Victoria isn’t like the rest of West Coast Canada. It lacks the modern, glassy feel of Vancouver and instead feels like you’re travelling back in time to an old English town. Being British, I feel a certain guilt and predictability for liking its quaint, old-worldness, but it’s more than that. Victoria is a small, old city amid the beautiful mountainous backdrop of British Columbia, which creates a unique vista you can’t find in any English town.
And if you’re wondering where to eat vegan in Victoria, it also has an abundance of food options! I was surprised that for a small city, Victoria has many plant-based restaurants and cafes. You can easily while away a weekend in this city, walking from restaurant to bakery to cafe. If you’re wondering where to eat vegan in Victoria, this guide is for you!
I’ve also included some of my favourite tourist attractions in the city, below. There’s plenty to do and enjoy in this historic city!
Where to Eat
Be Love – Hands down my favourite eatery in Victoria. With a seasonally-changing, mostly vegan and gluten-free menu, Be Love offer delicious options such as pesto gnocchi, raw Black Forest Gateau and house-made botanical elixirs. If I could go here every day I would.
Cafe Bliss – As the more casual, almost fully raw sister to Be Love, Cafe Bliss has a very different feel. It’s a little less pricey and more nutrient-dense. Dishes here have lots of colour and leave you feeling refreshed. Go on a day when they have a fully-stocked raw dessert counter.
Green Cuisine – A staple among local Victorians, this self-serve vegan buffet has been open for over 25 years and has a wide range of savoury dishes and desserts. While not luxurious, Green Cuisine offers tasty options, is great value for money and deserves its loyal following.
The Very Good Butchers – Making their own plant-based ‘meats’, The Very Good Butchers are worth a visit. You can buy burgers and sausages, or stop by their restaurant for a BLT or burger. You can find them inside Victoria’s market.
Where to Shop
Silk Road Tea – I didn’t realize tea-buying could be addictive until I was introduced to this beautiful shop. All teas are imaginatively named (Alchemist’s Brew) and smell divine.
Pure Lovin’ Chocolate– A totally vegan chocolate shop! Pure Lovin’ Chocolate sell locally-made, handcrafted chocolate. They also stock a wide range of vegan chocolate from North American suppliers.
Munro’s Books – Opened in 1963, and housed in a majestic old building on Government Street, the architecture and warm light will make you want to cosy up with the books and stay all day.
What to See
Fan Tan Alley – Enter this alley and you could be in Yorkshire or Scotland, such is the feel of its cosy shops and narrow passages. Signalling the start of Chinatown, this street is a must for any historical tour of Victoria.
Legislature Buildings – An underrated attraction, the elegant Legislature Buildings are where parliament sit, and tours are offered free of charge. Go back to view the exterior in the evening when the building is beautifully illuminated.
Craigdarroch Castle – Craigdarroch is a strange building. Stark and odd-looking from the outside, the inside is like a luxurious Victorian wood-panelled home – small, yet intricate. Built for the Dunsmuirs of Scotland, it’s fascinating to explore and offers unparalleled views of the city.
Hatley Park – Worth the journey from Downtown, Hatley Park is a gorgeous old estate, containing an Edwardian conservatory, Italian and Japanese gardens, and a castle open only by appointment. It backs onto the water and feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Empress – If you can, spend a night at this historic hotel. Built initially for the Canadian Pacific Railway, The Empress housed European travellers who were used to opulence and splendor, and hosted guests such as Katharine Hepburn and Rita Hayworth. You can view iconic rooms such as the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom, and see photographs of glittering days gone by.