Victoria’s Late Night Eats

Victoria is getting younger.  Over the last few years, Victoria’s age demographic has become decidedly more youthful and one of the side effects of this shift is an increasing number of people going and staying out late, and often eating when they do.  While Mr. Tubesteak can occasionally hit the spot on a Friday night with an alarming accuracy, sometimes it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi as a dining experience. Victoria has no shortage of great pubs to grab a burger and wings, but recently an increasing number of bars and restaurants have jumped on the late night eats bandwagon.

At Union Pacific’s UP After Dark, you can sit back and relax with a nice glass of wine and one of their Tasting Plates, a combination of their cheese and meat boards.  Their meat and cheese selections are always changing and you get a choice of three condiments with each plate, so you’ll have something decidedly different with each visit.  If all that freedom of choice is too much pressure for you, the staff will happily put together a plate of their favourite daily delicacies for you.  UP After Dark is open until 11ish Wednesday-Saturday.

If you’re a fan of mixing and matching, The Office Lounge serves up what they affectionately call their “Princess Menu”.  For people who want a meal exactly their way, they offer a wide assortment of dishes that you can customize yourself.  Ordering a salad lets you choose two types of greens, two toppings and a dressing; if you go for a main, you can choose from a selection of sablefish, steak, duck or chicken breast, which all come with one starch (potato or pasta), one sauce and one vegetable.  There is also a large variety of pastas and sauces you can opt for.  For the decision-impaired, there is also a large menu of standard pizzas, sandwiches and appys.  The full menu is available until 10pm Sunday-Wednesday (doors closing at 11pm) and until midnight Thursday-Saturday (doors closing at 1am).

Right across the street from The Office and downstairs is Whitebird Lounge, which provides great beats from local DJs, a small and savoury menu and an extensive martini list, one of the biggest and best in the city.  With a focus on local and organic ingredients, dishes range from Organic Beef Ribs braised in a smoked chili to Chana Masala in a cashew curry to a tasty Mushroom Ragout Melt made with raw milk cheddar.  Their kitchen stays open until closing time, which is currently “until late” Tuesday-Thursday and midnight on Friday & Saturday.  However, as of this writing, they have applied to have their licence extended until 1am.  For those with a serious late night hunger, keep your ears open for that.

The Mint also offers a varied menu often complemented by talented DJs.  Open and serving food and drinks until 2am, The Mint remains one of the city’s best options for late night eateries. While they do remove a couple of items off the menu post-midnight, a large number of choices remain, including pizzas, curries, pasta and selected Asian treats, such as Badam Sandheko (spicy Nepalese roasted peanuts) and Tibetan Momos (hand-rolled dumplings served with achar).  The Spinach Paneer Curry here is killer.

If you enjoy late night seafood, Pescatores spin-off The Oyster Bar has a serious wine list, as well as a fine selection of tacos, steamers and seafood-based dishes.  Naturally, they also offer a great selection of oysters and a handy cheat-sheet for figuring out which type you’d like best.  Open till midnight, seven days a week.

And if you’re in the mood for classic diner food, Paul’s Motor Inn is a Victoria landmark that’s been around since 1938.  Their vintage menu includes soup, salad, sandwiches and assorted entrees, all being served until 1am Sunday-Thursday and 3am on Friday & Saturday.

Aside from Paul’s, all of the above locations are licensed, so you can enjoy a drink (or two) with your midnight munchies.  And if it’s one of those nights where nothing but street meat will do, Mr. Tubesteak is open late.

UP After Dark

537 Herald St.

The Office Lounge

759 Yates St.

Whitebird Lounge

768 Yates St.

The Mint

1414 Douglas St.

The Oyster Bar

614 Humboldt St.

Paul’s Motor Inn

1900 Douglas St. 

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