Victoria, BC City Guide


Today’s Victoria, BC City Guide comes to us from Bonnie Wilson, owner of vintage furnishings store Gild & Co (opening in Vancouver in 2013).  After eight plus years working in the corporate world, Bonnie recently left her desk job to pursue her passion and open a vintage and new furniture and home décor boutique.  She gives much of the credit and inspiration for her new venture to the gorgeous Victoria surroundings and today she shares some of her favorites from the region with us.  Thank you, Bonnie, for taking us around this majestic Canadian city! –Stephanie

Read the full guide after the jump…

Victoria, BCPhotos by Amanda Laliberte Photography

Victoria, BC, Canada is stereotyped as a city of newlyweds and nearly deads. While this stereotype holds some truth, it’s the other unique characteristics of Victoria that give it its appeal and have made it a fertile ground for interesting cafes, arts and culture.

Often overshadowed by its flashy younger sister, Vancouver, Victoria has a strong British background, is the provincial capital and houses a large university. These are the characteristics that give it fuel for the cool; the unique; the creative. Being the capital of British Columbia, many of its residents are government employees with a (relatively) stable source of middle to upper class income. The University of Victoria is known for it’s liberal views and thriving student body, which provides the city with a strong supply of youth and ingenuity. The city’s dominant British background has left many beautiful historic and building and architecture, perfect for charming cafes, shops and unique hideaways.

This little city located on Vancouver Island is filled with unexpected culinary delights:  like small organic bakery Wildfire, and lunch deli turned dinner-to-die-for spot Devour. The mix of students, hippy Island culture and old-money England has created a unique balance of money and creativity that fertilizes and sustains such commerce.

For furniture and home decor, Surroundings is a true gem in the city. This boutique furniture store, located in charming Cook Street Village for 20 years, offers an unbeatable selection of contemporary antiques, unique industrial pieces and modern classics. Owner, Kristiane Bakersville, has a cutting edge eye for spotting treasures in dusty old relics and refinishing them into stunning pieces for the home.

Getting around this LGBT-friendly city is a breeze. With few exceptions (as noted) all places listed below are walkin distance within the downtown core.

Be sure to check out this Google Map with all of the below listings!

Home, Decor and Kitchen:

Silk Road – this teahouse plus spa carries an assortment of pretty tea cups, teapots, and Asian-inspired dishes and giftware

Paboom – kitchen gadget heaven and a source for trendy and well-priced home accessories
Fan Tan Gallery – located at 541 Fisgard Street in Chinatown, this little shop offers a unique and charming selection of home decor and accessories (mentioned here as a top decor boutique in Canada)

Antiques:

Victoria Trading Post – located approximately 1/2 hour outside the city, this shop offers 10,000 square feet of antiques, rare finds and architectural salvage

Surroundings – (as mentioned above) ever changing inventory from Barcelona chairs to French bergeres, Danish modern to antiques
Antique row on Fort Street, between Blanshard and Cook Streets, for more traditional antique stores

Contemporary Vintage and Mid-century Modern:

The Fabulous Find – specializes in mid-century modern furniture and accessories

Easy Livin’ – step back into the 50s and 60s at this funky modern furniture outlet

New Furniture:

Bespoke – top interior design boutique offering of tailor-made furniture and fine home decor

Chintz – the original Chintz & Co. location with 20,000 square feet of beautiful and unique furniture, fabrics, florals, homeware and gifts

Sagers – Victoria’s go-to place for top quality furniture

Inside Out – beach inspired furniture and home decor

Victoria, BC

For the Foodie

There are many amazing restaurants, cafes, bakeries, coffee shops, brewpubs, etc. It would be difficult to try even a select few on a weekend stay in the city, but one can try! Arguably Victoria has the second most restaurants per capita than any city in North America. Here are just a few of my favourites.

