Here are 9 specialty stores in Victoria
From olive oil to plantains, and sweet candy to savoury spices, each of these stores brings something special
📸: Limey (top-left), Oh Sugar (bottom-left), Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe (top-right), and Fernwood General Store (bottom-right). Graphic / Tasting Victoria
The most obvious type of specialty food store is a bakery, but there are a ton of unique specialty food stores importing spices, foods, and chocolate from around the world. For Victoria residents, it means we can enjoy, cook with, and eat new things, or bring back fond memories of our home countries.
From far and wide, and sweet to savoury, here are a handful of particularly wonderful specialty food stores.
Victoria Olive Oil Co.
Victoria Olive Oil Co. offers premium extra virgin olive oils from around the globe, curated for the olive oil lovers, and the dabblers. From olive oils to balsamic vinegars, Victoria Olive Oil Co. says its products are unfiltered and come from the first crush of the green olive. Head in and taste 82 varieties of olive oil and balsamic vinegars at the store!
Address: 619 Broughton St.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm; and Sunday, 11am to 4pm.
Island Afrikan Supermarket
Spice up your life at this Quadra Street market. Featuring mostly African products and services, Island Afrikan Supermarket provides imported African groceries, beauty products, accessories, and clothing. It has an in-store spice sampling service too, offering mahleb, taliouine saffron, sumbala, and mitmita to taste and take home. Our favourite? Plantains!
Address: 585 Johnson St.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 6:30pm; Sunday, 1 to 6pm.
Oh Sugar caters to the sweet tooths who are looking for something specific, nostalgic, or just downright tasty. There's a big community of sugar enthusiasts out there—and that’s who Oh Sugar caters to. Finally you can get your hands on all of the hard-to-find candies, chocolates, or vegan sweets you’ve been looking for.
Address: 561 Johnson St. and 3671 Uptown Blvd.
Hours: Downtown is open Sunday to Wednesday from 11am to 5pm, and until 6pm from Thursday to Saturday; and Uptown is open from Thursday to Sunday 11am to 5pm, and open at noon from Monday to Wednesday.
Limey, the British Shop
This British specialty shop sells all your favourites from the King’s homeland: crisps, chocolates, and sweets. Not to mention all of the baking goodies, drinks, biscuits, soups, sauces, worcester sauce and marmite they have too. The shop, opposite of the Capital Iron building, even imports authentic British meat and black pudding. God Save Limey!
Address: 515 Chatham St.
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5:30pm; and Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
The Market Garden
The jars of herbs and spices; the fresh veggies; the baked goodies; and the kombucha. The Market Garden has everything you would imagine an organic grocery store would stock. The Vic West grocery store is a great place to spend some time perusing through the aisles and shelves looking for those unique, locally-sourced items that you didn’t know you wanted.
Address: 810 Catherine St.
Hours: Every day, 8am to 8pm.
Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe
Like the name suggests, this downtown confectionary is like a time warp of taste. With retro candy like Popeye sticks, or imported sweets, like Curly Wurly’s, Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe offers sweets on every scale—even handmade chocolate and fudge too. Check out the Trailer Park Boys potato chips below!
Address: 1003 Government St.
Hours: Every day, 10am to 10pm.
Fernwood General Store
Like Aubergine’s before it, Fernwood General Store stocks African and kosher foods, as well as a slew of specialty coffee brands, non-alcoholic beverages, and Spanish tinned seafoods. You will also notice some familiar local brands like Fernwood Coffee, Bicycle Pizza, and Old Soul Jam Co. stocked on its shelves too.
Address: 1308 Gladstone Ave
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9:30am to 7pm; Sunday, 11am to 6pm.
This Japanese confectionary shop (or “Konbiniya”) sells a unique Japanese items. Onigir is a nori-wrapped rice ball with unique, fun, and flavourful fillings inside and there are over 13+ flavours in-store. Kakigōri are like snow cones—fresh shaved ice with flavoured syrups like matcha and yuzu added. If that doesn’t hit the spot, the store is full of Japanese cookies, sweets, sodas, and chocolates. Oni-Oni is a little taste of Japan in the heart of Victoria!
Address: 585 Johnson St.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm; Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
Mexican House of Spice
Beyond the staples of masa, tortillas, dried chillies, and queso fresco, the store often brings out specialty one-off goods for special occasions. There are community-made pinatas hanging high up top in the high-ceilinged brick store, and in the back, Indigenous art is proudly displayed for sale.