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Culinary Story Ideas

Inspired by the land and ocean surrounding the city, Victoria’s culinary scene is influenced by what is available locally. Farmland on the Saanich Peninsula and in the Cowichan Valley provides seasonal fruit, vegetables and locally raised meats while the waters around Victoria provide fish and shellfish including salmon, halibut, oysters and crab. Find out more about Victoria’s fresh, local fare!


In Victoria, it’s common to find restaurants serving dishes made with local ingredients. The community built between vendors, providers and restaurants means local produce is used whenever possible. Locations such as Spinnakers, the Fairmont Empress and the Chateau Victoria all use honey collected from their own hives to sweeten desserts and drinks. Restaurants such as Agrius source their meat from local farms and make charcuterie, sausages and pâté in house. Local providers like Bob Duncan, a former entomologist who lectures on agriculture around the world, supply a variety of apples, peaches, quince, olives and citrus grown on the Saanich Peninsula to local restaurants. Former chef Andrew Shepherd owns Vancouver Island Salt and uses filtered sea water to create flavoured salts and high quality fleur de sel which are used in kitchens throughout the city.

Craft Beer

Home to Canada’s first brewpub, Victoria has been coined as the “Cradle of the Craft Beer Revolution” and with over 14 craft breweries we are truly the heart and soul of brew pub culture in B.C. Brewers in the city get creative with their offerings, often pairing locally sourced ingredients to create characteristic flavours. Spinnakers, the country’s oldest craft brewery, uses ‘Happy Wellness’ tea from Victoria’s Silk Road Tea infused with bergamot, kaffir lime and white and green tea to create their Little Sunshine sour beer, while Hoyne Brewing uses honey from the Fairmont Empress hotel’s hives to sweeten their Summer Haze Honey Hefe. Visit Phillips Brewing or Vancouver Island Brewery for a tour of their facilities, or stop in at one of the downtown brewpubs such as Canoe or Swans to try a flight of beers brews on site. 

Craft Spirits 

The thirst for craft spirits is alive and well in Canada, especially on Vancouver Island. Victoria Distillers and the Fairmont Empress have joined forces to create a truly distinctive gin. Inspired by the 1908 cocktail, the spirit features seven botanicals including a South Asian botanical called the pea flower. Watch as additional mixers are added: this gin changes colour! Visit De Vine Vineyard to sample their Vin Gin made using the winery’s Pinot Gris and Gruner Veltliner grapes. In Shirley, Sheringham Distillery creates their citrusy Seaside Gin using only products grown in B.C. including organic white wheat, malted barley, natural botanicals and local hand-harvested winged kelp. All the spent grains are sent to local farms to become a healthy source of high protein livestock feed.

Culinary Tours

Take a tour with a local guide to find the city’s culinary hotspots. Join A Taste of Victoria Foods Tours for a 2-hour culinary exploration, interacting with vendors and sampling dishes from locations including the Victoria Public Market, Fan Tan Alley and Chinatown. Try the Eat Drink Pedal tour with The Pedaler stopping at coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants for samples and to chat with the owners. Chef Shirley Lang, owner of Spirit Culinary Excursions, offers luxury food-focused tours connecting guests with local producers, artisans, farmers and vintners. Explore a local forest with an ethno ecologist to learn about edible and medicinal plants followed by lunch prepared with foods harvested from the forest. Take the Aboriginal Art and Tapas tour, and learn about First Nations history and culture at Victoria’s local galleries followed by Aboriginal inspired dishes paired with regional wines.


Hand blended teas are a common sight on menus in Victoria. Located in Chinatown, Silk Road Tea was created by Tea Master, Daniela Cubelic. Try teas blended with organic botanicals at the tea bar, or join a workshop and learn how to make tea-based cocktails, mocktails and more. Terroir Tea Merchant is run by Certified Tea Master, Charity Hobbs, and Tea Specialist, Jason Spencer. Personally sourcing their teas from small growers and cooperatives from Sri Lanka to Taiwan, they focus heavily on oolong and black teas. They have an aroma bar where you can smell 20 different teas and their Steampunk machine which can brew four different cups of tea at a time customizes infusions for customers to their personal specifications. 

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