Photo: upper left, MeeT on Blanshard; upper right, Ugly Duckling Dining; bottom left, Sidney Scones; bottom right, GoodSide Pastry House
It’s an exciting year ahead for Victoria foodies, since many new restaurants are beginning to open their doors in 2023. Whether you’re looking to try a new type of cuisine, or you simply want the comforts of an old favourite, these Victoria restaurants are sure to tantalize your taste buds this year.
Here’s a few we’re excited about that either opened recently, or are intending to open this year. Check them out.
Biryani Palace—2709 Quadra St.
Biryani Palace operates in the same location as the former Pluto’s Diner. In its first week of opening, the restaurant has been a hit. The main draw is the type of food it serves—there are no other dine-in Halal restaurants in Victoria, said co-owners Saqib and Pradeep Nagam, and there are none at all that serve Pakistani cuisine. Opening a restaurant to fill this gap in Victoria has been a goal for the couple, who co-own Biryani Palace with Jahir Shaikh.
Click here for Brishti Basu’s feature on Biryani Palace
Goodside Pastry House—1805 Fort St.
This pre-order bakery finally has a storefront! Goodside Baking left an impression for most customers with its mouth-watering pastries—from éclairs and chocolate mousse domes, to tarts and its signature cream puffs. Goodside is a good place for any foodie who wants to try some unexpected pairings too, like pear and popcorn, or sweet corn and hickory smoked caramel.
MeeT on Blanshard—797 Hillside Ave.
MeeT on Blanshard has had its soft open, and so far it’s been a success. The menu ranges from poutine and burgers, to vindaloo and calamari. Last month, owner Jason Antony told Tasting Victoria that MeeT gives its chefs a lot of creative control in the kitchen—so, there’s plenty of features to look forward to in 2023.
My Way Bikery—1701 Douglas St.
Fans and friends of The Bikery, Moshe and Leah Appel, will continue the kosher bakery tradition at Victoria’s Public Market, and it just opened this week. My Way Bikery will be an environmentally focused kosher bakery specializing in the classics—bagels, challah, and pretzels—and keeping with the spirit of Victoria’s first-ever kosher bakery, the Bikery.
Sidney Scones—9762 Third St.
This local market darling and bakery drew long lines at the Sidney market, then hit it big online. Now, it’s opening a storefront! Owner Chelsey Columbus told Tasting Victoria she intends to flip the script on the classic tea and scone pairings, offering a modern take with mini-scones and Bubble Tea. Still, Columbus will keep providing vegan, keto, and gluten-free options. Now, we just have to patiently wait until the storefront opens in mid-February.
Odd Burger—1700 Blanshard St.
Odd Burger is one of the world’s first vegan fast-food chains, offering plant-based burgers, wraps, desserts, and shakes. A new Victoria location at 1700 Blanshard St. is intended to open some time this year. Here’s hoping it’s soon!
Ugly Duckling Dining and Provisions—543 Fisgard St.
This will be an intimate Chinese-fusion restaurant located in Victoria’s historic Chinatown. Ugly Duckling is slated to open in the spring of 2023, but already the restaurant is giving people a sneak peek on Instagram of what you might come to expect.
Top Table—1515 Douglas St.
Is this the year Vancouver’s Toptable Group opens its first fine dining restaurant on Vancouver Island? We hope so! The yet unnamed project has been situated in a ground-level space along 1515 Douglas’ Cormorant and Douglas streets frontages with a patio.
Victoria Pocha—650 Yates St.
Shrouded in online mystery, this Asian-fusion pub told Tasting Victoria it intends to open in late January, with a soft opening in a few weeks. Victoria Pocha will take over the small space on Yates Street, and will serve authentic Korean food with a fusion of flavours from China and Japan. Check out its soft opening between Jan. 26 and 28 from 6-8pm.
Pictured: Fried Chicken Bao/Photo provided