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.
Quick and funky, the Noodle Box is a great place to get filled up without emptying your wallet. The pan-Asian menu starts out with comforting favorites like spring rolls and fried dumplings. Soups, curries and stir-fries make up the remainder of the menu. Try Thai tom yum soup, Malaysian lamb curry, Japanese teriyaki stir fry, or Thai-style noodles with peanut sauce. Most dishes are available with your choice of chicken, beef, pork, prawns or tofu. A fun place to go with friends or even a casual date. Ideal for take out.
The noodles are made fresh on the premises and a glass wall lets you watch the chefs work their magic. This authentic noodle house offers daily lunch specials incorporating different fresh seafood each day. Also delicious are the spicy ginger fried chicken and the imperial prawn with spicy garlic wine sauce. Lunch lines are often out the door at this hidden gem, thanks to the tasty fare and modest prices. Casual.
Sook Jai Thai is authentic from the décor, which evokes ancient Siam, to the food, which is prepared by a master chef and staff from Thailand. If it's available, be sure to start with Chor muang, a beautiful, flower-shaped, steamed dumpling stuffed with chicken, pineapple, onion, cilantro, garlic and chili. The menu features wonderful traditional dishes such as pad Thai, satay, gai yang, tom yam, and a variety of curries, with wine or beer suggestions for each. Vegetarian options are available. Lunch combos are a deal – spring roll, soup and a main dish for about $8.
A short walk from the waterfront is one of Victoria's best Thai restaurants. The menu is coded according to the spiciness of the dish, and both hot and mild choices are superb. You'll find traditional Thai favorites like coconut and lemongrass chicken, pad Thai noodles, and red, yellow and green curries. A local favorite is the goong – fried rice noodles with prawns, tofu, peanuts, eggs, bean sprouts and green onions. If things get too hot for you, an excellent beer selection helps to cool things down. Smart casual.
This friendly Vietnamese café serves traditional fare with a French influence. The crab, asparagus and egg-swirl soup is a house specialty not to be missed. The tasty and reasonably priced combination dinners make Le Petit Saigon a Victoria favorite. Smart casual dress.
When Victorians want terrific Chinese food, they flock to Ming's. The dinner menu features Cantonese favorites as well as house specialties such as garlic crab and barbecued duck. There are plenty of vegetarian selections available, and Ming's serves a lunch that's fast and delicious. Casual to smart casual dress.
Savvy locals know to head to this special little eatery, whose casual, almost homey decor and friendly service make even strangers feel like long-lost friends. Hearty eaters will want to opt for one Kim's special seafood or noodle dishes, maybe even mussels in sake served with lemon grass and a sweet coconut sauce. A word to the wise: the lunch and dinner combos are always smart bets. If it's a vegetarian dish you crave, why not go for tofu, mushrooms and mixed vegetables served in a special broth or fried vegetarian spring rolls, rumored to be among the best in town? Reservations are suggested during peak seasons.
The sleek lines and serene color palette associated with Japanese décor is replicated at Azuma, an ideal spot for a relaxing business lunch or dinner date. In addition to what many people hail as the freshest sushi in town, the restaurant serves a nice variety of cooked seafood, beef dishes and tempura, and combination platters and bento boxes are a great option if you can't settle on one or two things. Everything on the menu is available for take out – a special bento box neatly holds all the components of your meal and chop sticks are included.
Frequently mentioned as having Victoria's best sushi, Kaz concentrates not only on offering the freshest fish but also the widest variety. Each piece is beautiful, precisely rolled, sliced and presented. The menu includes many other traditional Japanese dishes such as tempura vegetables and chicken teriyaki. A proven winner on the Victoria dining scene.