Iconic Victoria food: 15 things to eat that best represent the capital city

Iconic Victoria food: 15 things to eat that best represent the capital city

What dish best embodies the City of Victoria?

In a recent episode of MicCHEK, the podcast asked local food guide Bonnie Todd from Off the Eaten Track to come up with a list of the 15 most iconic Victoria dishes.

“Some of the picks were dishes I already knew about from working in the food industry but there are certain dishes people know about and come to my company to try,” Todd told MicCHEK. “I’m also part of a hospitality Facebook Group and I put it out to the members and got some great recommendations.”

Here is Todd’s full list of her 15 most iconic dishes in Victoria:

Focaccia Bread from Pagliacci’s – 1011 Broad Street

“Their focaccia bread is universally adored. I’ve been checking out Reddit and some comment groups about it and most people think it’s because of the sheer amount of olive oil they use. I had one comment that said the pans they bake the bread in are as old as the restaurant itself. So maybe they’re just so well-seasoned at this point that it makes the bread incredible.”

Soft-serve Ice Cream from the Beacon Drive-In – 126 Douglas Street

“They are consistently voted best ice cream in town for 28-years and running. Their soft-serve really is something special and it has a very unique flavour and texture. You also don’t see soft-serve a lot so there’s something nostalgic and fun about a place still doing old-school soft-serve.”

Mussels de Cha Cha Cha from the Tapa Bar – 620 Trounce Alley

“It’s white wine, garlic and sambal, a kind of red chili sauce and tomato. It’s a dish that’s been around for some time. When I was living in Vancouver I’d come over and a friend told me we had to go Tapa bar and try this dish. This is also one of the dishes that came up a lot when I asked industry insiders online.”

Seafood Chowder from Barb’s Fish and Chips – 1 Dallas Road

“Everyone always gets the fish and chips which are legit, but honestly their chowder is incredible. They’ve been doing it a long time and they do claim it’s the top-rated chowder. They serve it with a garlic bread which I really like, it’s almost too oily but in the best way possible.”

Roasted Pork from Loy Sing Meat Market – 554 Fisgard Street

“It’s a family institution and their roasted pork is uber-famous. They roast a whole pig and they’ve been doing it for years and it’s lovely. I personally prefer the roasted duck but their roasted pork I think is a bit more of an iconic dish.”

Moroccan Eggs Benny from the Blue Fox – 919 Fort Street

“Do you know how hard it is to get a consensus on the most-iconic brunch item in the city? This was a tough one. I did reach out to the Blue Fox and according to them their best seller is their Moroccan Eggs Benny. They’ve been serving it for 15 years and they say it’s hands-down their most popular item. It’s a Moroccan spiced chicken with a home-made date chutney.”

A Shaft from the Sticky Wicket – 919 Douglas Street

“You knew this was coming. I know there are cocktail bars and super fancy things happening with the Shaft but if you want a truly iconic Victoria experience I think it’s a Shaft at the Sticky Wicket. I spoke to one of their bartenders and they say they easily make at least 200 Shafts a night.”

Brisket Sandwich from Jones Bar-B-Que – 1725 Cook Street

“Something a little more modern and this is a personal preference. I think this is some of the best barbeque I’ve ever had. What’s exciting too is they’re currently working on opening a Langford location.”

Octopus Taco from Finest at Sea – 27 Erie Street

“They’ve created this taco which is on a flour tortilla and they put grilled octopus on it. It’s really tender and not chewy at all. They put cabbage on it and some spicy chipotle. Honestly, this is perfectly done octopus. It’s chopped up quite fine but it’s a beast and it’s only about eight bucks.”

Coastal Rainforest Chocolate Bar from Sirene Chocolates – Various locations

“He has a facility in Cook Street Village and sells the chocolate at lots of different places around town. It’s in a yellow package. Having a bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Victoria is phenomenal. I would suggest going to Chocolate and Co. on Fort Street to get it. I’m specifically recommending this chocolate bar with locally foraged mushrooms, kelp and currents in it.”

Wor Wonton Soup from J&J Wonton Noodle House – 1012 Fort Street

“It’s almost like an everything bagel but in wonton form. I know a lot of people swear by JJ’s. I do think it’s an iconic restaurant and this is definitely an iconic dish.”

Fat Tug from Driftwood Brewery – Various locations

“What an iconic beer for Victoria. I think if you come to Victoria you have to have at least one Fat Tug. Every menu has Fat Tug and Blue Buck on it. Both are iconic but I gave the edge to Fat Tug.”

Black Forest Cake from the Dutch Bakery – 718 Fort Street

“I think it’s true to their Germanic European baking style. I wanted to make sure the Dutch Bakery was on this list and I could’ve put a few different items on the list but this is my personal preference. It’s chocolate sponge with whipped cream and cherries and it’s old-school traditional plus with the price point, it’s phenomenal.”

Green Sauce from the Root Cellar – Available at both Root Cellar locations

“Apparently they sold 25-thousand tubs of this sauce in 2020. A few people had told me this has to be on the list. I think for locals the green sauce is on everyone’s freak-out list. It’s a secret too because they don’t put the ingredients on the label. A lot of people have tried to figure out how to make it.”

Raspberry Lychee Rosewater Pistachio Danish from Crust Bakery – 730 Fort Street

“I love this place and they’re great people. All of these flavours combined on one Danish, it’s a bit of a middle-eastern flavour profile. Usually everything from Crust sells out by noon which tells you how good it is. I send a lot tourists here when they’re looking for something to try.”

Listen to this episode of MicCHEK here.

MicCHEK Roundtables are released every Friday and are available wherever you listen to podcasts. 


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