28

June

Victoria is home to a rich community of beautiful, unforgettable
restaurants and cafés. Add in a convivial atmosphere, thoughtful and
informed service, and the importance of using local, organic and
seasonal ingredients, dining in Victoria, offers visitors a true sense
of place. From the latest craft brews, Island and BC wines to the very
best restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, join me on this
delicious culinary adventure as I share with you the very best that
Victoria has to offer. Enjoy!

Best Breakfast Restaurants in Victoria BC

Jam Café

542 Herald Street
T: 778.440.4489
Hours: Daily 8:00am – 3:00pm
info@jamcafevictoria.com

Jam has become one of Victoria’s most popular breakfast and lunch
destinations and is on every foodie’s radar due to its popularity. It is
first come first serve (they do serve coffee and tea in line while you
wait!). The menu is fun, generously portioned and creative with many
daily features to keep regulars sated. Don’t miss my daughter Simone’s
favourite huevos rancheros, brioche French toast topped with cinnamon
struesel, or red velvet pancakes with red candy sprinkles. Lunch
continues the tone with buttermilk fried chicken or mac n’ cheese
grilled cheese sandwiches. Drinks are served in mason jars, coffee
refills are free and the service is welcoming and energetic, adding to
the Jam experience.

Blue Fox Café

101-919 Fort Street, Victoria, BC V8V 3K3
(250) 380-1683
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7:30 – 4:30
Sat – Sun: 8:00am – 3:00pm
Map

The massive something-for-everyone menu at Blue Fox ranges from sweet
to savoury and is a renowned meeting place for weekend brunch. Find 10
styles of eggs Benedict from the classic to Moroccan chicken Benny.
Portions are big and the décor is funky and comfortable. A great place
to fuel up before a perusal at the auction house across the street.

Shine Café (two locations)

1548 Fort Street, Victoria, BC V8S 5J2
(250) 595-2133
Hours: 8:00 – 3:00 Mon-Sun

1320 Blanshard Street
T: (250) 595-2134
Hours: Mon- Thurs: 7:00am – 3:00pm
Fri-Sat: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Sun: 8:00am – 3:00pm
Map

Victoria loves their breakfast and are willing to wait for it! Such
is the case on weekends at the popular Shine Café. This family-owned
Café offers great fresh food using local and antibiotic/hormone free
meats and eggs on their menu and has a spectacular atmosphere. You can
enjoy all meals here, but the breakfasts are truly what attracts the
crowds. What is fantastic about Shine are the fresh, free range eggs,
always perfectly cooked, and the potato sides which are never oily or
overly seasoned. They serve my favourite Silk Road loose-leaf teas, and a
great, freshly roasted cup of strong coffee.

Best Lunch Restaurants in Victoria BC

Pizzeria Prima Strada (two locations)

105-330 Cook Street
T: 250 590 8595
2960 Bridge Street
250-590-4380
W: pizzeriaprimastrada.com

Wood-fired pizzas, made in the authentic Napoli-style, means this is
the real deal. Local, artisanal ingredients,including their own in-house
made pepperoni fuel the pies. Their pizzas have a tender elasticity,
due to a slow fermentation and produce a blistered crust with just the
right amount of char. Choose from a classic margherita using Vancouver
Island buffalo mozzarella to the spectacular funghi with porcini cream,
roasted mushrooms, thyme, pecorino and mozzarella. Antipasti and salads
change with the seasons. The Bridge Street location with communal tables
is larger and allows the chefs to stretch their creativity with an
expanded menu. The drinks list satisfies with Italian and local picks to
match the food from wine to craft brews and Italian sodas. Great gelati
selection for dessert too. The atmosphere is lively, crowded and
decorated with artistic photos of rustic farm-life. You can enjoy their
take-out services as well, and enjoy it in the comfort of your suite,
patio or on a picnic.

Rebar Modern Food

50 Bastion Square
(250) 361- 9223
W: rebarmodernfood.com
Hours: Mon – Thurs: 11:00am – 9:00pm
Fri: 11:00am – 9:00pm
Sat: 8:30am – 10:00pm
Sun: 8:30am – 8:00pm
Map

A perennial favourite for innovative vegetarian creations, freshly
squeezed vegetable and fruit juices and wheat grass – perfect for the
health-conscious. Rebar boasts a colourful hippy-chic environment and
works with numerous local food suppliers to offer the freshest, local
dishes. A long-time favourite of locals and my family is the quinoa and
wild rice salad with a cilantro-lime-agave vinaigrette. Rustic
home-style pies, cakes and cookies are tempting desserts. Rebar is
absolutely a one-of-a-kind restaurant in Victoria and has created their
own style and cuisine that you can’t get anywhere else.

