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 Post subject: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:47 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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I hope this is the right place to post this! I'm taking my two young kids to Victoria for a few days next month. I haven't been to Victoria in probably about 15 years and I've done some research and read threads on here, but I'm looking for a few specific things:

1) Is there anywhere with vegan ice cream? (We're staying in the inner harbour and won't have a car.)
2) Can you actually get vegan pizza at The Joint? There's some weird stuff on Happy Cow about egg in the dough, but I'm hoping someone just got bad information.
3) LAST AND MOST IMPORTANT: What are the best Canadian potato chip flavors that I need to track down?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:03 pm 
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Cold Comfort apparently (I haven't been there yet myself) has a few vegan ice cream selections. Not exactly close to the Inner Harbour, but it's the only place I know with vegan ice cream. http://www.coldcomfort.ca/

Sorry I can't help with the other two questions. I'll be interested to see replies from others.

LC


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:17 pm 
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Pinko wrote:
I hope this is the right place to post this! I'm taking my two young kids to Victoria for a few days next month. I haven't been to Victoria in probably about 15 years and I've done some research and read threads on here, but I'm looking for a few specific things:

1) Is there anywhere with vegan ice cream? (We're staying in the inner harbour and won't have a car.)
2) Can you actually get vegan pizza at The Joint? There's some weird stuff on Happy Cow about egg in the dough, but I'm hoping someone just got bad information.
3) LAST AND MOST IMPORTANT: What are the best Canadian potato chip flavors that I need to track down?

Thanks!

When are you going to Victoria? We have a tentative plan to be there the weekend of April 16th, if we go before you I could do some ice cream and pizza sleuthing!

I'm also interested in hearing the best places to go for any kind of vegan food in Victoria. I'm especially partial to Asian food of the mock meat variety. No reservation yet but we'll be staying also in/near the inner harbor. We'll have a car but won't be driving it because I like to booze it while on vacation. And, we may have bikes but that is up in the air at the moment.

I hope Vijita weighs in on the chip flavor question considering that she had a potato chip bar at her wedding (which was also the last time I was in Victoria)!

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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:24 pm 
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Thanks, guys! We're going the 3rd through the 7th, so I'll let you know if we find anything awesome, katiejayne. One thing I found is that supposedly you can get a vegan tea at the Empress with advance notice. Not my thing, really, but Inez would completely flip out so I think I might try to do that.

Maybe I will PM vijita for chip recs if she doesn't weigh in here, ha.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:32 pm 
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ALL DRESSED CHIPS.
followed closely by KETCHUP.

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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:00 pm 
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Yes! I used to go to Victoria and Vancouver pretty often in high school and college and my snack of choice was always ketchup chips and (red!) cream soda. Somehow I never tried all dressed and those are definitely on my list. I'm hoping to find some weirder accidentally vegan flavors, too. I don't even normally like potato chips that much, but Canada knows how to do it right. Excited!


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:45 pm 
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There is an interesting sounding (haven't been) restaurant called Be Love on Blanshard street. It will be more spring season when you go, so maybe they will have icecream on the menu by then, I am surr it will change. However, there is a cashew.creme brulee on offer right now that might scratch that itch? you gotta have dill pickle chips, if you still need potato chip recommendations.

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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:25 pm 
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For mock meat, Lotus Pond is the place to go. They do lunch buffet every week day and do half price at 230pm (or at least did. I'd be surprised if they didn't anymore). It was a staple in undergrad.

Back in the day the Joint reliably had vegan pizza but I haven't been there in years.

Green Cuisine is my favourite place to eat in the city--vegan buffet and great desserts. And they have Mario's Gelato there, which you can get in a bowl, a cone, or stick on a piece of cake!

The Tartan Toque is fun and has vegan wings with a bajillion sauce choices.

Pink Bicycle has the best veggie burgers (Moroccan veggie burger flicks the weasel!).

Chips: ketchup (Old Dutch is the best, President's Choice Rippled are also good, Lays are garbage and not worth your time); maple bacon are almost always vegan (Kettle Brand, President's Choice) and are weirdly addictive; dill pickle are weird and great. I never liked all dressed, but that may just be me. I know Sweet Chili Heat Doritos (the only vegan flavour!) used to only be available in Canadia. Not sure if that's still true.

I've never done tea at the Empress but I know my cousin did it as a kid (so 25ish years ago) and still holds it as a precious memory.

Have fun!

