5th Street Bar and Woodfired Grill. Westcoast fusion. Serving spit-roasted chicken, grilled steaks and ribs, pizza, pasta and daily seafood specials. Menu items are grouped under $5, $10, $15 and $20 prices. The tile, brick and woodwork décor is warm and inviting, and is used as a backdrop for displaying original artwork by local new artists. Open daily from 11am-11pm. 1028 Hillside Avenue, 380-4600.
Arbutus Grille. Contemporary coastal cuisine. Located in the Brentwood Bay Lodge & Spa, about 20 minutes north of Victoria, the Arbutus Grille has a fresh, modern décor overlooking (albeit from a distance) the bay. The menu can be a bit exotic… smoky Cowichan Valley duck, succulent grilled leg of wild caribou with a tart blueberry glaze, and so on… but also offers more standard seafood and grill entrees. Offers a four-course tasting menu for $ 34.95. Open for dinner, 5 to 10 p.m. Call ahead for winter hours. The pub and café, next-door, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 849 Verdier Avenue, Brentwood Bay, 544-5100
Baan Thai. Thai.. Master Chef Nattanon Rutwanee, formerly of Bangkok’s Dusit Thani Hotel and Shangri-La Hotel creates the delicately spiced and exotic food of Thailand. Dishes are offered from mild to hot and spicy. Open for lunch Monday to Saturday 11:30am-2pm and for dinner Sunday to Thursday 5pm-9pm, Friday and Saturday 5pm-10pm. 1117 Blanshard Street, 383-0050.
Barkley’s Steak and Seafood House. Steak and seafood. Classic, elegant steakhouse serving custom-aged premium steaks cooked over mesquite coals and seafood specialties. A luxurious dining room for a special occasion or romantic dinner for two. Also serving cocktails, highballs, fine wines, champagnes and imported beers. Open 7days a week for dinner at 4:30pm. 777 Douglas Street in the Executive House Hotel, 382-7111. www.barkleyssteakhouse.com
Bartholomew’s. English Pub. Pub style menu for lunches and dinners. Heated patio and entertainment in the evenings. Open daily. 777 Douglas Street in the Executive House Hotel, 388-5111. www.executivehouse.com.
Bengal Lounge. English Imperial. The Bengal Lounge, located in the Fairmont Empress Hotel, is a Victoria institution that out-of-town visitors may want to see. It’s a big old lounge with lots of ancient leather couches and chairs with a large fireplace at one end. The food, however, is both pricey and quite ordinary. There is the famous Curry Buffet, that serves lamb and chicken curries at both lunch and dinner, seafood but the rest of the menu will likely disappoint anyone who enjoys fine dining. The dress is smart casual (jeans and running shoes are allowed, but tank tops or shorts are not). Open 11:30 a.m. to midnight. Reservations not usually necessary. 721 Government Street, 389-2727.
Bentleys. West coast cuisine. Located in the Oak Bay Beach Hotel and Resort, Bentley’s offers local ingredients with a French twist. The restaurant has a great view of Oak Bay and Haro Strait and offers patio service in the summer. Open daily for dinner. 1175 Beach Drive, 598-4556. www.oakbaybeachhotel.com. Bentleys. West coast cuisine. Located in the Oak Bay Beach Hotel and Resort, Bentley’s offers local ingredients with a French twist. The restaurant has a great view of Oak Bay and Haro Strait and offers patio service in the summer. Open daily for dinner. 1175 Beach Drive, 598-4556. www.oakbaybeachhotel.com. Black Olive. Greek. Owner Paul Psyllakis, former manager of the Village Inn in Cadboro Bay, offers a mixture of Greek delicacies and fine dining. Tantalizing dishes not found anywhere else include Psari Piato, a kind of Cretan bouillabaisse with prawns, scallops, clams, mussels and halibut, and roasted six bone rack of lamb pan-seared with rosemary wine sauce. A wide variety of pasta as well as chicken, beef and duck dishes served. Open daily for lunch 11am-2:30pm and for dinner Sunday to Wednesday 5pm-9pm and Thursday-Saturday 5pm-10pm. Reservations recommended. 739 Pandora Avenue, 384-6060. www.theblackolive.ca. Blackfish Cafe. Seafood. Fish and chips and salmon barbecue are the specialties at this restaurant floating in the inner harbour. Located near the Victoria Marine Adventure Centre, they also offer burgers and a coffee bar. Open daily from 8am-9pm. In the water at the foot of Broughton Street, 385-9996. Blethering Place. Tea room. Located in Oak Bay Village, the Blethering Place has been a popular tea room for many years. As well as serving traditional afternoon tea, the restaurant also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. A small gift and bake shop is open in the lobby. Open daily 8am-9pm. 2250 Oak Bay Avenue, 598-1413 or toll-free 888-598-1413. http://www.thebletheringplace.com/. Blighty’s Bistro. Fish and Chips. A cozy 13 table bistro, Blighty’s continues the tradition of serving fish and chips in Oak Bay. They also serve a variety of menu items such as Roast Pork stuffed with apples, carrots, parsley and prunes, chicken in filo pastry, and salmon stuffed with curried cream cheese mushrooms and leeks. Children and vegetarian options also available. Reservations are recommended. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 4pm. 2006 Oak Bay Avenue, 592-5111. www.bc-biz.com/blightys/.