Choux Choux Charcuterie

799 Fort Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1G9
(250) 382-7572
Hours: Tues – Fri: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Sat: 10 am – 5 pm
W: chouxchouxcharc.com
Map

Choux Choux is Victoria’s best charcuterie specializing in house-made
patés, terrines, fresh-made sausages and saucisson sec with a French
pedigree. The daily lunch special called the “Plat du Jour” is around
$10 and consistently beyond delicious for any foodie. Choux Choux also
carries a fine selection of cheeses, meats from Vancouver champs Oyama
and Moccia salumerias along with daily baguettes from nearby bakery Fol
Epi. Some of the most favourites for our family are Choux Choux’s
schinkenspeck, venison pie, duck confit and porcini mushroom pate, great
for quick and delicious dinner. Wonderful place to stock up for a
picnic at nearby Government House, or take with you on your way back
home.

Baan Thai (three locations)

1117 Blanshard St
T: 250 383 0050
Hours: Mon – Thurs 11:30am – 2:00pm, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Fri: 11:30am – 2:00pm, 5:00 – 9:30pm
Sat: 11:30am – 2:00pm, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Sunday: 5:00 – 9:00pm

2000 Cadboro Bay Road
T: 250 598 0057
Hours: Mon – Thurs 11:30am – 2:00pm, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Fri: 11:30am – 2:00pm, 5:00 – 9:30pm
Sat: 5:00 – 9:00pm
Sunday: 5:00 – 9:00pm

400-777 Royal Oak Drive
T:250-658-0057
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 9:00 pm
Fri:11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5 pm- 9:30 pm
Sat: 11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 9:30 pm
Sun: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
W: baanthaivictoria.ca

Voted Best Thai Cuisine in Victoria, Baan Thai is definitely the most
popular among locals with an incredibly diverse menu with vegetarian
and gluten-free options as well as a variety of different spices and
spice levels. Their phad thai is famous and loved by both adults and
children and their green and red Thai curries are complex, lively and
authentically delicious. They also offer delivery and pick-up service.

Fifth Street Bar & Grill

1028 Hillside Avenue, Victoria, BC V8T
(250) 380-4600
Hours: Sun – Thurs: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Fri & Sat: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Pub: 11:00 am – 11:45 pm everyday
W: fifthstreet.ca
Map

Fifth Street Bar & Grill is open for lunch and dinner, with a
very warm, casual atmosphere. They serve hearty appetizers and salads,
pastas, rotisserie-roasted chicken and brick oven pizzas. There is a bar
section and restaurant section as well as an outdoor patio with cosy
fireplace and covered roof. Prices are reasonable and the place is large
enough that there is rarely a wait.

Best Dinner Restaurants in Victoria BC

Ferris’ Oyster Bar Upstairs

536 Yates Street
T: 250-382-2344
Hours: Sun – Thurs: 5 :00 pm – 11:00 pm
Fri: 4:00 pm- 12 midnight
Sat: 4:00 pm – 12 midnight
W: ferrisoysterbar.com

Ferris’ Oyster Bar Upstairs is a great choice to experience a casual,
tapa style dinner. It has great seafood choices and offers various
types of fresh oysters, a big hit with my husband Ross. As well, they
have the best brownie in town, and their Seville Sunday tapas nights are
a sure fire winner. Make sure you are in the upstairs part of the
restaurant. The ambiance is casual, warm and is situated in a cosy,
brick loft.

Brasserie L’Ecole

1715 Government St.
T: 250-475-6260
Hours: Tues – Sat: 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm
W: lecole.ca

French country cooking with local ingredients and reliable service
excel at this hopping yet cosy brasserie, where tables are first come,
first serve. Chef Sean Brennan provides the the standbys of moules and
frites, endive salad with lardons and local hazelnuts, and rich onion
soup, but the plat du jour really show off his chops. The chicken
paillard with chard, pancetta and chanterelles is divine and the steak
frites with red wine and shallot sauce with roquefort butter, a slice of
heaven. Ross’ favourite dish is the Brasserie Burger which is arguably
the best burger in town, accompanied by a glass of Cote du Rhone wine.

Café Brio

944 Fort Street
T: 250 383 0009
Hours: Daily from 5:30pm
W: cafe-brio.com

Café Brio serves organic Italian food with a West Coast flare. One of
Victoria’s top chefs Laurie Munn and consummate hosts Sylvia Marcollini
and Greg Hayes work directly with a number of BC farms and local food
suppliers to ensure their menu consists of local, sustainable and fresh
ingredients from land to sea. Munn also creates a remarkable charcuterie
program and is a great way to start a meal at Café Brio. Also
recommended are Sylvia’s mother’s olives ascolane, a speciality of the
Marche region, which her mother make once a week for the restaurant. The
ambiance is beautifully rustic which is largely due to the décor of
rustic terra cotta, natural wood, and tastefully chosen art. From
appetizers to entrées, portions are available in half sizes allowing you
to sample more of the menu. The wine list is thoughtful chosen to
reflect all wine regions, especially BC and Italy. Reservations
recommended especially for one of the cosy booths. Lovely vine-covered
patio seating in the summer.

