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    Thrilling Gastronomic Journeys and Expeditions in Victoria, British Columbia

    Victoria, the harbor-front metropolis of British Columbia, is currently experiencing a boom in its culinary, beer, and beverages sector. In the year 2023, the city is witnessing the rise of fresh eateries, taverns, and gastronomic excursions.

    An interesting point to note is that Victoria boasts the highest ratio of dining establishments per person in Canada. Given its namesake from Queen Victoria, the city stands as one of the most ancient in the Pacific Northwest. With British settlement tracing back to 1843, the influence of the monarch permeates the city. Notably, Victoria has been acclaimed as the “Brunch Capital of Canada” owing to its vibrant culinary ethos.

    An enticing affair, Food Day Canada, honours the farmers, chefs, and their gastronomic creations, taking place on August 5.

    Off the Eaten Track offers a leisurely three-hour promenade that escorts participants to some of Victoria’s finest dining establishments, where they can relish in a gradual four-course feast of regional farm-to-table delicacies. This expedition allows guests to wander around the city while acquainting themselves with its culinary treasures.

    Recently, Off the Eaten Track introduced a novel Distinguished Dining Evening Excursion. This outing commences at the historic Steamship Terminal edifice, where guests embark on a guided tour, delving into the city’s historical landmarks. The initial stop is at Bar 500, a chic venue, where patrons can savor a glass of BC wine and an appetizer.

    Following this, the tour conductor leads guests along the inner harbor to The Courtney Room, an award-winning eatery situated within the Magnolia Hotel. Chef Brian Tesolin showcases an array of starters crafted from foraged and seasonal farm-fresh ingredients. The progressive dining escapade encompasses two starters, a main course, and dessert, with the option of wine pairings available for an extra charge.

    Off the Eaten Track provides various gradual gastronomy excursions, such as the Modern Chinatown Gastronomy and Historical Ramble, the Dine Like a Canadian Excursion, and the Urban Gastronomy and Metropolis Excursion. Private expeditions can also be arranged.

    Another avenue to explore Victoria’s culinary landscape is through The Pedaler, a bicycle hire and cycling expedition enterprise. The Pedaler has partnered with Off the Eaten Track to present an “Indulge, Imbibe, and Cycle” excursion. Participants will be equipped with a helmet and a bicycle or e-bike and will embark on an expedition through Victoria’s trendsetting neighborhoods, sampling delectable fare and libations along the way. The excursion includes visits to Victoria’s cherished Root Cellar grocery outlets, where participants can taste their renowned green condiment, as well as halts at BoomTown for iconic burritos, Fernwood Pizza for a slice of pizza, and Deer & Dough Bakery for a special biscuit.

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    The Pedaler also offers additional rambles, such as the Twilight Experience for voyage passengers seeking to delve into Victoria’s culinary scene during their harbor stop. There is also a Hoppy Hour Excursion for those who relish cycling and pausing at local breweries and parks for libations and scenic vistas. The Castles, Hoods & Legends expedition transports guests to iconic landmarks, including the narrowest lane in North America and the tallest freestanding totem pole.

    A visit to Victoria would be incomplete without a visit to the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel. Visitors can indulge in a sophisticated afternoon tea ritual or the novel Sunset Sips encounter. The afternoon tea includes a selection of 21 elegant loose-leaf teas served in regal china, accompanied by savory and dainty tea sandwiches, fresh fruits, and pastries. This custom has been upheld at the hotel for over 115 years. As night falls, guests can relish Sunset Sips, where transparent glass teapots dispense tea-infused cocktails into glass tea cups, while guests partake in savory tapas and confectioneries on a three-tier stand.

    Victoria has welcomed several fresh culinary maestros and dining venues in 2023, including Q at the Empress. Q at the Empress is nestled in the most storied quarters in Victoria and offers an essential gastronomic journey for Pacific Northwest cuisine. The culinary artisans at Q at the Empress utilize regional produce in their creations, fostered by collaborations with local farmers and craftsmen. They also maintain their own chef’s herb, veggie, and apiary garden to ensure fresh and original meals.

    Other notable dining establishments in Victoria encompass Fathom at the Hotel Grand Pacific, which showcases a seafood-focused menu influenced by the rugged West Coast, and Ugly Duckling, housed within one of the splendid heritage edifices in Chinatown, where all offerings are handcrafted using ingredients sourced from Vancouver Island. Bray’s, a tapas and taverna, provides a distinctive dining experience with seasonal small plates paired with regional and globally renowned wines. Marilena Cafe & Raw Bar, established by the proprietors of the Vancouver Canucks and TopTable Group, presents a selection of nigiri, sashimi, and sushi rolls from their raw bar. For individuals seeking gluten-free alternatives, The Art of Slow Food bakery and cafe employs local organic ingredients and traditional gluten-free culinary techniques.

    For further insights on where to lodge, dine, and discover in Victoria, visit Tourism Victoria.

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