606 Trounce Alley
Hours: Weds to Sun 11:30am to 9pm.
Phone: (778) 265-2227
ES: Park’s Kitchen reinvented itself many years ago. The last time I’ve been there, this restaurant was a Japanese only restaurant but these days (even prior to the pandemic), they expanded their menu to include Korean, and I think that’s a good thing! The only downside is that their Japanese selection isn’t as varied anymore.
I’ve been meaning to return here, but every time I walk through Trounce Alley, it’s en route to Quazar’s Arcade to play video games rather than for a bite. I’ve often been tempted in because of the daily specials, but alas, I’m meeting up with other pals. After hanging out with Don at the said place and challenging each other to Street Fighter and other intensive battle games, we worked up an appetite!
DK: Let’s see now–I’ve got a notepad open, a photo of Park’s lunch special for inspiration, a refreshing glass of ice water–all the elements required to knock off another barn-burning blokepost.
Inner Harbour Causeway
790 Government St
Phone: (236) 838-4091
Hours: Thurs to Sun 11am to 5pm
ES: Hot Dog Hu$tlin expanded their operations from Vancouver sometime ago and after talking to the owner/operator, he said they are often the competitors to Japadog. They were the talk of the town for the North Van.
I’m glad they came to sell at Victoria’s First Annual Prawn and Fiddler Festival, as that was the scent that drew Don and me towards the cart when we patrolled the area before the official start of the event. It wasn’t just the scents of the bratwurst and the grill that had my spider sense tingling!
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.
950 Yates St
Hours: Open every day from 11:30 am to 9:00pm (10 on weekends)
Phone: (778) 265-9150
ES: Don’t ask me why, but when Don suggested we check out Boomtown for some fancy Mexican style food, I had to cue up Vengaboys to listen to while downtown. It’s a diner located opposite the Harris-Green Shopping Centre, and it can easily be missed by those who aren’t looking.
DK: We spent the night together, watching Sandra Bullock search for a hidden tomb in the movie afterwards.
Boomtown is in a spot that has housed a revolving door of different cafes, food trucks, and weed dispensaries over the last decade. Back in 2013, the Refiner Diner was parked in this spot, and I still have fond memories of their burger (Ed gave it a 4/5 way back when). Does Boomtown carry on the 950 Yates legacy in style? Ed, what say you?
1609 Store St
Hours: Weds to Sat 11:30am – 10pm
Phone: (250) 590-9821
DK: We were primed from the minute we sat down. This was not just any ramen joint. Not just any noodles. No, this ramen was the result of worldwide wanderlusting and the serendipitous discovery of handmade noodles in a small island city. I haven’t a clue what sort of noodles other ramen joints in town use, but the story we heard at tableside certainly made Ghost Ramen sound unique.
The noodle recipe comes from former engineer, accountant and filmmaker turned restaurateur Greg Masuda. He operates a shop in Courtenay and noodles are shipped from there to Victoria. After trying ramen all over the world, Ghost Ramen co-owner Jason Chan says Greg’s noodles are some of the best he’s ever had. So, like I said, Ed and I were primed to feel like we were about to eat something special.
#102 – 535 Yates St
Hours: Sun to Sat: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Phone: (778) 265-2564
ES: Don’s the real Cinnaholic between us, and when a operation (technically, it’s a franchise) opened up in town, we pondered when to sample their wares. They boast freshly made cinnamon rolls which can be decked out anyway you want. I counted more than a dozen possibilities, and all I can say is wunderbar! Or should that be cinnabar? Okay, so the joke doesn’t work….
It’s often cold and wet in Victoria these days. To nibble on anything warm is required when out on the town late at night.
DK: Cinnamon buns are like cars, as soon as you drive them off the lot they start to lose value. A bun can be a 10/10 fresh out of the oven, but a 3/10 by midday. Also if you park a cinnamon bun in a bad neighbourhood you want to make sure not to leave any change lying around in the frosting.