Dinner:

Il Terrazzo – Situated in a beautiful courtyard surrounded by wood-burning fireplaces and vine-covered brick walls, this place is much about the atmosphere as it is the delicious Italian food, even a trip down the narrow dungeon-like stairwell to the restrooms adds to the rustic old-world charm of this restaurant

Brasserie L’école – self-described as unpretentious, this cozy evenings-only restaurant offers some of the best casual French food in town, in a building that was once a Chinese school house

Stage – located in the eclectic inner-city neighbourhood of Fernwood. This locals’ small plate wine bar is across the street from the Belfry Theatre and the historic Victoria High School (which has been used to film several horror films)

The Mint – contemporary West Coast / South Asian cuisine, funky atmosphere and live entertainment

Ferris‘ – established casual oyster bar and grill. Very busy on weekend evenings. Known for oysters, of course, and fresh cut fries with assortment of may0 dipping sauces (my favourite dish is the Chicken Penne Soup)

Brunch or lunch:

Shine Cafe – with over 11 varieties of Eggs Benedict to choose from, there is an option for everyone’s tastes. My favourite is the Beckett’s with chicken, cheese, avocado and chipotle hollandaise. Usually a long line on weekend mornings, but you can wait in the sunny courtyard with a cuppa joe

Rebar - well-known vegetarian restaurant. This place has a cult-like following. Great for lunch or brunch. My first experience at Rebar was near orgasmic; I’d never had such fresh, creative, delicious vegetarian food in my life! If you love their food, the cookbook is even better (yes, really). My favourites menu items are the veggie burgers, soups and the daily specials are generally pretty rocking

Jam – I haven’t been but my Victoria friends in-the-know are raving about this new eatery

Mo:Le – serves brunch and lunch all day. This place is a MUST. I love the Chinatown Ciabatta with Chinese sausage, onions, avocado, spicy chili bean sauce and cream cheese scrambled eggs and house made aioli, served with pesto hash browns. Need I say more?

BBQ and beer:

Pig BBQ Joint – went from a hole-in-the-wall lunch stand with only a few bar stools to a larger and second location to fill Victorians full of pulled pork sandwiches and other hearty fare

Smoken Bones – this cookshack is the premiere destination for barbeque in the city

Brewpubs – friend and award-winning beer blogger says it best here and here

Bakeries:

Wildfire – small funky organic wood-fire bakery.  They use lots of alternative grains, like spelt and kamut

Bubby Rose’s – Victoria mainstay since 2002 this bakery is known for a cozy, comfortable atmosphere and amazing sticky cinnamon buns

Cascadia Bakery – partners with Rebar, they offer all around awesome breads, squares and pies

Fol Epi – french inspired organic bread and pastry, lovely location along the inner harbour and Galloping Goose Trail

Fry’s Bakery – this micro-bakery handcrafts breads and other baked goods using organic stone-ground grains, natural leavens in wood-fired ovens (hello!). Closed Sundays and Mondays

Coffee shops:

Students and government workers need places to have coffee, and dare I say that Victoria’s coffee culture supersedes Vancouver? Yes, I do dare say with examples like these.

Union Pacific Coffee – situated in a brick and beam constructed building off of the revitalized Dragon Alley, great coffee and a lively atmosphere are abound

Caffe Fantastico – with four locations, this self-roasting company has been locally owned and operated since the early 90s

Bean (Around the World) Victoria – tucked away in an enchanting brick building in the heart of Chinatown, great spot to hide away with a muffin and cup of coffee

Habit - these guys do not take coffee lightly and ensure us that it’s not just about getting a buzz or enjoying a flavour (luckily they are darn good at this too). It’s about a culture of optimism, exploration and communication (wow, that’s intense coffee)

Victoria, BC

For the Fashionista

Skip the malls and go downtown. “LowJo”, short for Lower Johnson Street, between Wharf and Douglas, includes Victoria’s best collection of unique fashion shops, ranging from hipster vintage to designer fashion labels. Outside of the LowJo, noteworthy others include:

