Dine Around and Stay in Town

Dine Around and Stay in Town is an annual promotion in Victoria that many of us await enthusiastically. The simple reason is that we are offered a wide range of fine dining at very fine prices.

Each year Dine Around & Stay in Town runs from mid February until early March. You can select from three course menus costing $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person at over 60 Victoria restaurants. It’s our annual opportunity to sample local cuisine or to return to favourite venues to re-experience their offerings at excellent prices.

This year my wife and I went with in-laws to a restaurant we had been intending to visit for over 25 years but we had never quite got around to it. It was such a tasty meal – the range and high quality of food and wine which Vancouver Island offers is impressive, fresh foods from our community.

For accommodation during this event you can select from these Victoria bed and breakfasts.

A tasty visit to Victoria

Have a tasty visit to Victoria! Your visit should satisfy all the senses: seeing the sights, smelling the roses at the Butchart Gardens, hearing killer whales on a whale-watching boat hydrophone,  touching camera buttons; but what about taste?

Its an oft-quoted statistic that Victoria has more restaurants per capita than anywhere in North America except San Francisco, but let’s ignore quantity and focus on quality.

Yesterday evening my wife and I went with friends to a where we had not dined for several years. The meal was excellent but what struck us most was the new emphases on the menu: healthy, local foods. This is the trend here these days so embrace it and enjoy! The previous day we had visited two farm markets where the same message was tastefully (pun intended) presented: foods are locally grown, distributed and enjoyed. Economic sustainability and environmental responsibility in action.

Southern Vancouver Island’s climate and terrain enables an unusually wide range of agricultural goodies to be grown; fruit and vegetables, berries and grapes (thus wine), meats and prepared local foods – an overflowing cornucopia. In August the North Saanich Flavour Trail Festival is a good opportunity to discover these.

To enjoy these tastes to the full and make your visit to Victoria even more fulfilling, try these:

  • Ignore the chain restaurants and dine at an independent restaurant whose owners and staff are offering the very best of Vancouver Island produce.
  • Visit local wineries, enjoy a tasting or three and purchase our local wines (whites are particularly good here).
  • Tour farm markets and farm stands on the Saanich Peninsula – the producers will proudly share their wares. Pick up a some fresh fruit for your travels.

Your bed and breakfasts hosts will be glad to guide you with further information to help you enjoy a tasty visit to Victoria.

Saanich Peninsula restaurants

You can enjoy dining at a wide variety of Saanich Peninsula restaurants during your visit to Greater Victoria.

The peninsula has several small communities with their neighbourhood restaurants and you will also find dining establishments here and there on the peninsula, perhaps with fine ocean views.

The retirement community of Sidney-by-the-Sea also draws the sailing community moored at local marinas so there are many restaurants within a short walk of central Beacon Avenue.

Saanichton, in the centre of the Saanich Peninsula, Cordova Bay on the east coast and Brentwood Bay on the west coast offer smaller choices. But quantity does not always equate with quality.

Zanzibar is one such example. The cafe is on the same site as the old Carden Street West in Brentwood Bay, open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Saturday. You’ll spot an international flair in their menus which definately set the taste buds racing. Our local newspaper, the Times-Colonist, reviewed Zanzibar with this introduction: “I apologize to residents of Central Saanich. It’s going to become even more difficult to secure a table for dinner at the local spot you favour”, knowing the results of its favourable comments.

Consider some al fresco dining on impulse too as an alternative to Saanich Peninsula restaurants and cafes. Pop into a farm stand, a vineyard or a community market for local food and drink. Then find a spot on a beach, in a park, on a hilltop for some memorable outdoor dining.