Take it From a Local Tour Guide

While delivering my free walking tours of Victoria with Toonie Tours this Summer, I’ve been fortunate to meet an exquisite variety of travelers from all over the world. Many of them are visiting Victoria for the first time, as one of many stops on their country-leaping voyage. I know our Toonie Tours guests and all visitors to Victoria will appreciate an inside scoop on Victoria’s best places to unwind with soothing pub-style food served by friendly locals in warm, cozy rooms and on breezy sun-soaked patios, so here are my 7 favorite Victoria pubs.

 

Christie’s Carriage House Pub

1739 Fort St Victoria, BC Canada V8R 1J3
christiespub.com
Christie's Carriage House Pub

Christie’s Carriage House Pub, Outside View

Story:

The Christie’s house was built around 1898, by Eldrige Christie. The house’s roofline with the gables and towers is in the Queen Anne style. The Christie family lived there until 1909. Eldridge Christie was a well-known carriage builder who notably built and repaired horse-drawn coaches for the famous B.X. Stagelines. The Christie’s home remained in the family until 1948 when it was made into apartments. Following that, the house was slated for demolition but saved by a new purchase by local business interests. In 1986, a newly restored Christie’s Pub opened for business. They added their beautiful patio in 1993. Find the full story at christiespub.com

Food:

Christie’s offers deliciously comforting burgers, wraps, sandwiches, salads, and bowls, as well as traditional pub favourites like fish and chips and chicken tenders. They feature an impressive selection of pub-style snacks such as fish tacos, wings, calamari, and nachos, as well as a hearty repertoire of fries and poutine. They also serve brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 2pm.

Drinks:

At Christie’s, you’ll find a well-curated selection of local craft and domestic beers on tap, and a vibrant list of cocktails, martinis, and after-dinner boozy coffees.

Patio:

Christie’s features two large beautiful, well-lit garden patios for dreamy Summer and Autumn days and nights.

Events Schedule:

Monday:

60 Watt Trivia at 7pm (free to play, prizes)

Thursday:

Music Poker at 7pm (free to play, prizes)

Saturday:

Live Music, 7:30pm to 10:30pm (no cover charge)

Sunday:

Kitchen Party Jam, 7pm to 11pm

What makes it unique:

Christie’s Pub’s cozy, welcoming, pub-style hospitality is second to none. Look no further for a warm, rich, comforting neighbourhood restaurant to hang your hat, kick back and enjoy delicious food and drinks.

Forest recommends:

The Bacon & Brie Burger will have you singing its praises. The Fish Tacos are packed full of tropical flavours. Christie’s offers a deliciously dark and brooding stout I’ve seen only there: the Back Hand of God stout.

 

The Beagle Pub

301 Cook Street Victoria BC V8V 3X5 CA
beaglepub.ca
The Beagle Pub

The Beagle Pub, Outside View

Story:

In the heart of Cook Street Village and minutes from Spiral Beach at Dallas Road, the Beagle Pub is a must-visit for its easy, breezy ocean patio vibes, and warm, golden-hued dining room. Always attended in high numbers, the Beagle is a favourite for residents of Cook Street Village and Fairfield. A great choice for warm dinner and drinks in a quieter location away from the downtown core.

Food:

The Beagle offers starters, soups, stews, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and pub favourites, all of great value and quality in hearty portions. Wing Night on Tuesdays, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday 11am to 2pm. Happy Appies 2pm to 4pm every day.

Drinks:

The Beagle features a large selection of Victoria and BC craft beer on tap, a modestly priced cocktail and martini list and a well-curated local and international wine list.

Patio:

The Beagle’s patio spans both sides of the pub, with plenty of breezy outdoor Cook Street Village seating.

Daily Specials:

Monday:

Double House Hi-Balls $8.75

Tuesday:

Wing Night $12 per pound

Wednesday:

All wines are $7.50 per glass

Thursday:

Martini Night $8 for select 2oz martinis

Sunday:

Caesars Single $5.75 Double $7.75

What makes it unique:

The Beagle is a true neighbourhood pub for Cook Street Village complete with easy breezy ocean vibes, sure to provide a uniquely comforting pub experience.

Forest recommends:

Try their Reuben sandwich for a juicy, tender Montreal delight, and their Taco Salad for a delicious Mexican-style meal that will save you more room for beer.

