Victoria’s restaurant scene is an intoxicating mix of urban charm and rural sensibility. The city is home to a growing number of farm-to-table restaurants specializing in their own brand of “West Coast Cuisine.” Some have compared the city’s food obsession to the ultimate foodie city – San Francisco, but the Victoria restaurant world is uniquely its own. Local farms, markets, wineries and breweries provide the ingredients and a group of young, entrepreneurial chefs and restauranteurs work their magic to create consistently high-quality dining experiences.
When restaurant owners in Victoria talk about locally-grown food, they really mean it, unlike other major cities that are situated hundreds of miles from the nearest farm. Victoria’s location along the coast allow chefs to work with fresh ingredients pulled from the sea and fertile farmland surrounding the city. With a seemingly never-ending supply of fresh seafood, produce. cheese, wine, beer and whiskey, “farm-to-table” is not a passing fad in Victoria. It is a lifestyle that is warmly embraced by restaurants and residents alike.
Victoria’s municipal records show that there are over 500 active food service licenses in the city. If you add in the public markets, food trucks and kiosks scattered around town, that number easily increases to over 600. The food industry is a major player in this beautiful city by the sea. Here are a few of Victoria’s favourite eateries that will not fail to impress even the toughest food critic:
Saveur – This French-inspired local favourite specializes in five-course tasting menus. The food is fresh, fanciful and on everybody’s “Top Ten” list for Victoria fine dining.
Spinnakers Brewpub – Spinnakers is a local landmark that has been delighting locals and tourists since 1984. Blessed with a beautiful water view and excellent food, Spinnaker’s can also boast of being Canada’s first craft brewery in the modern era. Stop by the pub for a good meal and a good pint. As an added bonus, the pub offers a number of moderately-priced, historical guesthouses dating back to 1884.
Pagliacci’s – Victoria may have a British heritage, but the locals love a good Italian meal. Stop by Pagliacci’s to enjoy fresh Italian food and their world-famous focaccia bread. You will not be disappointed.
Olo – The word Olo means “hungry” in Chinook jargon. Every item and ingredient on the menu is organic and locally-grown. The ambiance is friendly and down-to earth and the changing menu is a testament to sustainability and innovative use of local food bounty.
These are just a few of the hundreds of eateries that comprise Victoria’s thriving restaurant scene. The abundance and diversity of dining options in beautiful settings is just one of the many draws pulling people to this special city.
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