The last hoorah for the summer was celebrated on Vancouver Island with our much-anticipated Juan De Fuca Marine Trail hiking trip. Spontaneously cutting our trip a day early because of a small map reading blunder, we spent the night and an afternoon in Victoria then finally adjourned the trip at a winery.
We love to eat- and eat we did! Check out what we had below.
1. Tapas Bar
620 Trounce Alley, Victoria, BC V8W 1K3
The first night we aimlessly walked around downtown Victoria on a quest for food. Google Maps came to our aid and we were walking towards a sushi restaurant – which one is irrelevant now- until we came across this post identifying Trounce Alley.
It’s a nice alley with several restaurants and small art shops. We decided to dine at one of the places here instead, and Tapas Bar was the busiest place at that time.
We were promptly seated in a loud corner, but someone was with us right away to get us started. Sangria, ceviche, fondue, mussels, and a few cocktails were decided upon. The photos came out a bit dark, but the best thing we had that night were the Coconut Lime Saltspring Island mussels. After all that hiking by the coastline, and seeing these clinging to rocks everywhere, a huge craving that was finally satiated.
2. La Tana
3 Fan Tan Alley #101, Victoria, BC V8W 1W3
The moment we walked through Fan Tan Alley, 2 people told us this was the best bakery in all of Victoria. Looking around aimlessly does have its perks, I guess. It’s a cozy little shop, and it smells amazing! It appears they focus on Italian pastries.
One of the staff there helped us out and answered all my questions and pronunciations of the food (which I have sadly already forgotten). The heart-shaped pastries are almost identical in taste and texture of the french palmier. The sfogliatella (say that 3 times fast) is a specialty from Naples and is flaky and stuffed with candied orange peel and ricotta filling. Will need to eat at more bakeries to confirm if La Tana is indeed the best. A huge undertaking, but someone needs to do it!
509 Fisgard St, Victoria, BC V8W 2P3
This was our brunch destination for the day. Located in Chinatown and serving brunch and dinner. They follow a farm-to-table philosophy and all ingredients are from British Columbia!
It took me a while to decide. Their menu was so tantilizing but we finally settled on something. I got the souffle pancake with cheese fondue sauce, and my other-half got the summer vegetables and poached eggs. The pancake was really neat. I particularily enjoyed it because it wasn’t as dense as a pancake, and also it was nice that there was a savory option for it. The poached eggs in the other dish were perfect. It reminded me of japanese soft boiled eggs.
My favorite thing about the room were the shelves full of awesome cook books. I felt like a kid eager to get my grimmy little fingers all over a new toy. The staff were pretty nice about me flipping through one while we were waiting for our food to arrive.
I am looking forward to trying their dinner menu some time!
4. Silk Road Tea
1624 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1Z3
We forgot to take any images of this tea shop because of the food induced coma we were experiencing so you will need to use your imagination (or google).
The shop expanded sometime ago so there are two rooms full of tea! I particularly liked that it was a self-service. Packaging tins and labels are available for consumers to fill from the larger tins of their amazing teas neatly lined on the shelves.
We sampled some iced-tea as we perused their selections and were thoroughly educated by one of the staff about how they process their teas, how to brew them, and some cocktail ideas. I think there will be some end-of-summer gin cocktails resulting from our brew.
5. Kid Sister Ice Cream
#10 Fan Tan Alley, Victoria, BC V8W 1W3
I love icecream. A lot. We saw this earlier, when we were going to have pastries, but saved it for an after brunch treat. The two flavors we settled on were the Sour Cherry Lemon and the Blackcurrant Lime. They also had a freezer full of popsicles that were very tempting too but I couldn’t consume anymore things. The citrus in the ice-cream was perfect for a refreshing treat in the summer heat.
I’ll be back for the popsicles Kid Sister Ice Cream… I’ll be back.
6. Church and State Winery
1445 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1J5
We had been so spontaneous while in Victoria that when we saw signs for wineries on the way to Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal we thought, “why stop now?”. We turned the car around and drove to the winery.
We just missed the hours where they served tapas to go along with the wine, so we had to settle for a liquid diet. There is a reasonably priced fee to taste 4 of their 8 open wines (it is waived with the purchase of two bottles). The server suggested we “leap-frog” where I tried one then my S/O tried the next. By the end we both sampled all 8 and I had a nice buzz going and walked out of there after purchasing 4 bottles of their Lost Inhibitions wines.
Looking back, I’m surprised we managed to go to 6 places in just one and half days! However, I am pretty sure we could top this on the next trip- we’ll have to wait and see.
Happy adventuring and eating!