To celebrate a milestone anniversary, my husband and I overnighted in Victoria. While there, we packed in as much fun stuff as we could handle. The Victoria food tour experience with A Taste of Victoria is most definitely a top highlight of our mini-getaway.
Not only do you sample delicious food, but you get to see places in Victoria you may not even know existed! (This was definitely the case for us). Plus, you get a fantastic history lesson along the way.
Andy, the tour guide and owner of a Taste of Victoria, is extremely knowledgeable. You can tell he has done his research, and his love for the city shines through.
As well, it was awesome to see the mutual respect and admiration between Andy and all the shop owners we were introduced to.
Upon leaving our second stop on the tour, the representative handing out tea samples said to a few of us, “Have a fun tour! It’s not hard to do with Andy as your guide”.
Andy was well out of earshot when this comment was made, so it was most definitely a genuine response. This was just one of many examples.
What to Expect
During the two-hour walking tour, you get to experience 6 – 8 tastings. Along the route, there are also several points of interest stops accompanied by a history lesson.
In total, on our particular tour, we stopped at approximately 12 – 14 places. Andy provides the perfect amount of time to eat or drink your sample, snap photos, and listen to the information about each location.
Only once did I feel a bit rushed…but that is solely due to being an extremely slow drinker of alcohol (my husband calls me “Nurse Nancy” for a reason). I only managed to finish half of my cider sample when it was time to start packing up. (Again, I need to point out, everyone else in the group had managed to finish off their drink in ample time).
On our Taste of Victoria food tour, we stopped at eight tasting locations. The tastings are sample sized, yet you will NOT go away hungry. Being on the 11:00 tour, we were extremely glad we decided to skip breakfast.
We got to sample meatballs, two types of tea, cider and beer, pirogi’s, macarons, fresh baked bread, and biscuits.
Each tour is a bit different, as Andy caters to dietary and group needs, as well as restaurant or shop availability. So your tour might look a little different than ours – but I guarantee you it will be just as good!
Food Tastings (we experienced)
Whether or not you visit them while on tour, I urge you to check out the following Victoria establishments on your own time.
These guys are so good they opened up a second location in San Diego. We sampled their famous meatball and I’m drooling just thinking about it. Even at 11:00 am, the place was hopping with locals ordering dishes for their evening meal.
This beautiful shop, located in China Town, makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a pastry shop off a street in Europe. The macarons we sampled were as beautiful to eat as they were to look at. There were so many to choose from, but I decided on a Raspberry (deliciously tart), and a Salted Caramel (it’s easy to see why this is their best seller).
Claudio, co-owner and baker, makes fresh and delicious bread and sweets every day the shop is open (Tuesday – Saturday). After being up since 2:30 am making baked goods, we caught him at the end of his workday. However tired he must have been, his passion for baking and sharing his craft with others shone through. Here we sampled three hefty tastings. The focaccia bread was some of the best I’ve ever tried.
You may recognize this place from the Vic Food Guys spotlight on CTV. This is the only dedicated biscuits and gravy brunch spot in the Victoria area, and well worth a stop. While I loved the savoury sample, the chocolate and banana morsel had me yearning for more.
Yes, an establishment dedicated to pierogi’s! Who knew such a place existed? I’m so glad it does. Sült takes an eastern European classic and combines it with world inspired flavours and toppings, all while using Canadian sourced seasonal ingredients. These guys know flavour and do it well. It was the most perfect ending to our food samples.
With its health benefits, Matcha has become all the rage. During our tasting, we learned all about this unique green tea (how it’s produced and harvested, its tradition, and, of course, the health benefits). Every couple/family on the tour ended up purchasing a tin of Matcha – it’s that good!
Since 1992 Silk Road Tea has been creating the world’s finest, freshest, award-winning, organic teas, skin and body products. And it all started in Victoria’s Historic Chinatown. I noticed that many of the tour locations we visited served Silk Road Tea.
The Churchill takes pride in offering a huge selection of a variety of fermented and distilled drinks. In fact, they have 50 of Pacific Northwests’ finest craft beer on tap! If craft beer is your thing, give this place a try.
While it is a 2-hour tour, between all the stops you make, and the time it takes to eat or drink your samples, the walk is relatively short. The tour covers roughly 2.5 km or 1.5 miles, which totals about 30 minutes of walking at a leisurely pace. And yes, for those that are wondering, the entire tour is wheelchair and stroller accessible!
You start your tour at the Victoria Public Market, an approximate 15-minute walk from hotels and resorts situated in and around the harbour.
If you can manage it, walking to the start of the tour is advisable. Parking is at a premium near the Public Market. As well, many of the spots located near the Market only allow parking for a maximum of 90 minutes (not enough time for your tour).
If you feel you must drive to the Victoria Public Market, then use the nearby city parkades at either Johnson St. or Bastion Square.
All in all, we were extremely impressed by Andy’s Taste of Victoria food tour, and feel it’s great value for what you get. If you need further proof, you can read the many exceptional reviews for yourself on Trip Advisor. A Taste of Victoria food tour is rated #1 out of the many food and drink tours available.
For details on tour times and prices, please head to the website for A Taste of Victoria.
For other great ideas while in the area, make sure to check out a few of our other posts for the Greater Victoria area.
Disclosure: Experience sponsored by A Taste of Victoria. Opinions are my own. Each Taste of Victoria tour is slightly different, so you may not necessarily experience the same locations we did.
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