Blue Crab Bar and Grill. Seafood. Named “best seafood restaurant” in Victoria by Frommer’s Travel Guides, the Blue Crab Bar and Grill is located in the Coast Harbourside Hotel and Marina and has stunning views of the inner harbour. The Blue Crab offers a wide-variety of seafood dishes and an award-winning wine list. Also serves food in the lounge and patio, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Open daily from 6:30 am. 146 Kingston Street, 480-1999. www.bluecrab.ca. Boston Pizza. Family/pizza. Chain restaurant serving wings, nachos, starters, pasta, ribs, entrees and a large pizza selection. Dine in, take out or delivery. Open Sunday through Thursday 11am-1am and Friday and Saturday 11am-2am. Three locations: 3994 Shelbourne, 721-3221; #10-797 Hillside Avenue, 380-1212; and #102-3510 Blanshard Street, 477-5561. www.bostonpizza.com. Brannigans. Family. Two locations serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Offering home-style cooking with daily specials, burgers, a wide selection of entrees, including smaller portions for seniors, and all day breakfast. Open Monday through Thursday 7am-9pm and Saturday and Sunday 7am-8pm. 1751 Cedar Hill X Road, 472-1083 and 3271 Maple Street, 475-0111. www.brannigans.org. Cactus Club Cafe. Westcoast Fusion. A sleek new restaurant offering Asian and Mexican inspired dishes as well as steaks, burgers, seafood and vegetarian dishes. Friendly servers and fun atmosphere. Open Sunday to Thursday 11am-midnight, Friday and Saturday 11am-1am. 1125 Douglas Street, 361-3233. www.cactusclubcafe.com. Café Brio. West Coast contemporary with Tuscan hint. Café Brio has won much praisesince it opened in 1997. The Café Brio philosophy is using fresh, local ingredients which complement each other. Seafood and Italian food, as well as steak and game meats are featured. Wine recommendations are given with each menu item. Open for dinner from 5:30pm, seven days a week. Reservations highly recommended. 944 Fort Street, 383-0009. www.cafe-brio.com. Café Mexico. Mexican. Traditional and gourmet Mexican food served in a colourful Mexican atmosphere. Customary dishes include enchiladas, taquitos, and quesadillas as well as fajitas, pollo chipotle and pollo chimole. Café Mexico also has a variety of specialty margaritas. Open seven days a week, 11am-10pm. Market Square, 386-1425. Camille’s Restaurant. Westcoast fine dining. Camille’s, an award winning restaurant that has been in business for 15 years, offers a diverse menu with seafood, game and vegetarian dishes with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. They also have an extensive wine list. Candlelight and jazz music provide a casual, romantic atmosphere. Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinners only from 5:30pm. Reservations recommended. 45 Bastion Square, 381-3433. www.camillesrestaurant.com. Canoe Brewpub. Brewpub. Pizza, burgers, sandwiches, salads and seasonally changing entrees. Variety of artisan beers brewed on site. Open Sunday to Thursday 11am-midnight and Friday and Saturday 11am-1am. 450 Swift Street, 361-1940. www.canoebrewpub.com. Crepe de Paris. French crepes. This bistro serves a large variety of crepes and panninis and has a high-output cappuccino bar. Savory crepes range from $5.95-$7.95 and sweet range from $5.95-6.95. Fillings include seafood, meats and vegetables, and fruits, nuts and syrups. Open Tuesday-Sunday, hours change seasonally. 1313 Douglas Street, 382-2572. Danieli’s Italian Restaurant. Italian cuisine.Danieli’s offers an extensive menu of appetizers, soups, focaccia bread, pasta, pizza, meat dishes and daily seafood specials. Three course dinners start at $25. Reservations recommended. Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30am-2pm, open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5-9pm, and Friday and Saturday 5-10pm. 1951 Oak Bay Avenue, 595-1112.
