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Read on below for some tips on places to visit & things to eat in Victoria. :-)
I'm a self employed graphic designer and and out-of-practice professional musician. I've done some long distance hiking but haven't traveled nearly as much as I'd like. I like to drink dark beer and bitch about evil corporations and politicians.
READ THIS! :-)
Here's my guide to some of the best places to eat while you're in Victoria, all walking distance of downtown, and a few things to check out. :) There are SO many good restaurants in Victoria, I can't really list all the best, but here's some of my top pics:
- Blue Fox for Breakfast or Lunch: this is the restaurant that launched the "Brunch Scene" in Victoria, and still claims the throne. There may be a 20+ minute line-up, but it's worth it. :) http://goo.gl/maps/xslRS
- Nourish in James Bay: it's in a funky old character house on the route from Downtown to Fisherman's Wharf in James Bay - REALLY nice, nourishing food, but also very indulgent. I recommend ordering something savory and sharing the sleeping beauty pancakes. (they're not really pancakes) Some vegetarian, some vegan, and some meat options, all very high quality. https://goo.gl/maps/C4ckFf4KtwL2
- Breakwater Bistro - just recently & significantly upgraded - GREAT food, great happy our specials, excellent mixed drinks, and you can go for a walk out on the breakwater after. Downstairs is the Breakwater Tasting Room, which is also excellent.
- Heron Rock in James Bay has an excellent menu, best poutine in town, my favorite beer on tap (Nightwatch Coffee Lager), and a Stilton cheesecake with a brulee top that'll blow your mind. ;-) They have excellent happy hour drink and food specials between 3:00 & 5:00, and 8:00 & close. They have live music Monday, Thursday and Friday nights.
- Saveur: Fine French dining - will definitely be a memorable meal. Expensive, but worth it for the quality of food and drink they serve. Absolutely the best meal I've had in Victoria, and the best mixed drinks. Order the Chef's Tasting Menu! https://goo.gl/maps/8KhLnF11QU82
- Spinnakers Brewpub: Top quality hand crafted beers, and not only is the food great, but they keep several island farms in business by exclusively sourcing locally. BEST PART - the hand made truffles at the chocolate counter by the front door - these may be the best chocolates you'll ever have and they're quite affordable compared to other chocolatiers, so be sure to pick a few up. It's a nice walk along the waterfront across the bridge from downtown to get there, well worth the walk just for the chocolates. :)
- Canoe Brewpub also features their own top quality craft beers and good food. It's not my favorite, and a little overpriced, but it's popular and has great outdoor seating. http://goo.gl/maps/qoUVB
For quality craft beers I'd definitely go to Spinnakers, Canoe or Moon Under Water ... but I'd skip Swans, their beers all seem over-flavored, over-carbonated and gimmicky.
- There are three great pubs on Government Street: Irish Times, Bard & Banker, Garrick's Head. They're all beautiful buildings and worth a visit, but of the three I recommend Garrick's Head: huge beer selection, great food, go all the way to the back of the place for the smaller old pub space if it's too loud in the big room up-front. http://goo.gl/maps/do3qF Bard & Banker is an amazing building though, has been used as a movie set at least a few times.
- Last pub recommendation: Stop for a pint at Big Bad John's on Douglas for the novelty. ;) http://goo.gl/maps/gbv4j
VEGAN / VEGETARIAN
- Virtuous Pie - fantastic new place, great beer & drinks & likely the best vegan pizza & appies you've had.
