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Greetings all! Ted here reporting on my first food tour in Canada. Andy at A Taste of Victoria Food Tours couldn’t have been nicer. He’s extremely knowledgeable about the food scene here in Victoria as well as the city’s history. Andy selects restaurants that are committed to locally sourced ingredients and chefs that showcase their creativity, the quality and freshness.
Our tour group was lovely. Aside from Andy there were 6 Canadians (2 Saskatchewanians, 2 Albertans and 2 British Columbians), 2 Australians and me, the lone Scot.
We started at the Victoria Public Market at the Hudson. It’s an eclectic mix of great food spots in the old Hudson’s Bay building. First stop was Roast where the chef tempted us with a meatball in an arrabiata sauce … so tasty! On the way out of the Market we sampled a beautiful tea from Silk Road (sorry, no selfie!)
Then it was off to Victoria’s Chinatown where we passed under the beautiful Gate of Harmonious Interest on Fisgard Street. Did you know that it is the oldest Chinatown in Canada and second oldest in North America? So it makes sense that our next stop would be La Roux, a French patisserie located in the heart of Chinatown. We were invited to sample some delectable macarons (I tried the lemon and the lavender). They estimate that since opening they have made around 700,000 macarons. If you’re having high tea in Victoria, chances are you’ll sample their delicacies.
It was time for something a bit healthier so we stopped in at Just Matcha Tea Shops where we were presented with rosewater matcha lattes, complete with rose petals! There were lots of purchases of this very healthful (and tasty) product. And then … biscuits at Shanzee’s Biscuit … but not what we call biscuits in Scotland. More like our scones, one savoury and one sweet. Both were flaky and flavourful and melted in your mouth.
Next up were perogies at The Pierogi Bar. I’d never had these fun little pillows of yumminess before but I hope I’ll get to try more before I head home to Scotland. They’ve taken a European classic and turned it on its head by combining it with “world-inspired flavours and toppings using Canadian-sourced seasonal ingredients”.
And then a personal highlight for me … craft beer at The Churchill. Victoria has a huge craft beer scene and The Churchill has about 50 taps available for your enjoyment. I selected a porter … hey, it’s chilly outside and it seemed appropriate.
The last stop before wandering down to the Inner Harbour was Rogers’ Chocolates, the oldest chocolatier in Canada. In 1951, before ascending to the throne as Queen, Princess Elizabeth visited Rogers’ Chocolates in Victoria and so enjoyed them that each year, on her birthday and at Christmas, they send her a box of their famous Vanilla Creams.
It was yet another lovely day in Victoria and although I’m suffering through a bit of a food coma, I’m looking forward to my next adventure in this fascinating city.
Until next time,
Slàinte mhath, Ted