How to eat around the world in Victoria, B.C.

How to eat around the world in Victoria, B.C.

If you are looking to eat different types of food without leaving the Capital Regional District, you are in luck. Over the past few years, Victoria is becoming a spot to pick and choose bits and bites from Delhi to Mexico City.

If you are looking to eat different types of food without leaving the Capital Regional District, you are in luck. Over the past few years, Victoria is becoming a spot to pick and choose bits and bites from Delhi to Mexico City. Credit: Le Petit Dakar/Facebook

If you are looking to eat different types of food without leaving the Capital Regional District, you are in luck. Over the past few years, Victoria is becoming a spot to pick and choose bits and bites from Delhi to Mexico City. Interested in a taste? Here are CHEK’s top places to eat without having to leave this budding multicultural city.

North America:

Canadian: La Belle Patate (1215 Esquimalt Road)

Quebecois cuisine can be found on Esquimalt Road with La Belle Patate, which roughly translates to “the pretty potato”. Featuring poutine, “steamies” -where the bun and the hot dog are steamed instead of smoked- as well as burgers and smoked meat sandwiches, this is the taste of Montreal without the travel. Poutine options vary from the traditional gravy and cheese curds to the monster of mushrooms, steak, onions, and green pepper combo known as the “La Belle Special”.

Prices here are moderate, with poutine portions only available in “medium” and “large” when dining. An exception for those on the go is “express” items such as fries, basic poutine, and steamies served as regular sized. This spot can be both for fast food or eating in with family to taste some Montreal meals.

Latin America: La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop (766 Fort Street)

Desiring Latin food? Come no further than this Fort Street gem, where tacos, burritos, and quesadillas are this restaurant’s specialty. With the Island being a neighbour to the Pacific Ocean, La Taqqueria Pinche Taco Shop features seafood tacos including the “Atun” for seven dollars each. Consisting of seared albacore tuna with wasabi mayo, chili ponzu, cabbage & pico de gallo (chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and serrano peppers with salt and other seasonings) on a 6″ hand-made flour tortilla, this is just one of the variety of tacos available. On the cheaper side, there are meat tacos for three dollars each. From the simple “Asada” of grilled beef to their stuffed chicken-based “Tinga de Pollo”, these tacos can serve both as a quick bite on the way to work, or for sitting in for a filling meal.

Veggie taco options are available for $2.50 each if searching for an animal-free Latin American dish. La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop meals can be offered at your next dinner party, as La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop offers catering services, with at least 24 hours notice. For more information, visit their website:


Italian: Il Terrazzo (555 Johnson Street)

Voted Best Italian restaurant on TripAdvisor, this restaurant is a formal immersion into North Italian cuisine. Boasting a brick fireplace, and an “old town courtyard setting”, this Waddington Alley restaurant offers moderate to expensive dining into the food of Italia. Gourmet pasta, fresh pizza and tossed salads feature this menu, as well as an extensive program dedicated to wine.  More than 1,000 different types are offered with trained staff and sommeliers. For groups of more than ten, Il Terrazzo offers a special three-course lunch meal for $32.95 a person. Special arrangements can be made as well for people’s reservations, with a selection of wine, a bottle of French champagne, or even dessert among other options. Reservations are strongly recommended here and are only available by phone at 250-361-0028.


India: Vij’s Sutra (1701 Douglas Street)

Located in Victoria’s Public Market on the Hudson, this Indian restaurant has spices, rice pudding and other options similar to their menu for sale. As part of the Vancouver-based Vij’s restaurant group, general manager Shilo Butler says Sutra offers traditional Indian food with local ingredients. They also offer different variations on classic Indian dishes such as one of their veggie curries, he says.

“We add local kale to the classic navy bean dish, just making it a little more unique,” he says.

Flexible food choices exist for those on the go. There are frozen versions of menu items, as well as take-out meals, and traditional dining. If meat and vegetarian curries, rice, naan bread, and butter chicken make your mouth water, this spot is for you. Prices are relatively cheap as they rarely go into the double digits. Sutra also offers catering to private events, and for 20 people, they can rent out the restaurant. For more information, visit their website:

Japan: Sen Zushi (940 Fort Street)

This moderately-priced Japanese restaurant focuses on bringing East Asian flavour to Victoria. Renowned for their abundant sushi selection, Sen Zushi has California rolls, to Hiyayakko, which is made with cold tofu, green onion, ginger and bonito flakes, or a meal known as the Geisha Special Gozen (you can view this on their website: Along with sushi appetizers, lunch, and dinner items, customers can also look to various tempura (deep-fried) meal options such as prawn, or yam, or “donburi”, which is a bowl consisting of rice, meat or fish (the Una Don item contains barbecued eel), and in some menu items, a soft egg.


Senegal: Le Petit Dakar (940B Esquimalt Road)

If you are searching for food from West Africa, this spot on Esquimalt Road may be worth a peek. Le Petit Dakar is the brainchild of Bintou Toure, who is from Senegal and hopes to introduce people to the country’s food. While much of Senegalese cuisine is meat-based, Toure’s menu provides vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options as soup to the meat and fish platters.

Toure says Senegalese food is universal, and that people can find so many similarities in the food. For example, the Senegalese use lemon juice or vinegar instead of red wine that is popular in many dishes from France. Tomatoes also feature prominently which, she says, can be similar to Italian food, and they use ginger like some recipes from across Asia.

“The peanut sauce, you can actually find it in some Asian food although they call it chicken satay because they cook it with chicken, but the flavours are different,” she says.

Toure says she makes all the spices she uses in her cooking. However, she won’t give away her spice secrets! Her main concept is to bring fresh and fast food to Victoria. Back in the old days, Toure says, people wouldn’t eat out much. Instead, they would go to the market and get their fresh meat and vegetables and cook it, she says.

“When you come in here, into my restaurant, everything is already made. It’s fast and it’s healthy, you don’t have to wait,” she says.

Australia/New Zealand

Saltchuck Pie Company (360 Bay Street)

If savoury Australian pies are on your mind, Rock Bay’s Saltchuck Pie Company has you covered. Established in 2015, this restaurant chiefly offers flaky beef-based pies such as steak and cheese, or beef and bacon. However, Saltchuck Pie Company’s menu is ever-changing, with a rotating set of featured lunch and dinner pies, soup and salad options and desserts. Taking options from other cultures, some days may provide Indian-based potato and cauliflower Aloo Gobi pie, or West Africa’s Moroccan Squash and Date Pie. Sides could vary with bow-tie pasta, or grilled vegetables with couscous among others. As well, some of their premium pies also incorporate local beer such as their neighbour Moon under Water Brewery and Pub, according to a company member. Prices range in the single digits, making a stop to eat here easy as pie. The Saltchuck Pie Company is open six days a week at 360 Bay Street.


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