GREATER VICTORIA’S DINING FIELD GUIDE SUMMER/FALL 2015
COMPLETE DINING DIRECTORY RATING SYSTEM
A Field Guide for Your Appetite
a little about her
Everything Victoria Has to Offer
DEAR READER, Publisher Patricia Jones Publisher: Patricia Jones Writer: Jessica Archibald Art Director: Mark McDermott Photography: Paul McDermott, Shayd Johnson, Coast Mountain Photography Distribution Manager: Wally Watson a kiss media group solution www.kissmediagroup.com Copyright 2015 by Kiss Media Group Ltd. No part of this publication may be duplicated or reproduced in any manner without the prior written permission of the publisher. All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. However, the publisher accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions.
For all advertising and distribution inquiries: tel: 604.905.8930 email: email@example.com
LURE Restaurant & Bar Chef - Dan Bain Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Dan is an active supporter of the local cuisine and enjoys getting the best out of every ingredient he uses.
On the Cover
The issue you’re holding is by far the best iteration of this publication to date. We’ve evolved and the results are really exciting! We still bring you the best Victoria’s restaurant scene has to offer, whether you’re hell bent on a beer and burger or lusting for oysters and Prosecco. But this season’s issue is also your field guide – because let’s face it, in a city with almost more restaurants than residences, you’ll need one! Essentially, we’ve taken the guesswork out of eating out, whether you’re packing a picnic, enjoying a romantic evening or grabbing some tapas with your friends. It’s too easy ending up at the same old places eating the same old things. TASTE makes it easy to try something new!
WHAT’S INSIDE? Our feature restaurant profiles from PAGES 4-28 give you everything at a glance – the scene, menu highlights, bragging rights… Looking for lighter fare? Maybe an early morning perk or an after dinner espresso? Look no further than PAGE 41 for Victoria’s amazing café scene and all it has to offer, from lunch to art to live music. The Capital’s mixologists are as intriguing as the places they work. Hit PAGE 42, a tongue-in-cheek guide to the varying species of Victoria Bartender. For a similar giggle, PAGES 45-47 breaks down the Victoria drink scene by category. Indispensable as always is the locals-driven directory spanning PAGES 29-39 – an interactive resource where you can source your destinations, rate your experiences, and scribble in the margins ‘til your heart’s content.
Albacore Tuna, Marinated & Seared, Avocado, Watercress & Pickled Citrus.
Cheers, Patricia Jones Publisher
Each year, I get so excited about TASTE MAG! It’s thrilling to work with the amazing people and establishments that make Victoria so mouthwatering; it’s a lot of hard work too but when I gaze down at this glossy cover and think about the great relationships I’ve formed and the amazing food I’ve eaten, I feel truly honoured to be able to do what I do. This year is no exception.
_TASTEMAG_ tastemag 2
TASTE Victoria – renowned for its friendly folk, temperate climate and world-class restaurants. But British Columbia’s capital is also one of the most edible cities in the country, from artisanal offerings, oceanic catches and homegrown produce and livestock, to the best craft beers this side of Portland. Victoria is all about local sustainability. That’s why it tastes like nowhere else.
What to expect:
Heron Rock Bistro and North 48 are the perfect places for casual dining in a top-notch atmosphere. Looking for that authentic Pacific North West vibe? Check out The Pendray, Lure and Mo:Lé. If you’d prefer to take a bite out of Britain, ‘ave a butchers at The Guild Freehouse and Haultain Fish and Chips. Vous avez faim? Waltz your way to a European experience at Veneto, Black Olive, Restaurant Matisse and newest kid on the block, Saveur.
Looking for ocean-inspired dining? Find the freshest seafood at The Docks and Pescatores. Attention sushi lovers! Try Ebizo, Koto, Sen Zushi and Shiki Sushi for all the maki, nigiri and sashimi your little hearts desires. Xiang Rui has perfected the delicate art of authentic Chinese cuisine but if you’re looking for the fresh taste of Southeast Asia, look no further than Sabhai Thai. Hankering for somewhere to hangout? Pop into Milestones and Willie’s Bakery & Café for the perfect patio experience or feast with the whole family at Old Spaghetti Factory. The Keg is your go-to for everything steak while 3
IS YOUR MOUTH WATERING? TURN THE PAGE TO DISCOVER MORE!
MEDITERRANEAN APPETIZERS: $8 - $12 MAINS: $18 - $34
THE BLACK OLIVE RESTAURANT
ADDRESS: 739 Pandora Avenue HOURS: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (Mon - Fri) 5 pm - 10 pm (Dinner Mon - Sat) 5 pm - 9 pm (Dinner Sun) PHONE: 250.384.6060 ON THE WEB: theblackolive.ca
Rack of Lamb
THE SCENE This 45-seat establishment enjoys a clientele comprised of local diners as well as tourists looking for a romantic, sensual dining experience. And with glowing candlelight, beautiful art and a mouth-watering menu, that’s exactly what they get. Dive into an expansive list featuring rare and unusual labels and vintages.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Oceanic choices include Black Olive Linguini with scallops,
prawns, clams and mussels in a black olive pesto cream sauce and wild Salmon Mediterranean accompanied by artichokes, basil and red peppers tossed in lemon and olive oil and finished with black olive pesto.
• Poultry preferences include Free Range Chicken stuffed
with squash, goat cheese, tarragon and sage purée, and Winemaker’s Duck Breast pan-seared in cherry sauce.
• Don’t miss the Ling Cod Cioppino with baby yukon golds, green
beans, home-sundried tomatoes, fennel, muscles, clams, scallops, and prawns.
• Try the herb-rubbed, tender spring Cretian Lamb Chops or the worldrenowned New Zealand Rack of Lamb with a rosemary and red wine demi glaze or the Mixed Grill with filet mignon, lamb chops, chorizo sausage and free range chicken with red wine demi glaze.
PARTICIPATING WITH OLIVE CLUB - VICTORIA’S BEST FOODIE CLUB
2 FOR 1
OLIVE CLUB MEMBERS ONLY Offer available for lunch & dinner, Mon - Sat. Discounts valid for up to 3 guests per member. Visit oliveclub.ca for menu restrictions.
THE DOCKS SEAFOOD + STEAK + OYSTER BAR
STEAK & SEAFOOD MAINS: $12 - $29 ADDRESS: 1208 Wharf Street HOURS: 11:30 am - 11 pm PHONE: 250.360.1808 ON THE WEB: thedocksnow.com
On the Inner Harbour, a short walk from the Empress Hotel, The Docks is located in one of historic Wharf Street’s oldest buildings. The interior features rustic brickwork and warm wood highlights that accent a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere, whether you’re enjoying the warm harbour sunshine or settling in for a night away from the cold on the Inner Harbour.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Indulge in the best SURF + TURF value in Victoria. Dine on
Alberta-grain-fed New York or Sirloin Steak, Atlantic Lobster Tail, King Crab Legs or Prawns, served with green beans, corn medallions and your choice of wedge fries or garlic mashed potatoes.
Surf + Turf
• Choose your “live catch” bucket – Dungeness Crab or Atlantic Lobster – from the Ocean Water Tank. Minutes later, your “catch” will arrive poached in a white wine and lemon court bouillon, served with clarified butter, lemon, red jacket potatoes and corn medallions.
• Enjoy a smorgasbord of the freshest local seafood in the
Dockside Delight, which features Island mussels and clams, prawns and calamari, with red jacket potatoes, green beans, corn medallions basked in a tomato seafood broth.
The Docks’ decks boast magnificent panoramic views, from the Legislative Buildings to Fisherman’s Wharf. Dine on a variety of Chophouse steaks and choose from the freshest local seafood where you can select your entrée from an ocean water tank. Or feast on buck-a-chuck oysters in the oyster bar.
SUSHI BAR PRICE RANGE: $1.95 - $16.95 ADDRESS: 604 Broughton Street
EBIZO JAPANESE RESTAURANT
HOURS: 11:30 am - 1:45 pm (Lunch Tues - Sat) 5 pm - 8:45 pm (Dinner Tues - Sun) PHONE: 250.383.3234
“...a locals’ favourite...” Assorted Sashimi
THE SCENE A cozy, authentic Japanese atmosphere makes the Ebizo experience memorable for lunch or dinner. And with 40 dining room seats and an 8-seat bar, there’s always a comfortable corner whether you’re looking for an afternoon or intimate evening in front of the 46” flat screen TV. Feel like lying low? Ebizo offers an outstanding take-out menu as well!
MENU HIGHLIGHTS: • Experience favourite starters such as Vegetable Tempura, Albacore Tuna Tataki, Venison Tataki and Smoked Duck. Deluxe Assorted Sushi
• Sashimi classics include Tuna, Salmon and Octopus, while Sashimi Donburi offerings feature Tekka Don, Ikura Don, Chirashi, and Unagi Don. • Enjoy all the Nigiri you can wave your chopsticks at! Tamago, Tako, Tobiko, Inari, Ebi, Hamachi, Ahi, Unagi, Uni… it’s all here. • Sushi combinations come in Roll & Cone dishes, the Ebizo Combination or the decadent Deluxe Assorted Sushi plate. Don’t miss the house specialty, the Ricky Roll, a medley of prawn tempura, tuna, salmon and avocado. Lunch and dinner options from Bento Box Specials to New York Steak Teriyaki.
