871 Denman St
Hours: Mon to Sun 12–2:30pm, and 4:30–10pm
Phone: (604) 608-1677
On my latest trip to the mainland for Fan Expo Vancouver, I explored the West End and visited Kingyo. Getting here isn’t that bad at night, but I’d still recommend taking a cab or Uber if safety is a concern. The stroll back along Robson Street to your hotel will help burn the calories.
This smaller sized operation is like Maneki Restaurant in Seattle’s International District; the external decor hides a warm and welcoming interior. Their daily specials have a wider variety of seafood and protein offerings than the usual fixings. It’s rare to see any place offer truffle in this style of cuisine. Next time, I’ll be back for their Pork Miso Carbonara–a pasta dish that uses the black fungi as a garnish.
1646 McKenzie Ave
Hours: 11:00 am to 10:00pm, daily
Phone: (778) 265-6599
It seems nearly every fried chicken junkie in Victoria, BC is in love with Popeye’s. Ever since it opened mid December, there have been regular lineups throughout the day. I considered joining that but ultimately, it’s not worth the wait to get inside. A few months in, those lines are almost gone but it’s not enough to get me standing outside in the cold. Until more operations open up around town to reduce the wait time to get in, when the snack food craving hits, I’m only touching the chicken.
2950 Douglas St Unit 222
Hours: Tues to Sun 11:30am to 8:30pm
Phone: (778) 922-2950
Sugoi! Victoria ni atarashī totemo oishii rāmen-ya ga arimasu yo. As for whether that’s grammatically correct, I think I got my statement right and insert a pun for good measure.
Ramen Arashi is a diner that opened over the holidays. I’ve been keeping tabs on when they’d open since they’ve been making noise mid last year on the social media front. They’re not competing in the busy downtown area, and I think they’re likely to carve a niche in Burnside. They’re located a few blocks south of Mayfair Mall and I’d visit this operation in a heartbeat. Their bone broth has a nice additional peppercorn flavour.
200 Granville St #70
Hours: 11am to 10pm
Phone: (604) 568-3900
During the pandemic, Miku Restaurant really scaled back. They limited the amount of items available to order, and depending on what the latest regulations entail, this can mean them becoming a mostly take-out operation or closing their doors. The plan is to offer a wider variety of choices as patrons become comfortable dining out again. The present menu is scant; not even three dishes out of the twelve or so item list is enough to fill me up.
I finally ventured off the rock because it was needed. When A Filthy Lot, a film studio, invited me over to see what they’re all about, I was excited. They’re an online streaming content creation entertainment company with an immense love for Dungeons and Dragons and pop culture. They have three different channels to distinguish their material. The main one focuses on nerd culture, second on gaming and third on comedy. Some talents are from Victoria too!
House of Funk
350 Esplanade E
North Vancouver, BC
Hours: 1-9 p.m.
Phone: (604) 770-3646
The House of Funk Brewing Co. is more than just another microbrewery based out of North Vancouver. They offer pretzels, schnitzels, beer mustards, sauerkraut, pickled beets, yams bratwurst and other tasty treats in their dining section of the brewhouse. It’s an operation I’d love to visit because they may well be the next best thing to Skål Beer Hall in Seattle as far as sticking to a Scandanavian theme goes. Borders are slowly reopening, but to have something a lot more local makes sense!
This relatively new operation started business in 2019. Anyone who’s missed out in collecting and tasting their past brews are simply out of luck.
Tractor Everyday Healthy Foods
805 Government St
Hours: Mon to Sun 8:00am to 8:00pm
Phone: (778) 247-0354
ES: From sandwich shop to soup kitchen (if it can be called that), the deli turned health food stop certainly knows how to serve the soups and stews up warm and fresh. They also know keeping a few luncheon staples folded between breads is still important. The operation is now known as Tractor. They have farm fresh in mind, and my meal was cozy enough to warm me up on a wet day while downtown Victoria, BC.
DK: While waiting for Ed a young man in a suit passed by along Government Street. Not a suit, suit. More an “I’m here for a conference and I need to look fresh and clean when the gang goes out on the town” suit. Anyway, while striding by one of his companions asked if he’d ever been to Tractor, and what his opinion was. “Nice aesthetic, but pretty expensive,” was the man on the street’s reply.