Earls. Diner. Earls is a popular chain with more than 50 locations across western Canada as well as in Arizona and Colorado. Voted “best casual restaurant” for the past 11 years by Vancouver Magazine, Earls features steaks and chops, pasta, pizza and burgers. Also serves Cedar Planked Chinook Salmon and a variety of chicken entrees. Full service bar with daily specials, such as Earls White Peach Bellinis. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 1703 Blanshard Street, 386-4323. Fire and Water Fish and Chop House. Steak and seafood. Upscale restaurant famous for its Cognac-marinated, pan-seared prime rib and locally-caught fish dishes. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Extensive wine list. 728 Humboldt Street (Marriott Inner Harbour), 480-3828. www.marriottvictoria.com. Forum Chinese Seafood Restaurant. Chinese (Szechuan). Chef Charlie Yang specializes in Cantonese, Szechuan and vegetarian dishes in addition to seafood delicacies – including live lobster or crab taken directly from a tank. Home delivery available. 612 Fisgard Street, 385-3288. Garlic Rose. Fresh Seafood, Mediterranean and Western. Specializing in seafood and Mediterranean dishes, including a traditional Mediterranean feast, called the Maza Bar, that can be ordered 24 hours in advance. The Garlic Rose offers a large outdoor patio at the edge of Bastion square overlooking the inner harbour – a great place to people watch. Children’s menu available. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8am-11pm. Reservations appreciated. 1205 Wharf Street, 384-1931. Gatsby Mansion Inn and Restaurant. Westcoast Fusion. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also serve Afternoon High Tea. Set in the elegant Gatsby Mansion with its Queen Anne façade overlooking the inner harbour. Open 7 days/week. 309 Belleville Street, 388-9191. Green Cuisine. Vegan. Offering a wide variety of dishes with all-natural and organic ingredients in a self-service hot buffet, salad bar and dessert bar. The restaurant bakes their own bread, desserts and bakery items using natural sweeteners and organic flour. The hot and cold buffet has a selection of highly spiced food and plain items to cater to everyone’s tastes. There is also a juice bar. Open daily 10am-8pm. 560 Johnson Street in Market Square, 385-1809. www.greencuisine.com. Herald Street Caffe. Bistro.Since 1982 the Herald Street Caffe has been a popular dining spot. Fresh local ingredients are the basis for their creations. Desserts and bread are made fresh daily in their bakery. A wide selection of wines by the glass and creative cocktails are served in the lounge. Open Monday to Thursday 11:30am-11pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-11:30pm, Sunday 11am-11pm. Reservations recommended. 546 Herald Street, 381-1441.
