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  • 31 references 30 Confirmed & Positive
  • Learning English
  • 49, Male
  • Member since 2011
  • Graphic Design
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About Me

READ BELOW for some tips on places to visit and things to eat in Victoria. :-)

I'm a self employed graphic designer and and out-of-practice professional musician. I've done some long distance hiking but haven't traveled nearly as much as I'd like. I like to drink dark beer and bitch about evil corporations and politicians.

Here's my guide to some of the best places to eat while you're in Victoria, all walking distance of downtown, and a few things to check out. :) There are SO many good restaurants in Victoria, I can't really list all the best, but here's some of my top pics:

- Blue Fox for Breakfast or Lunch: this is the restaurant that launched the "Brunch Scene" in Victoria, and still claims the throne. There may be a 20+ minute line-up, but it's worth it. :) http://goo.gl/maps/xslRS

- Nourish in James Bay: it's in a funky old character house on the route from Downtown to Fisherman's Wharf in James Bay - REALLY nice, nourishing food, but also very indulgent. I recommend ordering something savory and sharing the sleeping beauty pancakes. (they're not really pancakes) Some vegetarian, some vegan, and some meat options, all very high quality. https://goo.gl/maps/C4ckFf4KtwL2

- Heron Rock in James Bay has an excellent menu, best poutine in town, my favorite beer on tap (Nightwatch Coffee Lager). They have excellent happy hour drink and food specials between 3:00 and 5:00, and 8:00 and close. They have live music Monday, Thursday and Friday nights.

- The Bent Mast Pub in James Bay has great pub food, including good brunch on the weekends - and unlike most other places in town, their prices didn't double over the past few years. Great patio for drinking beers in the sun in the summer.

- Spinnakers Brewpub: Top quality hand crafted beers, and not only is the food great, but they keep several island farms in business by exclusively sourcing locally. BEST PART - the hand made truffles at the chocolate counter by the front door - these may be the best chocolates you'll ever have and they're quite affordable compared to other chocolatiers, so be sure to pick a few up. It's a nice walk along the waterfront across the bridge from downtown to get there, well worth the walk just for the chocolates. :)
http://goo.gl/maps/qVj6r

VEGAN / VEGETARIAN

- Virtuous Pie - fantastic new place, great beer / drinks and likely the best vegan pizza and appies you've had.
https://goo.gl/maps/kXiR8UwSwvrXiSbs6

- Rebar: some great vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. Really good, quality food and a Victoria classic. http://goo.gl/maps/2Dlsm

- Be Love: likely the best spot in town for quality vegetarian/vegan cuisine. https://goo.gl/maps/XysgADYxN7B2

- Green Cuisine: not at all fancy, but comfy, very popular. Cafeteria style. Huge selection of vegan eats. I don't recommend the deserts, they're hit and miss. Good place for a quiet reprieve. Downstairs in Market Square: http://goo.gl/maps/C1hMi

- On the Pandora entrance to Fan Tan Alley, there's a fantastic vegan chocolatier

SOME OTHER GREAT EATS

- Foo Asian Street Food: VERY tasty stuff! Great for take-out to eat in the park or sneak into a movie, etc. http://goo.gl/maps/UF8yU

- Chimac Korean fried chicken (take an order out to Market Square, you can bring outside food to the brewery there)

- Four Spice: best Indian food I've ever had. It's a bit out of downtown, but worth ordering for delivery.

- 10 Acres Bistro or Commons: (Bistro is more fine dining environment, Commons is more pub-like - both in the same building) - all food sourced from a local 10 acre farm on the peninsula. Excellent food and drinks, though more expensive.

- Boomtown: great burritos / etc, great beer selection, excellent outdoor seating area.

- Drake in Market Square is not my fav place to for food, the menu is small and expensive, but it is very good and the seating outside is excellent. The beer selection is rotating taps from around the world.

SUSHI

- Ebizo: So good! Try the tuna tataki. http://goo.gl/maps/ClhZa

- Matsuri Sushi in James Bay (half a block from my place, wave hello!) - great sushi, excellent Korean and Japanese appies

COFFEE

- Fantastic is your best option - a few locations, including Parkside across from St Anne's academy (check out the grounds there), and over in Vic West, with Fol Epi right behind for the best pastries / baked treats in town.

- Discovery is the next best, with locations in James Bay, downtown, etc.

CHOCOLATE

- The Chocolate Project in the Atrium building on Blanshard has a huge selection of the best bean-to-bar chocolate from around the world.

- Chocolat & Co on Fort carries some of the same bars as the Chocolate Project, and some local chocolate

- Birdcage in James Bay makes their own amazing truffles, which you can also get at Chocolat & Co

- There's a vegan chocolatier at the south entrance to Fan Tan Alley.

