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Seven Shortcuts to Having a Tasty Time in Victoria

Heading to the Island? Here are seven solid suggestions to factor into your getaway.

Seven Shortcuts to Having a Tasty Time in Victoria

Heading to the Island for the long weekend? Here are seven solid suggestions to factor into your Victoria getaway:

Have a Cocktail at Humbolt Bar

You made it through all of the traffic lights and ferries line-ups – time to officially begin your Victoria vacation by taking the edge off. There are many great cocktail bars in town, but this weekend we suggest you settle into one of the plush bar seats at the Alexander von Humboldt-inspired Humbolt Bar. All of the beverages here are top-notch; however, the slight spring chill in the air makes us think that ‘The Republic of Letters’, from the Bold & Spiced section, may be the ticket: Irish Whiskey, Blanche Armagnac, Ambre Vermouth, Benedictine, Old Letter Bitters, and Candle Wax. Take your time to appreciate the genius of capturing the sweet scent of old letters in the finish of this drink. DETAILS

Humboldt Bar 722 Humboldt St. MAP

Hit Happy Hour at Shuck Taylor’s

The room at Shuck Taylor`s Oyster Bar fills up fast with a proper Oyster bar buzz: an uplifting level of laughter mingling with the sharp cracking of oyster shells, clinking of pint glasses, and the hum of cheerful conversation. There’s something about those little bivalves that energizes people, making them exceptionally friendly! Complement your order with a crisp, cold beer or a serving of Shuck Taylor’s renowned ‘Fish House Punch’. Conveniently located within walking distance of everything. DETAILS

Shuck Taylor's Oyster Bar 1324 Blanshard St. MAP

Eat at End Dive

Whether it’s for a quick cocktail or a full-blown meal, we always try to factor in a visit to End Dive whenever we’re in Victoria – it`s as down-to-earth as it is cool. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know: End Dive boasts a capable crew, good times, no pandering, great music, made-from-scratch cooking, and a menu focused on vegetables and seafood highlighting locally-sourced ingredients. They’re known for their evening service (which you should definitely check out), but in this round-up we’re giving End Dive a shout-out for their sneaky midday “pasta lunch”, which is only available on Sundays. It’s a concise menu, (just three choices), but the options are all excellent (pastas are handmade by co-owner Kara Martyn) and pasta lunch beers are just $5, with glasses of natty wine at $10. Cocktails are also an option — one we highly encourage. Although the Sunday pasta lunch menu is available during a tight window, from 12-2pm, the restaurant usually stays open from 12-8pm, offering a snack menu from 2-5pm and a proper dinner service from 5pm onwards. Really nice people. DETAILS

End Dive 1802 Government St. MAP

Go All In at Ugly Duckling

This fine dining restaurant in Chinatown, which opened its doors in February of 2023, is a relatively new addition to the city — and entirely new to us (we visited Ugly Duckling for the first time a few weeks ago, and it’s still a topic of conversation!) The ambiance and style of service provide a more formal experience than is typical in Victoria, yet both feel easy, inviting and completely at home in the city’s Chinatown neighbourhood. The dark and spare room is refined but comfortable, and the food is elevated while also being playful. According to Chef Corbin Mathany and his crew, “At the heart of everything we do are two promises: to serve you only those things which we have made by hand; and to work really, really hard to make you smile.” In our experience, they are true to their word. If you can get in, then go! Seats are not easy to come by, so we suggest setting a reservation into motion as soon as you can… Pro tip: This is the sort of situation where you should 100% order the tasting menu. DETAILS

Ugly Duckling 543 Fisgard St. MAP

Get Personal with Your Food at Ate

The good folks at Victoria’s award winning Hanks/Nowhere restaurants know what they are doing when it comes to food – a fact that has been well-established for many years. But did you know they have a new gig going on? “Ate * A Restaurant”, which opened almost six months ago, pays contemporary homage to the rich flavours of the Philippine Islands – a reflection of the culinary heritage of co-owner Jonna Deutscher. While the restaurant’s lunch menu offers hearty and comforting dishes, at dinner time it transitions to a communal dining experience of shared plates reinterpreting traditional Filipino cuisine. We haven’t had an opportunity to try it yet, but the Kamayan feast is at the top of our hit list: a family-style meal that encourages diners to roll-up their sleeves and get into the traditional joy of eating with one’s hands. DETAILS

Ate * A Restaurant Unit G4 1001 Douglas St. MAP

Grab a Handful at MAiiZ Nixtamal Tortillería

Maiiz makes all of their tortillas from Nixtamal Corn Masa (seen above in chip form as a garnish in their house made Pozole). We love stopping here for a casual lunch, or to grab a quick cup of street corn to fuel a midday wander through Chinatown. Traditional taco fillings run the gamut from chicken to mushrooms to grasshopper (yes, you read that correctly – as in the insect), depending on your adventure level. Also a fantastic place to stock up on provisions, from packs of house-made tortillas to Quesadilla, Barbacoa and Chicken Tinga Taco Kits, and Enchilada, Enmolada and Pozole Kits.  DETAILS

MAiiZ Nixtamal Tortillería 540 Fisgard St. MAP
photo via Tourist Wine Bar
Be a Tourist

Located at 1002 Blanshard Street, Tourist offers a well-edited menu of small plates to pair with by-the-glass (and by-the-bottle) natural wines. The room is pretty, the people are lovely…and if you don’t plan on gettin there early, you will be waiting in line (because everyone likes a pretty room full of friendly people serving good wine). With that in mind, we suggest arriving at opening (5pm from Wednesday to Saturday; and Noon on Sunday). You’re in Victoria as a tourist, after all – you might as well lean into it. DETAILS

Tourist Wine Bar 1002 Blanshard St. MAP

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