Capital City Comic Con is happening from March 16th to 18th, and the Inner Harbour at Victoria, BC will soon be abuzz with superheroes needing sustenance and speedsters needing their energy fix. No, The Flash is not appearing. Many attendees will not be hopping far to get to panels and exhibits since the venue is side-by-side with each other. Distrikt Nightclub has special geeky Trivia Nights planned but before any of this fun can begin, plenty of hungry geeks will be looking for good places to dine at.
The past guides we wrote in the past are still valid (click here for the 2015 edition, or to read the comprehensive guides), but since then new operations have popped up and others have closed. This 2018 list breaks the list down into sub-categories.
DISCLAIMER: The Victoria Conference Center staff discourages attendees to bring food from other venues into its court. Please finish any snacks or meals beforehand. Water bottles are safe, but any visible food items will be subject to security’s discretion.
With a warmer season nearly upon us, savouring something cool can be found a few blocks away. Government Street can be called dessert haven given the range of sweets that line this corridor. Not only can one find sorbets, gelato (Oh Gelato), frozen yogurt and soft serve (Flavouris), two chocolatiers are here to serve! More operations exist for those willing to explore. Oh Sugar! is a favourite stop of Ed’s. Need a quick energy fix? Roger’s Chocolates and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory have unique ice cream flavours to delight!
602 Broughton St
Flatbreads come in many forms. Depending on the culture, they can be known as naan, bannock or pita. Having this pastry hot and sweet will have some dessert lovers salivating and others will want to see what this “Canadian” invention is all about. Plus, a wide variety of fruit or Nutella-style flavourings can be piled on top. This treat is a pastry than bread. Want poutine? This place even has that. Not for the faint-hearted.
736 View St
Although a fair distance away, no convention can feel complete without a stop at the local doughnut shop. Seattle has Top Pots, Vancouver has Cartems, and Victoria has Empire. What’s not to like? Each operation is special when they offer more than the traditional staples. They are made fresh daily, and it’s best to load up in the morning before they’re all gone.
Red Fish Blue Fish
1006 Wharf St.
The lineups can be long but the wait is often worth it for the crispy and savoury seafood offered here. From fish to oysters, the various po’ boy choices are dishes to order. This operation is a staple of the Inner Harbour scene for many years, and while sustainability is not the only thing which makes this operation successful, it’s the batter and view that most people come here for!
The salads have been hit or miss (see Ed’s review here) throughout the times we’ve visited, but one day they will get it right. Usually, everything is in the timing. Show up early and it’s fresh. Even in the colder days before the coming of the tourist season, there’s a following which sees a regular lineup when the busy lunchtime hits.
Sam’s Deli & Bistro
(original review here)
805 Government St
Sometimes, a hearty sandwich is all anyone needs to get through the day. With a base menu to decide from, any extra additions are offered (i.e. made to order). Soups, Salads and Breakfast sandwiches are offered too. But for Ed, he’s often here for the desserts. The variety changes daily and it’s more of a place to sate the sweet tooth than smooth the stomach with their locally sourced goods.
La Fiesta Cafe
(original review here)
1000 Douglas St
This Mexican diner has probably the biggest burrito to fill anyone up for a day. For those intending on fewer meals than lots, perhaps a stop is needed here. Those with a tater tot (Mexican fries) craving will find this place tops with these mildly spicy morsels. In what makes this place special is the choice of condiments to add to their tacos or wraps. They also cater too!
818 Douglas St
Timing is everything when ordering here. When visiting this diner before the busy lunch rush, the meals come quick and fast. This particular location has improved since we have been here last. It feels more accommodating and less noisy.
The open-air kitchen offers a lot to tantalize the senses when witnessing flames jump a few feet high. One can order mild or go extra spicy.
10 Acres Bistro + Commons + Farm
611 Courtney Street
This operation is known for sustainability and ethically sourcing their food. Their dishes are tasty and are a touch on the non-traditional. This place is the most vegetarian-friendly. It’s a beautiful place to visit after a busy day. The decor and vibe is very pleasant. The Two Hungry Blokes visited but were off the clock that day. Since then, Ed has returned for events held here, and its high quality of service kept him coming back.
This block is amalgamated. Three different restaurants operate under one portmanteau. In one corner was The Oyster Bar (closed due to being under one name now) and the opposite is The Kitchen (formerly known as Pescatore). This side of the restaurant is pricey.
Omakase Izakayza & Sushi Bar
(original review here)
990 Blanshard St
This Japanese restaurant has grown since its humble days of simply offering sushi and Izakayza. They also offer ramen. It’s tough to say which ramen shop is best in town. There are at least five competing operations, and neither are edging out the other. Ox King Noodles, located behind the Victoria Public Market, comes close to being tops, but that’s several blocks away.
It’s possible to have a quick bite here. This operation has lost a bit of flavour because the original head chef left. For folks wishing to taste Shingo Sano’s culinary magic, he’s at Fudo in Royal Oak (Broadmead Village).
(original review here)
1011 Broad St
This Italian restaurant is often busy. There is often a line-up and the wait is worth it for the soup de jour and plates of pasta. This place worked hard to earn this reputation and its best to take your time here dining than rushing. In what makes this place a fun place to stop is to say you had Bill Murray’s Meatballs.
But there are other dishes too, like Edgar Allen Poe’s Crab Cakes or I’ll Have What She’s Having. These dishes show that owner Howie Seigal has a terrific sense of humour; his days at Chek TV as one of the top movie reviewers, newscaster and weatherman in town (before retiring and becoming a restaurateur) have not gone unnoticed. There are days where diners can see him here, enjoying the food along with many a diner. He’s a local celebrity who will never be forgotten.
This operation is undergoing renovations and should be open in time for Capital City Comic Con to regale fine diners with the enthusiasm and love found in all its food.
Frankie’s Modern Diner
910 Government St #38
This stop can certainly help satisfy many an appetite for those craving traditional pub style or traditional western meals. The prices are reasonable and the location is perfect for the convention-going crowd. This operation was once renowned as the definitive place for wonderous deserts when under the Cheesecake Cafe franchise name, and it still holds its own even under this new brand name. A full review can be found here.
850 Douglas Street
This stop is worth mentioning since it opens at 6am, has a comprehensive breakfast menu and is all ages friendly. For folks in the downtown area very early in the morning or making sure they get the office on time, the basics are well supported here. To have lunch here is nothing spectacular. For some convention-goers, staying close to the event center is a must, especially when there’s a panel or autograph signing the person wishes to be at.
For those willing to explore further, plenty of additional diners exist up and lining Fort street. Here, one can find a bevy of international tastes: Pho Vy, Tacofino, Fish Hook (original review here) and Blue Fox Cafe are a sampling of the fantastic eateries that people can find when visiting this garden city.