(Wheelies Motorcycles/Instagram)

If you haven’t eaten at these spots, are you even a Victorian?

Victoria has so many restaurants and the tourist spots are well known to locals as places to go in the off-season, but to avoid whenever a cruise ship haunts our shores. 

Luckily for us, we have loads of places we can go to for a friendly face, a hearty meal and little to no tourists.

Not that we hate tourists, we just want to hang with our own community. We want to eat a hot dog while we sip a cocktail and have our hair cut, or have a soup, salad and beer on the front porch of a motorcycle shop, you know?

Here are the truest of the true Victorian restaurants:

Wheelies

Is it a motorcycle shop or the best sandwich shop in town? It’s both! 

Wheelies hosts a Motorcycle Social every Friday evening, but aside from that it’s open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday to Sunday and has some of the best sandwiches, mac and cheese, soup, salads and brunch in town. 

The perfect spot to cure your hangover blues on a Saturday or Sunday with a featured skillet and a double caesar made by a handsome boy in a crop top.

  • Where: 2620 Rock Bay Avenue
  • When: Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open until 9 p.m. on Fridays

Fork’n Pork

The literal definition of a hole in a wall. 

Fork’n Pork is two windows in a wall on Wharf Street. It is known as the capital of drunk food consumption in the city. 

Customize yourself a mac and cheese, drive a pulled pork sando into your guts or slip a glizzy down your drunk throat.

  • Where: 1221 Wharf Street
  • When: Sunday to Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

John’s Place

Victoria’s food scene’s brunch mainstay and greatest enigma, John’s Place has the diner brunch you just can’t get anywhere else.

Approximately 1,000 signed photos don the walls of John’s Place. All made out to John. Just who is John exactly?

He is a refined chef, Food Olympics gold medal winner and a free spirit. His gourmet/fine dining he decided to leave behind when he moved to Victoria from LA when he opened a Little Sammy’s Fattburger. 

Then John used the money he saved up to buy a one way ticket to Tahiti for a down payment on a lease of an old fish n’ chips place on Pandora Avenue. 

He opened the doors in October, 1984 and the rest is history.

  • Where: 723 Pandora Avenue
  • When: Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saint Franks

Broad Street’s late night watering hole.

Hot dogs, cocktails, a barber, yacht rock and an arcade. This place has all the things you could want to make some good and bad late night decisions.

Everything they do, they do with a refined flare. You will never have a hot dog that can possibly compare to what they’ve got going on. 

Get yourself the “dirtbag special,” a shot of Jameson and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

  • Where: 1320 Broad Street
  • When: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Willows Galley Fish & Chips

Another hole in the wall!

Literally there is just a window you order through. Although they do have a small seating area inside the restaurant, it has not been open for dine-in since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Is it the best fish and chips in Victoria? Some say yes, but ultimately you’ll have to be the judge. Get yourself something to-go and sauter down to Willow’s Beach. It’s only a two minute walk!

  • Where: 2559 Estevan Avenue
  • When: Wednesday to Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Boomtown

The folks behind Northern Quarter and Foo have made Victoria’s best patio, best burrito and most local’s favourite meet-up spot in one fell swoop.

You will never, ever have a better burrito in Victoria. That right there is a fact. 

While you’re there make sure to get yourself a “beer & loathing,” which is a shot of Jameson and a Miller High Life (in bottle form).

They also might just have Victoria’s most Instagram-able bathroom.

  • Where: 950 Yates Street
  • When: Sunday to Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

HERO

Victoria’s brand spankin’ new sandwich shop specializing in Italian deli style sandos.

They have no brick and mortar shop as of this publication. They just operate on a pop-up basis. 

Their last pop-up had locals lining up for blocks just to get one of these parchment wrapped delights. 

Follow their Instagram to find their next pop-up. 

  • Where: IYKYK!
  • When: IYKYK!

Pagliacci’s

Are you going to wait in line at Pagliacci’s?

Yes. 

Is it worth it?

Also, yes. 

Will you go even if you’re afraid of clowns? 

You sure will.

You only have to dress medium fancy at most, their food is among some of the best of the best of the best in the city and they’ve been slinging ‘sta since 1979. 

Eat. That. Bread.

  • Where: 1011 Broad Street
  • When: Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Il Terrazzo

The creme de la creme of the Victoria food scene and deservedly so, the hardest place to get a reservation in town. 

If you are looking to celebrate something special, make a normal date super fancy or spend all your paycheque on one fantastic (worth it) dinner, this is the spot.

Just make sure you book a reservation a month in advance!

They don’t need an Instagram. If they had one, it would just mean turning away more want-to-be patrons.

  • Where: 555 Johnson Street
  • When: Monday to Sunday, 4 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

Bunny’s Kitchen

Vegans rejoice! Bunny’s is completely vegetarian and to those who know about it, Bunny’s is their favourite place to grab a bite.

They just closed for a week to revamp their menu to bring you more fanciful vegan pasties, drinks, sandwiches and burritos! 

If you haven’t had a cinna-bunny, you are not a true Victorian and you simply have not lived to your fullest potential. 

  • Where: 904b Esquimalt Road
  • When: Tuesday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Did we forget your favourite ‘true Victorian’ dining spot? Let us know!

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