Il Terrazzo. Italian. Voted best Italian restaurant in Victoria every year since 1995. Fine north Italian cuisine served in a beautiful courtyard setting, Il Terrazzo offers wood-oven roasted meats and pizza, home-made pasta and fresh seafood. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch 11:30am-3pm and Monday to Sunday for dinner from 5pm. Reservations highly recommended. 555 Johnson Street, 361-0028. www.ilterrazzo.com. India Curry House. Indian. Traditional Indian dishes prepared in the northern style include Thali, Chicken Tikka Tandoori, Chicken Biryani Moghul-style, Tandoori Prawns, and Prawn Vindaloo. Dishes range from subtle and mild to exotic and hot. Open Monday to Saturday 11:30am-2:30 and from 5pm, and on Sundays for dinner from May to September. 506 Fort Street, 361-9000. Japanese Village. Japanese. Food is prepared right at your table by knife-welding chefs. Teppan grill dining and a sushi bar are available at the Japanese Village. Open Monday to Friday for lunch 11:30am-2pm and daily for dinner from 5pm. Reservations recommended. 734 Broughton Street, 382-5165. www.japanesevillage.bc.ca. JJ Morgan. Family. Western style cuisine served for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a comfortable atmosphere. Open daily from 8am – 8:30pm. 1520 McKenzie Avenue, 721-2188. John’s Place. Diner home cooking. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, John’s Place is one of Victoria’s favourite places to eat. “Traditional food with an eclectic flair,” John’s Place offers theme nights such as vegetarian Sundays and Thai Mondays. An extensive breakfast menu. Fun diner atmosphere with jukebox and memorabilia, it has been an institution for 20 years. Open Monday-Thursday 7am-9pm, Friday 7am-10pm, Saturday 8am-4pm & 5pm-10pm and Sunday 8am-4pm & 5pm-9pm. 723 Pandora Avenue, 389-0711. www.johnsplace.ca. Keg at the Winery. Steakhouse. Serving a wide variety of steaks, chicken, seafood and ribs. Open Sunday through Thursday 4:30-10:30pm and Friday and Saturday 4:30-11:00pm. 3940 Quadra Street, 479-1651. www.kegsteakhouse.com. Keg Steakhouse. Steakhouse. A Victoria institution, The Keg Steakhouse remains one of the best places in the city for a good steak. It has been voted Victoria’s best steakhouse for the past seven years. Within easy walking distance of the inner harbour and most major downtown hotels. Open daily for dinner from 4:30pm. 500 Fort Street, 386-7789. www.kegsteakhouse.com. Koto. Japanese.One of the few authentic Japanese restaurants in town that offer private tatami rooms as well as booths and a sushi bar. Traditional Japanese dining as well as seafood, steaks and vegetarian dishes. Open daily for lunch 11:30am-2pm and for dinner 5pm-9:30pm. 510 Fort Street, 382-1514.
Luciano’s Italian Restaurant. Italian. Found at the corner of Wharf and Yates Streets, Luciano’s has the feel of a classic Italian bistro with red brick walls, wood floors and simple wood chairs. It describes itself as “old school Italian cuisine in an uptown bistro setting,” and pretty much lives up to that. The menu could be found in one of the better restaurants in Rome with classic aperitivo (muscoli alla Mediterranea, $10; Scampi con burro e aglio, $10) insalatas, pizza, pasta and \”carne e pesce.\” The prices are also reasonable: The Pappardella con Ragu di Anatra (confit of duck with tomatoes, wine and herbs), $16; Scalopinne di Vitelloa al Limone, $18. Seafood platter for two available for $42. Rare for an Italian restaurant these days, Luciano’s offers Spaghetti alla Carbonara, $14. Open for dinner nightly from 5 p.m. 515 Yates Street, 388-5824. Macaroni Grill. Italian. Offers a wide assortment of Italian cuisine along with steaks, seafood, chicken and a children’s menu. Offers an “all you can eat” menu. Daily from 11:00 a.m. Reservations suggested. 3195 Douglas Street (at Mayfair Mall), 385-2211. Matisse. French. Classic French cuisine that never goes out of style located in an intimate atmosphere. From fois gras de canard poele and coquille St. Jacques to bouillabaisse and steak au poivre ending with classic desserts such as creme brulee.Open Wednesday to Sunday for dinner only, 5:30-10pm. Reservations recommended. 