Friends of Dorothy
So much of the joy of eating out is trying something totally new: new dishes, new drinks, a different type of cuisine, the wild dream of a chef or entrepreneur’s new project. That’s why the Best New Restaurant category will always be one of our favourites—but as always, the actual decision was up to you. As voted by our beloved readers, here are the Best New Restaurants in Victoria.
Friends of Dorothy
In first place comes the new and thriving LGBTQ2S+ cocktail lounge: Friends of Dorothy. The spot on lower Johnson Street is the place to be for drinks that are inspired by the whimsy of the Land of Oz, as well as for delicious and unique brunch. Find food that is both visually delicious and created with a blend of flavours and ingredients to excite the foodie within. At Friends of Dorothy, you can expect a positive and friendly atmosphere any day of the week; with comfortable seating and creative design, this hip new lounge is the newest must-try spot to discover in Victoria. There truly is no place like home—or quite like Dorothy’s.
Tasty dishes and desserts to order at Friends of Dorothy include their plant-based traditional breakfast, the caramelized apple cinnamon waffles and the popular Korean braised beef hash.
537 Johnson St.
In January 2021, Jason Chan (owner of the Village Restaurants) stumbled upon Nikkei Ramen-Ya in Courtenay. He immediately knew that this ramen was “the bowl of his dreams” and that he had to figure out a way to bring it to Victoria. Jason, along with co-owners of the Chinatown Village, Brian Bobiak and Aaron Cho, began Ghost Ramen as a take-out only “ghost kitchen” pop-up to distribute Nikkei’s product. However, Ghost Ramen quickly took on a mind of its own and has since merged with Chinatown Village to offer traditional Island-made ramen paired with small bites, craft cocktails and amazing Village service.
Ghost Ramen is a pandemic project that succeeded. Because of all of the closures in 2020 and dining restrictions, owners decided to try new things and pivot in order to keep their teams employed and the community well fed; Nikkei Ramen had built a state of the art ramen lab prior to the onset of the pandemic, with the goal of opening 4 more locations up Island. The experiments, it appears, worked out well.
Must-try dishes at Ghost Ramen include the popular OG miso ramen and their baos.
1609 Store St.
Yua Japanese Bistro
In third place came also a new place that easily became one of our faves: Yua Japanese Bistro. In no doubt this type of sushi restaurant is exactly what the city needed. Located in Chinatown, good quality and reasonable prices. You can get a lunch special set for as low as $11.
We love their Couple Set (Salmon and Ebi Aburi Oshi, Salmon and Albacore Tuna Nigiri, Spicy Couple Roll, Yam Cream Cheese Roll, and Miso Soup) their Spicy Edamame, Wagyu Nigiri and Foie Gras Nigiri.
622 Fisgard St.
We encourage you to support your favourite restaurants by dining in or ordering takeout—and, of course, try new ones! Let us know what you think by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out on social media at @tastingvictoria.