Office lunch outings in Victoria

Business lunch isn’t always about meeting customers. Sometimes it’s about kicking ideas around during a casual lunch with colleagues. And a nicely priced meal in a sociable setting will do wonders for your productivity. Victoria has plenty of office-retreat eatery options. The common denominator in our list is fast, friendly service that gives you plenty of time to refuel and recharge before you’re back to the daily grind.

Rebar

1
50 Bastion Sq, Victoria, BC V8W 1J2

There’s a lot going on at Rebar, a bright, contemporary space with plenty of colour on the walls, and its menu is no less vibrant. Hipsters and in-the-know foodies visit Rebar for its ultra-healthy, largely vegetarian menu and extensive juice bar. Refuel with miso soup or the kale and quinoa salad. Monks’ curry and the spicy peanut noodle bowl are also menu highlights. We promise you won’t miss the meat!

Dutch Bakery & Diner

2
718 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8W 1H2

Fancy time travel for lunch? The family-owned Dutch Bakery opened in the ’5os. Wood panelled walls, chrome stools and a soda fountain leave no doubt you’re in a diner, as do blast-from-the-past menu items such as the tuna melt and cottage cheese plate. It’s slamming busy most days, but the speedy service keeps everything moving. Try the beef croquettes (a Dutch specialty) and a root beer float, and buy some chocolate to help you through the rest of your day.

Picnic

3
103-506 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8W 1E6

Known for fabulous coffee and drinks such as lavender lemonade, this small yet uncrowded café also offers a pared down lunch menu that changes often. The daily salad might be roasted eggplant and kalamata olive; the weekly soup, vermicelli pho. There are two inventive sandwich specials (recent offerings were smashed roast potato and bacon, and grilled ham and artichoke melt). PiCNiC’s lunchtime clientele, most from nearby businesses, seems to be regulars – not surprising, given its casual, friendly vibe.

The Pink Bicycle Gourmet Burger Joint

4
1008 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC V8W 2H5

Grabbing a burger for lunch takes on a whole new meaning at The Pink Bicycle; its locally produced meats are a cut above. Head under the awning and into a laidback room where burgers are serious business but everything else is relaxed. Gourmet burger faves include the Metchosin mutton burger with mint mayo and seared ahi tuna topped with wasabi mayo and ginger sesame slaw. Along with burgers, there’s a daily soup and a nice selection of salads.

Roast

5
5-1701 Douglas St, Victoria, BC V8W 0C1

In the Victoria Public Market, the line-ups are long but move quickly at Roast. The food stall is a carnivore’s dream. Think sandwiches made of prime rib, chicken arrabbiata meatballs, sausage rolls and pork crackling. Porchetta (stuffed roast pig) is served warm with broccolini, salsa verde and provolone cheese. Salads are made to order, with emphasis on fresh and local. Grab a lunch to go, or find a table in the common eating area.

Don Mee

6
538 Fisgard St, Victoria, BC V8W 1R4

A fixture of Canada’s oldest Chinatown for over 80 years, at Don Mee, you can share lunch with the whole office, letting the lazy Susan fly. A large neon lantern marks the entrance to the restaurant, and the large dining room is typically filled with a mix of tourists and locals. Along with à la carte menu items, a daily dim sum menu of 60 to 70 items is served daily. Carts are wheeled around the room, and you’ll find delicacies such as tripe, sticky buns and congee as well as shrimp and crab dumplings.

Italian Food Imports Ltd

7
1114 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC V8W 2H6

Where else can you say you had Rocky Balboa for lunch? Oh, sure, it’s a grilled panini sandwich, but still. Order from the counter, grab a spot in the small seating area, or browse the imported Italian grocery area while you wait. Another of its quirkily named sandwiches, the meatball panino is also a knockout. The place serves decent salads, and for about five bucks a panini, it’s very affordable.

Uchida Eatery

8
22-633 Courtney St, Victoria, BC V8W 1B9

Look closely, next to Victoria’s Bug Zoo. See the door with the Japanese characters above it? You’ve found Uchida, a casual little eatery that’s been winning raves for its authentic Japanese cuisine, including don (rice bowls with fish). Get there before noon to snag one of the half dozen tables. The chalkboard menu changes daily. For a sneak preview, check out the restaurant’s Facebook page where the updated menu is usually posted.

Sizzling Tandoor Restaurant

9
637 Johnson St, Victoria, BC V8W 1M7

Best thing about a lunchtime buffet? Great variety, and self-service is speedy when you’re in a hurry. Sizzling Tandoor’s buffet lunch features a dozen or so Northern Indian dishes. If you prefer to eat à la carte, you might try the stuffed naan or the tandoori chicken burger. And with the crisp white linens and comfy chairs, it strikes a nice note between casual and formal. This family-run business also features a location at Uptown shopping centre.

Victoria earned the unofficial title of Canada’s craft beer capital in 1984, when archaic BC liquor laws were overturned, allowing Spinnakers to become the country’s first brewpub. It was once illegal to serve beer in the same building where it was brewed, but thankfully this is no longer the case. With quality brewpubs and plenty of local taps, Victoria is the place for microbrew aficionados to raise a pint.
Afternoon tea dates back to 1840 England; Victoria, with strong historical ties to the British Motherland, upholds this tradition in fine style. But don’t believe it’s all stuffy, prim and proper – afternoon teas are becoming popular as children’s birthday parties. Whether you’re looking for a casual place for a light meal, or a more formal spot to impress your mother-in-law, this list has you covered.
Victoria may not have a designated Little Italy (unless the Leonardo da Vinci cultural centre counts), but it’s not lacking an Italian culinary scene. From authentic Old World dining to West Coast-flavoured contemporary Italian, from romantic candlelight meals to family-friendly feasts, this list has got your Italian cravings covered. Buon Appetito!
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