Ebizo Japanese Restaurant has been one of Victoria’s most popular sushi bars for over 14 years. Conveniently located between the city’s tourist-oriented Government Street and the commercial hub of Douglas Street, it’s no wonder that this locals’ favourite enjoys such a diverse and colourful clientele.
THE GUILD FREEHOUSE
PUBS APPETIZERS: $5 - $14 MAINS: $16 - $28 ADDRESS: 1250 Wharf Street HOURS: 3 pm - midnight (Mon - Thurs) 3 pm - late (Friday) 9 am - late (Saturday) 9 am - midnight (Sunday) PHONE: 250.385.3474 ON THE WEB: theguildfreehouse.com theguildfreehouse @GuildFreehouse @theguildfreehouse
Step through the doors of this 1880s heritage building and enjoy elegance at it’s most comfortable. Pop in during Happy Hour and share the Guild’s passion for local microbrews. If you’re famished, you’ll find mouth-watering West Coast twists on British cuisine. From sausages to sauerkraut and beef pies to seafood specials, at the Guild, it’s all about locally sourced, in-house made food. Cheers!
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Enjoy dishes that will send you to the heart of London like
Fish & Chips with mushy peas, Beef, Mushroom & Stout Pie or Cumberland Beer and Cheese Sausages with mashed potatoes and hazelnut brown butter.
Scotch Egg & Classic Fish Pie
• Get cozy with a steaming bowl of Split Pea & Ham Soup. • Savour local seafood specials that are second to none like
Smoked Albacore Tuna Nicoise, Smoked Salmon or the ever impressive Fresh Catch features. • For dessert, treat yourself to The Guild’s take on a definitive
British sweet: Sticky Toffee Pudding with coconut ice cream. • A draught list that boasts over 100 local craft beers is in rotation
so you’ll always be able to try something new plus the amazing flights menu allows you to sample the best of the bar.
From exclusive microbrews and small batch bourbons to Chef Sam’s local, elevated take on fine British fare and the comfortable ambiance of The Guild - this restaurant is the definition of ‘craft’. 7
FISH & CHIPS MAINS: $10 - $20
HAULTAIN FISH & CHIPS
ADDRESS: 1127 Haultain Street HOURS: 11:30 am - 7:30 pm (Tues - Sat) PHONE: 250.383.8332 ON THE WEB: haultainfishandchips.com
“...the most heavenly fish & chips ever.” Appetizers
THE SCENE Week after week, year after year, residents and non-residents of Victoria return to Haultain for the familiar faces, cozy atmosphere and delicious batter made fresh daily by owner and Chef, Mary Schmidt. A traditional old English recipe combined with the freshest and finest fish is served up with potatoes that were peeled and cut into tasty fries that day. Cozy up in a booth and enjoy the most heavenly fish & chips ever.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Everything on the menu is made fresh daily with traditional recipes including the delicious coleslaw and zingy tartar sauce. “The Special”
• Let your appetite and your taste buds choose from either Halibut or Cod served up with generous sides of French fries or homemade coleslaw. • If you love the home cooking but aren’t in the mood for fish & chips, try another menu item like a Prawn, Oyster, Scallop or Calamari plate or a variety of Beef or Seafood Burgers. • Wanting take-out? No problem. Unwrap the family favourite at home and see the ear-wide grins form over the whole gang. You can always change it up by adding some homemade Perogies, Chicken Strips, or Popcorn Scallops.
Victoria residents have been dependent on Haultain Fish & Chips for their legendary lightly battered fresh fish with homemade tartar sauce and traditional fries since 1924. Nestled in a residential neighbourhood, Haultain is a short drive from the Inner Harbour and has been voted Victoria’s favourite fish & chips for years.
HERON ROCK BISTRO
BISTRO MAINS: $13 - $28 ADDRESS: 4 - 435 Simcoe Street HOURS: Breakfast & Lunch 9am - 4pm (Mon - Fri) Dinner 4pm - 10pm (Everyday) Weekend Brunch 8:30am - 4pm PHONE: 250.383.1545 ON THE WEB: heronrockbistro.ca heronrockbistro @heronrockbistro
Snapper & Bacon Po ‘Boy
Only a short walk from Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour, Heron Rock is a bistro in every sense of the word. Whether stopping in for a morning coffee, an afternoon drink from their extensive beer and wine list, or an evening meal, this establishment is one place that locals and visitors alike can emphatically agree upon.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Heron Rock Bistro’s menu is French inspired cuisine, heavily influenced by the regional bounty of Vancouver Island.
• Try the famous Hollandaise from Heaven served 7 days a week until 4pm or the Poutine made with cheese curds, gravy and hand-cut Kennebec potato French fries.
Triple Eggs Benedict
• Experience Heron Rock’s signature dishes including
the Chicken & Avocado Salad with free-run egg, cherry tomatoes and Stilton vinaigrette, or the SaltSpring Island Mussels & Fries: one of many dishes featuring fresh West Coast seafood.
• Cowichan Bay Chicken & Dumplings (pictured above) featuring local naturally raised birds and homemade manchego cheese & semolina dumplings.
Tucked away in the historic little neighbourhood of James Bay is the Heron Rock Bistro - a city staple that, for ten years, has not only offered excellent food but great Live Music Monday, Friday & Saturday featuring blues, gypsy jazz, funk and soul.
STEAK & SEAFOOD MAINS: $19 - $44 ADDRESS: 500 Fort Street 3940 Quadra Street (Saanich)
THE KEG STEAKHOUSE + BAR
HOURS (FORT STREET): Dining Room: 4:30 pm - 11 pm Bar: 4:30 pm - midnight HOURS (SAANICH): Open from 4:30 pm daily PHONE: 250.386.7789 250.479.1651 (Saanich) ON THE WEB: kegsteakhouse.com thekegsteakhouseandbar @TheKeg @thekegsteakhouse Whiskey Sour
THE SCENE Quality, comfort and value are the three key ingredients that make The Keg Steakhouse + Bar experience unlike any other. When it comes to steak, The Keg serves only the finest cuts, aged for tenderness and seasoned with a very special blend that lends a unique flavour. For those looking for a lighter touch, The Keg’s bar menu has everything from signature cocktails to casual plates. For a great night out, look no further than the Victoria Kegs.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • The Keg menu features tender, juicy steaks, slow-roasted Sirloin & King Crab
Prime Rib, succulent seafood, irresistible desserts and of course, an outstanding wine list.
• Evenings begin with appetizers including Shrimp Cocktail,
Mushrooms Neptune, Tuna Tartare, Baked Brie and Crab Cakes.
• Enjoy a Keg Classic Dinner – your choice of Sirloin (Top or
Teriyaki), Prime Rib, New York or Filet, all served with a Caesar or Wedge Salad, vegetables, mushrooms and your choice of potato. Seafood lovers will enjoy a variety of catches including Salmon, Sea Bass, Alaskan King Crab and Atlantic Lobster.
• Poultry choices include Thai Chicken, Mushroom Stuffed
Chicken Supreme, Seafood Chicken Deluxe and our Supreme Chicken with succulent BBQ pork back ribs.
The Keg Steakhouse + Bar has been serving great steaks to its guests for over 40 years. Quality has been a cornerstone of the Keg’s success since the first restaurant opened in Vancouver in 1971. The Keg is focused on providing exceptional service and quality food in a comfortable atmosphere for its guests.
KOTO SUSHI IZAKAYA
SUSHI BAR PRICE RANGE: $2 - $25 ADDRESS: 510 Fort Street HOURS: 11:30 am - 11 pm (Sun - Wed) 11:30 am - 12 am (Thurs) 11:30 am - 1:30 am (Fri - Sat) PHONE: 250.382.1514 ON THE WEB: www.kotosushivictoria.ca
“...the best fresh oysters...” THE SCENE
Steps away from Victoria’s waterfront is the chic and modern Koto Sushi Izakaya. A popular Japanese dining destination for over 30 years, the new Koto Sushi Izakaya boasts an impressive menu that transforms from lunch to late night. Take a seat in the uber-hip sake bar and lounge, perch yourself in front of one of the talented and cheerful sushi chefs, or huddle your crew into one of the booths or private rooms and pair sake, wine, and beer with some of the best Japanese pub food this side of the pacific. Vegetarian? They’ve got the biggest vegetarian dishes with brown rice available. And just try to walk by the authentic Samurai outfit without taking a picture!
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Bento Box - Yep, they have it nailed. Choose from a variety of
lunch box specials served in a traditional Japanese bento box with all of the fixings - soup, salad, rice.
• Take your Japanese food journey into new territory with a
nibble of the Tokyo Night Roll, Mountain Roll, Lobster Roll and Heart Roll, various Katsu Dishes and Dumpling bundles of goodness.
• Room for more? The Matcha Parfait is to die for and the Banana Tempura with Ice Cream ain’t your regular monkey business.
