Victoria is a spectacular small ocean-front city that has a little something to offer everyone. Whether it be hiking, eating, sight-seeing or just relaxing, you are bound to have a great time.
Taking a car over from Vancouver B.C. will cost you $85.00 each way for two people (not including the reservation fee, if you choose to make one). It isn’t necessary to have a car, but it can certainty be useful. This blog post is a compilation of two trips I took in 2017.
What we ate
$ Superbaba – If you are looking for a delicious yet quick bite to eat, head over to Superbaba. They serve healthy middle eastern-inspired food made with fresh seasonal ingredients. We tried a bit of everything (falafel, chicken bowl and the pita) and were extremely impressed.
$$ Jam – We ate at Jam on the Friday afternoon after our ferry docked. If you save Jam for Saturday or Sunday afternoon, you’ll be standing in a massive line. Jam originated in Victoria (there is a 2nd location in Vancouver) and is VERY popular . I had the eggs Benedict with fried chicken and Gorgonzola cheese and Leon had the pulled pork tacos. We savored every bite. Don’t go here expecting a light brunch, this is comfort food at its finest.
$$ Nourish Kitchen and Cafe – This eclectic little café and restaurant puts a big emphasis on locally sourced and organic products. I had the delicious and delicate Chorizo Benny while Leon tried the Morning Scramble. This place is absolutely adorable!! They turned an old 1889 heritage house into a bright and breezy café and restaurant. I give this one 5 stars for sure!
$$$ IL Terrazzo – Centrally located in the cozy Waddington Alley, this is candle lit Italian dining done right. I kid you not, I will visit this restaurant EVERY time I go to Victoria. They offer wood-oven roasted pizza, home-made pasta and fresh seafood. You absolutely must make a reservation if you plan on dining here on a weekend. We shared the Seafood Risotto and the Beef Cannelloni with Gorgonzola cheese and almost ordered another entrée because it was so good.
$$$$ High Tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel – You don’t have to go to England for incredible High Tea, just head to Victoria, B.C. At $75.00 per person ,this luxurious experience doesn’t come cheap. However, it’s worth every penny. We selected the Chi and Mascarpone teas and frankly, have never tasted better tea to date. Bring your appetite! The afternoon tea offerings where quite generous. Among other things, the pastry tier included fresh fluffy scones complimented with a sweat cream and a lovely jam, yummy smoked salmon and a plate full of delicate desserts. My mother and I sipped on hot tea and nibbled on delicious pastries for almost two hours! A live piano beautifully set the ambiance and the grand room was tastefully decorated for Christmas. Very circa 1980 London, England.
Bars, Pubs and Cocktail Lounges
$ Swan’s BrewPub – During the early evenings you can enjoy a live band, but after the live music is done the party really starts. I was bopping to some Biggie Smalls as I was enjoying my beer on the heated patio. Swans has a large variety of their hand crafted (very delicious) beer – I particularly enjoyed the Wit and the Raspberry Ale.
$$ Bard and Banker– Located on the corner of Fort and Government Street, this stunning Scottish-style pub has a great band and a hoppin’ dancefloor. Try to get there for happy hour to enjoy a cocktail or 4.
$$ Brickyard Pizza – The only really, really late night pizza you can enjoy with a beer (I forewent the beer because a night-cap beer screams hangover) but the option is there.
$$$ Little Jumbo – This cute little underground lounge feels like a 1950’s speakeasy due to the cozy, dark atmosphere and the intricate cocktails they offer. Victoria is generally a little more casual, so if you’re looking for a classy, romantic night out, I suggest you dine at Il Terrazzo then have a night-cap at Little Elephant, like we did. This place is my favorite cocktail lounge in Vic.
Sea Cider Farm and Cider House – Cute little Farmhouse with a fabulous views over a landscape littered with big apple trees. Their ciders are all made from their local pressed and fermented apples. Try a tasting flight to sample them all!
Victoria Spirits – A “Ginnery” housed in an old farm-house on Old West Saanich Road. They make flavourful, herb infused gin
We ended up going to a couple wineries around the Victoria region. These are the ones we visited.
Unsworth Vineyards – This was our favorite! Stunning grounds and spectacular wine – try the port!
Church & State Wines – This winery was the only one I recognized from Liquor stores, however, I wasn’t all that impressed.
Cherry Point Estate Wines – This small winery only uses locally sourced grapes for their wine. We bought the delicious rosé!
De Vine Vineyard – Casual atmosphere with knowledgeable staff. The Fosh was my favorite. De Vine is also a Distillery so you can give some local Spirits a try.
Starling Lane Vineyard – This one was closed on the Sunday we tried to visit, but it looked extremely beautiful.
Things to see
Fisherman’s Wharf – Grab a drink on one of the many restaurants on the water and enjoy the view.
Take a walking tour of the Parliament Buildings
Take a stroll around the Causeway – a pedestrian walkway which circles the Inner Harbour and offers stunning views of the Parliament Buildings, docks and skyline.
Lower Johnston Street – Lined with small independent shops with a few bigger names here and there, this street is for the shopaholics looking for something a little bit different.
Goldstream Railway Trestle Hike – British Columbia is known for its stunning nature and the best way to soak it all in is to go on a hike. This hike is a 20 minutes drive west of Victoria and will take out about 1.5 – 2 hours to complete round trip. The Victoria hike website labels this hike as “Difficult”, but really, it is more of a moderate hike. It gets a little steep in some parts so make sure you are wearing the correct footwear. While on route you can take a short detour and have a look at Niagra “Waterfall” before continuing to the trestle. Beware, If you’re afraid of heights, I wouldn’t recommend this hike. The trestle is veryyyy high up.