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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:33 pm 
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Afternoon tea is also served at Venus Sophia in Chinatown. It's vegetarian, but the main menu has vegan options, and maybe they could put together a vegan afternoon tea.
http://www.venussophia.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:35 pm 
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oh jesus you guys are talking about chips and Victoria. I need to sleep on this. I am way too passionate to just jump in, haha.

Teaser: Old Dutch brand is the best thing to happen to Canadian chips ever, after Covered Bridge, but the latter is from New Brunswick and harder (but not impossible!) to find in Victoria. Old Dutch Rippled Mexican Chili. Covered Bridge Atlantic Canada's Choice Thick Cut. (I despise all dressed with a fiery passion but out-of-country people tend to like the novelty, and in-country people love them too. It's like the basis of Canadian cuisine: dump a bunch of flavours that make no sense together into a fried potato seasoning and make sure there is lots and lots of oil and salt.) Avoid Lays! They are like Americanized Canadian chips. Old Dutch do it right. Also Old Dutch's Roast Chicken flavour is vegan.

I am STARVING now.

More tomorrow. I need to take a deep breath. <3


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:53 pm 
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Be Love is fine but expensive. The wings at tartan toque are fun, I agree with Dubz! It's just a bit inconveniently located.

Shine Cafe and Mo:Le are still winners for breakfast even though their menus haven't changed in a million years.

KJ--> Lotus Pond is your jam but they don't have beer. I mean, I know you don't NEED beer, but I also know your jam. :) The Vietnamese restaurants in Victoria are really good. I need to do some current research since i lived there for ages but am now more than 6K kilometers away but still in the same country. The Asian restaurants vary dramatically in quality and you wouldn't know that because the prices are so similar.

Victoria has a tonne of restaurants that are really nice and will do a very special and great vegan menu with advanced notice. It is a very vegan friendly town.

You should go to Sea Cider because that's where I worked and got married at and had a table of PPKers at my wedding and invented cider, etc...if you like cider and feel the need to visit a place that is important to a random PPKer. Phillips is great for mircrobrews. There are no good wineries. You didn't ask about alcohol but I am just verbally dumping on this thread, sorry.

There's a lot of sorbetto in the inner harbour but I don't know about ice cream. Cafe Bliss is a raw place and they probably have raw ice cream that I don't know about because I don't love frozen coconut oil with stevia. Market on Yates has a lot of non-dairy ice creams--but mostly just the US brands you probably already know about.

I hate ketchup but I love ketchup (aka MSG and tomato powder) chips. Old Dutch brand, always! Don't touch Lays!

The Joint pizza is fine and I'm pretty sure vegan still but pizzeria prima strada in Cook Street Village or in Esquimalt is better. I REALLY love the Blue Nile; an Ethiopian restaurant in Esquimalt (just across the bridge from downtown--cab/bus-able) Blue Nile. A newer place is Nourish and they have opened a downtown location since I moved--they used to be at the (gorgeous) Horticulture Centre of the Pacific only. They are kind of like a "bone broth soup for healthz!"-type place but they can veganize a "benny" that is one of my favourite meals of all time. They still make it--I know because the owner just sent me the recipe for their hollandaise after I begged for three years.

Spinnakers is fun but a lot of their beer was not vegan when I lived there--however they are happy to make delicious vegan pub food with advance notice, and their wine list is great.

Okay I need to stop freaking out about all the places I miss on the island. It is a great city to visit. Vancouver is an AMAZING city and I love it so much but Victoria is much more doable and digestible for vacationing.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:19 am 
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Ahhh! I somehow missed all the new replies in here. Thanks, you guys! We leave on Sunday and I'm so excited. Mostly for potato chips.



(Joking!)



(Kind of.)


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:12 pm 
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Does anyone have an Indian restaurant they recommend?


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:33 pm 
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Pinko wrote:
Does anyone have an Indian restaurant they recommend?


Ooh yes, I'd be interested in this too!


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:33 pm 
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It's not Victoria's forte, but Sizzling Tandoor are pretty great and so aware of the vegan thing. :)

ETA Actually I meant to say Da Tandoor, but Sizzling is pretty good too. I'd go for Ethiopian instead of Indian in Victoria though--if you go to Vancouver you can find some of the best Indian restaurants on the continent, but Victoria is pretty tourist-focussed. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:42 am 
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I honestly don't know if I've ever eaten Indian in Victoria. I agree with Vijita--Vancouver has some of the best Indian food ever (and a huge Punjabi population), Blue Nile is good Ethiopian, which might hit the same spot. And I forgot about Mo:Le! The yam wrap is one of my most favourite things ever.

