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Our Top Picks for Brunch in Victoria BC

Brunch and a Carriage Tour in Victoria’s Historic James Bay!

With everything going on in the world today, now more than ever, we need to make time to slow things down, reconnect with one another and nourish our bodies and souls.  What better way to honour this than with a weekend brunch and carriage tour?!  

At Tally-Ho, we know the healing powers of horses and the joy that comes when we spend time in their presence.  We’re lucky enough to be able to host our carriage tours in some of the most beautiful parts of Victoria’s Inner Harbour and the historical James Bay.  Not only are these picturesque areas in our city packed with beautiful gardens and parks, stunning waterfront scenery and wonderful Victorian-era architecture, but they are also a mecca for some of the best brunch spots in town.  Here are some of Tally-Ho’s top picks for brunch around Victoria’s Inner Harbour and James Bay communities.

Don’t Overlook Hotel Dining!

Tally-Ho has a great relationship with the many hotels and accommodation providers in Downtown Victoria and our team frequents their in-house restaurants on the regular.  While there was a time, in years passed, when hotel restaurants were limited to less-than-appetizing, greasy-spoon dining that was more about convenience and economy than culinary excellence, those days are long gone.  All you need to do is check out the reviews on Trip Advisor to know that Victoria’s hotel restaurants are holding their own on the culinary front.

Some of our favourites include The Q at Victoria’s historic Fairmont Empress, the Blue Crab Seafood House at the Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina, the Aura Waterfront Restaurant + Patio at the Inn at Laurel Point, and the Pacific Restaurant at the Hotel Grand Pacific offer  all of which offer exceptional dining experiences featuring the best of West Coast cuisine and paired with world-class service.  

That said, if you’re looking for an opportunity to get “out in the community” to experience some of downtown’s unique local hotspots, here are our favourite brunch spots in Victoria BC.

Floyd’s Diner, 332 Menzies Street, Victoria, BC

If you’re looking for a vibrant yet casual brunch spot, Floyd’s Diner may be right up your alley.  

Established in 2004, this iconic Victoria landmark has a fun, family-friendly atmosphere for all to enjoy.  With its bright pink, 50s-inspired look and feel, Floyd’s has become such a local favourite over the years, that they now have three locations in the Greater Victoria Region.

Floyd’s does brunch right with generous portions of deliciously prepared and humorously named menu items that always tick the comfort food box.  Floyd’s menu has all those hearty breakfast and brunch classics you crave, but don’t be fooled into thinking they’re boring.  For all you adventurous Foodie Rebels out there, Floyd’s offers “The Mahoney”.  Simply tell your waiter or waitress “Bring me The Mahoney!” and Floyd’s savvy cooks will serve up a scrumptiously creative dish of their choosing.  Want to up the ante even more?  Ask for The Mahoney for “double or nothing” and let a coin toss decide if you pay double or if your meal is on the house!

We’d be remiss if we left you thinking Floyd’s is only about fun, flair and good food.  They also care a whole lot about their community and are one of only fifteen local restaurants that participate in Mealshare.  This program helps feed local kids in need and to date, Mealshare has served well over 2.3 million meals.  So if you’re dining at Floyd’s and want to do a little something to support this initiative, just let your server know you’d like to “Buy one and give one for the Mealshare program”.  

Bubby Rose’s Café & Bakery, 225 Menzies Street, Victoria BC

We appreciate that not everyone has an appetite for big, robust brunch meals.  Sometimes, a steaming cup of artisan roasted, freshly brewed coffee and baked goods straight from the oven is exactly what the doctor ordered.  If this sounds like your speed, then allow us to recommend Bubby Rose’s Café & Bakery.  

Born in 2002 from a passion to use ethically sourced ingredients, Bubby Rose’s proudly serves delectable food and baked goods to Victoria’s diverse communities.  Their homemade goodies include a range of vegan and gluten-free options for those with dietary preferences or sensitivities.

Grab an award-winning cinnamon roll paired with a cup of their delicious coffee, lovingly roasted in-house in small batches, while you enjoy the bustling mosaic that is the James Bay Village.  Oh, and if you find yourself a little peckish later in the afternoon, rumour has it, Bubby Rose’s has some of the best hand-made, woodfired pizza in town!

Heron Rock Bistro, 4-435 Simcoe Street, Victoria BC

Tucked away on the street level of a multi-use commercial residential complex, the Heron Rock Bistro might be easy to overlook, but you’d be missing out if you did!

