Food blogger of FamilyFeedbag.com and author of The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes, Amy Bronee, has been inspiring homecooks since the blog began in Februrary 2011. Specializing in casual cooking for the family, Bronee has won numerous awards and accolades, including Canada's best food blogs from the National Post and 40 Foodies Under 40 from Western Living Magazine.
Not only does Bronee know how to prepare meals using quality whole ingredients, she is also familiar with the restaurants in this laid back town on Vancouver Island. Here are some of her favourites that you need to map out the next time you are there.
Victoria is a breakfast city, and there are several incredible spots I could list here. But my all-time favourite breakie hangout is Mo:Lé Restaurant on Pandora Avenue. I have been going there for years, ever since I met my husband, who lived just around the corner in a Chinatown loft at the time. From the food to the service, it doesn't do anything ordinary. The breakfast potatoes are tossed with pesto and the fluffy scrambled eggs get a touch of cream cheese. My favourite is the basic breakfast: pesto potatoes, scrambled eggs and sour dough toast with some local maple sausage and a cup or two of hot coffee. Perfection.
For lunch, it’s usually a casual affair with my kids, and I love taking them to Rosie’s Diner in Cook Street village. My favourite waiter in Victoria, Allan, has worked there for years. He is warm and energetic and moves through the small retro-themed diner with grace and efficiency. The menu is simple diner grub with a twist (it does Chinese food too). My kids love the classic diner hot dogs, and my favourite is the loaded egg salad sandwich on marble rye with house salad or the soup of the day.
For date nights with my husband or celebrating a special occasion, Ferris’ Oyster Bar & Grill on Yates never disappoints. Whether it’s a casual meal downstairs or something a little more sophisticated upstairs, the food is always delicious and well presented. Downstairs, The Piglet pulled pork sandwich and the Nonna Marcella penne with braised pork shoulder are menu stand-outs for me, but its selection of fresh, local seafood is hard to pass up. My favourite is The Pacific Rim, with prawns, wild salmon and stir-fried vegetables, tossed with rice noodles in a spicy Sichuan black bean sauce. Upstairs, the menu changes regularly and the food and service are spectacular. I recommend making a reservation.
A great cocktail is even better with a great view.
LURE Restaurant & Bar in the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe hotel has the best view in town of the Victoria inner harbour. The spacious dining and bar areas underwent a large renovation last year, and the result is a top-notch spot for drinks, dinner and dessert. From the bar, I love the Cocojito: rum, coconut cream, lime, mint leaves and soda. The casual but sophisticated outside space is incredible too, and I plan on spending some quality time there with friends this summer!