Stage Wine Bar

1307 Gladstone Avenue, Victoria, BC V8R 1R9
(250) 388-4222
Hours: Sun-Mon – 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Tues-Sat – 5:00pm – 11:00pm
W: stagewinebar.com

Located in the trendy Fernwood neighbourhood, the food at Stage Wine
Bar is unique, creative, and fun. The ambiance is casual and friendly,
the wine list is amazing,with great picks by the glass and a fun craft
cocktail list shaken and stirred by barkeep Steve Quigley. If you don’t
want a large meal, this is the perfect place to enjoy tapas and a glass
of wine. We recommend: chicken liver parfait served with grilled bread,
house-made merguez sausage with cumin-infused hummus and toast, or
Moroccan chickpea ragout with cippolini onions, poached figs and red
wine ragout. And with the Belfry Theatre right on the corner, Stage is a
perfect place before or after the show.

Marina Restaurant and Sushi Bar

1327 Beach Drive
T: 250 598 8555
Hours: Mon – Thurs: 11:30am-2:30pm. 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Fri – Sat: 11:30am-2:30pm. 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Sun: 11:30am-2:30pm. 5:00pm – 9:00pm
W: marinarestaurant.com

A breathtaking vista overlooking the Marina Harbour full of white
sail-boats and visiting yachts, and one of the most spectacular views in
the city. Find a reinvigorated menu committed to local and sustainable
produce, seafood and meats with a lighter touch with sauces. Grab a wrap
around booth at lunch, for oyster burgers or buttermilk fried chicken
sandwiches, or keep it light with lentil tagine served with quinoa and
seasonal veg. The after-work crowd pack the 20-seat bar for Brooke
Levie’s well-crafted cocktail list. The ambiance at dinner is romantic.
Start with half-shell oysters, or order from the sushi bar, followed by a
classic sole meuniere with brown butter, roasted cauliflower purée,
bacon and fried capers. The Sunday brunch buffet is legendary and
reservations are highly recommended. The wine list, a balance of old and
new world, emphasizes family-owned wineries. Finish with chocolate ice
cream sandwiches with a caramel dipping sauce.

Il Terrazzo

555 Johnson Street
T: 250-361-0028
Hours: Mon – Fri: 11:30 am – 3:00 pm
Dinner nightly from 5:00 pm
W: ilterrazzo.com

Tucked away at the end of brick-lined alleyway, find a big room, big
portions and a big patio with lush gardens and wood-burning fireplaces.
This is one of Victoria’s premier and long-established rooms
specializing in hearty Northern Italian cuisine. Guests are given
blankets to keep warm on the rustic outdoor covered patio, surrounded by
candlelight and wood burning fireplaces and truly receive fabulous food
(including my favourite Frutti di Mare Pasta). Another winner is the
olive tapenade-crusted rack of lamb with rosemary jus served over Tuscan
white bean ragout. Pasta mains are fuelled with rich sauces redolent of
marsala, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, cream and Gorgonzola. Their
lusty wine list – with 17-by-the-glass – flows from New World to Old
with a concentration on super-Tuscans. Whenever a guest returns from Il
Terrazzo, they rave about it during breakfast at Fairholme and look
forward to leftovers for lunch. When in doubt about what to order from
the menu, ask your server who can always offer their recommendations.
This one you will talk about for years.

Pagliacci’s

1011 Broad Street
T: 250-386-1662
Hours: Mon – Sat: 11:30 am – 3:00 pm
Dinner: Mon – Thurs: 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm, Fri & Sat: 5:30 pm – 11:00pm
Sunday Brunch: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
W: pagliaccis.ca

The bread. Pagliacci’s famous Foccacia bread served hot and steaming
as you sit down is a crowd pleaser for all ages. A fun and boisterous
room, Pagliacci’s is perfect for families or adults looking for a hearty
meal in a restaurant whose walls are painted with New York scenes.
Their hearty bottomless bowl of soup has kept me coming back since I
first moved here from Vienna years ago. The menu is big on pastas too,
and the portions equally hearty. Live music after 8:00 pm on weekdays.

Be Love

1019 Blanshard Street
T: 778-433-7181
Hours: 8:00 am – 9:30 pm daily
W: beloverestaurant.ca

A light-filled modern urban room that offers an astonishing variety
of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and raw cuisine for breakfast, lunch
and dinner. Salads, soups, juices, smoothies and mains. An evening
cocktail menu offers creative super-food cocktails with organic spirits,
and organic wine list.

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