Victoria Stories and Tips

Eating Well But Cheaply in Victoria

· Sauce Bar and Restaurant, Wharf Street Photo, Victoria, British Columbia

We didn’t go hungry during our week in Victoria. Watching budget and waistlines, we only ate breakfast out twice, choosing to make use of fridge, toaster, coffeemaker, and microwave in our motel room at Travelers Inn for our first meal of the day. Once we took off exploring, though, we were fair game for restaurants. Mostly, we chose spontaneously, based on what appealed to us visually, and of course, our pocketbooks.

Online, Victoria Dining Guide offers down-loadable menus (in pdf) of more than 50 popular restaurants. Victoria Visitor’s Choice has a Dining section describing at least as many eateries. Both have ads and photos that will make your mouth water. Both of these guides are in hard copy as well, easy to pick up at the Visitor Centre on the Inner Harbor or wherever you’re staying.

Variety the spice…: We didn’t dine at any really high-end places, but Victoria has its share. Yet even very fancy-looking places often have dinner choices under C$30 per entrée. Victoria’s international feel is enhanced by its eateries, not only the expected selections of Pacific Northwest cuisine, seafood, and English-style pubs, tea houses and fish ‘n chips places, but also Hungarian, Dutch, Caribbean, Chinese, East Indian, Greek, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Southeast Asian, Thai, Nepalese and Tibetan, Mexican, Vegetarian, and Organic.

Pizza in Victoria: Since my husband can’t seem to go even a week without a pizza meal, we were on the lookout for pizza places, and found three promising ones. City-wide (and international franchise) Sarpino’s Pizzeria offers not only specialty, gourmet, and create-your-own pizzas, but lasagnas, spaghetti, ravioli, and tortellini. Twelve-inch pizzas C$14-15. Three Romeo’s, one just a couple of blocks down the street from our motel, would be the place to order for a crowd. Their gimmick is two-for-one priced pizzas, making the average price of one 12-inch pizza between $C12-14. If you create your own, or just buy one, though, the price goes up to C$19 for a basic cheese pizza. Pastas, burgers and other specialty dishes are also available. We ended up getting our pizza at Second Slice, of which there are only two. Not only do they have gourmet pizzas, two-for-ones, and special deals, but their extra-large (16-inch) three-topping pick-up special only set us back C$10. Generously topped with pepperoni, onion and green pepper, it had a decent crust and tasty sauce. Their locations: 1310 Douglas and 1680 Douglas.

Chinatown has lots of restaurants, serving Chinese as well as other foods. While there one evening, we noticed people sitting at the outdoor tables at the QV Café-Bakery, across the street from the Gate of Harmonious Interest. This eatery, a favorite of locals, is open 24 hours, with many appetizing deli and bakery selections on display behind the glass counters. The following morning, we went there for breakfast. Bob had sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs and fried potatoes. I had a fresh croissant with egg and veggie fillingdelicious.

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