Vancouver Island

Brunch in Victoria

To many, there is no greater weekend joy than whiling away the late-morning hours over a perfectly prepared meal. Locals and visitors to Victoria know this all too well.

by Jennifer Dorozio

Zambri’s Uovo Fritto con Spaghetti Aglio Olio Peperoncino is the perfect comfort-food brunch dish. Photography by Rebecca Wellman

The city is heralded as the Brunch Capital of Canada and is home to a multitude of restaurants offering variations of brunch fare. Here, Rebecca Wellman, author of the recently published First, We Brunch: Recipes and Stories from Victoria’s Best-Loved Breakfast Joints, shares her top local picks.

For a family-friendly brunch

“Consider places like Floyd’s Diner, Blue Crab Seafood House or Zambri’s because they are bigger spaces and they are able to accommodate large groups. At Zambri’s, try the Uovo Fritto con Spaghetti Aglio Olio Peperoncino, which is topped with a fried egg. You’ll be eating it for dinner later that night!”

For a splurge-worthy treat

“Try Vis à Vis — the Le Grande Breakfast Bowl [with pulled duck confit] is amazing.”

For a unique menu

“Fishhook has a great brunch scene, and its menu items are a little different. Go for the Mermaid Thali, which has a huge assortment of local, sustainable cured hot and cold smoked fish.”

For a celebratory meal

“Marina Restaurant. It’s a nice destination for family celebrations, and it’s on the water, so it’s gorgeous. Opt for the buffet, which features lots of fresh seafood.”

For a budget-friendly option

“Tonolli’s Deli is awesome, especially the French Baked Eggs with white truffle cream. I also love Picnic, because it’s got a good price point, but it also has these really great, very different brunch items [including creative salads] on the weekend, which is nice to see.”

For an Instagram-worthy plate

“There are so many really brilliant chefs in Victoria that do these beautiful plates. The Ruby is fantastic. Also, Agrius Restaurant, Northern Quarter, Part and Parcel, and Ruth & Dean — Ruth & Dean’s breakfast sandwich is lovely.”

For memorable eggs

“Saveur Restaurant’s Huevos Rancheros are some of the best in town.”

For vegan-friendly choices

“My top choice is Be Love. Anything at Be Love is a winner, but you must try their Green Bowl.

For a cozy place to eat

“I’m going to say Mo:Lé; it’s been around for 13 or 14 years and it’s just a really cozy, cool place to hang out. Mo’s Biscuit is always on the menu and is such a classic and delicious dish for brunch.

For patio dining

“Agrius, Fantastico bar-deli, and CANOE Brewpub have seasonal patios. Check out Agrius Restaurant’s organic Rye and Barley Grain Bowl with a sunny egg.”

For a romantic brunch

“Charlotte & the Quail is a beautiful place to go. It’s tucked into The Gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific. I love the Green Pie — it’s a daily creation, a crustless quiche.”