 

Chimac Korean Pub and Fried Chicken

512 Yates St, Victoria, BC V8W 2Z6
chimac.ca
Chimac Korean Pub and Fried Chicken

Chimac Korean Pub and Fried Chicken, Outside View

Story:

Located on lower Yates Street, Chimac is a Victoria gem for their vibrant, cozy Korean Pub experience complete with Korean music and Soju, as well as their menu of rich, flavourful Korean-style dishes and satisfying fried chicken.

Food:

Chimac offers 8 unique mouth-watering, ultra-satisfying Korean Fried Chicken recipes, as well as Korean cuisine knockouts such as Udon Soups, Pork Bone Stew, and Fire Chicken, topped with melted cheese.

Drinks:

Chimac offers a selection of local Victoria craft beer, international beer, and Korean spirits. To drink like Koreans do, try their selection of Soju.

What makes it unique:

All Chimac’s menu items have two things in common: they are packed with robust flavour, and they are served in massive portions. A favourite of local Victoria Korean students, Chimac’s atmosphere and vibe are cozy and culturally unique.

Forest recommends:

For a heavenly experience of the boldest fried chicken flavours Chimac has to offer, try their sweet spicy chili chicken. For a warm, soothing seafood delight, try their seafood udon soup.

 

The Bent Mast

512 Simcoe St, Victoria, BC V8V 1L8
thebentmastvictoria.com
The Bent Mast

The Bent Mast, Outside View

Story:

Open since 1995, the Bent Mast Bar and Restaurant sits on a triangular lot at the five corners of Menzies, Simcoe, and Toronto in the heart of James Bay. The location is a house originally built in 1884 for use by John and Lizzie Chandler. John Forsythe Chandler was an accountant and bookkeeper for the Hudson’s Bay Company in Victoria for twenty years, beginning in 1878. The building is a large Victorian Arts & Crafts 1 ½-story house complete with many historic architectural features. To this day, the Bent Mast is believed to be haunted by three benevolent spirits. Learn their identities at thebentmastvictoria.com

Food:

The Bent Mast offers a delicious variety of starters, salads, burgers, and mains for prices lower than other pubs on our list. They also serve Brunch on Saturday and Sunday 10am to 2pm. Try the Bent Mast Burger for $10 with the purchase of any beverage every day from 11am to 3pm.

Drinks:

The Bent Mast offers a breezy selection of local Victoria craft beer on tap, a well-curated BC wine list, a list of premium spirits, and an attractively priced list of house cocktails.

Patio:

The Bent Mast has recently remodeled their large outdoor open-air patio with stunning results.

What makes it unique:

The Bent Mast is unique for their lower-than-averagely priced pub food, and their casual, comforting ocean-breezed experience whether you sit indoors or outside on their large new patio. For an even cozier dining experience, try a table up top on their second level.

Forest recommends:

The Bent Mast offers so many of Forest’s favourite cocktails that he must list them all: Try their Blue Hawaiian, Melon Ball, Rhubarb Pie, and Kazuki Negroni. For food, Forest recommends the Falafel Wrap with a side salad and the Bent Mast Burger with fries.

 

Bard and Banker

1022 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1X7
bardandbanker.com
Bard and Banker

Bard and Banker, Outside View

Story:

Open since 2008, the Bard and Banker Pub dazzles and delights with their large golden-hued, multi-level room, and many glistening chandeliers. The pub is named after the Scottish poet Robert Service, who worked at the Canadian Bank of Commerce and first occupied the space in 1901. Robert lived in a room on the second floor, where he slept with a loaded revolver under his pillow to protect the bank against thieves. The Robert Service room upstairs is now named in honour of him, along with Phillips Brewing Company’s Robert Service 1904 Scottish Stone-Fired Ale. Robert’s beer was released on tap exclusively at the Bard in 2010, and it is still available to try today. Robert Service is famous for his poem set during Yukon’s Klondike Gold Rush, The Cremation of Sam McGee. There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold

Food:

The Bard’s chef-driven menu offers a large selection of starters, share plates, soups, salads, mains, pub classics, and steak dinners, highlighting seasonal ingredients.

Drinks:

Bard and Banker offers a deliciously detailed list of house cocktails, bubbles, wine, and of course, Victoria and BC Craft Beer on tap.

Patio:

The Bard features an outdoor open-air patio on bustling Government Street.

Daily Specials:

Bard and Banker offers a large list of daily food and drinks specials. Find the full list at bardandbanker.com

Events:

Bard and Banker hosts a variety of music events throughout the week. Find the full list at bardandbanker.com

What makes it unique:

Rich in history, class, and atmosphere, the Bard’s gold-accented chandelier-lit dining room makes any occasion feel royally grand. A favourite of locals for birthday parties.

