Here are 7 of our favourite dishes in Victoria so far this year
At Tasting Victoria, we've been hard at work tasting every new restaurant, feature, and anything great we can get our hands on. Here's what we had in 2023.
Like my dad always says, “It’s March already?” It actually doesn’t matter what month it is—he always says that.
But March it is!
For us at Tasting Victoria, that means we’ve been hard at work, out and about, tasting every new restaurant, feature, and anything great we can get our hands on.
We figured for the sake of our readers, that hard work requires a list!
So here’s a few of our favourite dishes so far in 2023.
Breakfast sandwich from Ruth and Dean
No joke, I had one of the best breakfast sandwiches in Estevan Village the other day. It was a Friday afternoon and I’d never been to Ruth and Dean’s before. When I walked in, the place was buzzing with people. From Oak Bay councillors to industry folk, the whole spectrum of locals fit inside.
I got the sandwich intending on taking the short walk to Willows Beach, but I honestly couldn’t resist, so I ate it on a bench nearby.
The tomato was fresh, the avocado was ripe, the cheese held it all together, and the egg was perfectly made: over-easy. What really elevated this breakfast sandwich was the freshly baked house biscuit. I’m dreaming about it as I type, and I can’t wait to go back for seconds sometime.
Mini-egg ice cream from 49 Below, Cold Comfort, and Parachute
Lucky for us, a ton of craft ice cream shops are selling mini-egg ice cream this year; and so far, I’ve been irresistibly addicted.
Victoria has blessed/cursed me with amazing craft ice cream spots like Cold Comfort, 49 Below, and Parachute Ice Cream.
Cold Comfort’s mini-egg ice cream has been a hit for years—it’s a creamy white ice cream with fudge, cocoa cookie crust and full mini-eggs in it. You can get also get it dairy free (but mini-eggs have dairy, FYI).
49 Below, on the other hand, has made its mini-egg ice cream purple—like the colour of the tie my mom made me wear to church growing up. Mini-eggs are crushed up and full mini-eggs linger around the melt in your mouth Easter Egglets ice cream.
I haven’t had Parachute Ice Cream’s yet, but it’s nearby and next on my list—so watch out!
Pork belly taco from Taco Justice
I first moved to Victoria and settled in Oaklands.
On a particularly “hangry” day I walked around and tried to get my bearings of my new home. I was totally lost, but suddenly found when I tried one of my favourite tacos in the city: the Belly to Belly taco from Taco Justice.
The slow-cooked pork belly and shoulder taco is built like an ahi tuna taco— pickled Thai chillies, Oh-Snap sauce (mayo, peas, white onion and garlic), sweet soy, Thai basil, cilantro, and cucumber slaw. It’s so packed with ingredients, you’re served a fork and a few taco chips to eat the rest.
To sum it up: great taco, good memories, and a must try.
Cheeseburger from Burger Crush
Burger Crush actually used to live in the current Greek-n-Go food truck near Taco Justice. Now, it’s taken over the former Tacofino on Fort Street and has been able to serve an absolutely bonkers-good burger—so much so, Burger Crush was voted as one of the best in the 2023 Tasting Victoria Awards presented by Gordon Food Service.
Perhaps to your surprise, I hadn’t tried its cheeseburger until last week, and it’s taken a lot out of me to not go get one every day. It’s a classic with pickles, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, melted cheddar cheese, and a hand-pressed beef patty.
The service at its Fort Street location was fast, the menu was simple, and the burger was even better. If you’re plant-based, the vegan and veggie burgers are just as good.
Lamb Gyro from Greek-n-Go
And of course, I can’t mention Greek-n-Go without mentioning its lamb-packed gyro with tomatoes, cucumbers, tzatziki, topped with french fries. It’s a classic, and Greek-n-Go makes sure the portions are big and bountiful!
Last month, we met up with the father-daughter duo, Eirini and Leftheri Sypsa, to chat about the long journey from Greece to Victoria, and the chance they took on opening this food truck. Check it out.
Butter-poached Haida Gwaii halibut from Ugly Duckling Dining
I am into the fancier things in life too, and you may have already read about the halibut in a recent feature I did on Ugly Duckling Dining. It bears repeating, though: it was the best halibut I’ve ever had.
It was like a piece of art: the plating, the delicacy of the halibut, and the sweet and salty poached butter. Encore! encore!
Japabao Dog from Block Kitchen + Bar
I write letters to my parents in Edmonton about Block Kitchen + Bar’s happy hour. It has some of my favourite dishes on that menu, including Korean fried chicken. But the standout is the Japabao Dog, which I wrote about earlier this year.
The juicy double-smoked farmer’s sausage comes on a steamed bao bun and is made with house-made kimchi, takoyaki sauce, kewpie mayo, and bonito shavings.
It’s an explosion and fusion of flavours from the West and the East.
What should I try next? Let me know: [email protected]