Lunch Pick: Oak Bay Bistro & Crispy Chicken Ciabatta

Interior of the Oak Bay Bistro. John Waller with his Crispy Chicken Ciabatta. Photo by Ellie Shortt

What happens when a seasoned pub owner and a fine-dining chef join forces to create a bistro in Oak Bay? Something owner Bart Reed calls “accessible gourmet.” Every item on The Oak Bay Bistro’s friendly menu is homemade, fresh, and local. Familiar favourites are given creative details that are impressive without being pretentious.


The balance achieved at the Oak Bay Bistro is rooted in Reed’s desire for this to be a true community hub. That’s why Reed is adamant about listening to patrons and presenting the rustic, satisfying bistro cuisine customers expect to find, at prices they’re willing to pay, and flavours that are hard to forget – a perfect spot for a lazy lunchtime rendezvous with friends.


One lunch item patrons keep coming back for is the Crispy Chicken Ciabatta: a grilled chicken breast served with avocado, fried onions and watercress, chipotle mayo and double smoked bacon, served on a warm Ciabatta bun. If you don’t mind getting a little saucy, try Reed’s favourite: their signature Spaghetti and Meatballs that go above and beyond with chili and fennel meatballs, Pomodoro sauce and sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano. And what about the Chef’s choice? Head Chef John Waller recommends the Roasted Pork Loin Sandwich, which is served with Dijon mustard mayo, apple and cabbage slaw and roasted pork gravy, all of which are made in-house.


With an inviting atmosphere, an ever-evolving menu, and a head chef off to compete in the BC Chef of the Year Competition in January, this new kid on the block definitely has the right stuff for a lunchtime hotspot in heart of the Oak Bay village.


The time: for a sit-down lunch, give yourself 45 minutes to an hour, although you’ll probably want to stay longer to finish off the cappuccino and conversation.


The cost: anywhere from $8 for a bowl of their bottomless soup, to $15 for Pete’s Smoked Meat Sandwich or the Beer Braised Beef Shoulder.


Oak Bay Bistro: 2250 Oak Bay Avenue Victoria, BC

(250) 598-144





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