15 Best Victoria Restaurants To Dine At For A Stellar Meal In 2023 (+ What To Order)
Victoria, British Columbia serves as a hub of amazing restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and more! The food scene in the capital city keeps expanding, with several new eateries dropping in every year. As a food lover, Victoria will please you in every way; whether you’re after simple, everyday food, or a 7-course fancy gourmet meal, this city has it all!
Below we’ve compiled some of the best Victoria restaurants that are worth trying and putting on your “to-try list”.
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15. Dumpling Drop
Located in Victoria’s Chinatown, Dumpling Drop is the one-stop-shop for all your dumpling cravings. If you prefer enjoying them in the comfort of your home, they sell frozen dumplings too.
With Dumpling Drop, your choices are simple – Pork Belly, Vegan, and Rotating Weekly Special.
If you hadn’t tried vegan dumplings before, be prepared to be deliciously surprised! These dumplings are sure to be some of the best you’ve ever had – crisp on the outside and packed with flavor inside.
Their Pork Belly dumplings are equally good too.
All of their dumplings have a different texture to them; the outer shells are fully crisp, leaning more towards fried wontons in texture.
No matter what you order, remember to add their house-made chili oil to your list.
What to order: Pork Belly dumplings, Vegan dumplings
Address: 556A Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC V8W 1N7
Fuego is a laid-back Mexican eatery serving an all-day breakfast menu. This restaurant is a spin-off of the popular and long-standing Victoria restaurant, Cafe Mexico. The environment in the eatery is home-y, and there is also a large patio space overlooking the courtyard with enjoyable views.
Fuego Old Town Eatery is well-known for its Cornbread French Toast, a classic breakfast with a twist, which is quite rare to find. The battered cornbread tastes unique but great, and you get a variety of yummy toppings with it.
The bacon comes nice and crispy, and there are a few jalapenos in the cornbread batter that add a contrasting spice kick to the sweet-savory French toast.
If you’ve already exceeded your quota of traditional apple pie, the El Porco Benny at Fuego brings to you a unique twist to the classic American dessert.
You get slow-roasted pulled pork and caramelized apples on two crispy pappas patties; topped with perfectly poached eggs and smoky chipotle hollandaise, this dish is not just good, it’s spectacular!
What to order: Cornbread French Toast, El Porco Benny, GF Veggie Omelette
Address: 1435 Store Street, Victoria, BC, Canada V8V 3C6
For your breakfast cravings any time of the day, Jam Cafe in Victoria offers the most delicious solutions. In fact, this family-owned eatery’s Vancouver location holds a tight spot on our Best Brunch Spots in Vancouver list, and that’s something that doesn’t happen easily. Comfort food in a rustic-city atmosphere would be the right words for Jam Cafe.
The Chicken French Toast, with its perfect blend of sweet and savory notes, will make a great start to your brunch. Made with thick-cut brioche, the French toast is topped with buttermilk fried chicken, hot honey sauce, maple bourbon BBQ glaze, and more such delectables.
Another exciting option here at the Jam Cafe is the Charlie Bowl. The bowl comes with crumbled buttermilk biscuits, hash browns, bacon, ham, spinach, roasted corn salsa, cheese, and more. Topped with mushroom gravy and two sunny side eggs, this is the epic breakfast bowl.
What to order: Chicken French Toast, Charlie Bowl, Pulled Pork Pancakes
Enjoy the best activities in & around Victoria for an unforgettable time!
12. Red Fish Blue Fish
With features in prominent magazines and appearances in TV shows, Red Fish Blue Fish is one of the most cherished eateries in Victoria. This classic fish & chip shop serves sustainable, grab-and-go seafood, all of which is locally caught. At RFBF, you can savor your seafood on a front-row seat to Victoria’s busy inner harbor.
When you are at a fish n chip shop, you have to order their signature Fish and Chips. Served with housemade tartar sauce, coleslaw, and Kennebec chips, the fish is tempura-battered and deep-fried to crispy golden goodness, perfectly flaky, and fresh.
For your fish, you can choose between different options, like pacific cod, wild salmon, and BC halibut, and also the number of pieces you want.
