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.
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.
Ithaka Greek Restaurant, 1102 Yates St, Victoria, BC, Canada, +1 250 384 6474
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.
Rebar Modern Food, 50 Bastion Square, Victoria, BC, Canada, +1 250-361-9223
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