I’ve lived in Toronto for just over 10 years but I am originally from Victoria, BC. It's a small city that has a surprising number of really great restaurants, independent coffee bars and boutiques. I’m really excited to be sharing with you today some of my favorite places to eat, drink and shop in my hometown!
Where to Eat:
Red Fish Blue Fish: This tiny seafood take-out stand is located right on the pier of the Victoria inner harbor in a transformed freight container. The menu features 100 % 'Ocean Wise' environmentally friendly seafood and it is delicious. Try one of their fish “Tacones” – BBQ Wild BC Salmon wrapped in a think flat-bread with sweet-smoked chili adobe, pea shoots and lemon pickled onions. Enjoy it while dangling your legs off the edge of the dock.
Eugene’s: I’ve been going to this Greek eatery since I was a baby and it’s simply the best. I spent two weeks in Greece and still wasn’t able to find anything that compared to their moist and buttery spanakopita.
Hernandez: This Latin American cantina prides itself on making 'slow food' from scratch but in a fast-food setting. Their tortillas are handmade and all the meat they use is locally raised and antibiotic-free. Their tacos are so delicious that often I daydream about them when I’m in Toronto.
Where to get a cup of Joe:
Habit: What my sleepy hometown lacks in nightlife, it more than makes up for in a huge selection of awesome independent coffee shops. Habit is the best of the best. They sell only locally roasted beans and are known for their award-winning baristas. We take our coffee seriously on the West Coast and this place serves the best latte I’ve ever had.
Where to shop:
Rebel Rebel: This trendy boutique proves that West Coast fashion isn’t just about gortex, polar fleece and Cowichan sweaters. Rebel Rebel features a well-chosen selection of chic & sought after brands such as Paige Premium, Athé Vanessa Bruno, Eryn Brinié, Mike and Chris and Yumi Kim.
The Patch: This vintage superstore features a massive selection of affordable vintage clothing and new accessories. Last time I shopped there I scored 3 pairs of vintage boots for $60 total. You gotta love small town pricing!
Thrift Stores: I’ve heard that many of the foreign students who come to Victoria to learn English will 'dump' their old wardrobes before returning home with their new Canadian digs. This why you can find some pretty cool stuff at second hand shops. Last time I was home I found an Issey Miyake boyfriend dress shirt and a Holt Renfrew private label blazer for…wait for it…$8.
Thanks again to Simone for all her getaway tips!
Make sure you check out her blog, Skinny Dip