the Year” award and ranked #20 in Canada’s Best Bars in 2022. One last stop on your beverage journey has to be to our crisp cideries. Take a sip of Sea Cider’s unique flavours while touring the orchard, home to over 1,300 apple trees. Merridale Cidery and Distillery is all about guiding nature’s process through the fermenting and distilling process and is on its way to Biosphere certification!

Victoria’s culinary scene is surrounded by rich farming regions, clean coastal water and a bounty of local ingredients. Eat, drink and discover Victoria’s culinary scene here!

Destination Greater Victoria is honoured to be based on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples of the Songhees Nation and the Esquimalt Nation, whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.