762 Yates St.
Hours: 12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Summer is here in Victoria, BC and ice cream parlours all over the downtown area are no doubt going to see a surge in business. There’s at least one per 3×3 city block. Pretty soon, I think I will have to rate the five or so businesses that I’ve sampled over the and during the years when the craving hits. With Milkcow being the latest and a franchise-based operation, I have to ask myself if they are worth the wait?
Korean dessert shops don’t seem to have a long life-span in Gordon Head, the area which I live. One space at the corner strip mall has been turning over from one sweet shop to churros (run by a Korean) to still another sweet shop all within 2-3 years. Hopefully, in Downtown Victoria, they can last longer.
Seattle Pie Bar
1361 E Olive Way
Seattle, WA 98122
Hours: 6pm to 1am
Phone: (206) 257-1459
Very few late-night operations exist near the Seattle Convention Center and the hotels surrounding it. As long as folks want to explore, they exist. I’m not talking about bars… well, technically The Pie Bar is just that and their unique alcoholic cocktail offerings have me intrigued!
When I see window art featuring Shaggy Rogers of Scooby Doo fame endorsing this operation, I knew I had to stop and make five steps back. I associate him with tackling huge sandwiches the size of the Eiffel Tower which he downs in one gulp. As for other gourmet treats, that depends on which version of the cartoon one grew up with. I’ve followed the gang’s adventures for at least five iterations throughout the years.
Gelato Express N2
320 Robson St
Hours: noon to 10pm
Phone: (604) 428-9926
Frozen treats during a cold day is not a good idea. Just how some businesses stay in operation during the slow winter season is a mystery to me. When Spring and Summertime roll in, I can see many have a full staff keeping order. Strangely, there was nobody around at the front desk when I decided to make a stop in, before a concert. I had a meal elsewhere prior, but a sudden craving had me finding this operation on the way towards Rogers Arena.
To watch your gelato made fresh—flash frozen with nitrogen gas—is certainly more of a novelty than an innovation. The flavours will vary from month to month, and I had a vanilla peanut crumble. The extra depth to the creaminess is very nice, and I had mine in a cone than a cup. While this product is certainly on the pricey side, it’s not going to be for every local to rush on down to.
This operation is located close to BC Place. For visitors to the city who want to avoid the more expensive arena food, at least there are options outside of this stadium. Just be sure to fill up before entering. No outside food is permitted unless it’s already in your stomach.
3 Blokes out of 5
Crispy Churros Dessert Cafe
2A – 4071 Shelbourne
Hours: 11am to 8pm
Phone: (250) 590-2277
¡Ay, caramba! Miss Fruits H.K. Desserts closed up shop, and it changed from Asian style sweets to Spanish—well, sort of. The new operation has shaved ice, designer brand coffee and to its namesake, crispy churros!
When the people behind the counter are Korean, this mishmash of cultures is fine by me! The churro has no clear origin story. It may have come from the Orient. In China, we have our own doughnut, a Youtiao. It’s a starchy crispy delight I love to have with congee (or any other thick creamy soup). In Spain, they have a sweeter version which can be consumed on its own and the dips, ranging from chocolate, vanilla or caramel, only enhances the cinnamon flavour. I could eat them all day if I had the metabolism!
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.
Frankie’s Modern Diner
910 Government St #38
Hours: 7am to 10pm
Phone: (778) 265-8575
Many, many moons ago, Frankie’s Modern Diner was once known Ric’s Steakhouse and before then, it was The Cheesecake Cafe. I miss the latter brand name and the rumour I heard was that the owners did not want to pay the licensing fee and rebranded until a name stuck. I seem to recall there was a Nanaimo-based Frankie’s too, but I don’t go up island often enough to find out if they are still around. In this updated post, this operation has moved south and with this corner having new owners, the changes are pleasant. According to some people who have talked to me in person, they are regulars for a reason.
With Capital City Comic Con near, it’s only fair to come in to see what this operation offers. Thankfully, the current management has not forgotten the heydays of when I visited this corner often. I enjoy browsing the window display of the desserts. Although the variety was not the same as I recall from years ago, I’m glad there is a daily feature dessert, instead of the ordering from their four standard staples – apple pie, molten chocolate cake, new york style vanilla cheesecake and key lime. I will have to give an update as I know I’ll be returning for another bite during this show. The ambience of this place is great and service is very friendly. I knew one visit is not enough.