(@evaschnitzelhaus/Instagram)

It was a tough year for restaurants. 

While some found themselves having to close their doors and others trying to navigate the ever changing indoor dining restrictions, the restaurant industry was hit hard in 2021.

Victoria is well-known for its incredible food, a variety of options, and locally-owned favourites. 

Although restaurants around town had a difficult year, we did see locals flocking back to support their favourites as soon as they could. 

We even saw some brand new restaurants open their doors, eager to welcome us in!

Here are 8 new eateries that opened in and around Victoria in 2021: 

Liberty Kitchen

Liberty Kitchen, a new dining concept from Browns Restaurant Group, has a menu focusing on artisan pizza, pastas and ‘bowls’. 

The restaurant is located in Langford’s Belmont Market Shopping Centre, a 160,000 square foot shopping centre currently under development.

  • Location: #103 3005 Merchant Way
  • Hours: 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday to Sunday

Eva Schnitzelhaus 

Eva Schnitzelhaus, the brand new addition to Victoria’s Chinatown district, offers new interpretations of classic German, Swiss and Austrian dishes for the public to enjoy. 

The 600 square foot restaurant is bright and spacious, seating 38 diners with an interior designed to feel like the ambiance of an authentic ski chalet.

At Eva, guests can enjoy a variety of share plates, mains, and sides as well as a full happy hour snack selection. Highlights include Potato and Raclette, Beets and Sour Cream, Ham Hock and Sauerkraut, Pretzel and Mustard, and an Endive Waldorf Salad.

  • Location: 509 Fisgard Street
  • Hours: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

Superflux {Cabana} 

Superflux {Cabana} is a 55-seat dining room upstairs harkening to a Hunter S. Thompson-inspired Las Vegas.

Owned by Vancouver-based brewery Superflux, the menu has a stacked line of ten of Superflux’s own beers, a selection of rotating guest taps and select wine and cocktails. You can even grab a four-pack to go!

In spring, Superflux {Cabana} will open a rooftop patio with an additional 60 seats.

  • Location: Upstairs, 804 Broughton Street
  • Hours: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday and Friday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday

Driftwood Brewery Distillery and Tasting Lounge

Thirteen years after Driftwood Brewery began operation at their original brewery in Rock Bay, the company has moved to a new warehouse space in Esquimalt. 

The 59,000 square foot space  includes a distillery, tasting lounge with a patio, kitchen and an enhanced retail store. 

In the lounge, you can enjoy your favourite Driftwood beers, spirits from the new Driftwood Spirits as well as select wine, beer and cider from other producers!

The commercial kitchen will also showcase the fare of locally-owned Dumpling Drop!

  • Location: 836 Viewfield Road, Esquimalt
  • Hours: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Sunday

Riva

In 2021, The Beacon Landing Restaurant & Lounge, a long-standing pub in Sidney, went Italian. 

The Beacon Landing rebranded, becoming Riva. 

The restaurant can seat 85 people and includes a 125-seat fully-licensed lounge with a spacious outdoor patio.

“Guests can expect fresh Italian and Mediterranean flavours in tapas style dishes using plenty of local ingredients, great cocktails, and Italian + BC VQA wine,” General Manager Douglas Stassi said in an email to Victoria Buzz.

  • Location: 2537 Beacon Avenue, Sidney
  • Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday to Sunday

Popeye’s Chicken

In 2021, Vancouver Island got its very first Popeyes Louisiana Chicken, right here in Victoria!

The new location opened just this month in Tuscany Village in Saanich, bringing a whole new world of flavour to the city.

So stop in for their famous chicken sandwich, spicy chicken, chicken tenders, fried shrimp and more!

  • Location: 1646 McKenzie Avenue
  • Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Sunday

Cinnaholic

Cinnaholic—the popular vegan Cinnamon bun chain— came to Victoria in 2021!

Known for its plant-based and allergy-friendly recipes, the international vegan cinnamon roll chain opened in October. 

They offer fresh cinnamon rolls with 40 different frosting flavours and 40 different toppings with half the calories compared to their competitors.

The popular bakery provides custom-made vegan, dairy and lactose-free, egg-free, and cholesterol-free cinnamon buns.

  • Location: Suite 102, 535 Yates Street
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

Ghost Ramen

Victoria’s newest Ramen restaurant, Ghost Ramen, opened in May!

Locals can enjoy dining in or taking their ramen, baos, fried dishes and even dessert to go.

You can even get some Ghost Ramen merch!

  • Location: 1609 Store Street
  • Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Sunday

Which of these new Victoria restaurants is your favourite?

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