City Eats March|April 2023

Food lovers across the city were heartbroken to hear about the sudden closure of Agrius in early January. The closure was a timely reminder of the ongoing challenges facing independent restaurants and food businesses. We can’t urge you enough to get out there and show some love to the places that go above and beyond and really make our town a culinary gem as Agrius did, highlighting seasonal food, natural wines and supporting Vancouver Island’s local farmers and producers. Fol Epi continues its weekend brunch service in the Agrius space. 

Following a very successful pop-up event in January, Benjo’s Tacos has made a permanent move to Fairfield. They are now sharing the space with Empire Donuts at 230 Cook St, open Wednesday – Saturday, 11am-4pm. Serving authentic beef, chicken, pork and black bean birria tacos, trios are served with a side of consommé for dipping and a scoop of slaw. For menus and updates, follow @benjostacos on Instagram. 

Superflux Cabana launched a new weekend brunch menu in early February, promising a “classic Cabana-brunchy spin” on all your brunch favourites and a selection of new brunch cocktails to go with it.

Vaibhav Patel, the man behind Artemis, the speakeasy, space-themed whiskey bar located in Market Square, is bringing a retro convenience store to the corner of Pandora and Store Street. Stay tuned for more updates about the Peaches and Pepper Market! 

Around the corner and up the street at 569 Johnson St, signs are up for Al Barak Mediterranean Grill, offering 100% Halal food. 

H Mart, an American supermarket chain with a focus on food products from Korea has acquired the former Toys R Us space at Mayfair Mall. Opening planned for later in the year. 

Congratulations to Clive’s Classic Lounge! On February 2nd, in a ceremony that took place in London, England, Clive’s Classic Lounge was named Whisky Hotel Bar of the Year (for the Rest of the World) 2023 in Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky along with Lounge Manager, Shawn Soole, being named Bar Manager of the Year – Highly Commended. Clive’s has been curating a world class whisky program, with over 250 whiskies from around the world, from your classic scotch to the booming distilling industry here in British Columbia.

The annual Culinaire event will be held in the main building of the Victoria Conference Centre on March 29 this year. This event provides locals with the opportunity to savour signature menu items and inspired dishes from an abundant selection of restaurants, lounges, pubs, cafes, specialty purveyors, and sip from a fine selection of local and regional wine, cider, and craft beer. Partial proceeds provide scholarship awards to the Camosun College Culinary Arts Program and a donation is made each year to the BC Hospitality Foundation. 

Karen’s Diner is coming to the Sonora Bar and Grill on Yates Street, from March 31- Apr 23. “We pride ourselves on our terrible service! This is dining with a twist – the food is great, the service is ungrateful but your experience will be unforgettable.” This is a roaming pop-up at a third-party venue; tickets are sold on a non-refundable basis and include one burger, fries and a soda. $45 at

Victoria Beer Week is a weeklong festival showcasing BC craft breweries in unique event settings across Greater Victoria. With a focus on education and diverse craft beer selection, VBW 2023 will feature more than 50 BC craft breweries. Victoria Beer Week launched back in 2014, it has since become a successful annual festival creating craft beer ambassadors out of regular beer consumers. Returning May 5-13 at various locations across Greater Victoria. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 17th.  

Written By:

Rebecca Baugniet is a freelance food writer and editor living on Canada’s West Coast with her husband and their four children. The author of three published cookbooks, Rebecca has also written for EAT Magazine and for Montréal ...

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