20 Foodie Things To Do in the Fall

Fall weather brings a lot of mixed emotions for me. I love the rain, the change in everyone’s wardrobe. I like walking into a warm house from the cold air, the colour orange, and the shift from sweet to savoury.

Unfortunately for me, the dark mornings and grey skies fuel a nasty annual case of seasonal affective disorder. 
The best remedy I’ve found is to fill my fall with plenty of things to look forward to, whether it’s special events I’m attending, or things I’m making special all on my own. Here’s a list of twenty ways to dispense with the doldrums and make autumn awesome.

Take a ghostly walk and warm your chilled bones with chai John Adams has been leading these delves into Victoria’s paranormal for over 40 years. Scare yourself silly, then recover with calming chai from Varsha.

Fall in Fairfield with dinner and a movie — hearty fried fish and the life-sustaining potato. There’s really no better season to enjoy Fairfield Fish & Chips’ signature dish. Let chef-owner Rob Russell wrap your Seaside Combo in yesterday’s newspaper, then get a foreign film recommendation from the videophiles at Pic-A-Flic.

Wild Mushroom Foraging with Bill Jones at Deerholme Farm (Forage Feast Nov. 8th) — Dust off those boots in the closet and explore the world of edible fungi with this renowned West Coast mycologist and chef. The Saturday morning forage includes lessons and lunch, or you can hold out for the six-course Pine Mushroom Feast.

Take the same-day dinner challenge at the Moss Street Winter Market — True humanitarians all, the vendors at Moss St. Market have moved indoors for the season so you can stay dry while browsing their fresh organic produce. Invite some friends for dinner and make up the menu as you forage — that way you can’t weasel out. Iron Chef Moss Street, you heard it here first. Every Saturday, November to April.

Make your own trail mix and put it to the test — I know you pick out all the M&Ms anyway, so why not make your own custom blend? Bring your own containers to Ingredients Health Food on Store St. and get a 10% coupon. Then lace up those Hi-Tecs and burn off all the chocolate you decided to include with a hike at nearby Goldstream Provincial Park.

Spy Murder Mystery Night at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse (Nov. 6th) — Give your sleepy brain an adrenaline zetz with this whodunit evening at the Sea Cider Farm in Saanichton, featuring seasonal fare, artisanal cider, and some thrilling spy vs. spy entertainment. Ticket sales and a silent auction benefit the Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association.

Make stovetop popcorn and catch up on that Netflix queue — The perfect movie popcorn is an art in-itself. Customize your potful with some herbed butter, nutritional yeast, grated parmesan, or some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. All those episodes of The Good Wife won’t watch themselves, will they?

Support our veterans on Remembrance Day — Pin on your poppy and take some time to reflect on the sacrifices our troops have made for our freedom and others around the world. When it’s time to recharge, support veterans’ services by dining at a legion branch, like the Trafalgar/Pro Patria #292. The Red Poppy Restaurant offers good, honest food and some of the best deals around.

Learn to bake some Seasonal Pies with Chef Megan Hennis (Nov. 16th) — Cooking classes around town are a great way to get inspired and fired up about food when all you can think about is the next pre-work bowl of porridge. Let Empress pastry chef Megan Hennis show you why pie is more than just a diner dessert.

Embrace the tourist in you with afternoon tea and a horse-drawn carriage — Any list of things to do in this town would be remiss without a mention of the famous Tally-Ho Carriage Tours. Stay warm under a blanket and slow down to see the city with fresh autumn eyes. Warm up again with toasted crumpets, homemade scones and afternoon tea at the landmark James Bay Tea Room.

Soak up the solace and taste some tapas in a seaside mineral pool — Victoria’s only licensed seaside pool is open for public enjoyment throughout the fall and winter. Pick up a day pass, and don’t forget to stop for a quick drink at the Snug pub in Oak Bay.

The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden Fall Luncheon Seminar Series (until Dec. 9) — Come in from the cold and refresh your mind with Victoria’s original TEDtalks. With seminars lead by such luminaries as author Katherine Gordon, and Daniela Cubelic of Silk Road Tea, it’s the perfect accompaniment to lunch. Sign up!

Stay inside on a rainy morning, eat porridge or bacon

Brave the elements and catch an outdoor rugby match — Victoria is home base for some of Canada’s best rugby action. A fraction of the price of a football game and at least twice the excitement, it’s a top-tier time — plus, you can bring your own snacks. Do like the bearded old timers and pick up a bucket of popcorn chicken; it sounds wrong but it’s so right.

Travel by pedal-power to the heart of Oak Bay — Go to Demitasse. Enough said.

Grilled sammies, great shakes, and board games with strangers — Over 500 games are ready to play for only $5 a day at Victoria’s own Interactivity Board Game Café. Bring your friends and learn a new game with the experts behind the counter. Their hot sandwiches will ensure enough brain food for you to come out ahead — and if not, there’s always the conciliatory milkshake.

VSHJ Chanukah Celebration (December 20th) — Ever get a shpilkis in your genechtagazoink? See what the Jewish festival of lights is all about at this event hosted by the Victoria Society for Humanistic Judaism, which provides a welcoming environment for secular Jews to retain their heritage, culture, and customs. Try some traditional potato latkes and satisfy your sweet tooth with sufganiyot (jelly donuts). [Editor: Sufganiyot are truly one of Colin’s favourite things ever.]

Study some Canadian history to go with the national dish — Fort Rodd Hill was Canada’s first lighthouse on the West Coast, and is now a national historic site featuring a museum and plenty of activities. On the way back to town, stop off at La Belle Patate for a taste of some true Canadiana: poutine.

Enjoy an evening of luxury with a local hotel stay — It’s the shoulder season for Victoria’s tourism industry, which means great deals on hotels and restaurant packages citywide. Try the Vancouver Island Resident Package at the Hotel Rialto, which includes a $30 dining credit at Veneto Tapa Lounge.

Go off the eaten track with a culinary walking tour — Zip up that Gore-tex and step outside for one of Bonnie and Alexis’ two-hour tasting tours on Fort Street, in Oak Bay, or around the harbour. Explore what’s on offer in a neighbourhood that’s new to you! You might just find a new favourite.

Written By:

Vancouver-born photographer, writer and designer Sol Kauffman has had his hands dirty in restaurant kitchens for years, washing dishes and slinging pizzas. In 2008 he moved to Victoria to pursue a BFA in Creative Writing at UVic ...

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