Fuego – A New Mexican Breakfast & Lunch Spot

Fuego, Spanish for “fire” is Café Mexico, risen up from the ashes of a devastating fire that gutted the old restaurant on the 21st of January. Brad and Hilda Olberg, the same people who have run Café Mexico for the last thirty years, sat down to tell me how things have changed. A fire after all, provides a unique opportunity, despite the destruction.

First, and most important, nobody was injured. Next, certain questions arise. When a person has a restaurant for some time, they naturally wonder how they could change the layout if they had the luxury to close down for a while. This desire to streamline, or jazz things up, is always counterbalanced by the desire to maintain the ambiance and dining experience that brings loyal customers back. A sensitivity to both needed change and unnecessary tinkering provides a winning formula to restaurants that survive a number of decades.

Brad and Hilda tell me that customer loyalty is important to them. They want to bring back the menu and atmosphere of the old back when the main dining room opens, with the noteworthy (and quite welcome) addition of a tequila bar. They tell me that an expert mixologist is onboard for the new project. This will make Café Mexico a night spot, and an important part of the urban revitalization around market Square.


Eggs Benedict on homemade cornbread, pancakes with carne asada and fruit compote

Eggs Benedict on homemade cornbread, pancakes with carne asada and fruit compote

In the meantime, Fuego, formally Cafe Mexi-Go, is back as a breakfast/lunch spot. While many of the old favourites are still available, there are also exciting new items on the menu. I had an Eggs Benedict on homemade cornbread, pancakes with carne asada and fruit compote, and a side of fried potatoes and bacon, replete with some of Hilda’s own hot sauce. The meal was decadent and wonderful. The carne asada with the fruit and pancake was a surprising, yet satisfying combination.

Back, too, are many of the old staff and cooks. More hope to return, if they can, as the place continues to expand. Such continuity helps maintain the consistent quality of the food, and also the relationship with the people who eat at, and like the place.

Owners Brad and Hilda Olberg

Owners Brad and Hilda Olberg

Fuego’s breakfast has been a hit with people in the neighbourhood, and Saturdays and Sundays have seen steady business from people looking for a proper brunch. Presently, this is the only place in the area that offers a breakfast like this, so it is well worth it to go down and grab a table. I also understand that Hilda is looking at ways to sell their signature hot sauce out of the store, which would also add to the good reasons for visiting.


Fuego Old Town Eatery

134 – 560 Johnson Street (MARKET SQUARE)

Victoria, British Columbia

(250) 590-2177


Written By:

Born and raised in the mysterious East (by which I mean Ontario and Quebec, not Asia), Adam migrated out to British Columbia in search of adventure and fortune. He had been at different times a scholar, a musician, a poet and a ...

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