RFBF has bomb tacones as well. These are hand-roll style tacos, in grilled flour tortillas, served with coleslaw, pea shoots, lemon-pickled onions that add a tangy kick, and a sauce.
Their Albacore Tuna Tacone comes with a massive piece of tuna, grilled perfect medium-rare, and is fresh and juicy. This particular tacone is served with spicy spot prawn mayo; the mayo tastes utterly delicious on everything!
What to order: Fish and Chips, Albacore Tuna Tacone, Chowder
With multiple accolades behind its name, Saveur Restaurant, and its award-winning chef, Robert Cassels, have been impressing food explorers with their French-inspired contemporary cuisine. From playful brunch offerings to elegant chef’s tasting menu, your experience at Saveur will be nothing short of incredible!
The Beef Carpaccio at Saveur is one of the simplest yet extremely delectable plates you will try here. The thinly sliced beef is so buttery soft that you will slurp it down effortlessly. The cilantro and scallion salad plated in the middle adds some extra flavor and bite to the dish, while the peanut bits sprinkled all around add a nice crunch.
Their Crispy Pork Belly is a gluten-free and dairy-free appetizer that you’ll love. Served with hearty squash veloutè, peanut sesame granola for texture, and flavorful lemongrass coconut, all flavors on the plate are so pure and shine individually as well as go extraordinarily well together.
What to order: Beef Carpaccio, Crispy Pork Belly, Saveur Burger
Have you experienced Japanese tapas? Yes or no, NUBO Japanese Tapas will excite you equally! With inspiration from Izakaya dining and following culinary techniques from all over the world, this little Japanese restaurant is designed to deliver a modern dining experience. This Japanese sushi bar is small and intimate, with a business casual vibe.
If you’re taking kids to NUBO, order the TakoYaki; you would be amazed at how quickly the plate gets empty! These are octopus balls, a classic Japanese snack/appetizer; the small pieces of octopus are extremely tender, perfect for little mouths to enjoy.
If Rolls are your ‘thing’ at sushi bars, do try NUBO’s Victoria’s Secret Roll – a spicy tuna roll with guacamole and cucumber – a classic sushi roll, delicious in every bite.
Those of you who don’t eat fish can try the Cowboy Roll. Yes, you guessed it right! It has sliced Angus beef (drool alert!), yam tempura, asparagus, avocado, and cucumber. The treat is that the beef will be cooked (torched) to your preference right in front of you, on the table.
What to order: TakoYaki, Victoria’s Secret Roll, Cowboy Roll
Known as Victoria’s first gourmet burger joint, The Pink Bicycle is a small restaurant serving comfort food and drinks. The place is cozy, relaxed, and friendly, and the burgers are amazing, with a lot of vegan-friendly and gluten-free options.
The Blue Cheese Lamb Burger at The Pink Bicycle is a people-pleaser. Made with local organic lamb, the patty comes perfectly done, which will satisfy even the pickiest of lamb eaters. What accentuates the burger is certainly the rosemary apricot pesto, making the whole burger a perfect combination of savory and sweet.
When you visit Canada, leaving the country without tasting poutine would be a sin! One of the best places to try poutine in Victoria is The Pink Bicycle.
The Pink Bike Poutine will make you want to come back to the restaurant just to try it again! The bowl comes with Kennebec fries with fresh cheese curds, covered in rosemary gravy.
While the portion size is huge, what makes you want to go for a bite after bite is the strings of melted cheese you will pull out every time you stick your fork inside the poutine. This is because the cheese curds blend in with the fries, rather than being melted just on the top.
What to order: Blue Cheese Lamb Burger, Pink Bike Poutine, Moroccan Veggie Burger, Black Bean Veggie Burger
Address: 1008 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1E1, Canada
For simple and tasty Japanese food made from organic and locally sourced produce, visit Uchida Eatery. This decade-old eatery is simple and warm and takes a farm-to-table approach to traditional Japanese cooking.
One dish that gets sold out quickly at Uchida is their Negitoro Don. You get delicious fatty pieces of albacore tuna served on a bed of sushi rice. On the side, there is kinshi egg (shredded egg), wasabi, green onion, and soy sauce. You can easily taste multiple layers of flavours and quality in each bite.
