With flowers blooming year-round, Victoria, Canada, is a desirable place to live and vacation. Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, visitors can fly, ferry, or cruise to British Columbia’s capital city.
Once you arrive in Victoria, the Inner Harbour, considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world, is an excellent place to begin exploring the city. After wandering along the Inner Harbour’s multi-level walkway, follow this guide — Where to Eat, Drink, and Shop in Victoria — and discover some of the best spots in British Columbia’s capital city. Use the Google map at the end of this article to locate all of the recommended places to eat, drink, and shop in Victoria, B.C.
Where to Drink in Victoria
Fragrant tea shops and cozy cafes abound in Victoria, B.C. When I am downtown, I often stop at Union Pacific Coffee Co. near Chinatown.
Another excellent espresso stop is Shatterbox Coffee Co. located in the Victoria Public Market.
Quench your thirst with fresh juice at Rebar, a Victoria favourite since 1988.
The iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel serves a traditional afternoon tea in the tea lobby overlooking Victoria’s spectacular Inner Harbour.
Another option is The Tea House at Abkhazi Garden, where you can enjoy delicious tea and attentive service in a garden setting near downtown Victoria.
Victoria’s bartenders often use award-winning local craft spirits, and fresh ingredients to create incredible cocktails. Plan to visit the cozy Bodega Bar in Victoria’s Trounce Alley. At night, the outdoor passageway is illuminated with authentic gaslights that are over 125 years old. You can learn more about Victoria’s craft spirits and cocktails in this story I wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Where to Eat in Victoria
Clean eating is a passion, and my favourite restaurants are Rebar and be love. At Rebar, I order the Rebar salad or the monk’s curry. At be love restaurant, I always order the green bowl — it’s delicious!
For pub food and a pint, Irish Times or the Bard and Banker Public House on Government Street are excellent choices.
Fantastic Food Truck
For a fresh fish fix, head over to Finest at Sea, located on the other side of the Inner Harbour. The on-site food truck serves the best fish tacos.
Make a reservation at The Courtney Room located in Victoria’s award-winning Magnolia Hotel for a meal to remember. Recognized as one of the top 100 restaurants in Canada, The Courtney Room partners with local supplies and serves modern Pacific Northwest cuisine.
Tucked away on tiny Broad Street, Bon Macaron makes delicious and authentic macarons in every flavour imaginable. If you want to learn how to make your own, sign-up for an in-store macaron-making class.
To learn more about Victoria’s thriving food and beverage scene from a local expert, join A Taste of Victoria Food Tour. You can book one of the two-hour walking tours here.
Where to Shop in Victoria
Munro’s Books, located in a stunning neo-classical building on Government Street, is a perfect place to pick up your next page-turner.
Tea and Accessories
Silk Road offers a large selection of organic teas, tea-making accessories, and fabulous bath and body products.
Lower Johnson, known locally as LoJo, offers an excellent selection of mostly locally owned women’s and men’s shops.
Victoria’s Lululemon store carries everything for an active lifestyle. This includes yoga, running, tennis, or chasing after your kids.
Located off of Johnson Street, Bernstein & Gold carries jewellery, women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. I rarely leave empty-handed.
Visit Smoking Lily for locally-made and stylish clothing. The unique silk-screened designs are gorgeous.
Where to Eat, Drink, and Shop in Victoria — Travel Tips
- Plan to spend at least three days in Victoria, B.C. After wandering the city, there are beaches, parks, and incredible day trips like this one to the Cowichan Valley.
- Read this post to discover a few of Victoria’s best beaches.
- If you are visiting Victoria during the December holiday season, this post will help you plan festive and family-friendly activities in and around the city.
Have you been to Vancouver Island? Where are your favourite places to eat, drink, and shop in Victoria?