Victoria, British Columbia: Canada’s Crown Jewel
Strolling along Government Street, you will find a number of retail shops offering gelato, fudge, and other sweet temptations. Rogers’ Chocolates is one of those that have been selling their hand-wrapped chocolates since 1885. The shop is decorated in Victorian style and the colorful red and white confection wrappers contain flavors like caramel and wild cherry cream. These are hard to resist and you have to try at least one while you are in town.
The Dutch Bakery & Coffee Shop
Around the corner onto Fort Street and a few blocks down is the Dutch Bakery, a popular spot for locals. This is a three generation, family run restaurant serving comfort food and pastries at affordable prices since 1956.
The Blue Fox
A little further up the street, you might notice a line spilling out the door of the Blue Fox Cafe. Best described as an eclectic café with a gourmet twist, this is the perfect spot for a memorable breakfast or lunch.
The most popular breakfast item is their Eggs Benny, made with soft poached eggs, locally smoked ham, house made hollandaise sauce, and a toasted Mount Royal bagel ($12).
Another item that could easily be called a dessert is their Orange Del Sol. Listed under French toast, this is the sinfully delicious choice for eaters who don’t like French toast. They start with a batter dipped, thick cut slice of cinnamon scented French bread and add vanilla bean sour cream sauce, naval orange segments, and roasted pecans, before toppping it off with triple sec syrup ($12).
The secret to the Blue Fox’s success seems to be its owner Rosamund Hartcourt, who creates the dishes and a comfortable working environment that result in very little staff turnover. This is probably the reason they have amassed a loyal following in Victoria since 1991.
Red Fish Blue Fish
Located in an up-cycled cargo container on Wharf Street, Red Fish Blue Fish has diners lining up an hour before opening time. They serve local fare sanctioned by the Vancouver Aquarium conservation program, Ocean Wise. Selections offered are Pacific halibut, albacore tuna, Fanny Bay oysters, and the recommended grilled salmon sandwich, the latter of which is simple and delicious and will leave you wanting another one the following day.
In one of the episodes of the old Twilight Zone television show, a stressed out businessman at the end of his rope falls asleep on a train and dreams of a simpler, less harried life in a fictional town called Willoughby. Victoria is a little like that— a place where, in the words of Rod Serling, a person can slow down and live life “full measure.” Take a trip back in time to a relaxing yet engaging destination where the people are friendly, the scenery is beautiful and the attractions and food will have you planning your next visit even before you depart for home.
A version of this story was first published on Communities Digital News.