The Taste of Hanukkah

Latke Potato Pancakes ($10) at The Village Restaurant. Photo by Ellie Shortt

Hanukkah (or Chanukah) is the eight-day Jewish festival of light celebrating the victory of a small group of Jewish rebels over an oppressive Selucid monarchy, and commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Once the temple was rededicated, the Jewish people were eager to relight their ritual candelabrum, called a Menorah, but only had one day’s worth of oil. This small amount of oil miraculously burned for eight days, which is the reason Jews light the special Hanukkah Menorah (Hanukiah) for eight days as well.  Jewish people also honour the miracle of the oil by eating oily foods, including latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (Hanukkah doughnuts).  If you celebrate this holiday and are looking for some traditional foods like Bubby used to make, or are simply wanting a delicious and wonderfully indulgent cultural experience outside of your usual holiday-time norm, check out the following places for some Hanukkah treats.


Pictured is Jesse Blades, who along with brother Daniel Blades, owns and runs The Village Restaurant.

The Village’s Latkes:

The Village Restaurant is one of Victoria’s premier all-day breakfast spots and combines fresh West Coast cuisine with Jewish-inspired favourites like their latke potato pancakes served with fresh fruit and the traditional toppings of sour cream and apple sauce. In addition to their mountainous latke plate, The Village also offers blintzes, challah French toast and shakshuka – a popular Israeli dish. The Village version consisting of free-run poached eggs, cumin-spiced tomato sauce, garlic and spinach. While these other options aren’t necessarily Hanukkah fare, they’re still tasty, traditional, Jewish foods nonetheless.

The Village Restaurant: 2518 Estevan Ave, Victoria BC (250) 592-8311



Bubby Roses Rugelach:

Bubby Rose’s Bakery offers a delicious assortment of baked goods including Jewish-style challah and bagels. And while it isn’t necessarily specific to Hanukkah, it’s hard to resist some fresh-baked rugelach – a traditional Jewish cookie made with rolled dough, and filled with chocolate, cream cheese, nuts, jams or cinnamon.

Bubby Rose’s Bakery: 313 Cook St, Victoria BC (250) 360-1811


Sufganiyot at Congregation Eish Ha Torah:

Making sufganiyot, or Hanukkah doughnuts, with family, friends and young children is an adored Hanukkah tradition all over the world. Whether it’s the Eastern European jelly-filled doughnuts or south American bimuelo fritters, making your own deep-fried dough is fun, interactive and allows you to custom build your indulgent treat. This year, Congregation Eish Ha Torah is hosting the “Jewlicious Doughnut Bonanza” where guests are invited to partake in an evening of food and fun, learning how to make their very own custom doughnuts. The event will be held Wednesday, December 21st from 5pm-7pm at 299 St. Charles St.  (A donation of $10 per person or $25 for a family is recommended)

Congregation Eish Ha Torah: 299 St. Charles St, Victoria BC (250) 884-4915





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