One more donburi dish that will make you fall in love is the Chicken Teriyaki Don. This comforting rice bowl has juicy pan-fried chicken cooked in their house-made teriyaki sauce – sweet and flavourful and served with the same sides as before.
What to order: Negitoro Don, Chicken Teriyaki Don
Address: A22-633 Courtney Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1B9
Wind Cries Mary is yet another casual dining space, tucked away in Victoria’s downtown. The restaurant gives you a laid-back vibe, and you can choose to dine on their front patio or in their secret courtyard. They focus on nose-to-tail butchery and serve small plates or tapas-style for people to share.
Their Beef Tartare board will be an excellent start to your evening at Wind Cries Mary. The beef tartare has crispy capers and dijon for a kick; scoop it up with the potato chips and enjoy the fresh flavour bursts in your mouth.
Wind Cries Mary has a signature dish – Fried Chicken! It’s just fried chicken, right? Wrong! Their fried chicken is so incredible that the restaurant’s loyal diners could start a riot if it’s not on the menu!
It doesn’t stop there; the fried chicken is served with 3 house-made hot sauces. From sweet and mild to “oh no what have I done” hot. The sauces are so good that they have started selling them at the restaurant after multiple requests from diners.
What to order: Beef Tartare, Fried Chicken, Crispy Chicken combos
Chorizo & Co. is a casual dining restaurant where you can enjoy local dishes with a Spanish influence to their taste. The place itself is inviting; there is an intimate bar area and a beautiful mezzanine overlooking the courtyard. The dishes are served tapas-style.
To start your meal tapas style, go with the Patatas Bravas. This Spanish starter dish has fried potato cubes, which come crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The spicy tomato sauce that the potatoes are served with is spicy and flavorful, and the aioli adds a nice creaminess.
If you don’t try the Crispy Stuffed Pig’s Foot at Chorizo & Co., you are seriously missing out!
The pig’s foot is smoked spot-on, with the skin crispy and a bit chewy, yet the inside meat is extremely tender. The foot, by itself, is finger-licking good, and adding to the delectable pleasure are the morcilla and mustard pan jus.
What to order: Patatas Bravas, Crispy Stuffed Pig’s Foot, Cinnamon Churros
Located in the historic James Bay district of Victoria, Il Covo Trattoria is an authentic Italian restaurant that is designed to give you a unique and memorable dining experience. The old-world Tuscan ambience welcomes you with warmth, making it a perfect place to enjoy rustic Italian cuisine with your family and friends.
While all the dishes on their menu are made with their signature recipes, there are a few extra special ones, like the Stinco D’agnello or lamb shank.
The lamb shank is slowly braised in a red wine sauce, which makes it melt-in-the-mouth tender, coming off the bone. The toasted almonds on top deliver a slightly crunchy texture. The lamb is served with creamy polenta and vegetables.
If you’re looking for a yummy vegetarian option, try their Pappardelle Al Funghi. The pappardelle (long flat pasta) is made fresh, in-house, and cooked to al-dente. The sauce is a rich and creamy mushroom and truffle white wine sauce.
What to order: Stinco D’agnello (lamb shank), Pappardelle Al Funghi
Brasserie L’Ecole is a local French restaurant, with its menu featuring seasonal, locally sourced ingredients cooked in a traditional French-country style. The interior of the restaurant is small and cozy, with a western influence, and the service is friendly.
How can you go wrong with French Onion Soup in a French restaurant?! Brasserie L’Ecole serves an excellent French Onion Soup. The highlight here is that there is no shying away from any of the ingredients; every spoon of your soup will come out of the bowl loaded with onions, cheese, mouthwatering broth, and crunchy croutons.
Their Steak Frites is one item you are likely to crave when you read all the reviews online; trust us, you wouldn’t be disappointed!
You can choose from different sizes and cuts of steak and mention your cooking preference; our recommendation would be the 8 oz certified Angus sirloin, cooked medium-rare. No matter how you order for your steak to be cooked, you can expect a perfectly cooked slab of meat, melting in your mouth.