Violette Boutique – one-of-a-kind contemporary jewelry from local and international designers, located on Government Street on the cusp of the main tourist district

Not Just Pretty Modern Clothing -inspired eco-fashion from over 50 fashion-aware independent designers

Paradise Boutique – family-run, designed-in-house retro swimwear and unique fashion and accessories. This little treasure has been offering the maillot swimsuit before it’s mainstream comeback a few years ago

WIN – non-profit cooperative that helps Women In Need (WIN) by providing services and programs for women and their families who are often escaping violence or living in poverty. WIN also has three secondhand clothing and home stores. My thrift-shop-loving friends routinely stop in to scour for great finds (and they find them!)

Victoria, BC

Where to Stay

Being a popular tourist destination, Victoria has many hotels, bed and breakfasts, and motels. Here are a few of the lesser-known boutique accommodation offerings.

Oswego Hotel – situated in the charming and historic neighbourhood of James Bay, the Oswego Hotel is in a great location for exploring the bests of Victoria

Hotel Rialto – recently converted historic building into a boutique hotel, central city location outside of the main tourist area

Victoria, BC

Entertainment

The newlyweds and nearly deads of Victoria do go out. Check the Victoria tourism website for festivals and events, such as the Fringe Festival and Luminara held at Beacon Hill Park. Ongoing entertainment in the city includes:

Lucky Bar - best bar for live entertainment from rock to hip-hop to punk

Big Bad Johns – at the Strathcona Hotel; it may be manufactured to look like an Australian outback bar with peanut shells littering the floors and women’s underwear dangling from every angle of the ceiling, but it is a hoot! You can pop back and forth from dancing at the Strathcona Hotel and stepping into another world at Big Bad Johns

Belfry Theatre – produces contemporary adult plays since 1976 in a former Baptist Church
Alix Goolden Performance Hall – elegant old theatre that houses the Victoria Conservatory of Music as well as other performances

Royal Theatre – opened in 1913 this theatre has housed many great performers in its 100 year history

 

Go Play Outside

This would not be an article about a BC city without mention to the outdoors. While further up Vancouver Island (like the Comox Valley), Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia has what feels like endless outdoor activities to offer, Victoria is not without. Here were some of my favourites when I lived there.

Hike Mount Finlayson – about a forty-five minute drive outside the city, this hike takes about one hour up and 30 minutes down and offers stunning views on Victoria and surrounding areas

Beacon Hill Park – this one is in all the tourist guides, but locals enjoy alike, as it is as fabulous as any city park

Walk along Ogden Point and Dallas road – windy on non-windy days this area offers views of the Olympic Mountain range in Washington state to the south, but with the wind, brings sunshine. When I lived in Victoria, I’d pack up the dogs and go here to get some much-needed vitamin D in the heart of grey BC winters

Willows Park – located in the municipality of Oak Bay, Willows Park, about a 10 minute drive from downtown Victoria, has a family-friendly feel and a beautiful sandy beach. Best in the summer months. If you go, be sure to wander the shops along Estavan Road for quaint shops and restaurants

Notable locals from Victoria include…

Basketball great Steve Nash

Songstress Nelly Fertado

Historical artist/writer Emily Carr

 

While I feel like this article just cracks the tip of things to see and do in Victoria, the main tourism websites will fill you in on the rest (like Craigdaroch Castle, The Royal BC Museum, and the Pacific Undersea Gardens). The places I mention above are the lesser-known gems of this garden city. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did when I lived there and do when I return for visits.

Nicole @ blog.devereuxetfils.com

Great guide! I’ve visited lovely Victoria once awhile back and obviously need to plan another trip. And good luck on the new shop. I’m balancing both desk job and passion right now, so always good to hear about someone making the leap!

