Top 10 Most Iconic Dishes in Victoria

A Self-Guided Tour of Must-Try Food in Victoria


There are some dishes in Victoria that you absolutely HAVE to try when you are here. From local cult favorites to popular tourist landmarks, these dishes define the culinary scene of Victoria. Some of the dishes have been around for 30+ years and some are new, and some are a local invention. Here is our curated list of the Top 15 Most Iconic Dishes of Victoria.

Ice Cream Mountain Victoria

PAGLIACCI’S: 1011 Broad St

MUST TRY DISH: Foccaccia Bread

WHY: a very popular restaurant that’s been in business since 1979. The focaccia bread is one of the most beloved dishes in town – a cult favorite among locals and free!


Sundae from Alpina Villa Eryie

BEACON DRIVE INN: 126 Douglas St

MUST TRY: The soft serve ice cream 

WHY: Voted best ice cream in the city for 28 years! This institution has been operating since 1958. Plus it’s close to Dallas Road and Beacon Hill park.

Ice Cream float from The Ainsle

BARB’S FISH & CHIPS: 1 Dallas Rd

MUST TRY DISH: Fish & Chips

WHY: You can’t come to Victoria wihout ordering some classic fish and chips. An appropriate dish for seafood loving Islanders and a nod to our very British past (Victoria once called “more British than the British). Barb’s has been slinging F&C since the early 1980s and their tartar sauce is a beloved recipe. 

Scoop of gelato at Grove Hall Farm

THE TAPA BAR: 620 Trounce Alley

MUST TRY DISH: Mussels Cha Cha Cha

WHY: Another local cult favorite – this dish is a bowl full of  local BC mussels served with a spicy garlic tomato sauce. Located in a beautiful alley that makes you feel like you’re tucked away in Spain.

scoop of pink ice cream

LOY SING: 544 Fisgard Street

MUST TRY DISH: Roasted BBQ pork

WHY: This is the oldest Chinese owned business in North America and they specialize in Chinese BBQ dishes like pork and duck. 

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Inside Cold Front Gelato Nanaimo

THE BLUE FOX: 919 Fort Street

MUST TRY DISH: Morrocan chicken benny

WHY: Going for brunch is a sport in Victoria and this popular cafe will have a line-up around the corner. This is their most popular dish, a staple on the menu for over 15 years.

Inside Cold Front Gelato Nanaimo

Jones Bar-B-Q: 1725 Cook Street

MUST TRY DISH: Brisket Sandwich

WHY: The best BBQ on the island using Southern techniques that owner Chris Jones learned from a master in Austin Texas. This huge sandwich will blow your socks off!

Inside Cold Front Gelato Nanaimo

FINEST AT SEA: 27 Erie Street

MUST TRY DISH: Octopus taco

WHY: This is Victoria’s largest seafood fleet that sells their local catch out of a heritage house in James Bay. The food truck out front sells wam seafood dishes and the octopus taco is incredible: locally caught octopus grilled to perfection with homemade slaw on a flour tortilla.

Inside Cold Front Gelato Nanaimo

Sticky Wicket: 919 Douglas Street

MUST TRY DISH: Shaft Cocktail

WHY: This cocktail is a Victoria invention (although Calgarians would disagree) consisting of cold brew coffee, vodka, kahlua and baileys. There are lot’s of places to get this drink in Victoria but there’s something fun about fending off the hoards of university students at this popular watering hole.

Inside Cold Front Gelato Nanaimo

THE DUTCH BAKERY: 718 Fort Street

MUST TRY DISH: The Parliament

WHY: The Schaddelee family immigrated to Canada from Rotterdam in 1955 and opened this classic diner that still serves their family recipes. The Parliament is a pastry with 2 sugar cookies filled with mocha cream , nougat, and then dipped in chocolate and topped with their house made marzipan. They spray paint a chocolate image of the legislature building on top!

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