NFDI Travels: Victoria
When the opportunity presented itself to go to Victoria, I jumped at the chance for a weekend getaway. I'd been to the Island briefly, years ago, but never Victoria so I was excited to experience something new. I had heard so many great things about Victoria and it certainly did not disappoint. If you're making plans for a weekend jaunt or a week long trip, this city is full of history, architecture, sites and fabulous food. Here are a few of the highlights of our time spent (mostly) downtown Victoria!
You know when there's a line up, it must be good. Jam is an all day breakfast and lunch hot spot, serving local fare and comfort food with a twist. Worth. The. Wait.
Foo was on my list after reading about it prior to our trip. With a concept of Asian street food and an infusion of Indian, Thai and Japanese flavours, it's a must visit. Do not forget your appetite. My mouth is watering just typing this.
I knew I wanted to visit Q after reading about their recent renovations mainly to see the design of the space. Located in the exquisite Empress Hotel, this restaurant/ lounge is the perfect dinner out. Everything from the atmosphere, design, service and food all created a truly memorable evening.
If you go to Café Mexico just for a drink, then it's worth the trip. They house over 100 bottles of Mezcal and Tequila, making it one of the largest Mezcal bars in Canada. The bar tenders are entertaining and their margaritas are delicious. And if you stay longer, the food is great too!
Every morning we walked a block from our hotel to Pour for a coffee. With a charming space, delightful staff and delicious pastries, it's the perfect combination to start your day.
This farm to plate restaurant, in it's truest form, is named after their 10 acre organic farm located not far from the restaurant itself. Committed to sustainable, locally grown food and ingredients, you're sure to find the freshest of offerings based on seasonal availability at 10 Acres.
Red Fish Blue Fish
Of course when you're on the coast it's logical that you'll find incredible seafood. Red Fish Blue Fish came highly recommended for just that reason. On a nice day, the queue can often extend all the way up the ramp (shown above) for this well known seafood eatery and modern day fish and chips shop. Another spot where the wait is worth it. Take it to go or sit in their outdoor, covered 'perch' area.
Location, style, service. All great reasons to stay at the Magnolia Hotel. Enough said.
On the outskirts of Chinatown, Smoking Lily is an adorable shop known for its locally, handmade made clothes and goods. Beautiful articles of clothing, jewelry, accessories and quirky bits, this store oozes passion and creativity with a side of attitude.
There were so many lovely pieces inside Little Gold. With a focus on independent and emerging designers, the store is filled with a "mix of all things beautiful, funny, magical and bad-ass."
Open House is a stylish studio space with a wonderful assortment of highly curated home decor and clothing. Sustainable, mindful and beautiful, each item in this store feels special.
Rook & Rose
If I lived in Victoria I would, without a doubt, frequent Rook & Rose. The eye candy of beautifully potted and packaged greenery, flowers, candles and an array of lifestyle accessories is perfectly displayed all in a tiny space that once was a hotel lobby. I couldn't get enough of it. I love their style!
With bragging rights of being the oldest Chinatown in Canada and second oldest in North America (second to San Fransisco), it has a charm and nostalgia worth visiting. Within walking distance of downtown, Chinatown is full of artistic narrow alleys, great food and of course culture. I wish we'd had more time to spend here.
Victoria is a great city for walking with many paths along the harbour. Bike rentals are another great way to see the city and cross over to Victoria West for more harbour front pathways and sites.
Royal British Columbia Museum
I love to visit museums while travelling. From a sense of history and culture to visiting exhibits and curated collections, each museum has so much to offer. The Royal British Columbia Museum was an unexpected adventure back in time to the ice age as well as an opportunity to learn more about the first peoples of the land, among many other learnings. We just missed the Terry Fox exhibit celebrating his heroic achievements. I would have loved to visit this!
There's far more to do in Victoria (and area) than a weekend can hold, however it is, and was, a wonderful weekend getaway. I can't wait to go back and experience more of the above as well as some new adventures. Happy travels!