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48 Hours in Victoria - Where to Eat and Drink

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Whether you're arriving in style by Helijet, making a splash on HarbourAir or taking it slow (and hoping to spot whales) on BC Ferries, once you get to Victoria, you'll probably have worked up quite an appetite. Victoria boasts an imaginative cocktail scene and has its fair share of dining delights too - sometimes hidden behind unpromising-looking doors - but take a chance and we think you'll be rewarded. Here now, in no particular order, our guide to 48 hours in Victoria taking you from a simple picnic and brunch to a slap-up dinner and cocktail flights.
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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Little Jumbo

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If you went by GM Shawn Soole's pedigree you'd be right in expecting dazzling creative craft cocktails. What you won't be expecting is a silver medal-winning wine list and a chef who bats well above expectations in this jewel box-like room hidden behind a baffling unpromising office block door. Service and ambience are both pitch-perfect. Put yourself entirely in the hands of the staff and let them pick and choose for you. You'll probably be too busy just sitting looking around with a delighted grin on your face to make any sensible decisions. Unmissable.

Perro Negro

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Go upstairs at Ferris' Oyster Bar & Grill and you'll find a hidden gem of a tapas bar, the newly-opened and thoroughly lovely Perro Negro, the perfect spot to sit and contemplate a cheeky glass of cava and some tapas snacks - especially on Happy Hour All Day Thursdays.

Ulla Restaurant

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Truthfully, the food is almost too beautifully-presented to touch here at this restaurant which pays homage to all that is local and seasonal but once you've battled your desire to leave the plates as perfect as they arrived you'll be glad that you dug in.

Silk Road Tea

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Check the website and try to attend one of the genuinely informative and fun workshops at this tea-based treasure trove. Stop by the tasting bar to learn how to get more from your cuppa and then get ready to spend a fortune on the far-too-tempting loose teas and accompanying paraphernalia.
Truly wonderful cocktails served by knowledgeable staff who excel at customer service. Can't decide from the Everything Is Too Tempting list? Sit at the bar and spin the wheel - just tell your bartender which spirit and flavour profile you want and they'll whip up a bespoke beverage. For a chance to try classics and twists, try a cocktail flight. Oh - and don't be shy about trying the food menu.

Choux Choux Charcuterie

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The perfect spot to pick up a picnic lunch or try to score one of the few tables for lunch. Each day there is a small but perfectly formed lunch menu which usually sells out. All sausages and pates are made in-house, prepare to experience serious cheese envy from their vast selection.

Chorizo & Co.

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Walking into this small room is as close to strolling into an authentic Spanish tapas bar as you'll experience this side of the Atlantic. Get the friendly owner to put together a selection of their wonderful cheeses (hopefully the Mahon from Menorca) meltingly delicious hams and just-right bread and enjoy a glass of whatever wonderful Spanish wine they have open.

Be Love

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A world of choice for those who live by wheat, gluten, dairy, meat, additive and processed sugar free- diets Heaped high salads, rice, noodle and quinoa bowls, plus herbaceous and fruity cocktails and a great wine list. The desserts may prove a step too far for those used to gluten, dairy and sugar-packed cakes and bakes but will likely be a goldmine for those who aren't.

The Fairmont Empress Hotel

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If you want to see why Victoria earned the reputation of being 'the most English city in Canada' then step right in for a lavish afternoon tea at the Empress. Yes, it's pricey and yes, you'll probably have to queue for ages unless you reserve, but the genteel tinkle of silver spoons on bone china cups and the bite-sized patisserie, elegant crust-off sandwiches and scones smothered in decadent swoops of jam and cream might just make it all worthwhile.

The Oyster Bar

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If you're looking for a cheerfully rowdy spot to suck down a few cocktails egged on by the super-friendly staff while you eat pre-dinner oysters you've found your spot. Beware the house-brew 'The Shaft' - wickedly delicious and guaranteed to give you a sore head the next day...

Catalano Restaurant & Cicchetti Bar

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The perfect spot for brunch. Two words: bacon flight. Yes, porky dreams can come true at this restaurant attached to the Magnolia hotel. Start with a flight and move on to the more innovative brunch items including the Weekend Crossword which features creamed leeks and crispy prosciutto along with the free-range eggs benedict, the tagine with a Moroccan vegetable ragout and lamb sausage or the Mr Douglas which mixes poached eggs with a perfectly-cooked local octopus.

10 Acres Bistro

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This convivial bistro boasts a spacious patio which makes for ideal people watching in the summertime. Products are sourced as much as possible from their own 10 acre farm with a focus on what is fresh and seasonal with a Pacific North West twist. Order the Chef's special of local cheese and house-made charcuterie and you won't go wrong.

Hanks On Douglas

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Possibly some of the best barbecue that you ever tasted lies behind the nondescript door of this tiny hole-in-the-wall. All meat comes from the uber-ethical Two Rivers and wow - you can taste the quality in every bite. Try the huge platters with the fresh-made cornbread (mmmm!) and the potato salad (mmmm!) as perfect foils to the buttery brisket and superb pulled pork.