What to order: French Onion Soup, Steak Frites
Address: 1715 Government Street, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 1Z4
Opened in 1979, Pagliacci’s is one of the rare timeless places you could find for a restaurant. Step into the place and you will step back into history! Everything at the restaurant is made on the spot, and their quantities are so generous that you will always have enough leftovers to take back home.
The bestseller here is Hemingway Short Story (yes, most of their dishes have unique and fun names!). This is stuffed tortellini, where the stuffing is beef with a variety of cheeses.
While the pasta is cooked to tender yet al-dente perfection, what takes the crown is the wicked bacon cream sauce. You can taste the light smokiness of the bacon bits, without them overpowering the dish. You can also have the dish baked with cheese for an additional price.
Mr. Robert’s Seafood Lasagna is another dish at Pagliacci’s that foodies are extremely fond of. The lasagna comes layered with Canadian Dungeness and rock crab, shrimp, spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella cheeses, and their popular marinara sauce.
Each layer in the lasagna has sufficient quantities of crab chunks and shrimp, so you get chunky bits in every bite, and the layers are perfectly creamy as well. This seafood lasagna is a family favourite dish.
What to order: Hemingway Short Story, Mr. Robert’s Seafood Lasagna, Edgar Allen Poe’s Crab Cakes
Located in downtown Victoria, 10 Acres Bistro brings to you local and sustainable dining with their farm-to-table approach. While the main dining area has a pleasant decor, the most preferred dining location, however, is their heated patio. The bistro’s menus are inspired by the changing seasons and all the ingredients are locally sourced.
Let’s start with soup! The French Onion Soup served at 10 Acres Bistro has raving reviews everywhere. With an absolutely flavourful base, the soup comes with plenty of onions, a sufficient quantity of cheese, bacon bits, and deliciously crunchy croutons on top.
If you’re there for lunch, do try the Pacific Cod & Chips plate. The fish is beer-battered and fried to golden crisp goodness – crunchy and crispy on the outside, and moist and flaky on the inside. You can taste the freshness of the fish as soon as you take the first bite.
While the Rotisserie Chicken at 10 Acres Bistro is in a league of its own, their Chicken Pot Pie, stuffed with the rotisserie chicken, could be one of the best chicken pot pies you’ve ever tasted. The gravy makes the pot pie next-level-delicious, and the little salad on the side cuts the richness with its freshness.
What to order: French Onion Soup, Pacific Cod & Chips, Rotisserie Chicken, Chicken Pot Pie
Il Terrazzo has been a landmark in the city’s dining scene for over 29 years. This Italian restaurant, with its old town courtyard setting featuring brick fireplaces, gives people a dining experience closest to dining in Italy. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by Northern Italian cuisine, with a pacific northwest twist.
When you dine at Il Terrazzo, you cannot miss their Olive Tapenade. The bread that the dish is served with is fresh, homemade, and crusty and the tapenade is rich and adds a slight saltiness to it. This simple starter is so delicious that you would forget to order your mains.
Ask any diner for their recommended dish at Il Terrazzo, you will hear Cannelloni di Maiale. Yes, it is a pasta dish, but not any pasta dish – a pasta dish that will make you want to go to heaven straight away!
Another superb dish you should try at Il Terrazzo is the Osso Buco. You get braised veal shank, cooked to melt-in-the-mouth consistency, served on flavor-packed, cheesy, and creamy saffron risotto.
What to order: Olive Tapenade, Cannelloni di Maiale, Osso Buco
After a stomach- and soul-filling meal from one of these restaurants, you can head out to explore the best of everything that Victoria has to offer. Our guide on the Best Things to Do in Victoria list will leave you with a multitude of exciting options to choose from.
How We Create Our “Best” Lists
All Noms Magazine’s “best” lists are created using multiple factors and signals to help readers find the best restaurants, things to do, and places to stay at. Some of these factors and signs include personal experiences, correspondence with locals, and compiling experiences from review sites.
Each list is also created to be balanced (in terms of price, cuisine type, ambiance, and more) as possible. This means that the lists are not specifically created in ranking order. You should be comfortable picking from any of the spots on the list and generally have a good time. But of course, YMMV (your mileage may vary) and everyone may have different experiences/palates.