The Best Restaurants In Victoria, Canada

The Best Restaurants In Victoria, Canada
The dining scene in Victoria, capital city of Canada‘s British Columbia province, boasts a remarkable choice of restaurants offering international cuisines and characterised by stunning design. Washed by the Pacific Ocean, it’s not hard to guess that seafood and ocean views are among the added benefits that Victoria offers to diners. Here is our updated guide to the city’s best restaurants to consider for your next dinner in this Canadian corner.
Courtesy Aura


Restaurant, Contemporary, Canadian, $$$
Sitting right by the ocean along the Inner Harbour, restaurant Aura is the top choice in Victoria to enjoy a dinner with a view. The menu showcases such tantalising options as small plates of deep fried sushi or calamari, wild salmon with summer vegetable succotash, and slow-roasted lamb loin with horseradish fondue. Switch it up and come here for a lingering brunch, or perhaps a lovely glass of wine before calling it a night; the sea will always be there to please your eyes while the restaurant’s food and drinks cater to your palate.
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Butchart Gardens

Botanical Garden, Park

The Butchart Gardens is a series of must-visit, spellbinding gardens displaying manicured lawns and many, many wonderful flowers. The establishment offers visitors three different dining options: the Dining Room, a fine-dining restaurant; the Blue Poppy Restaurant, best suited for families; and the informal Coffee Shop. Unsurprisingly, each is richly decorated with the Butchart Gardens’ splendid flowers, and the exquisite dishes are served in beautiful presentations to match. Every Saturday Night, visitors also have the option to enjoy a ‘gourmet picnic’ on the charming lawn outside the Dining Room while watching the regular firework show.

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Café Brio

Cafe, Restaurant, Italian, Seafood, North American, $$$
Cafe Brio, Victoria
Cafe Brio, Victoria | Courtesy Ithaka
Café Brio has been delivering sumptuous continental fare to Victoria’s discerning palates since 1997, and continues to be regarded as one of the city’s finest restaurants 17 years after its opening. Driven by national pride, owners Greg Hayes and Silvia Marcolini favour Canadian produce: fresh seafood comes in regularly from the Pacific Ocean, and the beef is sourced from the region of Alberta. Similarly, the restaurant’s award-winning list of around 300 wines is dominated by bottles hailing from North America‘s West Coast. Must-try dishes at Café Brio include the seared scallops accompanied by a salad of orzo pasta, and the rabbit fricasse.
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Restaurant, Greek, Mediterranean, Canadian, Fusion, $$$
Vancouver skyline at sunset as seen from Stanley Park, British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver skyline at sunset as seen from Stanley Park, British Columbia, Canada | © Canadastock / Shutterstock

The first thing to know about Ithaka is that it’s so popular that booking is essential. Named after the home island of mythological hero Ulysses, Ithaka cooks up traditional, authentic, scrumptious Greek food. Start with an appetizer of dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with ground beef, rice, herbs and spices) or spanakopita (spinach, feta cheese and herbs wrapped in filo pastry). Continue with the prawns santorini or the finger-licking pork souvlaki (medallions of charbroiled tenderloin pork), and finish it off with the classic baklava dessert, a sinful pastry of walnuts and almonds soaked in honey syrup. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll even get to see the members of the family who run the restaurant perform in a traditional Greek dance, as they often do.

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Meal service:

Dinner, Late Night


Arty, Traditional, Casual, Cosy

Rebar Modern Food

One leaves Rebar Modern Food undecided on what was most nourishing: the fresh, delicious food or the irresistibly delightful atmosphere hanging in the air. Established by chef and entrepreneur Audrey Aisterberg, Rebar Modern Food took Victoria’s dining scene by storm with its acid colours, cooking tools used as decorative elements and flowery tabletops. Here is where vegetarians have their revenge – meat is altogether banned from the menu, while there are options for the vegetarians’ strict cousins, the vegans. Huevos rancheros, fish tacos, eggs Kurosawa and all the other scrumptious choices available are made with fresh, wholesome, local herbs and veggies.

Courtesy Matisse

Restaurant Matisse

Bistro, Restaurant, French, $$$
Owing to its historic ties with France, Canada is a great place to find excellent French restaurants. Restaurant Matisse fits the category effortlessly with its delectable menu of classic French fare, like the parfait of foie gras, escargots à la bordelaise or the heavenly Grand Marnier bread pudding. Whether you choose à la carte or go for the fixed three course menu, expect one of the finest French dinners you will ever enjoy. The intimate, bistro-like look and feel of restaurant Matisse complements the cuisine nicely, and is best recommended for small groups or a romantic date.
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Bar, Charcuterie, Wine Bar, Tapas, Canadian, $$$
Stage Wine Bar, Victoria
Stage Wine Bar, Victoria | Courtesy The Bengal Lounge
A dinner at Stage goes to show that size really doesn’t matter, at least food-wise. Here, diners are offered an array of plates in small portions — mains included — but delivering outstanding flavours. The ingredients are carefully selected for their freshness and taste, and some of Stage’s best selling points are made from scratch in-house, including the breads, the gnocchi and the house-cured charcuterie. The wine list by sommelier Marlisa Hollands features excellent local and international bottles, and was scrupulously put together to pair the amazing fare that comes out of the kitchen. Favouring quality over quantity, Stage is a recommended choice for all gourmands in Victoria.
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The Bengal Lounge

Located inside the premises of Victoria’s hotel The Fairmont Empress, The Bengal Lounge offers a dining experience impossible to find anywhere else in the city. The establishment is best-known for its trademark buffets of curry dishes, distinguished by such superior taste that it makes up for the somewhat limited choice of options. But what is most unusual about the Bengal Lounge is its striking décor and atmosphere. A tropical theme is carried throughout the entire, luxurious venue, which creates a setting so warming and relaxing that guests tend to hang around after dinner to bask in the atmosphere, perhaps indulging in a few lush drinks.

The Bengal Lounge, 721 Government St, Victoria, BC, Canada, +1 250 389 2727


Restaurant, Steakhouse, Italian, Tapas, $$$
Choose Vancouver’s Veneto if you’re feeling stylish and seeking a restaurant to match. More precisely, Veneto is pioneering the resto-lounge concept, a type of lounge that adds a menu of tapas, small plates and sharing dishes on top of the cocktail list. Part of upscale Hotel Rialto, Veneto boasts a beautifully designed venue characterised by extensive wood panelling and all-white ceilings. Choose between exotically named cocktails such as El Mariachi, Birds of Madagascar or The Predator; pair your drink with the Szechuan peppered calamari, the duck poutine or the grilled naan bread from the tapas menu; and enjoy your time in this hip, trendy slice of Victoria’s nightlife.
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