Eating out can be expensive in Victoria, depending on what you’re looking for. A really cheap way to go is to buy food at the local corner grocery – it’s what I do when traveling, and it saves on the dollars.
The Market on Yates (903 Yates) is a great new place (opened December 99) for groceries downtown. It has a deli takeout (barbecued chicken, sliced cheeses, salads, etc.), an in-store bakery, a drinks bar (smoothies, juices, and more) and a full line of groceries. It’s open 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
Downtown Victoria is replete with coffee stops and grab-a-quick-bite eateries. In warm weather most of them have one or more tables on the sidewalk, making for a lively street scene and a great way to people watch.
1110 Government St. across from the Eaton’s Centre.
Cafeteria style with small selection of salads, soup, sandwiches and hot dishes, lots of coffees and teas to choose from and yummy fancy desserts. This place is a well-known specialty tea and coffee store, a favourite for tourists shopping for tea to take home.
805 Government St.
Popular with the tourists for its handy location near the Inner Harbour. Cafeteria style sandwiches, soups. Patio for sunny weather and people watching.
110-911 Yates St. on the edge of downtown next door to The Market on Yates.
It’s authentic Italian casual style food. A few tables to eat in at lunch or take out. Lasagna, pasta, sandwiches, salads, soups, roasted veggies.
On Fort St. between Douglas and Blanshard. Open am till 5:30pm.
A secret local favourite, Daniel’s has only 6 tables but you can take food out. Wonderful homemade soups, variety of muffins, croissants, biscotti, breads, quiches, chocolate and decadent baked goodies. Fresh, finest ingredients. Worth searching for.
50 Bastion Square.
One of the most popular spots in town, even for meat eaters. Fabulous homemade desserts, soups, hot dishes, smoothies, fruit and vegetable drinks, seasonal and regional cuisine. Daily fresh menu. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their weekend brunches are crowded-get there early.
560 Johnson St. in historic Market Square.
Cafeteria style. Traditional vegetarian fare.
Villa Rosa Ristorante
1015 Fort St. Ph: 384-5337.
Lunch and dinner. Italian flavours. Soups, salads, pizzas, pastas. Daily fresh menu. Reservations recommended for dinner.
787 Fort St. 381-3327.
Lunch and dinner. A busy restaurant with a friendly atmosphere. Dress as you please. $6 to $20 range. Fresh salads with good dressings, fresh mussels, untraditional pastas, local seafood, Spring Rolls, freshly made desserts. Reservations recommended for lunch and dinner (Thursday-Saturday for dinner).
1011 Broad St. 386-1662.
Italian pasta. $5-$12 range. Casual, with closely crowded together tables, this restaurant has been around for a long time and always has a line-up at the door.
The owner’s penchant for the movie industry shows up in the menu, where item names have an entertainment slant. There’s “Attack of the Killer Sundried Tomatoes”, a pasta with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic, parsley and white wine tossed with linguine and crowned with romano cheese. The “Last Chicken in Paris” boasts chicken in a marsala wine and cream sauce tossed with fettucine, peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, onions, basil and parmesan cheese. Soup and sandwiches available at lunch. Open seven days a week, get there early to avoid line-ups.
Pubs and Pub Grub
308 Catherine St.
A relaxing and scenic 15 minute stroll from downtown on a waterfront path and over the Johnson St. Bridge. A real standout. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Spinnakers brews their own beers (try their Mitchell’s ESB), makes their own breads and jams and smokes their own meat. They have two guesthouses with rooms. Room rates vary depending on style and season.
Toll free for reservations and general information: 1-877-838-2739
506 Pandora Ave.
Swan’s brews their own hand-pulled ales and serves traditional pub food in a classy setting. Guesthouse suites above the pub.
Toll free for reservations and general information: 1-800-668-7926.
625 Courtney St.
Microbrewery and pub snacks, restaurant next door.
Phone: 250-920-4844. Fax: 250-929-4842
Harbour Canoe Club
450 Swift St. (on the edge of downtown past Chinatown)
Scenic waterfront setting with large patio. Pub snacks and restaurant.
Phone 250-361-1940. Fax: 250-361-1950
Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa
Located on the lower floor of the Empress Hotel at the Inner Harbour. This restaurant serves an a la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner, but don’t bother. They’re expensive for what you get.
Instead, for a little more â€” at this time $15.00 Canadian â€” opt for the buffet. It’s unlimited goodies, hot and cold, a really fabulous spread. Stuff to your heart’s content. There’s even an afternoon dessert buffet where you can throw all caution to the winds and load up on calories enough to last a lifetime.