Victoria: A Foodie's Paradise 

Here's a fun fact: did you know that Victoria has the highest number of restaurants per capita in all of Canada, and the second highest number in North America, next to San Francisco? Victorians know how to eat, and they know how to eat well. So if you're a food lover, you've come to the right place. This itinerary is jam-packed with exotic flavours, tasty treats, and culinary delights to impress even the most seasoned foodie.

Breakfast: Fun, funky, and adventurous

Of all the meals offered in Victoria, breakfast is definitely the most popular. For the city's local residents, breakfast is more than just a meal; it's an art.

For a classic breakfast served right, try Shine Cafe, a local favourite. Find a seat at their original location at 1548 Fort St, right down the road from Craigdarroch Castle, or try their new downtown location at 1320 Blanshard St. Another local favourite is the Blue Fox. You can find them at 919 Fort Street, but be prepared to get there early and wait for your breakfast – on weekends, this place can have lineups out the door and down the road. Fortunately, though, the food is well worth the wait.

Some other great breakfast picks include Rebar, an eclectic vegetarian restaurant in Bastion Square, and Lady Marmalade at 608 Johnson St, who have some wild décor, and also serve a smashing plate of French toast. And, if big portions are your thing, then Floyd's Diner at 866 Yates Street is the place for you. If you're feeling adventurous, you can order the “Mahoney.” When you order this dish, their chef cooks anything he chooses for you, and before you pay for it, you flip a coin. If you win, your breakfast is free, and if you lose, you pay double the cost of whatever was on your plate.

Insider's Tip: For a late-night breakfast, check out West Coast Waffles at 1235 Broad Street, right next to the Bay Centre Mall. They're open until 2:30 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, so you can get your waffle fix on, even in the small hours.

To Market, To Market

Depending on which day of the week you're in town, you're sure to find wide selections of farm-fresh produce, baked goods, and all sorts of other foodie-friendly items at one of Victoria's many farmers' markets.

On Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the at the corner of Moss Street and Fairfield Road is the place to be for fresh food and live entertainment. On Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., you can head to the Hudson at 770 Fisgard Street for the Victoria Downtown Farmers' Market. In James Bay, the market runs on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the corner of Menzies and Superior Streets. And in Oak Bay, the market runs on the third Wednesday of every month from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Oak Bay Avenue, right in the middle of historic Oak Bay Village.


Lunch: Street Food Favourites

In much the same way as Portland, Victoria is quickly becoming one of the world's leading street food destinations. Wherever you are in downtown Victoria, you're only a short walk from top-notch street food creations. One of the latest arrivals is the Tacofino food truck, which you'll usually find parked at 1925 Blanshard Street in the parking lot of the Save-on-Foods Centre. Originally a Tofino phenomenon, this company has migrated to Vancouver, and then to Victoria, where its taco selections have taken the city by storm.

Another popular food truck is the Hungry Rooster, which is usually parked downtown in front of 724 Courtney Street. This truck serves street food classics like burgers and poutine, and mixes up the selection with perogies and oysters. If you're looking for a food truck near you, check out this helpful map supplied by the Times Colonist Newspaper.


Insider's Tip: For a classic soup and sandwich right by the inner harbour, there's no better place than Sam's Deli on Government St. After you're done, the best way to wash down your meal is to head next door to The Soda Shoppe for one of their amazing milkshakes.

Brews in the Afternoon

For many food and drink lovers in Victoria, there's no better way to pass an afternoon than by sampling some of the city's fine local beer selections. Victoria is home to some great microbreweries, many of which offer tastings and tours of their facilities.

For a tasting tour, head to Phillips Beer, at 2010 Government Street to sample their extensive collection of brews that continues to grow every season. They offer tours on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 4pm for $5.60 per person. Just down the road from Phillips, at 2330 Government Street is Vancouver Island Brewery, which was the first microbrewery to hit the island. You can tour their facilities every Friday and Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. for $7.00 per person.


Dinner: Pub Fare to Rival the British

Victoria is well-known for its British charm, and fortunately for food lovers, this charm carries over into the restaurant scene. For an authentically “Victorian” meal, be sure to sample some of the city's top-notch British-style pub fare.

Old Vic Fish and Chips, at 1316 Broad Street, is the oldest fish and chips joint in the city. Since being taken over by a new Welsh owner in January 2013, they have added more authentically British menu items like their giant Yorkshire pudding filed with a roast beef, and have earned rave reviews throughout the local blogosphere. Another great British spot is the Penny Farthing Neighbourhood Pub in Oak Bay at 2228 Oak Bay Avenue. Settle down there for English classics like shepherd's pie and steak and Guinness stew.

Victoria is not just a bastion of English culture either; Scotland and Ireland are well represented here too. Located centrally at 1200 Government Street, Irish Times is Victoria's leading Irish-style pub, and hosts live music seven nights a week. And, just down the road at 1022 Government Street, is the Bard and Banker, which represents the city's rich Scottish heritage and also hosts live music every night of the week.

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P.O. Box 39047
James Bay Postal Outlet
Victoria BC V8V 4X4
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