Only one BC eatery was named on Canada’s Best New Restaurants list and it’s right here on Vancouver Island.

Since 2002, Air Canada enRoute has embarked on a mission to put Canada’s best new restaurants on the map, and this year’s winners were chosen by journalist Nancy Matsumoto.

In August, after trying more than 30 restaurants that were nominated by a panel of experts, which included the Fox & Monocle café in North Saanich.

On Tuesday, November 1st, the airline’s highly anticipated annual top 10 list was revealed and the North Saanich bakery by day and a restaurant by night was crowned ninth best new restaurant in the country.

Award-winning journalist Nancy Matsumoto trekked across the country for a month & dined anonymously at more than 30 spots before selecting the top 10, according to the news release.

In order to qualify, restaurants had to be fully opened between late Spring 2021 and May 31, 2022.

Matsumoto looked at everything from the culinary vision to the quality of ingredients used. Ultimately, though, “it all came down to one meal.”

Fox and Monocle, created by chef Ross Bowles and pastry chef Tracie Zahavich, was chosen for its delicious, fresh food and simplistic decor.

“Bowles was sous chef under chef Rob Cassels at Victoria’s Saveur Restaurant and executive chef at the River Café in Calgary,” reads the ranking by EnRoute.

“He met Zahavich, a fellow Albertan, when she turned out to be his senior, as demi pastry cook, at Gordon Ramsay’s three–Michelin–starred resto in London.”

According to the list, the culinary talents of Bowles and Zahavich come together in offerings like cod and potato pithivier, and BC spot prawns served with roasted red peppers and crunchy polenta cubes.

Here is the complete list of Air Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2022:

  1. Restaurant 20 Victoria (Toronto, ON)
  2. Mastard (Montreal, QC)
  3. MIMI Chinese (Toronto, ON)
  4. Perch (Ottawa, ON)
  5. Một Tô (Calgary, AB)
  6. Hearts Tavern & Bar (Kimberley, ON)
  7. Fonda Balam (Toronto, ON)
  8. Major Tom (Calgary, AB)
  9. Fox & Monocle (North Saanich, BC)
  10. Restaurant Alentours (Quebec City, QC)

“Air Canada is proud to take off with this tradition once again and to put the Top 10 best new restaurants on Canada’s culinary map,” says Andy Shibata, Vice President, Brand, Air Canada.

“It’s inspiring to see these restaurants make their mark with world-class cuisine while also leading the way on industry trends such as sustainability and workplace wellness. We wish them all luck and success.”

Fox & Monocle Cafe

  • Location: 2300 Canoe Cove Road #3, North Saanich
  • Hours: The bakery is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday to Monday. The restaurant is open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday to Monday.



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