The Mint does lunch now but I don't know what they offer. I always loved their tofu dish though.

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"But really, anyone willing to dangle their baby in front of a crocodile is A-OK in my book."~SSD


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:17 am 
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Thanks! I have this vague memory of having amazing Indian food on a trip ages ago, but that was probably Vancouver not Victoria.

I definitely plan on going to Blue Nile! And a bunch of other spots. This has been super helpful!


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:22 pm 
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Re potato chips: Hardbite kettle-cooked chips are great and Canadian-made (Maple Ridge, BC), "no MSG, handmade, nothing artificial." Ingredients in the All Natural version are just potatoes, non-hydrogenated sunflower/canola oil and sea salt. Right now, they're on sale at Thrifty Foods for $2.50.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:01 am 
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last time I was at the mint for lunch they had bowls and stuff--curry combos. It was okay but was pretty clearly just using leftovers from last night's dinner service. Dinner is much better and it is a fun place to hang out but I will never forget the night my poor sister found a thumb tack in her soup and then later that night had food poisoning too. They did NOT care when we told them about the thumb tack either.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:06 am 
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Oh my god, how could I forget!!! http://www.purelovinchocolate.com/index.html <--vegan chocolate shop. Their vegan sponge candy is the best thing ever. This is from a non-sweets person. They catered my wedding with their truffles (aww my feedback is still on their website). Adorable mother-daughter team. They didn't have a storefront when I used them three years ago--I just went into their tiny kitchen at their house and tasted the best truffles of my life. I wish it was not $2030900000 to ship across to the east coast.

Also it's in fan tan alley which is a tourist must.

ETA even though they snub soy and use coconut, nothing tastes like coconut unless it is meant to. That is my biggest pet peeve using coconut as a dairy replacement.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:53 pm 
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We had such a good time in Victoria! Thanks so much for all the great suggestions. I figured I'd share our food itinerary in case it's helpful to anyone else.

We went to Green Cuisine for lunch the first day we were there. I get overwhelmed by buffets, but everything I tried was good and it was great comfort food for a bunch of tired people who'd been up since 3:00 in the morning. I liked all the sauerkrauts! Dinner was snacks (potato chips!) in the hotel room, ha.

We went to The Tartan Toque for dinner the second night and I thought it was really good. The tofu was fun and we got a salad that was surprisingly delicious. My mom was very thrown by the lack of plates, but my kids loved it (and the crayons and games).

Third day we did tea at the Empress, which was awesome. It was super easy to get a vegan version and everything was really nice - not afterthought-y or phoned in. I think they save themselves some work by making some of the vegan stuff gf as well (scone, shortbread) and I didn't love that, but it wasn't a big deal. That night we got pizza from The Joint. The menu at Prima Strada looked delicious, but when my kids want pizza they basically want Daiya and black olives and The Joint fit the bill.

The next day we tried to go to Lotus Pond and when we got there there was a sign on the door saying they're closed until April 22nd or something. I was super bummed and we ended up getting some uninspiring noodles from a place nearby. But! We went to Pure Lovin' and got chocolates and the lady was so sweet and there was an adorable shop cat wandering around Fan Tan Alley, so yay. That night we went to Blue Nile. Everything was delicious and they were SO NICE. Like, so nice. Their son's soccer team was having a little celebration at the restaurant and it was just such a pleasant vibe in there. They were only serving the dinner buffet and I don't feel like I necessarily got my money's worth (super full after one small pass), but I'd definitely go back and get a combo.

The last day we got lunch at Pink Bicycle. Also delicious. We tried both the black bean and the Moroccan and I thought they were both really good, but the Moroccan one was a little too sweet to me. I think maybe adding a topping like the crispy shallots or something would have balanced it out.

All in all, we ate really well. Fun, fun trip.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:58 pm 
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Oh, and the Thrifty Foods on Simcoe was so well stocked! It was a short walk from our hotel and it was awesome to be able to grab stuff to make tofu scramble or noochy popcorn or whatever back in the room.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoria suggestions?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:39 pm 
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I am so in love with the owners of both Pure Lovin' and The Blue Nile that that post almost made me tear up. I am so happy you had good experiences there!


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