SAMPLE 3 DAY ITINERARY
Victoria is a foodie’s city. Home to the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada, Victoria has no shortage of unique dining options fit for every traveller. A unique urban and rural balance nestled along the waters of Salish Sea means fresh farm-to-table and sea-to-table dining is our bread and butter. From hole-in-the-wall kitchens to Indigenous-led food trucks and world-class fine dining, let Victoria be your culinary guide to an expanded palate.
RECOMMENDED ACCOMMODATION: FAIRMONT EMPRESS
This breathtaking hotel is as iconic to Victoria as the BC Parliament Buildings. A sprawling space with sky high ceilings and unrivaled views of the Inner Harbour greets guests as warmly as their wonderful staff. The hotel has been recognized by many as one of the best in the world, including accolades from National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Travel + Leisure Magazine, and Condé Naste. The hotel is also a foodie’s dream, boasting the Q at the Empress as well as their famed afternoon tea. The Q’s legendary veranda offers some of the best views in the city, a beautiful compliment to their outstanding dining.
RECOMMENDED ACCOMMODATION: THE STRATHCONA HOTEL
The Strath, as it is known to locals, is as much an entertainment centre as it is a hotel. This modern downtown accommodation hosts the local favourite, Sticky Wickett Pub & Restaurant, as well as a nightclub, games room, rooftop patio featuring beach volleyball, a hillbilly bar, and even a liquor store. Operating for over 100 years, this landmark hotel offers modern rooms and a convenient location near attractions and shopping. You could easily spend a day enjoying the bars and restaurants located on site at the Strathcona Hotel.
It’s time to start the day off right. No trip to the Pacific Northwest is complete without a cup of hot coffee. Take a break from your favourite street corner coffee chain and discover the finest locally roasted beans at Caffe Fantastico. Serving up the best coffee Victoria has to offer, Caffe Fantastico have been the vanguards of coffee roasting for over 25 years. This is the connoisseur’s coffee shop; beautiful roasts are complimented by fresh dishes made in-house. More than just a café, Caffe Fantastico offers a wide array of equipment such as grinders and coffee makers to take your home brew game to the next level.
Got a bit of extra pep in your step from that cup of coffee? A walk down Dallas Road and the Ogden Point Breakwater is a great way to burn off some excess energy. This ocean-view stroll offers unrivaled views of the Olympic mountains and the Salish Sea. Don’t miss the iconic Breakwater Café.Bistro.Bar where fresh, locally sourced and foraged ingredients meets contemporary west coast style. This snug bistro offers a delightful collection of local craft beers and BC wines that pair beautifully with their stylish dishes. Located conveniently at the foot of the breakwater itself, this one-of-a-kind bistro is a perfect complement to an afternoon stroll.
After a day enjoying Victoria’s scenic beauty you’ve surely worked up an appetite. Head on over to Victoria’s iconic Bastion Square and the tucked away Wind Cries Mary. This portal to experience the riches of Vancouver Island offers elevated cabin food fit for modern times. Wind Cries Mary’s dynamic menu is ever changing and is fueled from the bounty of local farmers, foragers, and fishmongers. This family-style dining experience is meant to be shared and allows you to taste many of nature’s elements through their unique menu.
Local Tip: Make sure you try their Signature Fried Chicken. Served with semolina, pickles, and honey butter, it’s a southern favourite served with Island flair!
That was a big day! It’s time to unwind, and there’s no better way to do that than with a crisp west coast IPA. Victoria is home to 17 craft breweries, a mighty number for a city of our size, and it’s hard to choose a favourite. The most iconic of Victoria’s breweries may well be Phillips Brewing and Malting, their wide array of beers and unmistakable branding have led them to become a go-to choice for locals and visitors alike. Their stunning taproom on Government Street is a great place to grab a pint, flight, and even some awesome brewery swag. Try longtime favourites such as Blue Buck, Electric Unicorn, and Glitterbomb, or one of their seasonal releases that are ever changing and expanding.
A trip to Victoria, and you’ll find yourself on island time. No need to rise and grind, you can rise and shine. Our laid-back island lifestyle often sees us catching a few extra Zs in the morning, sometimes missing breakfast and having to go straight for brunch. As such, Victoria has no shortage of great brunch options, from pubs to diners and fine dining restaurants. Enjoy sweeping views of the famed Inner Harbour while you take in one of Victoria’s best brunches at Aura Restaurant + Patio. Aura playfully blends the freshest locally sourced ingredients with globally inspired plates. Featuring fish from our shores, herbs from their onsite garden, and pork raised on Vancouver Island farms, Aura believes that local tastes better. Located at the spectacular Inn at Laurel Point, Aura offers unrivaled views, and access to harbour front walkways to work off those calories. Don’t miss brunch at Aura from 11:30 – 3:00pm every weekend.