512 Yates Street, 480-0883. www.restaurantmatisse.com. Maude Hunter’s. Pub. Serving lunch, dinner and a wide selection of appetizers along with beer, wine and spirits. Open Monday through Thursday 11:30am-12 midnight, and Friday through Sunday 11:00am-12 midnight. 3810 Shelbourne Street, 721-2337 or 721-2070. www.vic-biz.com/maudehunterspub/ Milestone’s Grill and Bar. Globally Inspired cuisine. http://www.milestonesrestaurants.com/. Ming’s. Chinese. One of downtown Victoria’s best known Chinese restaurants, Ming’s serves fine Cantonese, Szechuan and vegetarian dishes. Each dish is individually prepared and impeccably served in elegant surroundings. Dinner 7 days from 5:00 p.m. Lunch weekdays from 11:30 a.m. Reservations appreciated. 1321 Quadra at Johnson, 385-4405. Mint. Nepalese and Tibetan.A rare restaurant in Canada serving Nepalese and Tibetan food. The Mint serves traditional dishes such as lamb curry with pineapple and apricots, achars, spicy butter chicken, Tibetan momos, and chillies and chicken. We ate there one night recently and tried the Nepali Dinner for $18 – very hot and spicey. We actually liked the Tibetan momos better (they come in this special bamboo covered bowl) which reminded us of Dim Sum. Western dishes, such as pasta and salads, are also available. Décor is funky and fun. Eerie contemporary trance music played quietly in the background. Drinks specialties include Mojitos, Mint Juleps and Khukri XXX Nepali rum. Open 7 days a week, 5:30pm-2am. 1414 Douglas Street, 386-MINT (6468).
Monkey Tree Pub. Pub. Their kitchen offers a wide selection of soups, salads, appetizers, wraps, burgers, sandwiches and entrees. They also offer seven flavours of “Monkey” wings. Saturday is Music Bingo night and Sunday is Karaoke night. Open daily 11am-12 midnight. 4025 Borden Street, 727-3550. www.monkeytreepub.com. Moxie’s Classic Grill. Westcoast. A wide selection of entrees, including pizza, pasta, rice & noodle dishes, steak, ribs, burgers, salads and sandwiches. Moxie’s offers an outdoor fireplace and fully-heated patio, as well as a large cocktail menu. Open Monday to Thursday 11am-11pm, Friday 11am-midnight, Saturday 10am-midnight, and Sunday 10am-11pm. 1010 Yates Street, 360-1660. www.moxies.ca. Nautical Nellies. Seafood. Oyster bar, seafood, steaks and pasta with a focus on seafood. As the name indicates the theme and décor of this restaurant is nautical. Open Monday to Saturday 11am-until seasonably late and Sunday 11:30am-until seasonably late. 1001 Wharf Street, 380-2260. www.nauticalnelliesrestaurant.com. Oak Bay Marina Restaurant. Seafood, continental and sushi. Overlooking Oak Bay Marina and Haro Strait, the dining room serves a wide variety of seafood, beef and chicken dishes. There is also a coffee house and sushi bar located in the complex. The Restaurant is open daily for lunch 11:30am-2:30pm and for dinner from 5pm. The sushi bar is open daily from 5pm. The coffee house is open daily 7am-9pm. 1327 Beach Drive, 598-8555. http://www.marinarestaurant.com/. Old Spaghetti Factory. Pasta. All-inclusive pasta meals with sourdough bread, soup or salad, coffee or tea, and spumoni ice-cream. They also serve steak, chicken, veal and seafood. Patio open in the summer. Open daily 11:30am-10:30pm. 703 Douglas Street, 381-8444. www.osf.com. Pacific Restaurant. Seafood. West coast fusion cuisine featuring Vancouver Island oysters and BC smoked salmon in an elegant but casual setting. The Pacific Restaurant has an extensive selection of local wines and an outdoor patio overlooking the inner harbour. Open 6:30 am to 10 pm, daily. 463 Belleville Street, in the lobby of the Hotel Grand Pacific, 380-4458. www.hotelgrandpacific.com. Pacific Rim Pizza Co. Gourmet Pizza. Dine-in, take-out or home delivery at two downtown locations for pizzas made with fresh and high quality ingredients. Wide selections of toppings for both meat lovers and vegetarians. By the slice or whole. Open Sunday to Wednesday 11am-11pm, Thursday-Saturday 11am-3am. 523 Pandora Avenue (Market Square), 385-7746 and 704 Broughton Street (in Sussex Place), 385-1167. For delivery 385-7746. www.pacificrimpizza.com.