Forest recommends:

For a delicious gulp of history, try Phillips Brewing Company’s Robert Service 1904 Scottish Stone-Fired Ale. For a sparkling take on the classic Italian cocktail, try a Sparkling Rose Negroni.

 

Garrick’s Head Pub

1140 Government St, 69 Bastion Square, Victoria, BC V8W 1Y2
garrickshead.com
Garrick's Head Pub

Garrick’s Head Pub, Outside View

Story:

Open since 1867, Garrick’s Head Pub is one of Canada’s oldest English pubs. Victoria locals have been drinking and dining there since the 1870s when Judge Matthew Bailie Begbie earned his reputation as the Hanging Judge at the Provincial Court of British Columbia in Bastion Square. Many criminals of the day were sentenced to death by hanging at the city gallows in the square. Locals loosened up with pints of beer at Garrick’s Head, before spectating at the courthouse’s hangings. While observing death is not our idea of entertainment today, the story does give a new meaning to the phrase “Hanging out with friends”. Garrick’s Head offers Victoria’s largest selection of local craft and import beers, with 65 rotating taps to choose from. Find the full history of Garrick’s Head Pub at garrickshead.com

Food:

Garrick’s Head offers a hearty list of elevated pub fare, including starters, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and mains.

Drinks:

At Garrick’s Head, you’ll find modestly priced house cocktails, wine, spirits, a selection of scotch, and of course, their 65 rotating choices for local craft and import beer and cider on tap.

Patio:

Garrick’s Head has sunny outdoor patio seating overlooking Bastion Square.

What makes it unique:

A must-see for beer enthusiasts, Garrick’s Head boasts an impressively prolific row of taps and above-bar TVs that display their large beer list. Geek out over beer and cider selections from craft breweries located all over Canada.

Forest recommends:

For a healthy dish inspired by the pub’s original owner Mike Powers, try the Mike Power Bowl. If you’re after something heartier, you can’t go wrong choosing the deliciously monstrous Garrick’s Burger with all the fixings. I’ll leave the fun of choosing a brew to you.

 

Bartholomew’s Public House

777 Douglas St, Victoria, BC V8W 2B5
bartholomewspub.com
Bartholomews Public House

Bartholomew’s Public House, Outside View

Story:

Originally Bartholomew’s Rockefeller Grille, Bartholomew’s Public House, known locally as Bart’s Pub, was opened in 1975 by Victoria entrepreneur Derryck Jackson. The pub has long been a Victoria institution for classic pub food, beer on tap, and lively entertainment. The pub has recently reopened under a new management team featuring Executive Chef Jason Clifford, Director of F&B Morgan Watson, and top Victoria Bartenders Brant Porter and Mike Norbury. They are all working together to manifest their elevated, modern vision for the pub while preserving its historical English charm. Their vision also includes a new, intimate cocktail bar in development across the hall.

Food:

Newly refreshed by Executive Chef Jason Clifford, the food offerings at Bart’s have roots in English Gastro Pub fare with modern, west coast twists. Their focus is on freshness and quality with the majority of components being made fresh in-house. You’ll find a delicious selection of starters, soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and mains. To see the deliciousness we want to convey, visit their new photo gallery at bartholomewspub.com

Drinks:

Bart’s offers an attractive list of modern and classic cocktails, boozy punches, frozen martinis, wine, and of course, an eclectic collection of Victoria and BC craft beer on tap.

Patio:

Bart’s has a large outdoor umbrella-covered patio complete with a historic water fountain and outdoor ping pong table.

Events schedule:

Tuesdays:

Pub Quiz at 7pm (free to play, prizes)

Wednesdays:

Wing Night $10

Thursdays:

Music Bingo at 7pm (free to play, prizes)

Friday:

Bart’s Black Friday $7.50 Pints of Guinness All Day

What makes it unique:

Bartholomew’s Public House is newly reopened under an expert new management team, and they’ve refreshed the entire pub to manifest their modern vision for the long-time Victoria institution. Both the food and drink menus are full of unique new items to try. Also, the outdoor Ping Pong table adds fun to the experience!

Forest recommends:

Try a unique beer offering by Victoria’s Moon Under Water Brewery and Sooke Oceanside Brewing, their Seabreeze Strawberry Lime Pilsner. For food, go full English pub-style with Bart’s local pork Bangers & Mash complete with whipped potatoes, caramelized onion, house-made gravy, and seasonal vegetables.

 

Thanks for reading! Let your Toonie Tours Guides know how you like our Victoria Pub recommendations!

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