Koto’s newly renovated space provides an amazing atmosphere to enjoy so much more than simply amazing sushi. Like the best fresh oysters on Vancouver Island, for instance. And the artisanal sake. And the live jazz music…
WEST COAST APPETIZERS: $6 - $16 MAINS: $16 - $29
LURE RESTAURANT & BAR
ADDRESS: 100 Harbour Road HOURS: 6:30 am - 11 pm (Sun - Thurs) 6:30 am - 1 am (Fri - Sat) PHONE: 250.360.5873 ON THE WEB: lurevictoria.com LureVictoria @LUREvictoria @lurevictoria Duck Breast
THE SCENE LURE has a fresh look! Changes include a patio with stunning city views, an inspired new menu, and a comfortable, casual redesign. Restaurant General Manager Randy Burla and Chef Dan Bain have created a restaurant that appeals to locals year round. Their goal? To create a lively, fresh, local experience with simple breakfast selections, mouth watering small plates, full-meal culinary favourites, and a selection of the Island’s best beers, wines and cocktails. They succeeded.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Wake up to a Salmon Frittata with farm fresh eggs, smoked Wild Pacific Salmon
salmon, baby kale, Saltspring Island feta and Yukon gold potatoes.
• Share a bite with friends off the All Day Menu! Small plates of mouth-watering delectable dishes include Maple Bourbon Pork Ribs, or Bruschetta with Fairburn Farms water buffalo mozzarella, fresh local tomato and balsamic glaze, and Saltspring Island Mussels in a tomato horseradish broth.
• Enjoy sumptuous lunch and dinner favourites like the Flat Iron Steak Sandwich with truffle mayo, crispy onions, smoked portabella or Pacific Wild Salmon with smoked tomato, wilted spinach and chive mash.
Welcome to the city’s hottest patio! LURE is the perfect place to enjoy an exceptional view of Victoria’s bustling harbour. The patio is a beautiful, contemporary space complete with fireplace and ultra modern heaters to keep you warm even on the Capital’s cooler summer days.
CASUAL EATING ROOM MAIN COURSES: $14 - $28 ADDRESS: 812 Wharf Street SUMMER HOURS: 11 am - 10 pm (Mon - Thurs) 11 am - 11 pm (Friday) 10 am - 11 pm (Saturday) 10 am - 9:30 pm (Sunday) PHONE: 250.381.2244 ON THE WEB: milestonesrestaurants.com
Grilled Seafood Salad
Delicious food, a roof top patio and ocean-side deck are just a few of the enticing qualities of Milestones in the heart of Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Wherever you’re seated you’ll feel like you’ve just entered the metropolis of Victoria as you take in the funky atmosphere and flurry of ocean-side activities like a docking boat, beautiful sunset, or a fire juggling busker pedaling his unicycle.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Bright spring food, cool summer salads, savoury autumn
soups, and warm winter dishes will gently remind you of the current seasonal fare.
• Milestones has a selection of veggie options like Butternut Squash Ravioli and Tomato Basil Brown Rice Spaghettini.
Milestones’ Original Signature Bellini
• Discover a drink list filled with unique and flavourful cocktails for you and your friends to try. Some notables are the Original Signature Milestones’ Bellini or our Caramel Apple Martini and the well priced regional and imported wines.
• Never miss out on Milestones award-winning brunch as it’s offered up to 4pm daily.
• Milestones has created an exclusive Gluten-Free menu with a selection of our delicious appetizers, entrées and desserts.
Exceptional guest service complemented by a menu inspired by the freshest and finest ingredients is what you’ll find here. Relax and experience one of Milestones renowned mixed drinks in an oversized martini glass and dishes influenced by ingredients from around the world.
CASUAL EATING ROOM APPETIZERS: $2 - $6 MAINS: $9 - $15
MO:LÉ RESTAURANT ALL DAY BRUNCH
ADDRESS: 554 Pandora Avenue HOURS: 8 am - 3 pm (Mon - Fri) 8 am - 4 pm (weekend brunch) PHONE: 250.385.6653 ON THE WEB: molerestaurant.ca
Polenta and Eggs
THE SCENE A decade later, Mo:Lé is still nailing it; their elevated West Coast brunch is legendary. With the exposed brick interior, local art pieces and incredibly attentive, loving service, it’s no wonder customers keep coming back for more. Located between Market Square and Chinatown, this Victoria institution is all about spreading love.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Vegans, celicas and meat-eaters unite! With inventive, elevated, lovingly prepared dishes, at Mo:Lé Restaurant everyone gets some love. Tomato Chipotle Sausage Hash
• Get dessert for breakfast with the Spelt Banana Pancakes. Yes they’re healthy but you’ll have to keep reminding yourself that while you eat them. Or spice things up South-of-the-border style with the Huevos Rancheros and Fish Tacos. • Try the inventively delicious Polenta and Eggs or Potato Gratin and Eggs. Take matters into your own hands with the alwayspopular Build Your Own Breakfast. With so many high quality, hand made components to choose from, you can’t go wrong. • For the traditionalists, there isn’t a Benny or Omelette in town that can compete and if you’re hankering for something more lunch-like, the Mac and Cheese is a winner. Plus there are Burgers, Wraps and Sandwiches for every tastebud.
Yup, you’ve probably heard of these guys. If it isn’t a rave review from En Route Magazine then it just might be the spot they clinched on You Gotta Eat Here. Bottom line, Mo:Lé is a culinary rockstar. 14
NORTH 48 RESTAURANT
CASUAL EATING ROOM APPETIZERS: $7 - $16 MAINS: $16 - $26 ADDRESS: 1005 Langley Street HOURS: 11:30 am - 10 pm (Tues - Thurs) 11:30 am - 11 pm (Fri - Sat) PHONE: 250.381.2428 ON THE WEB: northfortyeight.com
north FORTY-EIGHT @north_48 @north_48
Chicken & Waffles
Nestled in the heart of downtown just steps from the Inner Harbour, Victoria’s newest hot spot is home to cutting-edge comfort food and expertly crafted cocktails. From its lively dining room to its eclectic tiki bar, this modern diner offers familiar favourites with a refreshingly contemporary twist.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • House-made is the name of the game at North 48, and that includes their ketchup, plus their line-up of Batch 48 Hot Sauces and Srirachas. • Savour The Burger, a twist on the classic hamburger that comes stacked with ground-in-house beef, caramelized onion and house-cured bacon patty on a fresh baked brioche bun. Did we mention the truffled frites?
• Dive into the Duck Wings, one of Chef Sam’s original creations. Slow braised and served up hot and crispy, this cult favourite comes covered in a choice of hot, really hot or buffalo sauce. • Comfort cuisine doesn’t get better than Chicken & Waffles. Imagine buttermilk-soaked free-range chicken breast with a crispy coating of corn and rice flour atop a fresh corn, green onion, and cheddar waffle, topped with Chili Maple Honey. Getting the picture?
Find out for yourself what makes North 48 worthy of its place amongst Canada’s Top Ten Best New Restaurants of 2014! Add to that Trip Advisor’s 2014 Certificate of Excellence and it’s hard to find a reason not to put this intriguing modern diner on your to-do list.
CASUAL EATING ROOM APPETIZERS: $6 - $10 MAINS: $10 - $18
THE OLD SPAGHETTI FACTORY RESTAURANT
ADDRESS: 703 Douglas Street HOURS: 11:30 am - 10 pm PHONE: 250.381.8444 ON THE WEB: osf.ca
THE SCENE The Old Spaghetti Factory prides themselves in offering great food at reasonable prices. All meals are carefully prepared, and made fresh daily using only high quality ingredients. Every entrée comes complete with bread, a crisp green salad, coffee or tea and spumoni ice cream at no additional charge.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Enjoy All-Inclusive Entrées that come with sourdough bread, salad, ice cream and coffee or tea.
• Choose one of their Spaghetti Entrées served with any of our six sauces made in house daily: Tomato, Rich Meat, Spicy Meat, Clam, Mushroom or our classic Mizithra Cheese with Browned Butter. • Try made to order pan dishes such as our popular Penne with Chicken or our Pesto Linguine; delicious pan-fried jumbo prawns, peppers, Red Thai Curry and cilantro served on a bed of fresh linguine noodles. • Our menu also includes a wide range of delicious selections such as Chicken Parmigiana, New York Steak, and our BBQ Baby Back Ribs.
Located in beautiful downtown Victoria, The Old Spaghetti Factory is by far Victoria’s Best Dining Value. Great food, affordable prices, and a truly unique setting have visitors and locals alike winding up for lunch and dinner. 16
PENDRAY RESTAURANT AT THE GATSBY MANSION
WEST COAST APPETIZERS: $11 - $18 MAINS: $21 - $32 ADDRESS: 309 Belleville Street HOURS: 12 pm - 4 pm (Daytime) 5 pm - 9 pm (Evening) PHONE: 250.381.3456 ON THE WEB: huntingdonmanor.com GatsbyMansion
“...one of Victoria’s best afternoon teas.” West Coast Charcuterie Board
THE SCENE Nestled within Victoria’s most treasured historic mansion, Pendray Restaurant boasts a dining room with fresco ceilings, ceramic tiled fireplaces, silk drapes and original 1906 Venetian stained glass windows. Chef Travis Rawluk gardens the herbs that grow around the property among the rose bushes, adding freshness to an already inspired West Coast menu.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Taste a bit of Old England with one of Victoria’s best Afternoon Teas featuring fresh local berries and Devonshire cream, three tiers of assorted finger sandwiches, Pendray Scones with preserves, gourmet desserts and a selection of TWG fine teas.