MB@YarnUiPhoneApp

Where does the traveling knitter go to shop for yarn in Victoria, BC? I always like to know that kind of city…’cuz I like to bring home a fibery souvenir. That way I get relive my adventures while I’m knitting or crocheting with the yarn I purchased even as many as two years ago. I’ve got fabric in my stash from a NYC conference from a couple of years ago. When I get to finally sewing with it (and I will!), I will travel back in time. Such fun!

amb

The BeeHive Wool Shop is pretty nice, if you’re looking for unique yarns. They have a website you can take a look at.

Denise Nicholls

Nice review of my beautiful city! I would add Clay Pigeon to the restaurant list, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Shatterbox Coffee Bar. For the comment above: Knotty By Nature is an excellent source for wool and fibre, classes and gifts, tho it’s a bit out of town in the neighbourhood of Fairfield. Also Beehive Wool Shop which is right downtown. Thanks Bonnie and best wishes for success at your Vancouver store.

Eileen

Rebar was definitely the food highlight of my trip to Victoria so thrilled to see they are still kicking. I was wise enough to buy the cookbook which has gotten tons of love and use over the years.

Samantha

LOVE this. I studied at the University of Victoria last year, and it was a blast. I majorly miss living on the island. Habit was my hangout!

Jen Curtis

Our daughter spent 4 years at UVic and so we visited the city often. We loved walking around the downtown area. Beautiful city and lovely shops!

Sarah

For the knitters, there’s also Button and Needlework Boutique downtown! A smaller selection but lots of button as well as yarn :)

And do not miss Red Fish Blue Fish! RIGHT on the water, delicious amazing creations, and not your regular boring fish & chips. Pink Bike downtown for incredible burgers, The Melt downtown for a quick lunchtime grilled cheese, and Big Wheel Burger in Cook St. Village!

Ali

Eco-Fashionista will also hit Hemp and Co on Government St.
Men’s and Womens Hemp, Bamboo and organic Cotton apparel.
They do soft pure Hemp Tees, but also carry a large variety of Canadian Eco Designers and really focus in on Made In Canada and all natural products.
I live in Victoria now and make a trip at least once a month downtown to them…..even if I just pick-up Nomad’s bamboo panties in a new and fun pattern.
Hemp and Co. 1102 Government.

Katie McGoff

Little typo: “Antique row on Front Street” is actually on Fort Street, not Front. I’m from Vic and was thinking “wow, how have I never been there!” before I realized the little glitch :)

Dardar

This is a great guide. I went to photography school in Victoria a few years ago and all of these places are a must-go.

The only place missed (as mentioned above) is Red Fish Blue Fish, a small shipping container restaurants on the water with delicious and inexpensive food.

Andrea R

I was born and raised here in Victoria and while I have lived in other places, there really is nowhere else I’d rather live and raise my family. Definitely agree with commenters about Knotty by Nature – very friendly owners who are willing to help you find anything you need. Picnic Coffee is my go-to coffee and lunch place while I work. My favourite weekend brunch spot is Nourish – located outside of the city centre but well worth the trip! Oh, and Victoria is definitely a brunch-y place – so many great places!

Shoko

WOW! What an awesome summary of our beautiful city! I have been to most places but there were a few spots I haven’t yet…so I will be trying those restaurants and cafes!

Thank you for this post, I will recommend it to anyone who wants to explore the city more:)

Andrea R

Born and raised here in Victoria! I’ve lived in other places but can’t think of a better place to raise my own family. Picnic Coffee on Fort Street is my go-to coffee and lunch spot (it’s on the same block as my office). I agree with other commenters about Knotty by Nature – super friendly owners and very helpful! Victoria is a super brunch-y place and may favourite by far is Nourish – it’s outside of the city centre but well worth the trip!

