Vancouver may get all of the attention, but Victoria certainly deserves some love, especially when it comes to its burgeoning food scene.‚ This former trading post has evolved into a mecca for retirees, cruise ship passengers and more recently, foodies looking for easy-going adventures such as kayaking, fishing and cycling.‚ There are wineries within a 45-minute drive of downtown, as well as microbreweries and a culture emphasizing locally-grown produce and cheeses.
To get to Vancouver Island, you'll need to take a ferry. It's about an hour-and-a-half trip from the terminal near Vancouver.
British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.
1112 Fort Street
Victoria, BC Canada V8V 4V2
1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779) from anywhere in North America
Tourism Victoria 4th Floor, 31 Bastion Square
Victoria, BC V8W 1J1
Here's where we stayed:
The Oswego Hotel 500
Victoria, BC V8V 5C1
This funky little boutique hotel has shades of Kimpton, with great views of the city and just a 5 minute walk from the main action at the center of town. Here's where we ate:
537 Johnson Street,
Founded in 1887, Willie's is British Columbia's oldest bakery.‚ Fresh baked goods and fresh coffee served in a casual environment in one of Victoria's heritage buildings.
554 Pandora Avenue,
Try the banana cakes or the Mo:Le Benny : two poached or scrambled eggs with smoked tuna, avocado and thyme-roasted tomatoes on a buttermilk biscuit; served with pesto hash browns
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouses
308 Catherine Street Victoria,
BC V9A 3S8
As Victoria's only "gastro" brewpub, Spinnakers combines regional cuisine with hand-crafted beer. Spinnakers is Canada's oldest licensed brewpub and a pioneer of the North American micro-brewing renaissance.‚ They also have an on-premise malt vinegar brewery, unique in North America.‚ An almost religious adherence to local products was evident in a fantastic cioppino and a pristine plate of BC oysters.
633 Courtney Street (Nootka Court),
Located adjacent to Victoria's Bug Zoo in Nootka Court, this quaint Japanese deli serves up a lunch only menu of locally sourced organic Japanese fare.‚ Daidoco's menu items range from $2 - 8 CDN and they are open from 11:00 am until all items are sold out, which usually only takes a couple of hours.‚ We had some grilled mackerel and a salad of organic greens and sprouts that came directly from the owner's garden.
Pizzeria Prima Strada
105 - 230 Cook Street,
The combination of handpicked Italian ingredients, like the Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour from Naples and local products, such as house-made fennel sausage and just-made mozzarella di bufala from North America's only pure-bred Water Buffalo herd living just 45 minutes away, make this pizzeria a must-visit.‚ Baked in traditional wood-fired ovens, these thin crust pizzas are delicious. The pizzeria is located in the charming Cook Street Village, 10 minutes from downtown Victoria. Sweet Memories http://foodpages.ca/SweetMemoriesIce They make all of the waffle cones here everyday, and the super premium, handmade ice cream is outstanding (especially the Turkish Coffee).