632 Yates Street
Hours: Tues to Sunday 9:00am to 3:00pm
Phone: (250) 353-2687
Frickin’ Delights Donuts is almost ready to unseat the mighty Empire Donuts, if the talk around downtown Victoria is any sign. But I see both can comfortably satisfy the city core. However, I should note other local makers also exist, and it’s tough to decide who is the king. Just where they rank is a separate article in itself.
Barely a week since opening its doors, the lineups aren’t yet crazy. Their selection of tastes aren’t too different from other places, and as for their famous dill pickle soup–it’s intense! It took a while for my taste buds to adjust to the savoury concoction, but I was sold. I ended up using it as a dip for my roast beef sandwich over the included cornbread donut.
Cat’s Coffee & Cake
1213 Douglas St
Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Phone: (250) 590-1699
This cat certainly wants to come back to the cafe on Douglas Street because of the treats and sweets offered. Not only is the company logo designed by local artist Gareth Gaudin, but also I figure it’s his favourite hangout spot when not behind the till at Legends Comics. I believe they also offer catering services too, which is a bonus for any downtown operation wanting to support local enterprises.
I was feeling peckish the day I was in town. The signboard detailing Cat’s Coffee & Cake specials caught my eye. Kimchi and bacon in a croissant sandwich? I knew it’d be a flavourful combination, but there was a small lineup. I had another errand to do and when I returned, there was none.
At first I thought I’d be entering a cafe with cute felines around, but alas, that’s another operation in the works (Mask and Mantle Cat Cafe are still searching for the ideal location to set up shop). This operation is apparently a passion project of master pastry chef Yi Catherine Yang who decided to set up shop in the busiest intersection of Downtown Victoria. She’s well known in China as the host of several TV cooking shows. Through these programs, she’s been promoting culture through the exchange of how to make up flavourful treats. While she may not be living in this city and working this particular kitchen (her resume lists her as the creative force behind New York’s Gigi Blue), to have her endorsement is enough.
Tres Gourmet Bakery & Cafe
1280 Broad St
Hours: Tues-Sat 7am – 4pm
Phone: (778) 433-8737
Tucked away in a side-street is a block of nothing but tres bonne eats. On one side is West Coast Waffles, and the other, many an eatery along Trounce Alley (Bodega Bar, apa Bar and Parks Kitchen).
Tres Gourmet Bakery and Cafe is a stop few will make when the scents from the alley enticing. But I wanted something quick, and the coffees by themselves are tops! They serve all the types–including Red Eye–and it’d be an article to explore how they make ‘em with heart.
Instead, this stop is comforting. There isn’t a lot of outdoor seating options (it’s limited in the tight street known as Broad, ironically enough). Indoors, the tables are presently arranged so there’s plenty of space for those social distancing. But for me, it made me feel like I was in the Roman Pantheon. That wasn’t their intent, as the design is more minimalist modern than classic, but I could also sit for a spell to read Lilo and the Samurai volume two before it was time before my appointment to get my second vaccine shot. Yes, soon Don and I can check out places a bit more frequently since masks aren’t as mandatory.
August 21 to Sept 1
Officially, Intrepid Theatre’s Fringe Festival has a deal with The Joint Pizzeria, Chocolats Favoris, Bao and 2% Jazz Coffee so active theatre goers can fuel up in between shows. By showing your button, a 10% discount is applied.
This list is updated to reflect upon a few new operations that have opened since, and is organized by proximity to the performance venues.
1122 Blanshard St
Phone: (778) 430-4444
Not too many dessert type shops exist in Downtown Victoria proper. While plenty of chocolatiers are sprinkled around the touristy areas, namely Roger’s, Oh Sugar and Empire Doughnuts, these companies fills a gap. There’s other operations I’ve walked by, but am I being picky? I’ve often wondered if other delectable confectioneries will set up shop to sate my sweet tooth.
The Cookie Guy fills in a much needed gap which certainly satisfies my inner cookie monster when that craving comes. Best of all, they make them just like grandma! Even better, they are warm, soft and oh so gooey. Their turnaround is very fast since it is all baked in-store; Honestly, you can not get any fresher than this!
534 W Pender St.
E: The next time James and I seek out a breakfast style place (or hunt for a quick bite), I’m recommending that we return to Cartems Donuterie. After feeling well-travelled to taste the donuts of the Pacific Northwest region (I’ve visited Top Pot in Seattle and Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland) I feel Cartems can put Top Pot to shame once word gets out. At home in Victoria, Empire Doughnuts is getting plenty of love in the nerd and downtown core community.
This Vancouver operation may not get as crazy as what Voodoo Doughnuts can offer, but I say it’s at a good start by offering a whiskey bacon doughnut to wet my appetite.
J: Better known as the bee sting, I was fearful of bees as I ate this doughnut. I’m sure I would give off a scent to attract the local population or one very hungry Pooh Bear. The entire shop has a rustic theme going on. I guess they want their customers to think of down home back country made doughnuts. And as long as there is no racoon scavenging through their garbage I am good with that image.