Melissa

Yeah Victoria! I second Knotty By Nature for the fibre artist types.A few other local favorites: Trade Roots (http://www.trade-roots.ca/) right across from The Fabulous Find on Herald has amazing vintage, reclaimed and industrial furnishings and home decor. Body Dynamics (http://www.bdhq.ca/) on Johnson is the best workout you can have while in town. We have a CRAZY amount of amazing breweries for a small town (Phillips, Hoyne, Spinnakers and Swans, to name a few, that are in walking distance of anywhere you might stay downtown), plenty of wineries, and damn fine Victoria Gin — worth an afternoon’s exploration. Renting bikes and cycling out to Island View Beach or Thetis Lake on the Lochside Trail or Galloping Goose is a lovely way to spend a day. And if you’re here in the summer, keep an eye out for the Free-B festival film screenings in Beacon Hill Park.

Sebastian

What a nice surprise to see my hometown on DS today! Wanted to mention that while Victoria does promote itself as being very British (and I’m a UK citizen living here myself) no guide is complete without mentioning the First Nations cultures that call Victoria home, and have for thousands of years before the British invaded! Visitors to the city can check out historical examples of indigenous industry in the Royal BC Museum, and support modern First Nations artisans at the many galleries and stores selling their wares across the city (especially on Government Street, and the causeway in the inner harbour).

Daphne

I don’t think Margaret Atwood is from Victoria, but Alice Munro lived here years ago.

mathew

Hell yes! A guide to my (former) home. This makes me miss my beautiful city dearly. Thanks so much for featuring it.

minouette

Oh, you can’t beat the Blue Fox for Brunch! I recomment the Canoe Club for dinner with all local food (and beer). My favorite place for fashion is the local label, and world’s tinyest shop ‘Smoking Lily’.

Also I must point out, since Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa and lives in Toronto, the claim that she is a Victoria local is mistaken.

Abby

You forgot Capital Iron! That store is amazing because it has everything.

When my family goes to Victoria we tend to stay at the Robin Hood, which is where Nelly Furtado used to work.

kristy @ gastronomical sovereignty

Yup. Hit the nail right on the head! Everything here I agree with! Usually these kinds of guides miss the gems. Well done!!! I’d add a couple things:

BrewPub: CANOE! It’s got THE best patio in town, epitomizes Victoria, makes good strong beer and has live cover bands at night. The food is pretty darn good too..

MicroBrew: Phillips. By an entire universe arms length.

Wine: Venturi-Schulze

Restaurant: The Superior. Local food. Local drink. Local art (in a room that changes with the seasons). Local music. Local EVERYTHING. The service can be slow, but relax, kick back and enjoy!

Go Play Outside: Get out of downtown and hike up Mount Doug. It’s near U of Vic (miss that school!) and you get to see one of the most beautiful in city forests.

Brunch: Lady Marmalade.

P.s. I’ve recently moved to Toronto. Not sure why. If you have any fabulous suggestions for here – I’d love to hear em. I miss my home. My hippie friendly, eco-conscious, good-brew and fabulous wine producing, craft store laden, laid back home.

Jaime Lynn

I’ve lived in Victoria for 20 years and it is still one of the most charming places I’ve seen yet. One of my favourite places to go is the beach walkway down at Dallas Road. If you’re a dog lover, this is just the place for you! Blocks and blocks of our ocean view terrain are full of every breed of dog imaginable. (You can pop into Surroundings on your way there!) If you’re downtown, make sure to visit Munro’s Books for the incredible architectural interior and Russell Books, one of the largest new and used bookstores around. One of my favourite restaurant hideaways is the Argyle Upstairs, a small hotel restaurant and bar decorated in a Canadiana style. This eatery not only has amazing Indo-British pub inspired cuisine but also uses a Hudson Bay blanket, snow shoes and a moose head as decor. Hope this helps!

Penny

I loved this guide.I lived in Victoria close to Willow’s Beach.We try to visit it as much as possible.You can never seem to get enough of it.
Butchard Gardens is a place that is well worth visiting as well.
Good luck Bonnie!

