Marilena named among Canada's best restaurants

Three local cocktail bars also received recognition

Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants—a definitive list of the country’s finest, released every year—has just dropped, with several establishments in Victoria getting recognition.

Most notably, Marilena Cafe and Raw Bar landed in first place for Canada’s Best New Restaurant category, a Victoria restaurant that has been open in the city since June of last year. Owned by Top Table restaurant group, a team behind many award-winning restaurants in the West Coast such as Blue Water Cafe, Elisa and CinCin (among others), Marilena is their first restaurant to open on the Island and has exponentially gained popularity since opening in 2023.

With a strong focus on high-quality seafood sourced both globally and locally as well as using sustainable ingredients, Marilena’s most standout feature is their Japanese raw bar where guests can select from a diverse menu of nigiri, sashimi and sushi rolls. That’s merely the beginning of what their dinner menu offers, though—think Nova Scotia lobster with lemon butter fondue for the table, or miso glazed sablefish with dashi and Tokyo turnip.

Marilena also offers an expansive wine list from reputable regions all around the world with an emphasis on the Island’s premiere wineries.

Which, speaking of drinks, don’t just stop at Marilena on the newly released list. Three local cocktail bars have also been named in the best 50 bars list: Clive’s Classic Lounge, Citrus & Cane and Humboldt Bar.

Chosen by critics, chefs, restaurateurs and industry experts across the country, all three have been recognized for their outstanding efforts in service and innovation, with both Clive’s and Citrus & Cane making the list at #13 and #42 last year as well.

What makes all three of these Victoria cocktail bars stand out? A variety of different elements, including ever-changing, seasonally focused menus, mastery over nostalgic classics like the piña colada and gin martini and tastefully designed interiors that make guests feel like they’ve entered into a different world.

We couldn’t be more excited to see our local favourites getting well-deserved recognition on the national stage.

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