Words and photos by Natalie from www.nataliegates.ca
Picnic-spiration. / pik-nik-spur-ashun/ Noun. Drool-worthy meals paired with “I never get tired of this” views that provide inspiration for one to enjoy more picnics. “I’m looking for some picnic-spiration.”
As BC navigates Phase 2 of re-opening amidst COVID-19 and warmer weather becomes more frequent, making a picnic out of your favourite eateries is a perfect way to support them as much as possible while getting out of the house. Victoria is surrounded by gorgeous scenery so you never have to venture far to find an idyllic spot to enjoy some takeout–the hardest part is narrowing them down.
So, here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling. Pack your hand sanitizer, keep your group small, remember to keep your distance with any friends that join you, and bon apppétit.
Let us know what your other favourite picnic combinations are!
Wheelie’s at the Gorge Waterway
Sandwiches on the Gorge, anyone? Wheelie’s Motorcycles is a motorcycle shop meets gourmet cafe that serves up decadent sandwiches topped with wonderful things like root beer braised pork, espresso rubbed brisket, coconut braised turkey, and ginger hoisin mushrooms with black bean pate. Served on perfectly toasted homemade sourdough ciabatta (or as a salad or on corn tortillas, if you prefer!), they make an ideal handheld for gazing over the Gorge Waterway.
Selkirk Trestle (Gorge Waterway)
Order online, pick up, and then scope out the perfect rock to perch on by the Gorge. If you’re cycling, even better. Boot less than 10 minutes across the Selkirk Trestle for even more scenic seating options to enjoy one of the best sandwiches in town.
The Hive at the Gonzales lookout
As you watch the sun dip lower in the sky, casting the city in orange, and the paddle boarders glide along the water below, you take a bite out of a perfectly crunchy cornflake-battered chicken burger, and all feels right in the world…
This could be you if you opt for a Hive Eatery picnic atop the Gonzales lookout. Nestled in the heart of Fairfield, The Hive offers a creative selection of burgers, plus delicious sesame panko battered chicken fingers and tasty sides. Try the Curry Veggie with mango salsa and sweet chili-lime coleslaw, Sweet and Sour Pork with pineapple bacon chutney, Bacon and Cheddar BBQ Bison or, of course, the top selling cornflake chicken.
It all tastes great on the top of the world.
Spice Valley at MacAuly Point Park
If you can put up with some potentially curious puppers out for a walk, Spice Valley + MacAuly Point = a super romantic dinner spot. Bring a blanket, grab your takeout from Spice Valley, then make the quick jaunt to the park to find a spot on the rocks or grass that tickles your fancy. You may even be able to scout out one of the old abandoned bunkers to perch on. Just be sure to stay on the designated walking areas so you don’t damage the various rare and endangered plants that make this park so beautiful.
Spice Valley is a family-owned restaurant that has become a neighbourhood favouritefor good reason. Be it tender aromatic malai kofta, fragrant lamb rogan josh, or vibrant palak paneer that you’re after, it all goes well with sweeping views of the Salish Sea.
Uchida Eatery at Beacon Hill Park
In Japan, there’s a whole category of picnic called Hanami, during which people flock to parks in the spring to dine under the cherry blossoms at the peak of their bloom. While cherry blossom season has, of course, now come and gone this year here in Victoria, you can still enjoy delicious Japanese food in an idyllic park.
UPDATE as of June 9: Friday, June 12 will be the last day Uchida serves takeout lunch for the time being. After the 12th, they will be closing temporarily and eventually reopening with a new model. Keep an eye on their Instagram for updates!
If you’re looking for picnic ideas downtown, you can’t go wrong with Uchida Eatery. Open 11am-1:30pm Tuesday-Friday, Uchida offers simple delicious Japanese food like donburis, onsen eggs, tea, and daily fish and veg specials. Give them a call to place your order between 9am and 11am, then take it up to Beacon Hill Park to grab a spot under one of the willows and watch the ducks and peacocks enjoy their own lunch.
Morning People at Dallas Road
With Morning People’s new location in Cook Street Village, a beachside breakfast picnic just got a lot easier. Their offerings are packed with locally-sourced and foraged ingredients so you can feel extra good about getting your butt out of bed.
Swing by the pretty pink truck to grab a vibrant acai bowl, a hearty hash, or dreamy breakfast sandwich and a cuppa Caffe Fantastico. Then, saunter on up to Dallas Road and enjoy the most important meal of the day with one of Victoria’s most iconic views from your driftwood of choice. Few things go better with breakfast than Mount Baker in the distance.
And if you aren’t a fellow morning person? All good–they’re open 8am until 3pm for all your mid-day brunch needs too.
325 Cook St in the courtyard