Dutch Bakery & Coffee Shop Ltd

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Venerable Victoria institution that's a wallet-friendly place to stop for breakfast or lunch or just to stock up on their delicous (and amazingly inexpensive) cakes and treats.

Little Jumbo

If you went by GM Shawn Soole's pedigree you'd be right in expecting dazzling creative craft cocktails. What you won't be expecting is a silver medal-winning wine list and a chef who bats well above expectations in this jewel box-like room hidden behind a baffling unpromising office block door. Service and ambience are both pitch-perfect. Put yourself entirely in the hands of the staff and let them pick and choose for you. You'll probably be too busy just sitting looking around with a delighted grin on your face to make any sensible decisions. Unmissable.

Perro Negro

Go upstairs at Ferris' Oyster Bar & Grill and you'll find a hidden gem of a tapas bar, the newly-opened and thoroughly lovely Perro Negro, the perfect spot to sit and contemplate a cheeky glass of cava and some tapas snacks - especially on Happy Hour All Day Thursdays.

Ulla Restaurant

Truthfully, the food is almost too beautifully-presented to touch here at this restaurant which pays homage to all that is local and seasonal but once you've battled your desire to leave the plates as perfect as they arrived you'll be glad that you dug in.

Silk Road Tea

Check the website and try to attend one of the genuinely informative and fun workshops at this tea-based treasure trove. Stop by the tasting bar to learn how to get more from your cuppa and then get ready to spend a fortune on the far-too-tempting loose teas and accompanying paraphernalia.

Veneto

Truly wonderful cocktails served by knowledgeable staff who excel at customer service. Can't decide from the Everything Is Too Tempting list? Sit at the bar and spin the wheel - just tell your bartender which spirit and flavour profile you want and they'll whip up a bespoke beverage. For a chance to try classics and twists, try a cocktail flight. Oh - and don't be shy about trying the food menu.

Choux Choux Charcuterie

The perfect spot to pick up a picnic lunch or try to score one of the few tables for lunch. Each day there is a small but perfectly formed lunch menu which usually sells out. All sausages and pates are made in-house, prepare to experience serious cheese envy from their vast selection.

Chorizo & Co.

Walking into this small room is as close to strolling into an authentic Spanish tapas bar as you'll experience this side of the Atlantic. Get the friendly owner to put together a selection of their wonderful cheeses (hopefully the Mahon from Menorca) meltingly delicious hams and just-right bread and enjoy a glass of whatever wonderful Spanish wine they have open.

Be Love

A world of choice for those who live by wheat, gluten, dairy, meat, additive and processed sugar free- diets Heaped high salads, rice, noodle and quinoa bowls, plus herbaceous and fruity cocktails and a great wine list. The desserts may prove a step too far for those used to gluten, dairy and sugar-packed cakes and bakes but will likely be a goldmine for those who aren't.

The Fairmont Empress Hotel

If you want to see why Victoria earned the reputation of being 'the most English city in Canada' then step right in for a lavish afternoon tea at the Empress. Yes, it's pricey and yes, you'll probably have to queue for ages unless you reserve, but the genteel tinkle of silver spoons on bone china cups and the bite-sized patisserie, elegant crust-off sandwiches and scones smothered in decadent swoops of jam and cream might just make it all worthwhile.

The Oyster Bar

If you're looking for a cheerfully rowdy spot to suck down a few cocktails egged on by the super-friendly staff while you eat pre-dinner oysters you've found your spot. Beware the house-brew 'The Shaft' - wickedly delicious and guaranteed to give you a sore head the next day...

Catalano Restaurant & Cicchetti Bar

The perfect spot for brunch. Two words: bacon flight. Yes, porky dreams can come true at this restaurant attached to the Magnolia hotel. Start with a flight and move on to the more innovative brunch items including the Weekend Crossword which features creamed leeks and crispy prosciutto along with the free-range eggs benedict, the tagine with a Moroccan vegetable ragout and lamb sausage or the Mr Douglas which mixes poached eggs with a perfectly-cooked local octopus.

10 Acres Bistro

This convivial bistro boasts a spacious patio which makes for ideal people watching in the summertime. Products are sourced as much as possible from their own 10 acre farm with a focus on what is fresh and seasonal with a Pacific North West twist. Order the Chef's special of local cheese and house-made charcuterie and you won't go wrong.

Hanks On Douglas

Possibly some of the best barbecue that you ever tasted lies behind the nondescript door of this tiny hole-in-the-wall. All meat comes from the uber-ethical Two Rivers and wow - you can taste the quality in every bite. Try the huge platters with the fresh-made cornbread (mmmm!) and the potato salad (mmmm!) as perfect foils to the buttery brisket and superb pulled pork.

Dutch Bakery & Coffee Shop Ltd

Venerable Victoria institution that's a wallet-friendly place to stop for breakfast or lunch or just to stock up on their delicous (and amazingly inexpensive) cakes and treats.