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Top 5 places for outdoor eating in Greater Victoria

Blooming gardens, dockside patios and front seats to fishing vessels among Greater Victoria’s best outdoor dining spots
Relax and enjoy: Tug Eatery’s waterfront patio serves local brews and handhelds, pork belly lettuce wraps, tacos and more. (Courtesy Tug Eatery)

All around Greater Victoria, dockside patios, restaurants with scenic views and breweries overlooking the harbour are coming to life. While the standout spaces have the views to boost your experience, they also have the menu to keep you coming back. The following list is our five picks for indulgent food experiences that let you simultaneously take in the fresh breeze and the sun.

1. Tug Eatery and Bar

Arguably one of the best patios in the city, Tug Eatery has expansive prime waterfront real estate overlooking the inner harbour with plenty of seating. It’s nestled beside the Johnson Street Bridge and the Victoria Harbour Ferry Chinatown stop with fantastic water views. Even better yet, the patio is dog-friendly and offers lush gardens.

Enjoy their menu of locally sourced, globally-inspired West Coast food. Popular menu items include Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps with slow-cooked then seared pork belly, house-made steak sauce, pickled onions and lettuce for wrapping; Kimchi Fried Rice Bowl made with house-made kimchi, mushrooms, and jasmine rice; and Halloumi Cheese Fries. Live music happens every Wednesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m.

READ ALSO: The rich brewing culture of Vancouver Island

2. Charlotte and the Quail

Perched on the edge of the 10-acre botanical garden, The Gardens at HCP, Charlotte and the Quail showcases farm-grown food while offering beautiful views of nature. Their year-round patio really is a hidden gem that not many people know about due to the restaurant’s location on Quayle Road in Saanich. Charlotte and the Quail is a sister restaurant to Nourish, and focuses on, but is not limited to, nutritious plant-based items.

Their signature beverages are delightful, arriving at the table ornate with edible flowers from the garden. Try the Pink Rose Latte with beetroot powder, rose essence, cardamom, a touch of maple and oat milk. Or the Dandelion Latte with dandelion root, chicory, barley and rye extract, a touch of maple and oat milk. The menu offers farm-to-table goodness including medicinal mushroom broth or bone broth, salads, eggs benedict, and harvest pie.

3. Fisherman’s Wharf

For locals, this might be an obvious choice, but it’s truly a prime spot. The wharf offers a dockside eating area surrounded by colourful food shops, working fishing vessels and cute boat houses. Want to opt for a picnic? Just head across the street to the grassy expanse of Fisherman’s Wharf Park!

It’s a seafood to-go hot spot, whether its favourites like Seafood Chowder or Halibut Fish and Chips at Barb’s, Diablo Shrimp or Salmon/Mango Tacos at Puerto Vallarta Amigos (Mexican), or Ceviche at Coco Grill (seafood Asian fusion). There’s also Pizza at Pirate Pizza Co. or sweet treats at Jackson’s Ice Cream or Sweets (mini doughnut shop).

4. Glo

Located along the Selkirk Waterway, just minutes from the Galloping Goose Trail, Glo Restaurant in Victoria is renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and contemporary cuisine. Whether you’re craving seafood, steak, vegetarian fare, or a fun cocktail, one thing’s for sure: dining on the patio adds to the experience. Glo offers a tranquil oasis with stylish decor and comfortable seating, providing an ample setting for enjoying Victoria’s pleasant weather and scenic views.

Try these patio-worthy items: Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with chimichurri aioli, Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps, or Lemon Pepper Calamari.

READ ALSO: 6 amazing beaches in Greater Victoria to experience

5. Il Covo

One of the top restaurants in the city, Il Covo offers high-end Italian cuisine. While the restaurant boasts a romantic indoor dining room, its private courtyard patio gets raved about for its atmosphere, lush with plants and flowers. The menu has lighter fare like the Antipasto Il Covo for Two, a popular Italiano platter; desserts like the fan-favourite Tiramisu; and it’s widely known as one of Victoria’s top pasta stops.

Sam Duerksen

About the Author: Sam Duerksen

Since moving to Victoria from Winnipeg in 2020, I’ve worked in communications for non-profits and arts organizations.
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