Pagliaci’s. Italian. Famous for its pasta and its New York cheesecake, Pagliacci’s has been a very popular restaurant for over 20 years. Music Sundays to Wednesdays from 8:30pm. Open daily for lunch 11:30am-3pm and for dinner from 5:30pm. Reservations until 5:30pm only. 1011 Broad Street, 386-1662. Palmer’s. British and international. Located in Athlone Court in Oak Bay Village, Palmer’s specializes in traditional English food such as steak and kidney pie, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. They also serve East Indian lamb curry, seafood and have daily specials. Open Monday through Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday 11am-9pm, Saturday 9:30am-9pm and Sunday 9:30am-8pm. 118-2187 Oak Bay Avenue, 598-1100. Paprika Bistro. Bistro. Located in Estevan Village, just a few steps from Willows Beach, Paprika Bistro specializes in fresh, locally-grown ingredients such as poultry from the Cowichan Valley and lamb from Metchosin. International and Hungarian cuisine, including a dish called Transylvanian Boar Goulash. Open for dinner Monday through Saturday from 5 pm. 2524 Estevan Avenue, 592-7424. www.paprika-bistro.com. Paradiso di Stelle. Italian. A place to sit and sip coffee as the world walks along Wharf Street and the boats sail around the inner harbour. Serving lunches and early dinners of soups, salads, pasta dishes and a selection of panninis. Also serves homemade gelati. Open Monday to Friday 7am-8pm, Saturday 8am-8pm and Sunday 9am-8pm. 10 Bastion Square, 920-7266. Penny Farthing Pub. British style pub. In the heart of Oak Bay village, the Penny Farthing pub offers traditional pub food such as shepherd’s pie, steak and kidney pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. They also serve more upscale items such as lemon rosemary glazed chicken and pesto marinated lamb sirloin. Live Celtic music plays every Saturday night, and on Sundays traditional roast beef dinner is served from 4:30pm. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Open Saturdays and Sundays for brunch from 11am-2pm. 2228 Oak Bay Avenue, 370-9008. www.pennyfarthingpub.com. Perikles. Greek. Greek dishes, chicken, seafood, steaks and ribs. Greek dancing and belly dancing entertainment in the evenings. Open for dinner only 4:30pm-11pm. 531 Yates, 386-3313 or 386-5531. Pescatore’s.. Seafood. One of Victoria’s most elegant (and expensive!) restaurants, Pescatore’s is located just across Humboldt Street from the Empress Hotel. It serves fresh local seafood (stuffed boneless Sooke trout, cedar plank roasted salmon), the best wine in town as well as serve lobster, crab, steak and pasta dishes. The Oyster Bar, however, is not to be missed. They\’ll serve them anyway you want them – raw, roasted, pan-fried or baked – and offer more than a dozen varieties from all around the Pacific Northwest, including Kumamoto (small, savory oyster \”poppers\” from Washington State), Kusshi (a small and mild oyster from Cortes Island), Emerald Cove (sweet tasting from. Denman Island, BC), Sea Angel (a \”future hall of famer\” from Quadra Island in its second season), Fanny Bay (a local favorite) and even Malpeque (grown wild on PEI). Open Monday to Friday 11:30am-midnight, Saturday and Sunday for brunch 11am-4pm and dinner 5pm-midnight. Reservations recommended. 614 Humboldt Street, 385-4512. www.pescatores.com. Rathskeller Schnitzel House. German and Bavarian Cuisine. For thirty years the Rathskeller has been serving up homemade Bratwurst, Rouladen, seven varieties of Wiener Schnitzel, Pork Hocks, Sauerbraten, Potato Pancakes, Spatzle and homemade desserts. The Krieger family provides a traditional old country ambiance where fun people and polkas are welcome. Open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday from 11:30 am and Sunday from 4:30 pm. Reservations appreciated. 1205 Quadra Street at View Street, 386-9348. Rebar. Vegetarian. Since 1989 Rebar has been on the cutting edge of vegetarian food in Victoria. They have an extensive juice bar and have put out a cookbook. Open Monday to Wednesday 8:30am-9pm, Thursday to Saturday 8:30am-10pm and Sunday for brunch 8:30am-3:30pm. 50 Bastion Square, 361-9223. www.rebarmodernfood.com.
