Victoria’s top destinations for oysters

Never mind pearls, Victorians know the real treasure to be found in oyster shells is the fresh, briny taste of the ocean. Whether you chew or swallow them whole, enjoy garnished or baked, once you get a taste for fresh BC oysters, you’ll be hooked. The next time the craving hits, here’s where to go for your shellfish fix.

Pescatore's Fish House

614 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC V8W 1A4

What better way to enjoy fresh local seafood, than with a stunning view of the waterfront? The chic and sleek Commons makes the most of its position overlooking Victoria's beautiful Inner Harbour with both indoor and outdoor seating. A relaxed-but-sophisticated menu features seafood favourites like sushi, mussel and clam steamers, and, of course, oysters. They can be ordered as singles ($3.75), by the half-dozen ($19.50) or by the dozen ($36).

Ferris' Upstairs Seafood & Oyster Bar

Upr 536 Yates St, Victoria, BC V8W 1K8

Located above Ferris' Grill & Garden Patio restaurant, this intimate spot highlights local seafood with style. Fresh shucked oysters are served with a sherry mignonette and horseradish for $2.25 each or $25 per dozen. Baked oysters are also on the menu, from The Original Rockefeller with spinach, green onion, butter and Pernod to the Spaniard with chorizo cream and crackling. Drop in for happy hour to enjoy "buck a shuck" oysters and $4 drink specials, every day between 5 and 6 p.m.

Docks Grille The

203-1208 Wharf St, Victoria, BC V8W 3B9

Why wait for happy hour to try to catch a buck-a-shuck oyster deal? At The Docks, oysters are $1 apiece all day, every day. And on Fridays they're a real steal at only 50 cents each. A selection of local craft beer and fun cocktails helps to keep the party going as you get your fill of fresh and flavourful seafood. If you’re the competitive type, a $25 gift certificate goes to the diner that can eat more oysters in one day than the current reigning champion.

The Fish Store

1 Dallas Road, Victoria, BC V8V 0B2

If it's fresh seafood you're after, The Fish Store is where you'll find it. This floating restaurant and fishmonger pulls in the best product from BC waters and passes it directly to their customers. The oyster bar serves premium and superior oysters on the half shell with your choice of condiment (cocktail sauce, hot sauce, freshly grated horseradish or a selection of flavourful mignonettes). Buck-a-shuck pricing is in effect from 4 to 5 p.m. Open seasonally, beginning in January.

Nautical Nellie's Steak & Seafood House

1001 Wharf St, Victoria, BC V8W 1T6

A local surf-and-turf favourite, Nellies features a whopping 10 varieties of freshly shucked oysters in their oyster bar. Divided into Low Tide, Premium and Superior categories, oysters start at $2.65 each and an Oyster Shooter is available for less than $8. Seasonal options will vary, so check with your server for current offerings. Some BC favourites have included Fanny Bay premium oysters from Baynes Sound and Evening Cove low-tide oysters from Texada Island.

Blue Crab Seafood House

146 Kingston St, Victoria, BC V8V 1V4

Great food and great views are always on the menu at this award-winning restaurant. Try the chef's choice selection of fresh oysters, available by the half-dozen for $16. They're served with lemon, fresh horseradish and mignonette. The restaurant's annual Oysterfest (available seasonally, usually starting in April) is among the best times to visit for fresh oysters and inventive, oyster-themed dishes.

Lure Restaurant & Bar

100 Harbour Road, Victoria, BC V9A 0G1

Tuck into a half-dozen Fresh Island Oysters with condiments for $17 at this refined-but-relaxed waterfront hotspot. Things are especially lively for oyster lovers on Thursdays when you can get your fill with a buck-a-shuck oyster deal and a pitcher of beer is just $15. Chef Dan Bain was born and raised on the island and takes pride in highlighting the area’s fresh, local ingredients.

Aura Waterfront Restaurant + Patio

680 Montreal St, Victoria, BC V8V 1Z8

Take in views of the Inner Harbour and parliament buildings as you dive into an order of fresh BC oysters at this attractive restaurant located in the Inn at Laurel Point. Oysters are served with yuzu soy mignonette and fresh horseradish, and sold by the dozen or half-dozen. All of the seafood at Aura is recognized as sustainably sourced by the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program, so you can relish your meal in good conscience.

Caesars are a staple in Canadian cuisine; they're right up there with poutine, Nanaimo bars, maple syrup and Kraft Dinner. The unlikely combination of vodka, Clamato and Worcestershire sauce with some celery, asparagus or even bacon thrown in for the grand finale, doesn't sound like it should work. But it does. Here's where to go in Victoria to enjoy some of the best Caesars in town.
Charcuterie, a French method of cold meat preparation, has taken off in Victoria and the results are delicious. The intense flavour created by the curing of pork and other cuts of meat, pairs wonderfully with artisanal cheeses, pickles and condiments for an elegant and social snacking experience. If you're looking to get in on the culinary fun, head to one of these charcuterie hotspots.
For years, BC’s liquor laws didn’t allow happy hours, but that all changed in 2014. With new minimum drink prices in place, bars and restaurants in Victoria are now free to offer deals throughout the day. Here are a few places that have really taken advantage of the changes, with food and drink specials that’ll keep you happy for longer than an hour.
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