• If you’re looking for a lovely lunch, try famous features such
as the Local Fresh-Shucked Oysters, the gorgeous West Coast Charcuterie Board with house-cured salmon or the Chicken Club with candied bacon. Feel like something richer? Nothing hits the spot like the French Onion Soup!
• Dinner features include Pan Seared Local Salmon with blackberry
reduction, Arctic Char with candied citrus, Five Spice Pork Tenderloin with crispy kale, Beef Tenderloin with blue cheese gratin, and the Harvest Garden Plate with confit yam and roasted beets.
AFTERNOON TEA Not valid with any other offer. No cash value. One coupon per table. Valid until July 31, 2016.
WEST COAST APPETIZERS: $10 - $19 MAINS: $16 - $34
PESCATORES KITCHEN | RAW BAR | COMMONS
ADDRESS: 614 Humboldt Street HOURS: Commons & Raw Bar: 11:30 am - 1 am Kitchen: 5 pm - 11 pm PHONE: 250.385.4512 ON THE WEB: pescatores.com
pescatoresvictoria @pescatoresvic @pescatoresvictoria Dungeness Crab
THE SCENE Enjoy the tastes of Vancouver Island with Victoria’s freshest sashimi and oysters at their Raw Bar. Relax and enjoy an intimate and exquisitely prepared dinner at the Kitchen. Meet your friends for lunch on the patio with exuberant steamer pots, tacos and fish n’ chips; cocktail hour with live music or lively late night drinks with DJs at the Commons.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • The chef-designed menu draws its inspiration from fresh, locally-grown ingredients and Vancouver Island Seafood. Fresh Halibut
• Try small plate specialties including Freshly Shucked Oysters, House Made Sushi Rolls, Crispy Calamari, and Beef & Chicken Skewers. • Sensational seafood dishes include, Grilled Octopus with crispy chorizo and white bean salad, Halibut with nugget potatoes, snap peas, morel mushrooms finished with lemon butter sauce, and the Miso Glazed Sablefish with braised greens, pickled maitakes over soba noodles. • In the mood for a fantastic steak? Succulent choices include their Tenderloin, dry aged Ribeye and Striploin, served with bordelaise sauce, roasted vegetables, Gruyere gratin potatoes or frites.
Vancouver Island’s Premier Seafood Destination for over 20 years. Pescatores offers you the best our local waters have to offer in our newly renovated rooms; each offering a distinct dining experience. 18
RESTAURANT MATISSE RESTAURANT
FRENCH PRICE RANGE: $19 - $33 ADDRESS: 512 Yates Street HOURS: 5:30 pm onward (Wed - Sun) PHONE: 250.480.0883 ON THE WEB: restaurantmatisse.com
Rack of Lamb
Tucked behind the wrought iron gates at the corner of Yates and Wharf Street, the Restaurant Matisse experience awaits with soft candlelight, fresh flowers and the music of Edith Piaf. John Phillips and his gracious staff present elegant dishes that marry French Classics with local ingredients. Indulge your senses with one of Victoria’s premiere dining experiences.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Contemporary classics such as Lobster Bisque, Escargots a la Bordelaise and possibly the best Creme Brulée in the world.
• Duck Confit, Rack of Lamb and Game Dishes are featured
on the menu as well as a varied selection of fresh, local and exotic Seafood. All prepared with seasonal availability in mind.
• Enjoy the relaxed, four course Prix Fixe. Start with the lobster
bisque or Soup du Jour, followed by the Provencal dressed salad, then a choice of main courses. Examples include Catch of the Day, Chicken Supreme and Beef Rossini. And of course, finish with your favourite dessert.
Everything at Restaurant Matisse is created fresh in house, including a daily amuse, assortment of breads as well as tantalizing sweets that can only be described as dessert art.
Restaurant Matisse boasts numerous accolades including Restauranteur of the Year, Critic’s Choice, Best French Menu, Five Stars from the Victoria Times Colonist and the coveted, prestigious Forbes Four Stars of Excellence for 14 years in a row. A visit here means French cuisine at its finest.
TIBET TO THAILAND MAINS: $10 - $17 ADDRESS: 2493 Beacon Ave., Sidney 2800 Jacklin Road, Langford
SABHAI THAI RESTAURANT
HOURS: 11:30 am - 2 pm (Lunch) from 5 pm (Dinner) PHONE: 250.655.4085 (Sidney) 250.590.5039 (Langford) ON THE WEB: www.sabhai.ca
“...mouth-watering Thai food...” Chicken Satay Skewers
THE SCENE With two locations in Greater Victoria, Sabhai Thai restaurants are lively family owned establishments that feature mouth-watering Thai food at more-than-reasonable prices.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Start with the unforgettable Gratong Taung – minced chicken seasoned with garlic, cilantro, onions and corn, served in golden cup shells with mild Thai plum sauce or the Tom Kah Goong, a hot and sour coconut soup with prawns, mushrooms, cilantro, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Sweet and Spicy Red Snapper
• Fans of spicy will love the Kee Mao (Drunken) Noodles, flash fried in Thai seasoning sauce with tender sliced chicken, chilies, onions, garlic, egg, fresh sweet basil and bell peppers. • Nothing beats Thai green curry. Sabhai’s Gaeng Keow Wan Gai comes with chicken, coconut milk, bamboo shoots, bell peppers and fresh sweet basil. • Oceanic favourites include the Panang Pla (Red Snapper) simmered in creamy curry sauce with bell peppers and fresh kaffir leaves.
Sabhai Thai has won the Saanich Peninsula Readers’ Choice Award for Best Ethnic Restaurant every year since 2007 and received 4.5 stars from Times Colonist Restaurant critic Pam Grant as well as a top 5 best restaurants in Victoria ranking in Urban Spoon.
SEN ZUSHI RESTAURANT
SUSHI BAR APPETIZERS: $5 - $8 MAINS: $12 - $20 SUMMER ADDRESS: 1619 Store Street FROM SEPTEMBER ADDRESS: 940 Fort Street HOURS: 11:30 am - 2 pm, 5 pm - 9 pm (Mon - Sat) PHONE: 250.385.4320 ON THE WEB: senzushi.com SenZushiVictoria @SenZushiBC
Nestled in Victoria’s Antique District, Sen Zushi is an experience in Eastern culinary culture with traditional décor and some of the city’s finest Japanese fare. A favourite with local sushi lovers, this gentle collision of traditional charm and contemporary flare provides a not-to-be-missed casual dining experience.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Sen Zushi’s famous 200-item menu visually communicates all your mouthwatering options.
• Try the Special Kappa Maki, a contemporary take on traditional sushi. Rolled in thinly shaved cucumber instead of rice, this item makes for a stylish appetizer as well as a healthy main dish choice.
Special Kappa Maki
• Sen Zushi’s head chef carefully chooses their Udon Noodles from the Sanuki-Udon district of Japan to create dishes such as the delicious Goma Miso Udon; a non-traditional twist on an old favorite, featuring a creamy sesame sauce and tasty chunks of chicken.
• Try the memorable Teriyaki Chicken; juicy chunks of chicken covered in thick and glossy house-made teriyaki sauce.
• Sen Zushi values variety. That’s why they regularly showcase over 20 types of fish for sushi and sashimi... and Asahi beer on tap!
Japanese owned and operated, Sen Zushi provides an authentic taste experience that showcases the best of both traditional and contemporary cuisine – something that has earned them the Times Colonist 5-star rating from food critic Pam Grant.
FRENCH APPETIZERS: $11 - $18 MAINS: $21 - $32
ADDRESS: 658 Herald Street HOURS: 10 am - 2 pm (Weekend Brunch) 5 pm - 10 pm (Tues - Sat) PHONE: 250.590.9251 ON THE WEB: saveurrestaurant.ca SaveurRestaurant
“...a can’t miss gourmet brunch...” Potato Stone
THE SCENE Chef Robert Cassels built his new location from the ground up. Featuring burnt wood feature walls, exposed brick, quartz bar tops, crystal chandeliers, red leather and an open kitchen, this intimate 30-seat space is a charming collision of rustic and contemporary set in a heritage building right in the heart of Victoria’s famous Chinatown District.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Saveur restaurant specializes in seasonally inspired Five Course Chef’s Tasting Menus plus a la carte Dinners, Bar Snacks and Chef-Inspired Cocktails.
• Enjoy Tasting Menu items such as Scallop with smoked beet,
hazelnut, watercress and frozen goat’s cheese mousse or the Duck with pea risotto, oyster mushroom, carrot emulsion and pickled cherry. Vegetarian? Try favourites like the 8 Hour Tomato with marinated cucumber, smoked pea purée and mint or the Potato Stone with cauliflower purée, mushroom soil, pickled mushroom and Parmesan froth.
• It doesn’t get much better than the Gourmet Weekend Brunch featuring favourites such as Duck Confit Eggs Benny with orange-scented Hollandaise and the Mascarpone Stuffed Red Velvet Toast with Bourbon maple syrup.
BAR SNACK 22
WITH PURCHASE OF A COCKTAIL OR BEVERAGE.
Not valid with any other offer. No cash value. One coupon per customer. Valid until July 31, 2016.
