Just a quick ferry ride from multiple Northwest ports, Victoria is known for its island-pace of life, Mediterranean climate, and English-inspired architecture. The British Columbia capital is very pedestrian-friendly and maintains a natural beauty that hosts some of Canada’s most stunning flower gardens, namely The Butchart Gardens. But it also has breweries and wineries, an abundance of locally sourced food, and more outdoor dining than one can choose from. With patio season is in full swing, here are a few of our favorite spots for outdoor sips and bites in Canada’s Garden City.
Canoe Brewpub’s picturesque, waterfront brewery and outdoor patio resides just steps away from Chinatown. The collection of patio tables overlooks the marina and Victoria skyline. Sessionable, classic beer styles with a contemporary twist dominate the beer side of the menu, and small-batch brews make frequent visits through the brewmaster’s “Windward Series.” But the drink lineup also boasts an expansive wine list and approachable cocktails. The waterfront views pair effortlessly with the restaurant’s elevated, pub fare. If you need a break from the outside, Canoe’s vast and rustic, 125-year-old restaurant will surely welcome you in.
The British Columbia population has deep ties to the United Kingdom, with some ancestry to Ireland. For a true Irish pub experience, look no further than Irish Times. This spot won an award for North America’s Best Irish Pub in 2017. Though far from the motherland, it’s easy for visitors to experience a taste of Irish culture and cuisine right in the heart of downtown Victoria. There is plenty of Guinness, but there’s also local Canadian sips from producers like Unsworth Vineyards and Category 12. Celtic music reverberates in the atmosphere. There’s ample outdoor seating with authentic, Irish whiskey at your fingertips. What more could you ask for?
Nourish Kitchen & Cafe
Nourish is geared toward the health-conscious eater that appreciates whole, seasonal foods. But this holistic approach is also applied to their philosophy: “Eat with the ones you love.” Bringing friends from all food circles and lifestyles is encouraged, whether they’re vegan, vegetarian or carnivores. Visitors can sit in the sun for breakfast, lunch or coffee with a gluten-free pastry among the greenery from the kitchen’s garden. The wine list touts an impressive list of British Columbia wines. Some familiar faces include Haywire Wine and Little Engine Wines. You won’t find this location in the bustle of downtown, but in a quaint neighborhood — Nourish Kitchen is located in a beautiful, heritage home built in 1888.
Nestled in Downtown Victoria is Bastion Square — a gathering place lined with art, cafes and artisan markets. The Local rests at the foot of the square, across the street from the waterfront. Rows of colorful, hanging flower-baskets adorn the open seating area where visitors can sip on local producers like Phillips Brewing, Sea Cider, or refreshing, mason jar cocktails. Sunset views over the Inner Harbor make for a dreamy ambiance that is hard to compete with. But it’s the welcoming staff that leaves a lasting impression. Fitting to its identity, you’ll likely finish your visit feeling like one of the locals.