Ashley Johnson

I am from Vancouver, but adore taking the ferry over to Victoria.
A couple of my absolute favourites that were not mentioned are Smoking Lily & The Milkman’s Daughter. Smoking Lily is on Johnston St, and The Milkman’s Daughter, which is its sister store, is on Government. They are local and have their design studio and production facilities in Victoria (they also have a store on Main street in Vancouver). They sell wonderful hand silkscreened and hand made goods. The interesting combinations of images they screen are amazing. One of my favourite pieces they make are their silk fabric silkscreened tea cozies. They are beautiful. They also sell product by other local artists and designers; everything from stationary to wall art, to furniture. This should not be missed by anyone who is design savvy and visits Victoria.

Zoe Jean

Not a bad list! I love living here, and it’s always a treat to share this city with visitors. Victoria really needs a brunch section about twice as long as any other city- my current favourite is Jam, but you can’t miss the classic Blue Fox, the renewed Village in Oak Bay, Lady Marmalade for true Victoria hippie-hipster atmosphere, Cabin 12, or Floyd’s for diner-like fun and more food than any one person should eat. As for coffee, don’t forget about the Parsonage in Fernwood for award-winning local roasted beans accompanied by great food, or Heist for the most carefully and lovingly prepared coffee anyone could ask for. For lunch downtown, you definitely shouldn’t miss Hernandez, hidden away in the empty mall on Yates street- authentic and massive Mexican meals that are a bit of a local secret. For more shopping, Legend’s Comics and Books on Johnson is a must, it has been named the best North American local comic book shop, and is the most female-friendly purveyor of fine graphic novels and art books I know, plus the owner is the artist and author of Perogie Cat comics, which have quite the local cult following.
It gets pricey living here with such an awesome culture of locally owned and operated businesses!

Zoe Jean

And don’t forget the Rifflandia festival in the fall! It started as an indie music fest and has grown to include art, video, and some big name musical acts.

Whit

You may have just missed the best place of all – The Root Cellar! It’s a local, green grocer – foodie heaven. I think it would be a great idea to add a category of grocery, markets etc .. so many great/healthy places to buy local food in Victoria and other cities!

Store on Johnston – CUSP! Great little boutique clothing/accessories store and the girls are so helpful!

Great list!

Jayne

Thanks for the great review of our wonderful city! You missed some favorites (though it’s hard to catch them all):

– Chorizo & Co for amazing Spanish sandwiches and bocadillos
– La Taquisa for tacos
– Suasion for a beautifully curated selection of clothes on Lower Johnson
– Zambri’s for Italian food
– Red Fish, Blue Fish for fish and chips and fish tacos
– Crumsby’s for cupcakes and kid friendly coffees
– Prima Strada for Pizza (so delicious!)
– Discovery Coffee
– Hip Baby and Finn & Izzy for great kids stuff
– The soon to be open Market in the Hudson building, featuring Saltspring Island Goats Cheese, a new Vij’s restaurant, another Wildfire bakery location, and other local food purveyors
– Rook & Rose and The Potting Shed (The Root Cellar) for wonderful floral design
– Hoyne, Driftwood and Phillip’s breweries – we are so spoiled by our microbreweries
– The London Chef for great cooking classes
– Cold Comfort Ice Cream – amazing, creative flavour combinations
– Devour Bistro for lunch – adorable location and wonderful fresh, local food
– Nest and Cradle on Yates for great clothes and home goods (including DwellStudio linens)

Yup, it’s not all about tea at the Empress up here, though that’s pretty fun too (and be sure to have a cocktail at the Bengal Lounge while you’re at it)!

Sergio

Thanks, this is an awesome list!
What about Vancouver???

KarenJ

Great job on the list! Has anyone mentioned The Flying Otter? Reasonably priced, fabulous food and awesome location right on the water at the float plane terminal. On Fridays they do 2 appies for 10 bucks.