- Rebar: some great vegetarian & vegan options on the menu. Really good, quality food. http://goo.gl/maps/2Dlsm
- Cafe Bliss: Raw food vegan restaurant, lots of locally sources ingredients, tasty stuff. http://goo.gl/maps/15kj0
- Be Love: Cafe Bliss's new, larger restaurant - likely the best spot in town for quality vegetarian/vegan cuisine. https://goo.gl/maps/XysgADYxN7B2
- Green Cuisine: not at all fancy, but comfy, very popular. Cafeteria style. Huge selection of vegan eats. I don't recommend the deserts, they're hit & miss. Good place for a quiet reprieve. Downstairs in Market Square: http://goo.gl/maps/C1hMi
- On the Pandora entrance to Fan Tan Alley, there's a fantastic vegan chocolatier, and right next to that a reportedly amazing bakery I haven't had a chance yet to try
- The Public Market on Douglas now features The Good Butchers - a vegan "butcher shop" with some excellent vegan comfort food. Lots of other great stuff in that market, including a massive selection of bean-to-bar chocolate, great Mexican food, a pie place, Indian, Silk Road Tea's smaller outlet, etc. All very good stuff.
GREAT EATS UNDER $10:
- Foo Asian Street Food: VERY tasty stuff! Great for take-out to eat in the park or sneak into a movie, etc. http://goo.gl/maps/UF8yU
- Italian Import Foods, on Blanshard near Fort - fantastic sandwiches.
- Messob Ethiopian Cuisine off of Cook Street - Perhaps the best $10 meal in town
- Ebizo: So good! Try the tuna tataki. http://goo.gl/maps/ClhZa
- Matsuri Sushi in James Bay (half a block from my place, wave hello!) - great sushi, excellent appies
Other things to check out:
- The Royal BC Museum is a very nice way to spend a couple hours, great break from the sun on a hot day
- The water taxi's do a tour that I'm sure is very nice, and also have a "Pickle Boat Pub Tour"
- Russel Books on Fort - three floors of very well priced new & used books
- Beacon Hill Park - the peacocks are very chill, there's a petting zoo, behind that up the hill there's a great view down over the ocean and across to the Olympic Peninsula
Some great waterfront paths:
A) Across the bridge into Esquimalt - Don't forget to stop at Spinnakers for chocolates!: http://goo.gl/maps/M5Fvy
B) Around James Bay to the Breakwater - Stop for a tour around Fisherman's Wharf, I don't recommend the Mexican food there. There's a fish market and food truck up above the wharf, across the park with excellent fish tacos and fish & chips that I've enjoyed more than the options on the wharf: http://goo.gl/maps/ILnJl
C) Long walk along Dallas Road to Oak Bay - http://goo.gl/maps/oXUKx
D) Nice trail to Bamfield Park on the Gorge - short stretch where it doesn't look great after you cross the bridge, but further on it's a very nice trail: http://goo.gl/maps/Eboi5
There's more, of course, but time for me to move on with my day. If you have any questions, want recommendations for a different type of cuisine, drop me a message and I'll try to get back to you promptly. Enjoy your visit!
Not my words, unfortunately, but always think of this song when I think of travelling:
I've carried this preconceived
everybody's fooling me
just acting sweet
but i'm not taking it anymore
cause the only thing that I've ever learned
when trusting a stranger
your trust will be returned
so we're taking the boat tonight
we're taking our aging lives
and we're waving a new goodbye
our arms open wide
(wide and wide-eyed)
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
No immediate plans to travel, so for the time being I'd just enjoy hosting and living vicariously through those who are. :) Hosting could be great for me as short term guests won't notice I'm telling the same stories over and over.
I've spent quite a bit of time long distance hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail & have experienced first hand the generosity and trust of others, and the vibrant energy that people have when they're traveling and exploring, so I have a very good sense of what this sort of community is all about and I'm looking forward to hosting and surfing sometime. :)
music, technology, people-watching, etc.
- graphic design
- indian food
- mexican food
- raw food
- pub crawls
- eating out
- outdoor activities
Music, Movies, and Books
Little Miss Sunshine, Hey Rosetta!, The Mastery of Love
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I've walked California wilderness from the border of Mexico to the border of Oregon.
Teach, Learn, Share
I have some ideas about alternative economics some people might find interesting.