A late breakfast makes for a light lunch. Enjoy assorted finger sandwiches and pastries as you experience a Victorian style afternoon tea at the historic Pendray Tea House. The Pendray proudly serves TWG teas, handpicked from some of the finest tea collections in the world and served in fine china. The Pendray offers an afternoon tea for every traveller including traditional, west coast, vegetarian, and even children’s tea. Situated on Victoria’s Inner Harbour, this beautiful venue offers stunning views while you watch sea planes and water taxis dart across the water. The Pendray invites guests to step away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and take a moment to savour the slower pace of times past.
No trip to Victoria is complete without discovering our unrivaled local seafood. And no place does seafood better than Blue Crab Seafood House. Named “the best seafood spot in Victoria” by Frommer’s International Guide, Blue Crab has earned a reputation for excellence in west coast cuisine. Every table offers an ocean view, and for those looking to get even closer to the source, their Slip 53 patio is Victoria’s premier patio, overlooking the stunning harbour. This intimate venue is the perfect spot for a romantic date night. Enjoy local Dungeness crab, seafood pasta, or everyone’s favourite, steak and lobster. No matter what you choose, you can be guaranteed your dish will showcase local flavours raised, grown, and baked right here on the island. Situated in the Coast Victoria Hotel and Marina by APA, this seafood lover’s dream is accessible by boat at their 52-slip marina.
Another big day in the books, it’s time for a nightcap. Clive’s Classic Cocktail Lounge believes that bartending is not a lifestyle, but rather a craft. Clive’s showcases expression and creativity in every cocktail they pour, and the accolades they have resonate this commitment, named to Enroute’s Top 5 Places to Drink in the World, the Great Whiskey Bars of the World by Whiskey Magazine, and a repeated nominee for the World’s Best Hotel Bar by Tales of the Cocktail. Clive’s aims to offer every customer a unique experience, simply tell your bartender what you like, and Clive’s will create something that you love – and even share the recipe with you! Located in the iconic Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites, Clive’s is mere steps from many of downtown’s most beloved attractions.
Victoria offers a world of flavour waiting to be discovered. The first stop on our culinary world tour is the Dutch Bakery & Diner. A Victoria institution, the Dutch Bakery has been family owned and serving up Dutch favourites since 1956. A full-service diner is the perfect place to grab a hot breakfast, or for those looking for food on-the-go, you can try their bakery counter for pastries, cookies, meat pies, and sausage rolls. Located on Fort Street, the Dutch Bakery & Diner is easily walkable from most downtown hotels and is steps away from some of Victoria’s best shopping.
Did you know that Victoria is home to Canada’s oldest Chinatown? That’s right, this national historic site has blessed Victoria with incredible dining opportunities since the mid-nineteenth century. Uncover unique flavours and a rich history on a Modern Chinatown Food & History Tour with Off The Eaten Track Tours. Try a diverse array of dishes from a plethora of Victoria’s distinct cultures such as a kosher pretzel, Char Sui bun, Maiiz Nixtamel, Onigiri, and more, all while learning the deep history of this beautiful Victoria neighbourhood. Big groups not your thing? Off The Eaten Track also offers self-guided tours, so you can discover the flavours of the city on your own time.
Mere steps from Chinatown is Victoria’s famed Market Square. This bustling courtyard is home to many restaurants and shops. Make your way down to Whistle Buoy Brewing in the heart of Market Square. This small batch experimental tap room draws its inspiration from the natural beauty and urban energy of coastal BC. Home to one of Victoria’s best patios, Whistle Buoy is a great stop for day beers on your culinary journey through Victoria.
Our world-class dining tour of Victoria is coming to an end. A fitting finish to our gastronomic adventure is Saveur Restaurant. This French-inspired restaurant led by award winning head chef, Robert Cassels, playfully blends classic French cooking techniques with the best offerings from Vancouver Island’s farmers, foragers, and fisheries. No two trips to Saveur are the same, as the menu regularly changes with the seasons. The beautiful interior is accented by a living wall with bay tree and rosemary charred cedar, handmade by Chef Cassels himself, as well as custom-made black walnut tables. Saveur truly represents dining as an artform.