Melissa

Victoria is one of my favorite weekend getaways! I live in Seattle and take the Victoria Clipper ferry (http://www.clippervacations.com/) from downtown and I’m there in less than 3 hours. And since Victoria is so walkable, no car required.

I don’t think it was mentioned, but I always stop for Rogers’ Chocolate as a special treat. :)

Shannon

Great list! I would also second (third of fourth) The Blue Fox for brunch, Phillips Brewery for micro-brew, and would add Discovery Coffee for a great café. Also, Prima Strada for pizza in Cook Street Village is a “must eat.” Just a point of correction, Margaret Atwood is not a Victorian; she was born in Ottawa and only taught for a bit at UBC in Vancouver. Other wonderful, award-winning writers that call/have called Victoria home are Patrick Lane, Lorna Crozier, and Susan Musgrave.

Bonnie

How could I forget Red Fish Blue Fish?!?! Oh yeah, because I never make it there :( Sniff sniff.

Great comments! Love seeing the Victoria love!

Tonya

I moved here recently so glad to hear all of these suggestions as I explore the city. Here are a few of my discoveries: Zap in Esquimalt for Thai food. Beacon Hill Drive In for soft ice cream. Rent a bike and do the Galloping Goose. A nice picnic at the Kinsol Trestle – it’s on the way to wine country. If you want to try a tea room experience without the fuss of the Empress, the White Heather is accessible. http://www.whiteheather-tearoom.com. Definitely get to Tofino if you can fit it in!

Wendy Welch

What about the ART?
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Open Space, Deluge, Xchnages, 50/50, Polychrome, Slide Room Gallery, Madrona, Luz, Olio Cooperative and the Vancouver Island School of Art to name a few great places to check out the local art scene.

Jordana @WhiteCabana

It’s in my own country and I’ve never been to BC! I’m going to Victoria in June and I’m definitely taking this guide with me! Thanks!

Monica

Love the guide and other recommendations in the comments. Here are some more local gems: wonderful tea house & vegetarian cafe Venus Sophia on Fisgard street http://www.venussophia.com (there’s just nothing like it in town). Primastrada in cook street village for the best pizza around http://www.pizzeriaprimastrada.com/. Spinnakkers is a great local pub in Vic West area with great views.

Anne Moon

Alex Goolden was a church, not a theatre, before it became a concert hall

Nora

Margaret Atwood went to Victoria College at the University of Toronto… nowhere near Victoria B.C…..

Ashley

I was born & raised in Victoria, BC. I left for school and now live in Vancouver. My heart still leaps when I take the ferry over to my hometown. I’ve done some travelling and Victoria is still one of my most favorite citys! Visit if you can!

Elizabeth

Interesting list, but a bit dated in some ways. I’d go with Jayne’s list (above).

Left out newer eateries such as Ulla and Chorizo & Co. and the best-known indie clothing store is Still Life (for him and her). Good to see bakeries like Fol Epi and Fry’s on there, though!

Agreed about Surroundings furniture, and the other gem is Trade Roots on Herald.

Unfortunately Luminara hasn’t happened in Victoria since 2007. Ska Fest, however, would be worth mentioning!

Diana

Enjoyed reading the comments as much as the article… when the update is written it would be great to include north peninsula getaways… the airport area, Sidney, and Deep Cove have many not-so-well-known cafes, multiple thrift stores, summer markets and a fabulous walk-bike trail around the airport that has views of the Salish Sea and Pat Bay!
(And oops, Furtado, not Fertado)

Arnette RTW

I’m making another visit next week but when I was in Victoria last I absolutely loved Little Jumbo for food and amazing craft cocktails. I also enjoyed Guild House for really tasty pub food, not typical but farm to table and interesting. So many craft beer places in Victoria. If you like to cycle, the Pedaler Bike Tours does really awesome tours around the city (neighbourhoods, craft breweries, and coffee and bakeries). The Market is small but super cute. There’s a cool spice stand in there. Magnolia Hotel is a great hotel besides the Rialto.

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