Barb's seasonal restaurant serves their fish and chips in classic British style – piping hot and presented in a newspaper cone. The fish is lightly breaded halibut or cod, and the fries are hand-cut. From the Inner Harbour, catch the ferry to Fisherman's Wharf and you can't miss Barb's blue-painted floating restaurant. Picnic tables allow you to eat and watch the local fishermen at work.
The bustle and energy at Pagliacci's is non-stop. This New York-style Italian restaurant is a favorite among locals. The cuisine is traditional southern Italian, including knock-your-socks-off ravioli and luscious veal parmigiana. You'll also find 20 a la carte pastas available, each made by hand. This is one of the best late night eateries in the city. Try fresh, warm focaccia while you listen to live music Sundays through Wednesdays. A limited menu is available from 3pm-6pm.
Head to this fun, casual restaurant to indulge in all of your Mexican favorites, like enchiladas, tacos, burritos and fajitas. The house specialty is the Vista del Mar – a grilled flour tortilla is first stuffed with prawns and scallops in a white cream sauce, then smothered with cheese, avocado and sour cream. Wash down your meal with a Mexican beer or homemade sangria. Casual dress.
Having a midnight snack attack? QV is one of Victoria's best spots for a quick bite. Along with your coffee, try a muffin or cookie made fresh in the bakery. Heartier fare includes eggs, quiches and salads.
The chalet is a bit of a drive from Victoria, but a waterfront location on Deep Cove and a classic menu make it worth the trip. This traditional restaurant beautifully presents all of your favorites, including escargot, cheese soufflé and beef Wellington. For something a bit different, try scrambled eggs with caviar or a bowl of exquisite truffle soup. Delicious desserts include cherries jubilee and crêpes Suzette. Reservations required.
Afternoon tea is a Victoria institution, and this authentic British tearoom is a local favorite. Afternoon teas include crust-less sandwiches, warm scones, fresh fruit, butter tarts, sausage roll, Blethering Place's own strawberry jam and a choice of tea or coffee. If the menu sounds too filling for mid-afternoon, simply choose a scone or tart from the a la carte menu. There's a staggering selection of specialty teas. Blethering Place is also open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and on weekends they host "musical evenings."
A 4-foot tall Buddha greets you at the bottom of the stairs leading to Don Mee's second story dining room. You won't be sorry that you made the climb – Don Mee's has been pleasing palates since 1923. Lunch is dim sum only (available until 2:30pm), and they offer the most extensive selection in Victoria. Dinner consists of traditional Szechwan and Cantonese dishes such as sweet and sour chicken, ginger fried beef, and steamed lobster in minced garlic sauce. Smart casual dress.
If you're downtown and need a break from sightseeing, you'll want to head over to Paradiso di Stelle to see "Momma." She makes superb gelato, some of the best in the city. Even if you're not a big ice cream fan, you can sit out on the patio amidst the bustle of Bastion Square and sip a cup of freshly brewed Illy coffee or slurp up a steaming bowl of minestrone – you won't be disappointed!
This casual eatery is Victoria's only vegan buffet. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike enjoy hearty Moroccan chickpea and vegetable soup with homemade bread, vegetarian primavera salad and fresh squeezed juices, smoothies and shakes. While sampling delicious pumpkin tofu cheesecake, you can sip your choice of organic tea or coffee.
Serious Coffee buys beans from all over the world, mostly fair trade and organic, and their baristas are exceptionally well trained. A small local chain, the shop also has a nice selection of baked goods, paninis and soups.