SHIKI SUSHI RESTAURANT
SUSHI BAR PRICE RANGE: $1.50 - $12.95 ADDRESS: 1113 Blanshard St. 601-3995 Quadra St. (Saanich) HOURS: 11 am - 9:30 pm (Mon - Thurs) 11 am - 10 pm (Friday) 12 noon - 10 pm (Sat) 12 noon - 9:30 pm (Sun) PHONE: 250.381.8622 778.265.8822 (Saanich) ON THE WEB: shikisushi.ca Shiki-Sushi
“...you’ll always find something new...” THE SCENE
Vegetable Sushi Platter
With a central location that straddles the tourist and business sectors, Shiki enjoys a diverse, relaxed clientele. And it’s deceptively cozy for a 120-seat dining room which doubles beautifully as a party venue, complete with window-bar seating. Factor in the ever-changing monthly Specials Menu and you’ll always find something new to experience here!
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Popular items on the All You Can Eat menu include both the deep-fried Agedashi Tofu, and the deep-fried Sesame Chicken Kara-Age. All You Can Eat is available 5-9 pm every night and 12-3 pm Saturdays and Sundays. • Noodle dishes come in a wide variety that includes the Shiki Nabeyaki Udon or Soba – a delicious seafood hotpot. Bento Boxes are always a hit for a good ‘square’ meal. Try the Chicken Teriyaki and Beef Teriyaki favourites. • Try the Flame Nigiri Platter, an amazing array of scallops, saba (mackerel), toro (tuna belly), ika (squid) and salmon, torched to perfection and served beautifully. • Ask about Shiki Sushi’s fantastic selection of vegetarian dishes! • Asahi and Kirin beer are available as well as wines from Europe, Australia and the US.
Owner-operator Tony Ng brings 20 years industry experience to Shiki, an establishment that has been prominent in the downtown Victoria scene for over 5 years. Feel like lying low? Their speedy and comprehensive delivery service provides a unique, convenient way to enjoy the sushi experience either from home or from the comfort of your hotel suite.
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VICTORIA She’s Vancouver’s freckled, fun-loving little sister with windswept hair, tanned knees and billowing summer dress. But there’s more going on behind those sky-blue eyes than most visitors realize…
The City City Centre/Inner Harbour/Old Town/Chinatown/Antique Row
Most locals prefer the collective term downtown but in truth, the area directly underneath the pin in your map App consists of several distinct neighbourhoods: Douglas Street splits the City Centre down the middle with great food and entertainment in the blocks unfolding east and excellent shopping hand-in-hand with elegant bistros to the west. The iconic Inner Harbour is a must-see but once you’ve depleted your camera’s battery and picked your jaw back up from the sidewalk, visit Old Town. It’s just a short stroll north along Government Street, down the narrow brick alleys and passed the trattorias to it’s rustic, wood-beamed heart,
COOK ST. Villiage
A LITTLE ABOUT HER Market Square. Wander one block further and you’ll find yourself amid the delivery trucks and swirling dim sum steam bustle of Canada’s oldest Chinatown. For the road slightly less traveled, meander up Antique Row, the oftenoverlooked length of Fort Street running east from Douglas Street. It’s home to art galleries, auction houses and curiosity shops as well as some of Victoria’s best-kept gastronomic secrets.
James Bay/Cook Street/ Fernwood/Oak Bay
However you’re navigating the city, Victoria’s satellite villages are impossibly quaint and surprisingly accessible. Separating the city from the sea, James Bay Village is a sleepy cluster of coffee shops, bookstores and quiet Saturdays. From there, it’s a short stroll through the rolling green expanse of Beacon Hill Park past the duck ponds and cricket pitch to Cook Street Village, a bona-fide storybook hamlet that sits (to all intents and purposes) in the middle of a forested
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grove. Known for its amazing food, Cook Street offers everything from pub fare to artisan pizza to Ethiopian cuisine. Just east of the city centre sits Fernwood Village clustered around the iconic Belfry Theatre. One of the city’s oldest neigbourhoods, it plays home to a unique mix of hippies, hipsters and happy families in character homes. Oak Bay Village is a quarter-hour bus ride east of the city. Situated behind Victoria’s self-styled tweed curtain, it’s a community that’s preserved the imperial culture of Old Britannia unlike anywhere else outside the UK. Pubs, sweet shops, fish’n’chips… it’s all here, and only minutes from the famous tearoom on the Willows Beach esplanade.
The Environs Saanich/Langford/Sooke// Metchosin
Thanks to the gentle geography of the region, these Greater Victoria satellite environs are a scenic drive away from wherever you happen to be staying. Saanich (which comprises much of the city’s suburban sprawl) is a tranquil collection of townships peppered by parks,
beaches, nature sanctuaries and golf courses. Just a short drive up Highway 1, you’ll find the booming community of Langford with its box stores and brewpubs and world famous Bear Mountain resort and country club. Interested in getting away from it all? Don’t worry. Sooke and Metchosin (which make up the westernmost part of the Capital Region) are lush paradises of Vancouver Island rainforest framed in surfkissed beaches that embrace the Pacific.
The Seaside Sidney
A twenty-minute drive north along the Saanich Peninsula, Sidney is an oceanic community nestled on the east coast of Vancouver Island facing the tiny Gulf Islands that dot the misty Georgia Strait. Punctuated by marinas and serenaded by seagulls, this little town boasts three-and-ahalf kilometers of waterfront so it comes by its adorable name fairly. When the concept of daytrips was invented, Sidney was undoubtedly what they had in mind. 25
TAPAS APPETIZERS: $8 - $16 MAINS: $14 - $24
VENETO TAPA LOUNGE
ADDRESS: 1450 Douglas St. HOURS: 4 pm - 1 am PHONE: 250.383.7310 ON THE WEB: www.venetodining.com
The Veneto Charcuterie Board
THE SCENE Located in the chic boutique Hotel Rialto, Veneto Tapa Lounge is one of Victoria’s true lounge experiences. Classic libations carefully constructed to exacting standards pay homage to the history and origins of the cocktail. Add a high-concept savory tapa-style menu and you have one of the city’s most stylish urban dining destinations.
Assorted Veneto cocktails
• Veneto’s concept dining is as brilliant as it is simple: small plates with big flavors. Choose from a variety of tasty morsels to pick and graze while imbibing on some of the city’s best potables. Think Iron Chef meets classy cocktail lounge and you’re getting the idea… • Standout sharing plate items such as Crispy Pork Belly, Pan-Seared Chili-Basil Scallops, Szechuan-Peppered Calamari, or the crisp Duck Confit Poutine all take bar food to a whole new level. • Prefer something a little heartier? Experience the revolving Fresh Sheet, which celebrates tapa-style fresh and seasonal entrées. • Veneto boasts a large wine cellar, an on-tap selection of fine craft beers and a cocktail list that is sure to impress even the most seasoned aficionado.
Executive Chef Tod Bosence combines unique variations of Old World favorites with his own personal creations for a modern take on tapa-style dining. Couple this stunning menu with a no less impressive cocktail list and you’ve got one the best contemporary lounge experiences in the city.
WILLIE’S CAFE & BAKERY
CASUAL EATING ROOM DRINKS: $3 - $5 MAINS: $10 - $15 ADDRESS: 537 Johnson Street HOURS: 7 am - 4 pm (weekdays) 8 am - 4:30 pm (Saturday) 8 am - 4 pm (Sunday) PHONE: 250.381.8414 ON THE WEB: williescafebakery.com WilliesCafeBakery @williesbakery @williescafebakery
Located in the heart of Old Town and the Lojo Shopping District, BC’s oldest bakery has been a city favourite since 1887. From the original brick-walled space to the flower-filled courtyard with its fountain and fireplace, there’s no tastier way to experience a piece of the Capital’s history.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS • Breakfast and lunch at Willie’s is a memorable experience as locals and visitors brush shoulders en route to some of the most mouthwatering experiences that cafe-bakery culture has to offer.
• Dive into the house specialty, a selection of six different
Louis Wille - Founder
Eggs Benedicts! For something more traditional, there’s an excellent assortment of Omelettes and grilled items, too. On the other hand, why not step outside the box with local favourite, the Banana-Pecan French Toast with maple cream cheese topping and a side of maple Dijon glazed bacon.
• Fresh Everything is the best way to describe lunches at
Willie’s, whether you’re jonesing for a Gourmet Grilled Cheese, munching a Deli Sandwich or slurping Homemade Soup. Of course, there’s a great selection of beers, wines and cocktails, too!
Willie’s state-of-the-art kitchen is just part of the reason why this Victoria landmark has received TripAdvisor’s 2014 Award of Excellence, touted by Chatelaine Magazine as “Victoria’s best brunch destination”, and ranked by Huffington Post as one of the Top 20 restaurants in British Columbia.
CHINESE APPETIZERS: $4 - $7 MAINS: $11 - $14
XIANG RUI RESTAURANT
ADDRESS: 980 Blanshard Street HOURS: 11 am - 9 pm PHONE: 778.433.3696 ON THE WEB:
“...a favourite dining spot for local Chinese gourmands..” Chinese Hamburger
THE SCENE Victoria’s newest Chinese food sensation, this warm and intimate restaurant is just off the beaten path, a five minute walk from the Inner Harbour. Worthy of the buzz it’s earned from local Asian food lovers, Xiang Rui is the only restaurant in the city that serves authentic Northwestern Chinese home-style cuisine. The exceptionally courteous staff serves up owner and Chef, Owen Guo’s delights, customized for each diner’s palate.
