Dining in Victoria restaurants provides selections for every taste bud from West Coast cuisine to Asian and European inspired dishes in laid back and casual to the most sophisticated settings. And there is no shortage of dining with a view!
I personally do not travel the world eating at the finest restaurants and so I confess, casual dining with my friends and family is my preference. My son loves chicken wings and so we are constantly on the hunt for the best chicken wings.
But this page isn't just about where to get the best wings. It is about where to get the best food and drinks for every type of dining experience.
I once had the privilege to dine in the Empress Room at the majestic Empress Hotel overlooking the inner harbour. The next evening, I enjoyed an equally impressive meal at the Oak Bay Marina thanks to friends visiting from Ireland.
They were the most memorable dining experiences of my life - probably because of the casual dining I am accustomed to.
I can honestly say that the meals, the service and the atmosphere were absolutely superb – not a thing I would change.
For a fine dining experience, these two Victoria restaurants come highly recommended.
Many Victoria restaurants employ the boat to bowl and farm to fork philosophies – ensuring your meal is as fresh as possible with ingredients from local farms and local waters. This is the true spirit of west coast cuisine. Naturally seafood is prominent with salmon, halibut, mussels and shrimp on most menus of the region. Lamb from local island farms is another popular choice paired with any number of fresh vegetables, cheeses and of course, wines.
Staying with the "keep it local" way of life around here, Victorian's don't stop with food - craft breweries, micro-distilleries and small vineyards are an essential component of the west coast dining experience. The creations of the Greater Victoria breweries, cideries and distilleries are on the menus at many of our fabulous restaurants or use the handy guide to see which ones offer tastings and tours.
I’m sure there are buffet dinners available somewhere in this town, but I don’t know where they are. My family is from Southwestern Ontario where buffets seem to reign. Overflowing plates of endless meats, carbs and sugar are everywhere. I like the change of pace where a reasonable portion of good quality food is preferred over the endless mounds of nutrient poor choices.
That’s not to say that you can’t get a heaping plate of food – it just seems to be a better quality and not “unlimited refills”.
One of my favourite places for a substantial, great tasting meal is The Blue Fox on Fort Street near Quadra. It is not uncommon for guests to line up out the door and wait up to 30 minutes for a seat at this cozy cafe. Get there early though; they are only open for breakfast and lunch, closing their doors each day by 4:00 p.m.
My top choice for a casual dinner has changed. I used to recommend My Chosen Café in Metchosin where you will find quality food paired with delicious made-on-site desserts served in a comfortable relaxed setting. It is still a worthy trip to Metchosin but when I want to stay in town, the Heron Rock Cafe in James Bay really hits the mark. My son recently introduced us to this little gem and it was absolutely delish with a great atmosphere. I'm going back soon and will write a full review then.
Birthday celebration at MyChosen Cafe
One thing I found astonishing when I first arrived that I have come to appreciate very much is the notion that restaurants may be closed on Sundays and Mondays. This is unheard of where I’m from, but I confess it is part of what I love about Victoria so much. Life isn’t about rushing through so fast there is no time to enjoy. Spending time with family and friends is one of the best things in life – I love the fact that many small, family owned Victoria restaurants take time away from their work. They close their doors on Sundays and Mondays and take a real break. We all need time to recharge!
Good food. Great service. Reasonable price. What do you look for when you go out to restaurants in Victoria? Tell us your favourite place to dine and why here!
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