Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Two Victoria dining spots nominated for Air Canada’s best new restaurants in the country

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We already knew Victoria was pretty spectacular in the cuisine scene, but this undeniably confirms it!

Every year, Air Canada compiles a list of top best new restaurants across the country for their enRoute magazine, beginning with top 30—which represent the most noteworthy openings in our country’s dining scene! 

According to their release, two of Victoria’s newest and brightest have made this longlist—which will later be narrowed to the official top 10 (maybe we’ll make that too)!

Specifically, the Marilena Café & Raw Bar and Ugly Duckling have made their way onto Air Canada’s 20th annual list along with 28 other top new restaurants. 

Marilena opened in downtown Victoria in June and Victoria Buzz had the pleasure of getting a sneak peak at what Marilena is offering—not only the unbelievable food but the atmosphere they’ve created as well. 



In sampling courses from the menu, Executive Chef Kristian Eligh’s passion for the curation of good food is clearly evident. 

“The focus is local and imported sustainable seafood…it’s a fun experience for the diners because there’s so much to explore and so much to see,” Eligh said in an interview. 

The Ugly Duckling is located in Victoria’s Chinatown and describes themselves as a celebration of Vancouver Island ingredients and a love letter to their Chinatown home.

They elegantly combine fine dining and local charm with a seven course tasting menu that changes with the season. 

The shortlist will be announced in early November—so, now we wait!

For the full list and details, check out their website

Marilena Café & Raw Bar

  • Where: 1525 Douglas Street
  • When: Open 7 days a week from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Ugly Duckling

  • Where: 543 Fisgard Street
  • When: Wednesday to Sunday from 5 p.m. until close

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