Victoria boasts one of the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada; with this foodie culture, no wonder its food-related events are among the most popular on the calendar.
With its delicious array of restaurants, not to mention an ever-growing variety of specialty food shops, lush farmland on our doorstep and a burgeoning artisan beer and wine industry, it’s no wonder that Victoria is a food-lover’s dream.
This spring offers more than a few opportunities to discover some of the many possibilities of the city’s culinary scene.
One of the mainstays of the Victoria dining calendar is Dine Around & Stay in Town, continuing through March 10. An affordable, interesting way to explore some of the city’s finest restaurants, Dine Around features set menus priced at either $20, $30 or $40 per person, often accompanied by optional VQA wine pairings.
Among WHERE Victoria’s favourites are the Blue Crab Bar & Grill, at the Coast Victoria Hotel, Harbour House Restaurant and LURE Restaurant and Lounge at the Hotel Grand Pacific. For more exotic flavours, try the Reef, Sen Zushi Japanese Restaurant or for delicious Greek cuisine, Millo’s. Explore this year’s menus at www.tourismvictoria.com/dinearound
Accompanying the dining component, many of Victoria’s hotels also offer accommodations with special rates, and Bravo! Victoria has ProArt Alliance members offering great deals on tickets for productions during the event to make your evening even more memorable.
Coming March 21 to the Crystal Gardens is the fourth annual Culinaire Victoria, billed as Victoria’s Premier Food Tasting Experience.
Two sessions are available, either 5 to 7:15pm, or 7:45 to 10pm, each offering a tempting selection of samples from many of the unique restaurants and purveyors of fine foods and beverages Lower Vancouver Island has to offer.
Guests can sample delicacies from more than 60 exhibitors and interact with chefs and restaurateurs to receive first-hand information about their food ideals, menu concepts and more.
Tickets are $37 and include 10 generous tastings from presenters; additional tastings will be available at a cost of $1 per item. (Please note that Culinaire is a 19+ event).
Local wines are on the menu at the fifth annual Wine Islands Spring Tasting, March 29 at the Crystal Ballroom in the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
A terrific opportunity to sip and sample award-winning wines, ciders and meads from the region’s thriving wine industry, meet participating winemakers, cidermakers, meadmakers and distillers from Vancouver Island and the surrounding Gulf Islands.
Come April, the Victoria Conservatory of Music turns its attention to the spring release of wines from Naramata Bench Wineries, a group of 21 award-winning wineries nestled along a 14-kilometre country road overlooking Okanagan Lake. In addition to enjoying the exclusive opportunity to meet the winemakers, Uncork Your Palate invites guests to sample irresistible bites from Victoria’s finest eateries, enjoy music performed by talented students of the Victoria Conservatory of Music and bid on exciting offerings at the silent auction.
Restaurants on-hand will include AURA, from the Inn at Laurel Point, Bon Rouge Bistro, Choux Choux Charcuterie, Hilary’s Cheese Company, The Marina, Veneto Tapa Lounge & Bar; Vista 18 at the Chateau Victoria Hotel and Zambri’s.
This “deliciously fun fundraising event” for the Conservatory welcomes guests on April 23 from 6:30 to 9pm at the historic Crystal Garden, steps from the harbour in downtown Victoria.
At a Glance
Dine Around & Stay in Town: Through March 10 at various restaurants and hotels in the region.
Culinaire Victoria: March 21 at the Crystal Garden, downtown Victoria. FMI: www.culinairevictoria.com
Wine Islands Spring Tasting:
March 29 at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
Uncork Your Palate: April 23 at the
Crystal Garden, downtown Victoria.