Culture Dose: Vancouver Island’s Culinary Trail

Victoria, BC (October 2014) – By Corinne Whiting

Feasting our way across some of BC’s hidden gems

The challenge of visiting any island: Often, it takes work to get there. As a traveler, there’s not much
within one’s control; choppy seas and foggy skies can lead to schedule delays that can’t be contested. Sometimes Mother Nature just wins.

Yet this unpredictability also defines the beauty of island hopping. You must simply surrender, go with the flow, sit back, and enjoy the journey. Arriving at the destination comes to feel like an accomplishment, and what you find on the island often feels like a hidden treasure, an insider’s find—a place where the pace is slower and the people kind.

We recently dove into the thriving culinary scene unfolding on nearby Vancouver Island, and we came away feeling happy, full and mightily impressed. We learned that a strong sense of community there pervades amongst restaurants, bars and local businesses, and loads of passionate talents are in the midst of creating delicious dishes and drinks with ingredients that are regional, seasonal, sustainable and fresh. Here are suggestions for some of the best spots to taste the flavors of the island:

If you’ve somehow saved room for more food in Victoria, grab appetizers at the Catalano Restaurant and Cicchetti Bar, where we’d recommend the Artisanal Salumi and Cheese Board accompanied by the refreshing Catalano Coastal Gin Tonic (any cocktail that features spirulina, of all things, piques our interest). You won’t soon forget your dinner across the street at 10 Acres, where you can enjoy the perfect-10 ambience and dishes showcasing the islands freshest meats, cheeses, seafood and seasonal produce coming straight from the restaurant’s own farm. Next to a fireplace in the heated garden courtyard, enjoy fried heirloom green tomatoes, quinoa fritters, Sooke trout, Salt Spring Island mussels and the steak and frites platter, featuring some of the best truffle fries you’ll likely ever encounter.

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