Stewed Mushroom & Vegetable
• Sample the region. You can’t go wrong with the chef’s recommended, unique dishes, including the authentic and aromatic Chinese Hamburger (pork or beef), spicy summertime favourite Rice Noodle with Vegetables or Fried Potato with Green Pepper and Eggplant. • If spicy isn’t your thing, the menu offers numerous delectable dishes that appeal to more sensitive Western tastes, including Egg Rolls, Chicken Chop Suey or Beef with Noodle Soup. • The kitchen staff makes their Dumplings in-house, so be sure to try them in the variety that appeals to you: Pork, Beef or Vegetable. The noodles are also fresh and delivered in a variety of styles sure to please discerning palates.
Xiang Rui has the greatest number of authentic Chinese dishes, making it a home away from home for mainland Chinese tourists and a favourite dining spot for local Chinese gourmands. 28
TASTE DINING DIRECTORY
Choices, choices, choices. We’ve enlisted the help of Victoria’s elite concierge, community members, and the city’s in-the-know hair stylists to compile Victoria’s most comprehensive dining directory. The Pinnacle Taste Dining Directory provides you with lots of mouth-watering options broken down into a variety of Victorian dining themes. We give you the what, where, and how much plus a fun rating system lets you track your experiences as you have them, so you can share them with friends or reference them next time you plan on dining out. And don’t just keep your opinions to yourself! Take your voice online to TasteMagazine.ca, where you can cast your vote for the establishments you think most worthy of winning a 2015 PINNACLE TASTE AWARD Victoria’s award for culinary excellence. So whatever your mood, wherever you are, however big your appetite... we’ll get you to your table!
$ = $10 and under
$$ = $11to $20
$$$ = $21 and over
AGE OF THE EMPIRE Once the westernmost outpost of the British Empire, Victoria rings of Old Blighty in more ways than the monarch whose name she carries. From High Tea to roti, you’d be hard pressed to find a better culinary experience in the Commonwealth. MY RATING
FISH & CHIPS Haultain Fish & Chips - Pg. 8 Barb’s Fish & Chips Irish Times Red Fish Blue Fish Old Vic’s Fish & Chips
1127 Haultain St. $$ Fisherman’s Wharf $$ 1200 Government St. $$ 1006 Wharf St. $$ 1316 Broad St. $$ 29
Wed. - Sun. LUNCH & HIGH TEA
12pm - 4pm DINNER
5pm - 9pm
Bengal Lounge Da Tandoor Indyoga Saaz Sizzling Tandoor Spice Jammer
721 Government St. 1010 Fort St. 1015 Fort St. 535 Yates St. 637 Johnson St. 852 Fort St.
$$ $$ $$ $$ $$ $$
TEA ROOMS The Pendray - Pg. 17 Abkhazi Gardens Butchart Gardens Fairmont Empress James Bay Tea Room Oaks Restaurant & Tea Room The Pacific White Heather
309 Belleville St. $$ 1964 Fairfield Rd. $$ 800 Benvenuto Ave. $$ 721 Government St. $$ 332 Menzies St. $$ 2250 Oak Bay Ave. $$ 463 Belleville St. $$$ 1885 Oak Bay Ave. $$
309 Belleville Street Victoria
The Guild Freehouse - Pg. 7 Bard & Barker Bartholomew’s Canoe Brew Pub Darcy’s Fernwood Inn Irish times James Bay Inn Moon Under Water Brewery Six Mile The Snug Pub Spinnaker’s Brew Pub The Sticky Wicket Swans Brewpub 30
1250 Wharf St. $$ 1022 Government St. $$ 777 Douglas St. $$ 450 Swift St. $$ 1127 Wharf St. $$ 1302 Gladstone Ave. $$$ 1200 Government St. $$ 270 Government St. $$ 350B Bay St. $$ 494 Island Hwy. $$ 1175 Beach Dr. $ 303 Catherine St. $ 919 Douglas St. $$ 506 Pandora Ave. $$
ODYSSEY AND BEYOND Homer’s hero had to contend with gods and monsters during his Aegean adventures but undoubtedly hunger reared its ugly head, too. Walk in Odysseus’ sandals and explore the best food that Southern Europe has to offer.
TRATTORIAS + RISTORANTES Old Spaghetti Factory - Pg. 16 Bella Montagne Catalano Fiamo Il Covo Trattoria Il Terrazzo Pagliacci’s Zambri’s
703 Douglas St. $ 1999 Country Club Way $$ 619 Courtney St. $$ 515 Yates St. $$ 106 Superior St. $$ 55 Johnson St. $$ 1011 Broad St. $ 820 Yates St. $$
TAVERNAS Black Olive - Pg. 4 Ithaka Millos Il Greco San Remo
739 Pandora Ave. $$ 1102 Yates St. $$ 716 Burdett Ave. $$ 2900 Tillicum Rd. $$ 2709 Quadra St. $$
PIZZERIAS Ali Baba Pizza Brickyard Pizza Famoso The Joint Prima Strada Romeo’s Pizza & Pasta
775 Fort St. $ 784 Yates St. $ 560 Johnson. $$ 1219 Wharf St. $ 105-230 Cook St. $$ www.romeos.ca $$ 31
TAPAS Veneto - Pg. 26 The Tapa Bar Stage Wine Bar
1450 Douglas St. $$ 620 Trounce Alley $$ 1307 Gladstone Ave. $$
SILK ROAD Once, a four thousand-mile trade route connected the culture of the East with the Western World; but that was then. Today, you don’t need to take a voyage of Marco Polo’s proportions to enjoy the delectable treasures of Asia. You just need to know where to look.
KOREAN A Mart Korean Grocery King Sejong Korean Garden Koryo BBQ Seoul Sura
652 Yates St. 650 Yates St. 3945 Quadra St. Bay Centre 768 Fort St. 1696 Douglas St.
$$ $$ $$ $ $$ $$
TIBET TO THAILAND Sabhai Thai Langford - Pg. 20 Sabhai Thai Sidney - Pg. 20 Baan Thai La Petite Saigon Little Thai Place Pho-Ever Phoa Hoa Siam Thai Sookjai thai Tibetan Kitchen Vietnam House 32
2800 Jacklin Rd. $$ 2493 Beacon Ave. $$ 1117 Blanshard St. $$ 101 Langley St. $$ www.littlethai.com $$ 1669 Pear St. $ 765 Fort St. $ 512 Fort St. $$ 893 Fort St. $$ 680 Broughton St. $ 3189 Quadra St. $$
SILK ROAD CONT. MY RATING
NOODLE HOUSES Foo Ramen Bar John’s Noodle Village I Kyu Noodles Noodle Box
762 Broughton St. 823 Bay St. 564 Fisgard St. www.thenoodlebox.net
$ $ $ $
CHINESE FOOD Xiang Rui - Pg. 28 Don Mee’s Golden City Jade Fountain Chinese Ming’s Restaurant Ocean Garden Restaurant Wings Restaurant
980 Blanshard St. $$ 538 Fisgard St. $$ 721 Fisgard St. $$ 3366 Douglas St. $$ 1321 Quadra St. $$ 568 Fisgard St. $ 90 Gorge Rd. $
SUSHI BARS Ebizo - Pg. 6 Koto - Pg. 11 Sen Zushi - Pg. 21 Shiki Sushi - Pg. 23 Shiki Sushi - Pg. 23 Azuma Japanese Village Kaz Shizen Sushi
604 Broughton St . $$ 510 Fort St. $$ 940 Fort St. $$ 1113 Blanshard St. $$ 3995 Quadra St. $$ 615 Yates St. $$ 734 Broughton St. $$ 1619 Store St. $$ 1706 Government St. $$
THE NEW WORLD They came for freedom, farmland, fresh starts, even El Dorado’s gold but they stayed for the food. Settlers the world over contributed to the mosaic that is the cultures of the Americas but the one thing they share is beautiful cuisine inspired by the terroir of the land and the two great oceans surrounding it.
