I visited Victoria in Feb. and did a little research first- I am a pretty big chowhound and yelper and basically planned the trip around eating.
Must do!!! for a lunch option...
Red Fish Blue Fish. It is in a awesome converted shipping container on the inner harbour. They serve beautiful fish tacos (they call them tacones because they're cone shaped), curry chips, great spicy fish corn chowder, and fish and chips. I enjoyed both the wild salmon and spicy fish tacones- 1 was a huge portion alone. I think the address is 1006 Wharf St. It's right next to the Harbour Air and West Coast Air terminals.
Another tip - try Niche for your fine dining option. Sleek decor but black tie dress not needed. I like some of the unique artwork they had around. It is in a remodeled house. I considered it one of the best meals of my life there when I visited last February. The chef is French trained and he does a West Coast menu with locally sourced ingredients that changes based on what's available.
Example from another post for Niche-
We both chose the warm sunchoke salad with apple, goat cheese, and a soft-boiled quail egg. Yummy.
Two choices were available so we each took one.
The veal dish was described as the best ever tasted! I was able to steal a few bites and agree it was very very well done. The meat was so melt-in-your-mouth tender and the sauce complemented it very well. We both savoured every bite. Served with two crispy turnip croquette and blue cheese/apple dressing.
The cod fillet was served on a bed of white beans and wilted greens. The fillet was cooked well... not overcooked at all. Also came with 4 clams, which I can't comment on because I gave them away :) Overall, veal dish is recommended.
Creme brulee with mandarin slices on the side was delicious. Nice thin crispy layer and smooth filling inside a pastry crust, rather than a traditional dish.
Small gingerbread cake with walnuts and maple dressing and a scoop of apple glacee was alright, but creme brulee was more enjoyable.
Wine pairings were good and as victoriafoodie mentioned, the dessert wine was a smaller serving than the first two, but they were decent pouring sizes. $14.
Service was great... not intrusive, but overall attentive.
There were only two other tables on this quiet Sunday night.
Price was very very good for what you get. $70 before tip and tax.
Niche is definitely a recommend for anybody in the Victoria area!"
For a wandering breakfast snack there is a French bakery to the left of the Empress one street up from the main thouroughfare. It is part of a restaurant but has it's own entrance and cozy shop with homemade pates and breads. Great coffee and pastries.
For a sleek drink and or dessert go to Temple in the downtown. It is a modern lounge/bar. The decor is impressive. We loved many of their drinks.
And for a beer with a view go to...
Spinnakers Brew Pub and Restaurant .
Canada's first in-house brew pub, featuring traditional pub food. You can take a water taxi to it from downtown and get a free bay tour. Their burger is great too. Sit in the bar upstairs! Tours of the brew house are available. Open 7am - 11pm. Tel: 250 386-2739 Address: 308 Catherine St. Victoria BC V9A 3S8