Dine Like a Local in Victoria, British Columbia: 10 Top Restaurants You Won’t Want to Miss

Considered Canada’s most romantic city, Victoria is also popular with families — just ask Prince William and Kate, who recently visited with the royal kids in tow. It’s got everything you could possibly want for a getaway — a casual West coast vibe, mild weather, stunning access to nature, and a compact, pedestrian-friendly downtown. It’s also the birthplace of the 100-mile diet and is a place with an overabundance of fantastic local seafood, produce, cheese, and locally brewed beer. Find out where to dine like a local in Victoria, British Columbia, on your next visit.

Aura is the waterfront restaurant at the luxurious Inn at Laurel Point. It offers incredible views looking back on both the harbor and the city from a unique vantage point. The sleek and modern restaurant is a favorite among locals for a romantic meal. It’s known for creativity, showcasing local products with Japanese and French influences with great technical finesse. Signature dishes under award-winning chef Takashi Ito include playful Deep Fried Sushi, a deconstructed delight that combines torched albacore tuna with a dashi-poached side stripe shrimp, soy onion salad, togarashi mayo and seaweed salad with fried nori and rice crisps, and his luscious risotto made from local British Columbia brown rice, house smoked almond milk, chanterelles, shaved cauliflower, fennel pollen, orange crisp, truffle oil, and preserved egg yolk. Make a reservation at Aura.

Dine Like a Local in Victoria, British Columbia

Veneto Tapa Lounge
Veneto Tapa Lounge is a chic cocktail bar and small plate restaurant divided into two main parts — the front section by the bar is lively and the restaurant tables in back a bit more intimate. The whole place has a cool midcentury modern look. The menu includes a myriad of options from small shareable snacks to large plates with an appealing range of comfort food classics, from mac and cheese and fried chicken and waffles to more exotic options, such as crispy pork belly and pan-seared chili basil scallop or warm Indian chickpea salsa served with naan bread and cucumber raita. But the top draw here may just be the cocktails. The menu offers classics but also wildly inventive options that change up every six weeks or so. Undecided? Spin the wheel. Choose a spirit of choice and a flavor such as sweet, bitter, savory, or tart or a combination thereof and then let the bartenders take it from there. Make a reservation at Veneto Tapa Lounge.

Dine Like a Local in Victoria, British Columbia

Tea at the Empress Hotel
Taking tea in the bright and cheery tea lobby set against the picturesque backdrop of the Inner Harbor is a must for visitors to Victoria. Tea includes signature raisin scones with preserves and cream and savory and sweet treats prepared in-house daily to be enjoyed with a tea blend created specifically for The Fairmont Empress, served in dainty William Edwards china and a sterling silver service. Small tables and couches give the experience a cozy and intimate feel but with no lack of sophistication. From now until November 30 in conjunction with the royal visit, the Fairmont Empress will be serving their Royal Afternoon Tea, designed by former executive chef to the royals Darren McGrady. Each item on the menu was hand-selected as a favorite of a member of the Royal Family. Make a reservation for Tea at the Empress Hotel.

Dine like a local in victoria, British columbia

Q at The Empress
The newly renovated dining room and lounge Q at The Empress is another prime spot for relaxed service in a traditional and elegant — yet hip and modern — environment with splashy colorful contemporary murals of Queen Victoria. From the lounge, you can soak up stunning vistas of the Inner Harbor, and from the dining room reflections of the hotel through stained glass windows. In addition to the typical breakfast fare of oatmeal, eggs Benedict, and Belgian waffles, diners can choose from a luscious shrimp omelet with spinach and local brie or banana bread French toast with clotted cream and fresh blueberry and orange compote. Dinners offer an abundance of roast meats and local seafood including salmon, halibut, and Dungeness crab. Make a reservation for Q at the Empress Hotel.

Dine Like a Local in Victoria, British Columbia

Little Jumbo
Set back from the street in what was once a livery for horses, Little Jumbo has a cozy speakeasy vibe and is ideal for meeting locals at the bar. Named for the Little Jumbo Saloon in NYC, it serves some of the finests cocktails in town. The cocktail list changes every six weeks, but the most popular drink is the Spurs and Saddles made with Bulleit bourbon, Cointreau, housemade sarsaparilla, and sassafras syrup, lime juice, and Angostura bitters served in a glass with a flamed hickory-smoked bourbon rinse. The food is equally creative with selections such as Chili Garlic Prawns with avocado puree, watercress and papaya salad or seasonal favorite Seared Ling Cod, served with baby potato chips, mustard greens, brown butter, and cider vinaigrette. Make a reservation at Little Jumbo.