STEAK & SEAFOOD The Docks - Pg. 5 The Keg - Pg. 10 The Keg - Pg. 10 Pescatores - Pg. 18 Blue Crab Seafood House Fire & Water Nautical Nellies Seagrille Steamship Grill + Taphouse Vic’s at Harbour Towers
1208 Wharf St. $$ 500 Fort St. $$ 3940 Quadra St. $$ 614 Humbolt St. $$ 146 Kingston St. $$$ 728 Humbolt St. $$ 1001 Wharf St. $$ 849 Verdier Ave. $$ 470 Belleville St. $$ 345 Quebec St. $$
WEST COAST Lure - Pg. 12 Aura Café Brio Camille’s Fireside Grill Haro’s The Marina Olo Vista 18
45 Songhees Rd. $$$ 680 Montreal St. $$$ 944 Fort St. $$$ 45 Bastion St. $$$ 4509 W.Saanich Rd. $$ 9805 Seaport Pl. $$ 1327 Beach Dr. $$$ 509 Fisgard St. $$ 740 Burdett St. $$$
THE NEW WORLD CONT. MY RATING
VEGETARIAN Mo:Lé - Pg. 14 Be Love Bliss Café Lotus Pond Re-Bar Venus Sophia
554 Pandora Ave. $ 1019 Blanshard St. $$ 556 Pandora Ave. $ 617 Johnson St. $$ 50 Bastion Square $$ 540 Fisgard St. $$
BARBEQUE Pig BBQ Joint Hanks Untraditional BBQ
1325 Blanshard St. 1001 Douglas St.
126 Douglas St. 341 Cook St. 911 Yates St. 1209 Douglas St. 1008 Blanshard St.
$ $ $$ $$ $$
BURGERS Beacon Hill Drive In Big Wheel Burger Bin 4 Burger Lounge Fatburger Douglas Pink Bicycle
CASUAL EATING ROOMS Milestones - Pg. 13 North 48 - Pg. 15 10 Acres Brown’s Social House Earl’s Ferris’ Oyster Bar Flying Otter Grill John’s Place Little Jumbo Local Kitchen Moxies Grill & Bar Wheelies Motocycle Café Yates Street Taphouse
812 Wharf St. $$ 1005 Langley St. $$ 611 Courtney St. $$ 809 Douglas St. $$ 1199 Government St. $$ 536 Yates St. $$ 950 Wharf St. $$ 723 Pandora Ave. $$ 506 Fort St. $$ 1205 Wharf St. $$ 1010 Yates St. $$ 2620 Rock Bay Ave. $$ 759 Yates St. $$ 35
FAMILY FAVOURITES Bill Mattick’s Restaurant Hot and Cold Café The Pita Pit Pluto’s Restaurant Redd’s Roadhouse Sassy’s Family Restaurant Shine Café Stone’s Throw Restaurant
5333 Cordova Bay Rd. 1-313 Cook St. 1221 Wharf St. 1150 Cook St. 3020 Blanshard St. 6719 W. Saanich Rd. 1320 Blanshard St. 642 Johnson St.
$$ $$ $ $ $$ $$ $$ $$
BREAKFAST & BRUNCH Mo:Lé - Pg. 14 Willie’s Cafe & Bakery - Pg. 27 Blue Fox Clay Pigeon Cora Jam Café Shine Café
554 Pandora Ave. $ 537 Johnson St. $ 919 Fort St. $$ 1002 Blanshard St. $$ 850 Douglas St. $ 542 Herald St. $ 1320 Blanshard St. $
CARIBBEAN The Reef Restaurant Victoria
533 Yates St.
1425 Store St. 735 Yates St. 1017 Blanshard St. Fisherman’s Wharf
$$ $ $ $
MEXICAN Café Mexico Hernande’z La Taquisa Puerto Vallarta Amigos
Authentic Caribbean Restaurant
760A Yates St., Victoria BC - 778-432-0133 - stiritupfoods.com
EUROPA Europe - land of whimsy and culture, home of small streets, smaller cars and all things quaint and magical. We can’t promise cobbled alleys and storied city squares but Victoria’s mouth-watering tributes provide a sensual journey back to the beauty of the Old World.
FINER FARE Butchart Gardens Deep Cove Chalet The Dining Room Empress Room Panache Sooke Harbour House
800 Benvenuto Dr. 11190 Chalet Rd. 1175 Beach Dr. 721 Government St. 1999 Country Club Way 1528 Whiffen Spit
$$$ $$$ $$$ $$$ $$$ $$$
FRENCH Restaurant Matisse - Pg. 19 Saveur - Pg. 22 Brasserie L’Ecole Chez Michel The Pacific Lounge
512 Yates St. $$ 658 Herald St. $$ 1715 Government St. $$ 1871 Oak Bay $$$ 463 Belleville St. $$
GERMAN Rathskeller Schnitzel Haus
1205 Quadra St.
BISTRO Heron Rock Bistro - Pg. 9 Crooked Goose Forester’s Bistro & Bar Lido Bistro O Bistro
4-435 Simcoe St. $$ 4136 Wilkinson Rd. $$ 643 Latoria Rd. $$ 1234 Wharf St. $$ 500 Oswego St. $$ 37
A T R I P A R O U N D T H E W O R L D F O R Y O U R TA S T E B U D S ferrisoysterbar.com
Seriously good seafood
A local institution
A love letter to Spain
536A YATES ST. 250.360.1824
536 YATES ST. 250.360.1824
538 YATES ST. 250.360.1824
619 COURTNEY ST. 250.480.1824 MY RATING
615 Johnson St.
2470 Beacon Ave.
648 Broughton St. 9805 Seaport Pl. 1114 Blanshard St. 805 Government St.
$ $ $ $
SWISS Bistro Suisse
DELICATESSEN Broughton Street Café & Deli Georgia Café & Deli Italian Food Import Sam’s Deli
CANDY LANE Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down but you don’t have to take it from Mary Poppins – just ask anyone who’s had the pleasure of indulging in the sweeter side of the Capital. There’s no denying that you’re spoiled for choice… so spoil yourself!
BAKERIES Willie’s Cafe & Bakery - Pg. 27 Bubbly Rose Bakery and Café Dutch Bakery + Coffee Shop Fol Epi Origin Gluten Free Bakery
The Freshest Ice Cream On Earth.™
537 Johnson St. $ 1002 Cook St. $ 718 Fort St. $ 398 Harbour Rd. $ 1525 Pandora Ave. $
Present this coupon and receive $1 OFF when you order a medium size ice cream cone or larger with one mixin’*
CHOCOLATIERS Bernard Callebaut 621 Broughton St. $ Rocky Mtn. Chocolate Factory 909 Government St. $ Rogers’ Chocolates 913 Government St. $
The choices at Marble Slab Creamery are seemingly endless, dozens of rich, homemade ice cream flavours, hand made and dipped waffle cones and a multitude of mixins.
DESSERT Marble Slab Creamery Bay Centre $ Oh Gelato 1013 Government St. $ Roger’s Chocolate’s Soda Shop 913 Government St. $ Our ice cream cakes are homemade in our stores from the finest ingredients.
SWEET SHOPS British Candy Shop English Sweet Shop Oh Sugar Sweet Delights
638 Yates St. 736 Douglas St. 101-561 Johnson St. 2187 Oak Bay Ave.
$ $ $ $
*Valid only at our Downtown Victoria Location. Limited to 1 per customer. Not valid with any other offer.
BITS, BYTES, HASHTAGS, ETC.
TASTE MAG IS MUCH MORE THAN A POCKET GUIDE... LET’S GIVE ‘EM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT...
TASTER... SO HAUTE! So you’ve got your copy of TASTE MAG – but did you know that we’re online too? You can flip through the pages of TASTE MAG at www.tastemagazine.ca or download the PDF version for your device. It won’t be your ‘notes-in-all-the-margins’ copy but it’ll do in a pinch! Plus, you can check out our e-zine TASTER. Launching this summer, TASTER is the digital extension of everything TASTE MAG has to offer. Get the inside track on events around town and meet the amazing people who live and work in Victoria.
#yyj is pretty great isn’t it? We’re huge fans of what’s happening in the Victoria dining scene and we want to spread the word. Find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook! When you’re sneaking your phone out to snap a shot of the gorgeous meal you’re about to eat keep us in mind! Or before those lethal libations take effect and you flood your feed with the evening’s shenanigans… take a photo! Hashtag it #mytaste and #tastethis. Trust us, it’s the one thing you won’t regret in the morning.
TASTE TV–LICK...I MEAN CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE Whether you’re new to Victoria or are a longtime local, dining decisions can be a drag. That’s why you need to subscribe to kissmediaTV’s channel TASTE TV. You can wander through Victoria’s restaurants from your couch in your underwear. You’ll be out the door and at your table in no time. Just don’t forget your pants. 40
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COFFEE CULTURE IN A POST BEAN WORLD Once upon a time, a green mermaid flopped on to Victoria’s shores bringing an Italianate coffee menu as long as her tail. Meanwhile, locally owned shops were turning espresso into an art form: so began the dawn of the Post Coffee-Culture era. What exactly does Post Coffee-Culture look like? Coffee shops have become a nucleus for the community to support and advocate ideals, from fair trade partnerships and farmto-fork initiatives to chess tourneys and open mic nights. Bottom line? The coffee shop isn’t just about coffee anymore. It’s become a microcosm of our ideals and a forum for our dialogue as a community. Find locally sourced ingredients and amazing food at Fernwood Coffee’s Parsonage Café or Cascadia Bakery. If you’re in Chinatown swing by Habit, and grab a business card with your Americano, they’re mini art pieces! Discovery Coffee is rolling out a home barista MY RATING
2% Jazz 2621 Douglas St. Bean Around the World 533 Fisgard St. Cascadia Bakery + Café 1812 Government St. Demitasse Café 1320 Blanshard St. Discovery Coffee 664 Discovery St. Dolce Vita Coffee Art 999 Yates St. Fernwood Coffee Company 1115 North Park Good Earth Coffee House 202 Harbour Rd. Good Earth Coffee House 1952 Bay St. Good Earth Coffee House 1971 Oak Bay Ave.
program for the public that includes tasting, roastery nights and latté art. Take another stab at those rock star dreams, and hit an open mic night! The Cornerstone Café hosts artists on Wednesdays and Fridays, while Thursdays are brought to you by Wild Coffee. Friday sessions come courtesy of James Bay Coffee and Books and the Serious Coffee at Millstream, Saturdays are slamming at Artavi, and Sundays are sacred at the Serious Coffee on Cook Street. Every second and fourth Thursday, the Solstice Café hosts Tongues of Fire, a poetry collective out of UVic. Explore your eclectic side with tealeaf readings and stomp yourself silly at Bluegrass jam nights at James Bay Coffee and Books. No matter where you go in Victoria today, it’s not just about coffee – it’s about community.
