Victoria is kind of a lazy vacation city. It’s not super historical and doesn’t have much sightseeing (except whales) so we decided to eat at as many restaurants as we could. A lot of sharing went on so we could visit more places. Here’s our list, our favs, and the meh.
James Bay Tea House
Good coffee. Definitely order one of their homemade scones. (They’re large and delicious!) It’s also a great atmosphere with very friendly staff.
This place is a coffee shop wine bar breakfast joint that serves all 3 meals. We had ordered cinnamon rolls (They’re called cinnamon “buns” in Canada) which they put in the oven to warm for us. Then they forgot about them and burned them to a crisp. The barista tried again and they were average (but average cinnamon rolls are actually awesome), they have a nice place to sit and good baristas. The breakfast sandwiches looked like they’d have been good.
Swiftsure Restaurant (at Day’s Inn)
This place had really good cinnamon buns, but just average coffee. Skip the coffee if you’re not a caffeine addict. The Nacho Skillet was ridiculously large and we didn’t finish it. So good though.
Red Fish Blue Fish
Delicious! And totally worth the line (30 minute wait) and price (2 piece Halibut Fish & Chips was $20).
Barb’s Place Fish & Chips
Decent Fish & Chips, and refills on soda is a plus. 2 piece Atlantic Haddock fish and chips was $13, was good. Not Red Fish Blue Fish good, but still good. The Halibut prices were the same as RFBF, so…go to RFBF. Website.
Thrifty Foods (Grocery Store)
It’s a grocery store. Good stuff if your looking for a picnic lunch.
Blue Poppy Cafe (Butchart Gardens)
We shared the chicken curry wrap, which was fine but nothing special. At Butchart you should probably just pack a lunch (see Thrifty above) and eat in the gardens. Cheaper and better.
This place was really cute and had fair prices on beer ($5 pints) but a short selection. It was our first stop of a progressive dinner so we just had the Kale Caesar salad ($11), which was awesome! The menu is pretty expensive but probably worth the food quality. The owner was also our server, which was cool.
The most expensive Thai food ever. In Seattle you can get a comparable Pad Thai for $8. At Sookjai, it was $12. Although, it was pretty good Pad Thai and one order easily feeds two.
Lido Waterfront Bistro & Bar
We loved this place. Good selection of beer and cocktails, and a menu where everything looked delicious. We settled on the Hawaiian Calzone to share, it was yummy. The best part though, is the location. wide open area on the dock, with umbrellas if for some reason you aren’t a sun worshiper.
This trendy restaurant had a nice view and a drink called the Bellini Fishbowl. If you’re lucky they’ll serve it to you in an actual fishbowl. We weren’t lucky. We had Spinach Artichoke Dip (tasted fishy, it was weird) and a delicious strawberry, walnut and goat cheese salad with vinaigrette dressing. Website.
This is located at the bottom of our hotel, so we got some discounts for staying there. But it was cool. We watched Sunday night football here. Gripes: they heavily advertise things that don’t exist. Like the $9 burger deal after 9pm, it isn’t real. The waiter said it’s weird because they just canned the GM, Assistant GM, Sous Chef, and someone else, so maybe that’s why. Seriously. Yummy food though!
Empress Hotel Terrace
Do you want to spend $12 on a cocktail? Then the Empress is for you! We had to go here somehow and this was the cheapest way. Afternoon tea was like $60. Katy ordered their signature drink, and it was quite tasty.
Bard & Banker
This is a Scottish pub so naturally Matt ordered some Scotch. It’s a fun place to hang out and people watch for a while. It’s not great if you need to have a very long conversation because it gets pretty loud, there was a cover band playing the night we went, so that’s fun.
A great location for a Soda Shoppe! The chocolate milkshake was delicious. But they’re huge, so if you’re your the sharing type… do it. Also, it closes at 10, so if you show up at 9:45, expect a to-go cup.
Wharfside Seafood Grille
We just wanted to hang around outside somewhere with a view for a bit longer so we wandered into the next place that had a patio/deck. The beer was good and service was fine. We didn’t order any food, so I can’t speak for the quality although most of the reviews I read later were pretty poor.