Reef. Caribbean.Contemporary and traditional Caribbean dishes, including West Indian curries, roti, seafood and jerk-marinated chicken. Caribbean cooking is based on hot and fruity sauces, coconut flavours, seasoned rice and marinated meats. Also serving squash fritters, yardi yam fries and plantain chips. Entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays. Open Sunday-Wednesday 11am-12 midnight, Thursday-Saturday 11am-1am, and serving brunch Saturday and Sunday 11am-3pm. 533 Yates Street, 388-JERK(5375). www.TheReefRestaurant.com. Romeo’s. Mediterranean. Serving pizza, Italian and Greek food. Open Sunday through Thursday 11am-midnight and Friday and Saturday 11-2am. 1581 Hillside Avenue, 595-0212. www.romeosplace.com. San Remo. Mediterranean. For two decades San Remo has been serving Mediterranean cuisine in a Greek-style atmosphere. They offer soups, salads, Greek specialties, their own home-made pasta, grill items, vegetarian dishes, and pizza. Order in, take-out or delivery. Open Monday – Thursday 11am-11pm, Friday 11am-midnight, Saturday 4 pm-midnight and Sunday 4pm-11pm. 2709 Quadra Street, 384-5255. www.piccolovictoria.com. Sauce Bar and Restaurant. Westcoast. Steak, seafood, pastas and burgers are accompanied by an interesting and extensive appetizer list. Also serving a wide selection of martinis and cocktails named for racehorses and famous people. Sauce offers a casual atmosphere and a heated patio. Open daily 11am-1am. Reservations appreciated. 1245 Wharf Street, 382-8662. www.saucebar.ca. Smuggler’s Cove. Pub. Pub fare, sandwiches, salads, appetizers served along with spirits and brews. They have daily specials, wings and serve brunch and roast beef with Yorkshire pudding dinner on Sundays. Twelve types of draught beer on tap. Open Monday through Thursday 11:30am-11:30pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30am-midnight and Sunday 11:00am-midnight. 2581 Penrhyn Street, 477-2688. www.smugglerscove.shawbiz.ca. Snug. British style pub. Located in the Oak Bay Beach Hotel and Resort, the Snug offers traditional pub fare and a variety of local and imported ales. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 1175 Beach Drive, 598-4556. www.oakbaybeachhotel.com. Spinnaker’s Gastro Brewpub & Restaurant. Brewpub/westcoast. Overlooking Victoria’s scenic inner harbour, families and friends can relax and enjoy creative West Coast fare for lunch or dinner in the restaurant. Entrees include such dishes as wild sockeye fillet & spinach wrapped in phyllo pastry on truffle &wild mushroom polenta… braised duck leg with warm frisee & bacon salad, squash puree & blue cheese potato gratin… pork chop stuffed with sage, boerenkaas cheese & carmelized onion with roasted apples & heirloom potatoes and lamb shank, crystal malt spaetzle, roasted squash & cabbage braised with bacon & apple. Lunch served from 11am – 4pm and dinner from 4pm – 10:30pm, daily. Reservations recommended. 308 Catherine Street, 386-BREW(2739). www.spinnakers.com.
Swans Brewpub. Brewpub. Pub fare, pasta, burgers, wraps, sandwiches and hearty entrées. Swans brews their own specialty beers and offers live music Sunday to Thursday evenings. Swans hotel has an eclectic art collection of 1600 pieces displayed throughout the hotel including the pub. Open Monday to Saturday 7am-2am and Sunday 7am-midnight. 506 Pandora Avenue, 361-3310. www.swanshotel.com.