SO... WANNA GRAB A COFFEE? MY RATING
Habit Coffee & Culture 552 Pandora St. James Bay Coffee & Books 143 Menzies Kate’s Café 1175 Beach Dr. Mirage Coffee 817 Government St. Moka House Coffee 345 Cook St. Paradiso Di Stelle 10 Bastion Sq. Parsonage Café 1115 N. Park St. Street Level Espresso 714 Fort St. Union Pacific Coffee Co. 537 Herald St. Wild Coffee House & Bistro 632 Yates St. 41
AN ENTHUSIAST’S GUIDE TO
BARTENDERS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST Venturing into the wilds of the Victoria libation scene is nothing short of a safari. Use this handy guide on your thirst-quenching expeditions and you’ll always find a welcome watering hole. Let’s get to know some of the wildlife behind the bar…
The hipster (Tightpantus Pretentious) Perhaps the most prolific member of the species, the Hipster can be found in almost every establishment in the Pacific Northwest. There are several markings to look for when identifying this breed of bartender, the most prominent being the impossibly tightly clad lower limbs. Garments south of the belt will appear to flout the laws of physics and biology altogether (despite their alleged comfort). Other conspicuous indicators include (but are not limited to) horn-rimmed glasses, tightly faded barber cuts, pioneer-caliber facial 42
hair, ironic waistcoats, and perpetual smirks. But exercise caution! These things alone do not make the Hipster. The most important identifiers are behavior and speech patterns. Does he rattle on about a band you’ve never heard of or talk about his fixed gear bicycle like it’s his soul mate? Does he own a French bulldog or suffer from an involuntary eye roll at the mere mention of Kings of Leon? In all likelihood, you have successfully identified the Hipster. Just don’t tell them that. They don’t do titles.
The hippie (Bleedingheartus Naturalist) The Hippie can be found throughout the Pacific Northwest but an unusual concentration proliferates on Vancouver Island. Apart from the telltale scent of patchouli floating in their wake, this breed has no consistent physical markings, making them most easily identifiable through their sounds. Does she fervently oppose
pipelines, plastics and GMOs? Does she almost reach a state of arousal over co-ops, recycling and organic anything? You’ve got yourself a Hippie. This peace-loving breed has one of the most fascinating migratory patterns in the entire bartending kingdom, with sporadic trips between Sombrio and South America but hey, when they’re in town, there’s no one else you’d rather have pouring your Jägermeister.
The Mixologist (Prohibitionae Purist) The most misunderstood of the species, the Mixologist endures a level of quiet persecution from other breeds of bartenders, due mostly to their snobbish fervor over the correct use of orange as a garnish and exacerbated by the sudden proliferation of Aviation and Negroni orders in sports bars. Despite this, Mixologist numbers have grown, as has their popularity. You can easily identify this intriguing creature by her ability to blind taste test and correctly identify a truckload of tequila brands, her aversion to olives in martinis, and her ability to rattle off the history, ingredients and methodology behind almost any preprohibition era cocktail. If you’re lucky, she’ll serve you the cocktail she’s been working on perfecting. If you’re very lucky, she’ll serve you the cocktail you ordered.
The oldtimer (Kidsthesedaysus) Rare in metro areas, this elusive breed of bartender does not adapt or evolve. At. All. Their name can be misleading, since similarly aged civilian counterparts aren’t considered old (service industry folk age in dog-years). This fascinating rarity is identifiable by his outspoken affection for heavy metal and dubious haircuts, and his firm aversion to seared tuna (not a real burger, man). The Oldtimer harkens back to an
era when smoking indoors was in, draft beer came in Molson or Budweiser, stubbies and Trans Ams were still bitchin’. That being said, there isn’t a better person to find behind the bar when you’ve got the blues; his heart is as warm as the pints of Canadian he’s slinging.
The babe (Ohmygodius Sohot) Arguably the superior breed of bartender, the Babe commands the attention of even the largest of parties. Phenomenal at all aspects the job, these perfect specimens rock the customer service, product knowledge and co-worker interaction like no one. But what truly set Babes apart from other breeds are their looks. The Babe is a babe – evident in the gaggle of admirers who frequent his bar regardless of what’s on tap. They might be notorious flirts but Babes are rarely single and herein lies their power – self-respect and an unusually stable relationship, typically with a Babe from another establishment. Yes, it hurts… but that’s what the booze is for.
The newb (Newbious Dayshiftus) The juvenile of the species has not yet found their niche. They often look too young to be employed, much less in a drinking establishment. You’ll often find them manning the daytime bar, hand shaking nervously at the beer taps, glancing furitively over their shoulder at the Boston Bar Manual, desperately hoping no one orders a cocktail. Later in the season, they’ll morph into one breed or another but for now, they’re babies, so be kind. You’re tipping tomorrow’s Hipster-Hippie-MixologistOldtimer-Babe.
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WET ROUTES WORTH NAVIGATING
When it comes to watering holes, Victoria’s spoiled for choice. That’s why we’ve charted the choppy waters of indecision with sensible routes slaking a range of thirsts. Plot your course appropriately…
AN UNRESTRICTED PLEASURE Cozied between sun-kissed afternoons and sultry evenings sits Victoria’s patio culture. There’s something special about the balmy shade of an umbrella or the Van Gogh MY glow of a sidewalk bistro dinner. Alfresco isn’t a choice here. It’s a lifestyle. RATING Aura Browns Social House The Flying Otter The Garrick’s Head The Local Kitchen Milestones Rooftop Surfclub Swiftsure Lounge Tapa Bar
680 Montreal Street 809 Douglas Street 950 Wharf Street 1140 Government Street 1205 Wharf Street 812 Wharf Street 919 Douglas Street 427 Belleville Street 620 Trounce Alley
THE BOULEVARDIER The Capital after dark: a soundtrack scored by punks and poets and players and troubadours, with DJ’s that don’t quit and dancefloors that don’t end. This city is too small to lose yourself in but that’s what the music’s for. Welcome to the scene. Club 9ONE9 Darcy’s Lucky Bar Smith’s Pub The Social Club Sugar Nightclub Touch Lounge Upstairs Cabaret
919 Douglas Street 1127 Wharf Street 517 Yates Street 777 Courtney Street 560 Johnson Street 858 Yates Street 751 View Street 15 Bastion Square
GET UP EARLY OR STAY OUT LATE... OR BOTH? You know how “the early bird gets the worm”? Sounds great but the early birds I know prefer bacon. Thankfully, there’s a new brunch place in town that cures and smokes their own. Seriously. Okay, maybe they’re not that new but fact is, these guys are top shelf and they don’t have hour-long line ups (yet). So you don’t do mornings? That’s cool, too! Late nights are notoriously great at The Guild. But between the cocktails, craft beer and house-made local food, you’ll probably be back for brunch anyway, however your head feels. And yes, they serve coffee.
A SPIRITED STROLL There’s a weird alchemy to a well-built cocktail. Across this city, young impresarios cloister in piano lounges and hotel bars plying their careful trade with the quiet pride of future masters. The MY promising few can be found near the intersection of Classic and Contemporary. RATING
Clives Little Jumbo The Mint The Reef Veneto
740 Burdett Avenue 506 Fort Street 1414 Douglas Street 533 Yates Street 1450 Douglas Street
RUDYARD’S WALK In Victoria there exist places unaffected by time; rare pockets where it’s still 1928 but you’re not supposed to talk about it. Secrets like this keep best over drinks. Something elegant maybe, with an olive or a maraschino cherry. That’s the thing about Old World magic. It travels well.
The Bard and Banker Bengal Lounge The Irish Times The Veranda
1022 Government Street 721 Government Street 1200 Government Street 721 Government Street
BARRELING ALONG Victoria’s tap culture is defined by the small-batch sorcery practiced in its brewpubs. That they’re all within walking distance of one another is merely a hoppy coincidence. MY Don’t confuse this with a pub-crawl. It’s a pilgrimage. RATING The Argyle Attic Canoe Brewpub Moon Under Water Brewpub Spinnakers Brewpub Swans Brewpub
777 Courtney Street 450 Swift Street 350B Bay Street 308 Catherine Street 506 Pandora Avenue
THE FABULOUS There’s a vibrant LGBT community in the Capital with gay-friendly establishments as ubiquitous as cherry blossoms. Come on feel the love, already! The Castle Video Bar and Nightclub Hush The Ledge Lounge Paparazzi
1900 Douglas Street 1325 Douglas Street 1140 Government Street 642 Johnson Street
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Complete dining field guide to British Columbia's capital city's food and drink scene.