FOR QUALITY LOCAL CRAFT BEERS

- I'd go to Spinnakers, Moon Under Water, Whistle Buoy, Phillips Tasting Room ... but I'd skip Swans, their beers all seem over-flavored, over-carbonated and gimmicky, and the food is definitely uninspired.

- There are three great pubs on Government Street: Irish Times, Bard and Banker, Garrick's Head. They're all beautiful buildings and worth a visit, but of the three I recommend Garrick's Head: huge beer selection, great food, go all the way to the back of the place for the smaller old pub space if it's too loud in the big room up-front. http://goo.gl/maps/do3qF Bard and Banker is an amazing building though, has been used as a movie set at least a few times.

- Bent Mast in James Bay has a great patio and serves big 20oz pints

- Last pub recommendation: Stop for a pint at Big Bad John's on Douglas for the novelty. ;) http://goo.gl/maps/gbv4j

SOME LOCAL FAV BEERS INCLUDE:

- Hoyne Dark Matter - even people who don't like dark beer usually like this one
- Lighthouse Nightwatch Coffee Lager - coffee in lighter beers is a really fantastic combination
- Category 12 Juicy Data IPA
- 33 Acres Mezcal Gose
- Phillips Longboat Chocolate Porter

.... but beer tastes are individual and we have MANY great local here.

We also have some really fantastic local spirits. Some of my favorites include

- Devine Honeyshine: technically a rum, but more like a whiskey. Their vermouths are also fantastic.
- Stump coastal forest gin: sooo smooth, I don't even mix it.
- Sheringham's chocolate or coffee vodka. They make a bunch of great stuff.

OTHER THINGS TO CHECK OUT:

- The Royal BC Museum is a very nice way to spend a couple hours, great break from the sun on a hot day
- The water taxi's do a tour that I'm sure is very nice, and also have a "Pickle Boat Pub Tour"
- Russel Books on Fort - three floors of very well priced new and used books
- Beacon Hill Park - the peacocks are very chill, there's a petting zoo, behind that up the hill there's a great view down over the ocean and across to the Olympic Peninsula
- The Governor's House - beautiful big grounds & flower gardens, and right around the corner from Craigdarroch Castle
- Royal Roads Campus - the castle which was Xavier's University in x-men. Really beautiful gardens beside.

SOME GREAT WATERFRONT PATHS

A) Across the bridge into Esquimalt - Don't forget to stop at Spinnakers for chocolates!: http://goo.gl/maps/M5Fvy

B) Around James Bay to the Breakwater - Stop for a tour around Fisherman's Wharf, I don't recommend the Mexican food there. There's a fish market and food truck up above the wharf, across the park with excellent fish tacos and fish and chips that I've enjoyed more than the options on the wharf: http://goo.gl/maps/ILnJl

C) Long walk along Dallas Road to Oak Bay - http://goo.gl/maps/oXUKx

D) Nice trail to Banfield Park on the Gorge - short stretch where it doesn't look great after you cross the bridge, but further on it's a very nice trail: http://goo.gl/maps/Eboi5 - also a good spot for a swim in the summer

SWIMMING

- Banfield park is the best spot for jumping in the ocean here. It's past the inner harbor so not as cold as along the beaches.

- Thetis lake is the closest lake to town. Many miles of beautiful trails around the lake and beyond into the woods.

CYCLING

- We have an amazing and growing network of dedicated bike lanes through the city, but our main prizes are the Lochside Trail, which goes 35k all the way up to the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, and the Galloping Goose, which goes 50k all the way out to East Sooke Potholes - another great place to swim

There's more of everything, of course, but time for me to move on with my day. If you have any questions, want recommendations for a different type of cuisine, drop me a message and I'll try to get back to you promptly.

Enjoy your visit!

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

No immediate plans to travel, so for the time being I'd just enjoy hosting and living vicariously through those who are. :) Hosting could be great for me as short term guests won't notice I'm telling the same stories over and over.

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

I've spent quite a bit of time long distance hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail & have experienced first hand the generosity and trust of others, and the vibrant energy that people have when they're traveling and exploring, so I have a very good sense of what this sort of community is all about and I'm looking forward to hosting and surfing sometime. :)

Interests

music, technology, people-watching, etc.

  • fish
  • design
  • graphic design
  • acting
  • dining
  • breakfast
  • chocolate
  • indian food
  • beer
  • mexican food
  • raw food
  • vegetarian
  • vegan
  • walking
  • drinking
  • pub crawls
  • boating
  • technology
  • traveling
  • eating out
  • music
  • outdoor activities
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • canoeing
  • surfing
  • business
  • cartography
  • economics
  • tourism

Music, Movies, and Books

Little Miss Sunshine, Hey Rosetta!, The Mastery of Love

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

I've walked California wilderness from the border of Mexico to the border of Oregon.

Teach, Learn, Share

I have some ideas about alternative economics some people might find interesting.

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