Lunch Pick: Santiago’s – inspired by South American cuisine

Santiago's in James Bay serves South American inspired cuisine. Photos by Deanna Ladret

Who knew that working as a flight attendant could inspire someone to open a restaurant? Actually, given some thought, it’s no surprise that airline staff could easily turn into global foodies, what with all that continental travel (and I’d imagine, eagerness to avoid another in-flight meal). That’s what happened to Santiago’s owner Tim Strachan when he was working for Canadian Airlines out of Toronto. Frequent flights to the countries of South America inspired a fascination for the art, cultures, and most of all, the food.


Some tapas: Peruvian Papas and the Spaghetti Squash with nutmeg and cashews

After being laid off by the airline, Strachan decided to pull up stakes, move to Victoria and open a restaurant. Joined by current partner Kim Quarton, he made good use of all the menu ideas and lovely South American artwork he’d acquired on various trips. On a piece of prime Oswego Street real estate in the heart of Victoria’s Inner Harbour hotel zone, the brightly decorated Santiago’s serves a variety of South American inspired dishes for lunch and dinner.


Often disregarded as “touristy” because of its location, Santiago’s deserves more credit than it gets. This is a neat little spot (note: child friendly) with unique dishes that can’t be found anywhere else in town

such as Peruvian Papas and delicious spaghetti squash seasoned with nutmeg and served with cashews. The meals are well-portioned and moderately priced, the menu sizeable and rich with seafood. Chef Clint Horwood has been on staff for the past three years, and is eager to draw some fresh business with the launch of some new specials, a Twitter account for the cafe and accompanying promotions. Coming this February, Santiago’s will also be open in the mornings featuring a ten dollar breakfast menu.

Tilapia with Mediterranean Salad


Open 7 days a week from 11:00am-8pm.



660 Oswego St.


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