Taj Mahal. Indian. Traditional East Indian cuisine, served by staff dressed in Indian attire, includes a variety of lamb, chicken and beef dishes such as Chicken Kashmiri, Butter Chicken and Lamb Biryani Moghul-style. Also famous for a variety of tandoori and tikka dishes cooked the traditional way in a clay oven. Extensive selections of seafood as well. Open daily for dinner from 5pm. 679 Herald Street (between Government & Douglas), 383-4662.
Temple. West Coast. Set in an 1890s heritage building on Fort Street a block up from Wharf, Temple is one of Victoria’s newest and trendiest restaurants. The National Post describes the décor as “a blend of Zen monastery and hipster hang-out with worldly influences,” but it is actually very clean and spare and not very cozy. The food, however, is amazing – ultra-fresh, organic and local. We ate lunch there recently and tried the “PBLT” (pork belly, PBLT pork belly, lettuce & tomato) sandwich, a staff favorite, and were quite astonished. Dinner entrees include seared halibut and baked Cortez Island clams, oven-baked wild salmon, beef tenderloin, braised lamb, wild mushroom polenta and apple cider braised pork belly. Claims to be first restaurant in North America to offer reservation bookings via text messaging at 882-5251. Open 7 days a week, lunch & dinner. 525 Fort Street, 383-2313
The Superior. West Coast. The Superior is one of those funky, intimate restaurants for which Victoria is quickly gaining an international reputation. Located in an old brick church building across the street from the Coast Harbourside Hotel and near Fisherman’s Wharf, The Superior features live music (mostly jazz), fresh, locally-grown organic food, and a décor that can only be described as idiosyncratic (each table is unique). The menu ranges from Crab and Halibut Cake ($16.95), Steamed Mussels ($12.50) and Asian Pork Cakes ($7.25) to Crispy Chicken Souvlaki ($7.00) and a variety of tempting salads. Beverages include BC wines, micro-brewery beer and an assortment of sake. Outdoor dining in the summer. Highly recommended. 106 Superior Street, 380-9515. Open daily (closed Mondays), 11am to 10:30pm. Reservations accepted for parties of 6 or more. $$, V.
The Tapa Bar. Latin American. A relatively new little bistro, in Trounce Alley downtown, claims inspiration from Spain, Cuba, South America and Mexico. The restaurant offers a wide variety of tapas (seafood, vegetarian) as well as pasta, steaks and thin crust pizza. Seafood tapas include calamari fritos… mussels de cha, cha, cha… and gambas al ajillo. Try out the Tapa Platter for Two which includes marinated artichokes, four bean salad with salted cod, chorizo, garlic wings, grilled eggplant and more. In warm weather, there’s a heated cobblestone patio outside. 620 Trounce Alley, 383-0013.
Vista 18. Westcoast Fusion. Located on the 18th floor of the Chateau Victoria Hotel, the Vista 18 has spectacular views of Victoria and the inner harbour. They use free-range, organic and local ingredients whenever possible, and offer several vegetarian dishes. There is entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. Open daily for breakfast 6:30am-11:30am, and for dinner 5pm-10pm, Monday to Friday for lunch 11:30am-3pm, and Saturday and Sunday for brunch 11:30-2pm. 740 Burdett Avenue, 382-9258. www.vista18.com.
White Heather Tea Room. Tea room. Serving breakfast, lunch and three sizes of afternoon tea. They also serve brunch on Sunday mornings. Open Tuesdays through Saturday 9:30am-5pm and Sunday 10am-5pm. 1885 Oak Bay Avenue, 595-8020.
Wild Saffron. Westcoast. Located in the Swans Hotel, Wild Saffron offers savoury seafood, rack of lamb, chicken and vegetarian entrees. Swans hotel has an eclectic art collection of 1600 pieces displayed throughout the hotel. Open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner 5pm-10pm. 506 Pandora Avenue, 361-3310. http://www.swanshotel.com/.