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Table of food.
We all have our favourite spots to eat in Vancouver and it’s hard to branch out, but what do you do when you end up on an island with your family on a trip to see your aunt, or your friends want to visit that one gal pal who decided to go to UVIC instead of UBC?
Instead of puttering over Yelp reviews that are never reliable (honestly, who Yelps anymore?) use this list as your guide to Victoria’s best restaurants to avoid ending up at the White Spot.
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Cuisine: Seafood, pasta, grilled food
Address: 536 Yates St.
Why You Need To Go: Okay, you’re on an ISLAND – you’d better eat some seafood! But if you’re still apprehensive, this oyster bar offers all kinds of dishes (yes, even some non-seafood meals for the less adventurous ones out there) with the downstairs grill, the upstairs oyster bar, and the tapas lounge.

Recommended: Trio of baked oysters.
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Cuisine: Contemporary
Address: 506 Fort St.
Why You Need To Go: If you’re wanting to celebrate a special occasion, or just enjoy some creative fare, look no further than this chill speakeasy. This intimate, urban spot is a perfect place for a late-night craft cocktail that’ll quench your thirst and blow your taste buds away.
Recommended: Little Jumbo Burger and Frozen Lemon Soufflé.
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Cuisine: Plant-based
Address: 1019 Blanchard St.
Why You Need To Go: We all have that friend we need to accommodate. You know the one. Vegan. Gluten-free. Believe me, before Be Love I didn’t realize you could eat like that without it tasting like cardboard. This insanely creative and elegant restaurant is owned by siblings and offers organic and plant-based foods that will both satisfy and energize you without harming any furry friends.
Recommended: Spring rolls.
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Cuisine: Italian
Address: 230 Cook St.
Why You Need To Go: Who doesn’t love pizza? With two locations in Victoria, Prima Strada is the primo spot to get a slice of pie. Even Vancouver blogger and owner of Fraîche Nutrition, Tori Wesszer, couldn’t resist their Funghi Supremo.
Recommended: Rucola e crudo with lots and lots of chilli oil.
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Cuisine: Farm to table
Address: 1001 Douglas St.
Why You Need To Go: Have you ever wanted to eat so much food you thought you might die? Well, look no further than Hanks on Douglas. With an ever-evolving menu, the two owners cook and serve you an array of meat inventions that will make you want to pass out, but it’s definitely worth it. This open-concept kitchen is only a 19-seater, but if you manage to get a seat at the bar, be sure to heckle the staff.
Recommended: Anything on the special board.
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Cuisine: Tapas, seafood, pasta
Address: 620 Trounce Alley
Why You Need To Go: Three words. Bacon. Wrapped. Dates. The Tapa Bar is the best place to go with your girlfriends so that everyone can share a bit of everything. Okay, it’s actually so you can all get an order of dates without it looking weird. Make it a Sunday affair and get pitchers of sangria for $20!
Recommended: THE DATES!
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Cuisine: Asian
Address: 626 Fisgard St.
Why You Need To Go: Since you’re already on Fisgard… You should DEFINITELY check out Bao, a much-needed ramen spot in Victoria featuring buns, bibimbaps and, duh, ramen!
Recommended: Taiwanese classic bun.
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Cuisine: Sandwiches, seafood, local
Address: 2656 Quadra St.
Why You Need To Go: Seasonal? Local? An ever-changing menu? Yeah, you’re on the island. This casual dining spot offers sandwiches, salads, and the “etc.” menu that’s worth checking out. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Recommended: The panisse with spicy ranch.
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Cuisine: Asian
Address: 769 Yates St.
Why You Need To Go: While Foo offers specials every day, their standard menu items are so good that you probably haven’t tried anything else. This tiny spot gives you the feel of street food from the comfort of restaurant dining.
Recommended: Caramel Chicken.
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Cuisine: Burgers, salads
Address: 180 – 911 Yates St.
Why You Need To Go: Expanded from Downtown to Westshore and Saanich, Bin 4 Burger specializes in “The Burger.” They offer 17 set burgers with a rotating special every month, but go for their onion rings and array of aiolis, too!
Recommended: Bin 27 “The Bistro” with half salad, half fries and truffle aioli. Mmm.
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Cuisine: Mexican
Address: 766 Fort St.
Why You Need To Go: Vancouver is almost too familiar with La Taqueria, and yet their opening on Fort Street still sent Victoria into a taco frenzy. The vibrantly designed space is perfect for your next Instagram post, and the mezcal margaritas are a must-have.
Recommended: Mixed platter of veggie and meat tacos.
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Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Address: 1011 Blanshard St.
Why You Need To Go: Yalla is taking shawarma and falafel to the next level by putting a Western twist on classic Middle Eastern cuisine. Matching their small and affordable menu with their street-cart vibe, Yalla is one of the best places to hit up on your lunch break.
Recommended: Halloumi Kale Salad.
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Cuisine: West Coast
Address: 517 Pandora Ave.
Why You Need To Go: Couch crash and admire the Persian rugs while you eat, drink, and be merry. Serving local craft beer and pairing them with small plates are what owners Mike and Lee Spence are all about.
Recommended: The cheese board.
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Cuisine: Seafood
Address: 1006 Wharf St.
Why You Need To Go: Certified Ocean Wise and only open seasonally, RFBF teases us with tacones and the best damn fish and chips between February and October. The conservation program relieves some of the guilt of eating fish on the harbourfront while looking at, well, fish.
Recommended: Two-piece BC Halibut with tartar.
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Cuisine: Pasta, sandwiches, soup
Address: 1011 Broad St.
Why You Need To Go: Carbo-load for life. For thirty years, Howie Siegel has been serving up everyone’s favourite: cheese on pasta in all different variations. This spot is classic Italian cuisine which means a ton of wine.
Recommended: The Big Easy. And my roommate swears by their cheesecake.
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Cuisine: Italian
Address: 515 Yates St.
Why You Need To Go: Victoria’s coziest kitchen also doubles as an escape from midterms, your boss, and your dating problems.
Recommended: The Bambino cheese and meat platter.
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Cuisine: Spanish
Address: 807 Fort St.
Why You Need To Go: Imagine a place where you can get the best breakfast sandwich, wine, paella, and churros. Are you imagining Heaven? I’ll do you one better. That place is Spanish eatery Chorizo & Co., and I’m warning you, the hospitality is as good as the brioche buns.
Recommended: Empanadas.
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Cuisine: Contemporary, west coast
Address: 1414 Douglas St
Why You Need To Go: The perfect spot to celebrate your birthday with your gal pals. Glitter steps guide you down to a dimly lit, loud basement where you’re guaranteed to polish a few pitchers of pimms and gossip about that girl dating your ex.
Recommended: Naan pizza to share.
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This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
This article has been updated since it was originally published on January 6, 2017.
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