The Foodie's Guide to Devouring 48 Hours in Victoria, Canada

Farm-to-table eats, craft distilleries and cozy cafés are all just a short ferry or plane ride away
| Updated: November 27, 2018


Now that spring has officially sprung, a weekend away from it all is just the thing to shake off the last vestiges of winter. While you may not want to dip into your banked vacation time just yet, an island getaway is closer than you think.

Old-world charm meets modern fun in Victoria, British Columbia, and this capital city has certainly earned its rank when it comes to gastronomic destinations. Better still, with the change of seasons comes new menus and new foods to try (or rather, devour).

Whether you opt for a guided experience of hidden gems or choose to forge your own path, there are myriad ways to eat and drink your way through the southernmost city of Vancouver Island.

Day 1:

Image Credit: Tourism Victoria

Breakfast: The Very Good Butchers
Start the morning right with a heart-healthy brunch from hometown hero The Very Good Butchers. But don’t be fooled—although their brunch may be plant-based, it still features the usual suspects like the BBQ Benny, piled high with BBQ jackfruit, doused in hollandaise and served alongside greens and hash browns. Or for something a little lighter, grab an English Brekkie Muffin complete with their signature Breakfast Banger, farm fresh tofu, egg and cheese. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., 1701 Douglas St. #6, 778.440.4663, The Very Good Butchers

Coffee: The Coffee Lab / Empire Donuts
After breakfast, take a stroll over to The Coffee Lab (9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., 2612 Bridge St., 250.590.7574, The Coffee Lab) for a fantastic pour-over. Known for their ethically sourced, high quality brews, this café is sure to please even the most refined coffee palate. And if you’ve saved room, grab a treat from local favorite, Empire Donuts (9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat., 736 View St., 250.415.8105, Empire DonutsBoth spots are closed on Sundays, so be sure to visit on day one of your trip!

Image Credit: Tourism Victoria

Lunch: Merridale Cidery & Distillery
Hop in the car and take a short drive to the idyllic Merridale Cidery & Distillery in nearby Cowichan. Tour their apple orchard, do a guided tasting of their ciders and spirits and explore the farm store before tucking in to a sumptuous farm-to-table meal in the eatery. Share a charcuterie and cheese board or try the Scrumpy Chicken Pot Pie, both of which pair beautifully with their wide selection of ciders and spirits. And of course, don’t forget the apple pie—a Merridale signature! Eatery open daily 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and tasting bar, lounge, tours and farm open daily 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Cobble Hill, 1230 Merridale Rd., 250.743.4293, Merridale Cidery & Distillery

Dinner: Stage Wine Bar
For dinner, it’s got to be the award-winning Stage Wine Bar. Explore the expertly crafted small plates and extensive list of BC wines at this cozy brasserie, nestled in the leafy Fernwood neighborhood. Baskets of housemade bread, crispy Creole cauliflower and braised beef cheeks are just some of the culinary wonders that await you at Stage. 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Sun., 1307 Gladstone Ave., 250.388.4222., Stage Wine Bar

Drinks: The Livet
Or you could try The Livet, Stage Wine Bar owner Graham Meckling’s second act, which opened in 2016. If the weather is nice, grab a spot on the rooftop patio and treat all of your senses to an unforgettable evening. 5 p.m.-11.pm on Fri.-Sat. and 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Sun., 201-804 Broughton St., 778.265.3033, The Livet

Day 2:

Image Credit: Tourism Victoria

Brunch: Olo
Sleep in a little or take an early morning stroll before venturing to the heart of Victoria’s Chinatown where you’ll find Olo, now open for weekend brunch. The name translates to “hungry” in Chinook Jargon—an Indigenous dialect derived from English, French, Chinese and Chinook—and the instructions couldn’t be clearer. Bring your appetite and take advantage of a menu that salutes all things local, such as alder smoked salmon with yogurt, beets and pickled onion. 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Fri-Sat. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Sun., 509 Fisgard St., 250.590.8795, Olo Restaurant

Lunch: ReBar Modern Food
Experience a Victoria institution with a visit to ReBar Modern Food in the heart of downtown, where they’ve been serving modern vegetarian eats since 1988. Get in touch with your Canadian side with an order of Rebar poutine—Yukon Gold potato wedges, fresh cheese curds and plenty of house-made miso gravy—or try something a little different, like the cheddar chutney grilled cheese sandwich. Love what you tried? Bring home all the best recipes with the ReBar CookbookHours vary, 50 Bastion Sq., 250.361.9223, ReBar Modern Food

Image Credit: Tourism Victoria

Dinner: 10 Acres Commons
Sustainable seafood and organic produce are what’s for dinner at 10 Acres Commons, where you’ll find fresh shucked oysters, tasty tacos and generous share plates to go along with frosty pints of local beer. After dinner, stick around for a little late-night fun with local DJs spinning nightly from 10 p.m. onward. 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m. on Sat. and 12 p.m.-12 a.m on Sun., 620 Humboldt St., 250.940.0735, 10 Acres Commons

Drinks: Clive's Classic Lounge
If you’d prefer to seek out a nightcap elsewhere, head to Clive's Classic Lounge for an expertly crafted cocktail (or two). We recommend A Bourbon Haze, a heady mix of Buffalo Trace bourbon, green chartreuse, Angostura and chocolate bitters. Cheers! 5 p.m.-1 a.m. on Sat. and 5 p.m.-12 a.m. on Sun., 740 Burdett Ave., 250.361.5684, Clive’s Classic Lounge

Whether you’re there for a week or just the weekend, Victoria has so much to offer. Spring is also a great time to visit, since you’ll skip the crowds (which means no wait list for the city’s myriad culinary experiences). From novice foodie to seasoned epicure, there’s something to satisfy every palate in this bustling Canadian destination.



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