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Chicago 2017 Michelin-Starred Restaurants: Reserve Your Table Today

Chicago 2017 Michelin-Starred Restaurants

OpenTable is pleased to highlight the honorees in the MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2017. Twenty-six restaurants are included, with two Windy City restaurants receiving the Michelin three-star level, the highest recognition in the culinary world, including Grace, and five achieving two Michelin stars. Nineteen restaurants earned one Michelin star. GreenRiver and Oriole, among others, are new to the list.

Being included in the respected MICHELIN Guide is a sign of excellence and quality. In the U.S., the 2017 MICHELIN Guide is forthcoming for New York, and we recently highlighted the honorees in London, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

The Chicago 2017 Michelin-starred restaurants on OpenTable include:

Three stars: Grace

Two stars: Acadia, Oriole, Sixteen, and TRU.

One star: Band of BohemiaBlackbirdBokaDusek’s Board & Beard, Everestgoosefoot, GreenRiverNahaNorth PondParachute, Sepia, Spiaggia, and Topolobampo.Continue Reading

Stellar Sandwiches: 10 Winning Ways to Celebrate National Sandwich Day

If we could have lunch with one person, it would be John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. We just want to vigorously shake his hand and thank him many times over for his most wonderful of inventions. Since he created the sandwich in the 18th century, it has gone on to become so much more than he could have possibly imagined. So, in honor of National Sandwich Day, we’re celebrating 10 stellar sandos that the Earl would surely have approved of.

Milanesa de Pollo con Chipotle at Oyamel, Washington, D.C.
The Italian classic has been adapted to become a Latin American favorite. At José Andrés’ Mexican restaurant the dish is served as a torta (sandwich) inside a crusty telera roll. Crispy breaded chicken breast gets topped off with black beans, Oaxacan cheese, half moons of creamy avocado, fresh cilantro, and chipotle mole. Make a reservation at Oyamel.

National Sandwich Day

Fried Fish Sandwich at Crave Fishbar, New York, New York
Spiny dogfish sounds dangerous, but it’s delicious. The mild white fish gets battered and flash fried until golden. It’s graced with tartar sauce, pickles, and shredded lettuce before being shoehorned into a housemade potato roll. Make a reservation at Crave Fishbar.

National Sandwich Day

Crispy Pork Belly Torta at Bodega Negra, New York, New York
We imagine this is what lucky Mexican vaqueros (cowboys) eat after a long day herding cattle and looking heroic as they ride into the sunset. The substantial sandwich is packed with pork belly, refried beans, and Oaxacan cheese. Plus a fried egg, just for good measure. Make a reservation at Bodega Negra.

National Sandwich Day

The Chivito at Del Campo, Washington, D.C.
You’d better be hungry if you plan on finishing the epic ‘wich in a single sitting. Chef-owner Victor Albisu’s spin on the Uruguayan favorite is filled with rib eye, mortadella, ham, olives, heart of palm, and a fried egg. There’s no shame if you end up having to ask for a doggie bag because it works well as a midnight snack or as breakfast the morning after. Make a reservation at Del Campo.

National Sandwich Day

Fried Chicken Sandwich at Fixe, Austin, Texas
Not all fried chicken is created equal. The cluckers here are brined in hot sauce, buttermilk, and pickle juice before they’re breaded in a unique mixture that includes dried sunchoke skins ground into flour. The crispy poultry is served with sweet tea pickles on a housemade sunchoke and benne seed roll slathered with chicken fat enhanced mayo. Make a reservation at Fixe.

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Well Done! The 100 Best Steakhouses in America 2016 #OpenTable100

As we look forward to the holiday dining season, we are thrilled to unveil the 100 Best Steakhouses in America 2016. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

100 Best Steakhouses in America 2016

Highlighting both traditional steakhouses and novel takes on the concept, the complete list features restaurants in 28 states and the District of Columbia and includes Maple & Ash in Chicago (pictured above), Keens Steakhouse in New York and STK in Las Vegas. California, Illinois, and Texas each have 17 winning restaurants, followed by New York with 14 and Nevada with 12. Massachusetts has eight honorees, and Ohio and Pennsylvania boast six apiece. Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C., each have five honorees. South Carolina has three restaurants, while Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington all have two standout steakhouses. Alabama, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, and Rhode Island are also represented.

Check out a slideshow of 10 of the most mouthwatering plates of meat from winning restaurants on the list.


The list of the 100 Best Steakhouses in America is generated from more than 5 million restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between October 1, 2015, and September 30, 2016. All restaurants in the “steak” cuisine category with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to their overall food rating.

Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 100 Best Steakhouses in America according to OpenTable diners:Continue Reading