Living in Victoria, it’s easy to find a fish and chips eatery serving different kinds of local catches from halibut to cod, battered up and fried with some fries and slaw! We curated a list of unique fish dishes you should try for a twist on the tasty classics. From fusions mixing West Coast catches with other cuisines, you’ll love some of the new tastes from BC’s waters.
PS: The first 3 were voted Best Seafood Restaurants in the 2022 Best Restaurant Awards, presented by Portofino Bakery. Check out the top 3 showcased in the category, sponsored by Cascadia Seaweed, here.
1. Tacones from Red Fish Blue Fish
Red Fish Blue Fish is an outdoor eatery in Victoria’s Inner Harbour wooden pier, offering delicious fresh fish out of an upcycled shipping container! Their tacones include fresh fish, crunchy vegetables and a mayo-based sauce made to compliment the chosen filling, like spicy spot prawn mayo with albacore tuna or chipotle lime mayo with tempura yam (vegetarian option). It comes wrapped in a grilled flour tortilla with coleslaw, pea shoots, lemon pickles and onions. You can choose from 4 fish options, including albacore tuna, wild salmon, tempura cod, or jerk fish which is a blend of halibut, cod, salmon, and tuna simmered in Caribbean Jerk Sauce. The vegetarian option is the crispy tempura yam. The best part is you can stay with a soft style taco or switch to tostada style on a crispy corn tortilla.
2. Seafood sushi bar at Nautical Nellies
Nautical Nellies has been serving premium-aged steaks and Ocean Wise seafood for 25 years. Located by the water with a menu focused on seafood, they’ve got an extensive menu with something any seafood lover must try. Bringing Japanese cuisine integrated with fresh West Coast, their hand-rolled seafood sushi rolls include fresh fish, such as lobster, crab, scallops, smoked salmon, tuna, and tempura prawns. They serve urakami style rolls, which means “inside-out” in Japanese. You’ll notice the sticky rice is on the outside of the nori (dried seaweed) and hug the rainbow of colours that fill the plate with delicious tastes and eye-catching pictures.
3. Clam Linguini from Ferris’ Upstairs Seafood and Oyster Bar
Ferris’ Upstairs Seafood and Oyster Bar serves Mediterranean dishes featuring local fish and shellfish ready for a seafood lover’s palate. This eatery features dark brown hardwood floors and brick walls that help set the mood for a beautiful candle-lit dinner where customers savour fresh catches from BC waters. The clam linguini introduces Italian cuisine to the West Coast as the visually appetizing plate packed full of local clams, leeks, pine nuts, and bacon, mixed into a rich and creamy sauce. You’ll find it hard to eat regular linguini after this seafood twist!
4. Fishwhiches from the Floating Fish Store
The Floating Fish Store serves a 100% Ocean Wise menu on Fisherman’s Wharf. Aside from oysters and seasonal favourites like spot prawns and Dungeness crab, you have to try their fishwiches! Bringing the submarine sandwich to a new West Coast delight, this submarine features fresh fish. You have five seafood choices to fill your fresh-baked fluffy bun as well as lettuce, tomato, pickles, and their house-made sandwich sauce. The West Coast sub is a perfect twist on a classic favourite!
5. House smoked salmon flatbread at Spinnakers
Spinnakers is Victoria’s only gastro brewpub known for craft beer and creative spins on pub classics. Aside from being Canada’s first brewpub, founded in 1984, the farm fresh food comes from 18 local food partners around Vancouver Island. Amongst the beer-based artisan breads, garden picked herbs, and daily features, the house-smoked wild seafood is a must. The smoked salmon flatbread features goat cheese, shrimp, red onions, fresh dill, and lemon zest.
6. Garlic butter prawns at Tug
Tug Eatery serves local seafood on Mermaid Wharf, at one of Victoria’s most spacious waterfront patios. This family-owned eatery invites you to pair locally sourced food with local live acoustic music multiple times a week! Customers rave about their beautiful interior, outside atmospheres and fantastic beverage options, including local beer and cider on tap, wine, and 9 signature cocktails. The garlic butter prawn appetizer is strongly recommended. Think of seared giant tiger prawns with onion, garlic, cilantro, white wine, lime and Sambal hot sauce alongside naan.
7. Tuna Melt Tartine at Fishook
Fishook is where fish is served with an Indian and French touch. Dishes are served with traditional Indian spices simmered, blended, and mixed into fresh catches from the West Coast. The menu has a section for tartines, an open-faced sandwich that originated in France. The tuna melt tartine is an outstanding follow up to the shrimp toast. It includes mouth-watering caramelized broccoli “smash”, ooey-gooey melted cheese, cold smoked albacore tuna, smoked tanutta sauce. This culinary delight comes sprinkled with sesame seeds on a lightly oiled, toasted baguette. Other flavours include smoked Humbolt shrimp, broil-seared wild salmon, cured sockeye lox, and devilled egg. The sandwich comes with the option to make it spicy and to substitute with a wheat-free baguette.
8. Prawn tacos at Finn’s Restaurant
Finn’s is a seafood restaurant in downtown Victoria, known for its patio overlooking the Inner Harbour and the Parliament buildings. This oceanfront restaurant invites both tourists and locals as the outside patio includes the bay breeze, famous sights, and at-home West Coast flavours to enrapture the palate. Inside the old redbrick heritage building, they serve everything from Dungeness crab and oysters to artisanal salads, flatbread pizzas, poke bowls, and steaks. The customer lovin’ fresh catch food item is the juicy prawn tacos that come with grilled pineapple, salsa verde, cilantro, scallions, spicy chipotle aioli, and shredded cabbage on soft corn tortillas. Make a reservation today!