Spot prawn season is officially here

Here’s how you can celebrate the coming of this delicious crustacean in Victoria

It’s right around the end of May each year that seafood lovers living in and around Vancouver come to celebrate one of the most iconic food celebrations on the West Coast: The Spot Prawn Festival.

Hosted by the Chef’s Table Society of British Columbia and the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association, the Spot Prawn Festival is an annual event centred around the harvesting of a particular species of shrimp—the spot prawn—a delicacy known around the world for its sweet, delicate flavour and firm texture.

Spot prawn season is traditionally from May to June, the late start in the year to allow the prawns to grow big before catching begins.

Each year, scores of people from Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and beyond visit the False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf in Vancouver to enjoy this delicacy. This season the event will take place on May 26 and the main fare will be in the form of a luscious bisque and prawn brunch. For $79, hungry wharf prowlers will be treated to a grazing style tasting menu of six unique spot prawn dishes accompanied by local draughts of beer and cider.

Enjoying some of the finest dishes that Pacific Northwest cuisine has to offer isn’t the only indulgence of the festival. It is also the main fundraising event of the year for the Chef’s Table Society and Pacific Prawn Fisherman’s Association, enabling both groups to provide education, mentorship and support sustainability initiatives throughout BC.

Now of course not everyone is going to make the trip to Vancouver just to get their hands on some delicious spot prawns. And they don’t have to. Vancouver’s famous Fisherman’s Wharf is just one of several places where seafood enthusiasts can get their spot prawn fix this year: we’ve rounded up a few places right here in Victoria where local foodies can enjoy this dish.

For those looking to get their hands on this exquisite crustacean in and around the Island, be sure to check out Oak Bay Seafood at 2024 Oak Bay Ave., a seafood store well known for its fish and crustacean-oriented kitchen and market that sells hot items like Arctic char, local Dungeness crab and, of course, spot prawns (get ‘em while they’re hot!).

Likewise, Finest at Sea at 27 Erie St. is another reliable spot to pick up the meaty delicacy—the locally-sourced, sustainability-focused shop offers an extensive selection of goods. The team at Finest at Sea will be breaking out their grills in their parking lot to celebrate the short spot prawn season on Sunday, May 26 from 11am to 6pm. Aside from spot prawns, we’ve got our eyes on their seacuterie boards which samples all of their most popular items.

Lastly, Skipper Otto is a community-supported fishery dedicated to bringing the highest quality catch straight from the Pacific Ocean to your dining table. By signing up to be a member on their website, you can select your preferred fish on their online marketplace (spot prawns are now there!) and pick it up in several different locations across Victoria and Vancouver Island. Check out all of the pickup locations here. For those wanting to prepare their own seafood dishes all summer long, signing up with them is the best way to ensure access to the best catches, with the most convenient pick-up times.