Founded in 2005 by Owner/Operator Andrew Moffatt and Owner/Head Chef Ben Peterson, the Heron Rock Bistro has been serving delicious food made with quality ingredients for nearly 17 years and has earned its place as a long-standing local favourite. 

Their breakfast and lunch menus, served daily until 3:00 pm, are extensive with something to satisfy everyone’s tastes.  Particularly notable for the brunch connoisseurs who are fond of hollandaise, is the unique and mouth-watering eggs benedicts featured on their breakfast menu.  There’s the Stilton, Bacon & Mushroom Benny or the Chorizo & Guacamole Benny for example.  How about going West Coast with their Smoked Salmon Benny with lemon horseradish cream cheese and capers?  Or, if you’re feeling adventurous and up for a flavourful surprise, go for the Chef’s Choice Triple Benny – sounds intriguing, yes?!

Breakwater Bistro & Bar, 199 Dallas Road, Victoria BC

Take in the expansive views of the Juan de Fuca Strait and the Salish Sea from the Breakwater Bistro & Bar at Ogden Point.  A hive of activity, Ogden Point is a main port for the many Cruise Liners that travel BC’s coastline and is also a favourite among locals providing a fantastic sea wall leading out to a landmark lighthouse – great for a weekend stroll.

In the summer months, especially, you’ll find this location a hive of activity with artisan markets, live music and events and opportunities to partake in ocean-going activities like kayaking and scuba diving.  

The Bistro itself has a mouth-watering array of casual pre-made goods as well as prepared to order dishes providing diners with the option to take their treats with them while they walk the seawall or take in the sights from one of the restaurant’s window seats.  Either way, you’ll leave with all of your senses satisfied and your belly delightfully full.

And last but certainly not least on our top-pick downtown brunch spots is….. 

Nourish Kitchen & Café, 225 Quebec Street, Victoria BC

We can’t talk about nourishing food, spending time with friends and family and Victorian architecture without recommending Nourish Kitchen & Café. This unique eatery and community treasure is the epitome of the West Coast, feel-good, foodie experience.

Guided by holistic philosophies, ancient techniques, and the boundless inspiration of nature, the goal of Nourish is to enhance lives through love in the kitchen. 

Established in 2010, Nourish lives in an 1888 heritage house turned community hub. The lower level of the family-run home offers a casual restaurant and cafe, and a culinary market dedicated to providing nourishing treats and kitchen staples. On the upper level, Nourish offers a nurturing communal space for creativity, education, and celebrations, focused on a shared respect for the natural world.

Their diverse and naturally sourced menu focuses on whole foods and features both quality meat and vegan dishes. Nourish aspires to create soul-touching, health-giving recipes to share with the community, and with their simple but perfectly suited tagline “Eat With People You Love” how could you go wrong?!

Tally Ho Carriage Tours Pair Wonderfully with Brunch in Victoria BC

We’re confident that the brunch locations listed in this blog will not fail to impress, but the best part… all of them are located along Tally-Ho’s carriage tour routes!  To book your carriage tour experience, you can email us at tours@tallyhotours.com or contact us by phone locally at 250-514-9257 or toll free at 1-866-383-5067.  We look forward to hosting you!  

Tips for a Memorable Babymoon in Victoria, BC

For a Romantic Getaway or Fun Trip with Friends, Tally-Ho Can Help Create an Unforgettable Babymoon

Whether you’re expecting your first child or adding another kiddo to your family, expecting a new baby is an exciting time! But, as most parents will tell you, life changes drastically – in ways big and small – when a new little life enters the picture. More and more, expectant parents are taking time before the birth to enjoy a babymoon.  

At Tally-Ho, our priority is caring for our wonderful herd of draft horses and creating memorable carriage tours for our guests. Many of our guests are celebrating important occasions and milestones like graduations, birthdays, weddings, engagements and of course, the newly popular babymoon. 

Victoria has so much to offer and we’re very proud to live and operate in one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in the world. Here are a few of our recommendations for a restful, rejuvenating and uniquely Victoria babymoon vacation– carriage tours included, of course! 

Enjoy a High Tea and Spa Experience Combined with a Tally-Ho Carriage Ride

Add opulence to your Babymoon with a hotel, high-tea & spa experience at the historic Fairmont Empress. Victoria has some of the highest-rated, luxurious hotels you’ll find on Vancouver Island.  Perhaps the most iconic of these is the Fairmont Empress.  

This chateau-style building was opened in January of 1908 and is considered one of Canada’s grand railway hotels. The Empress underwent two main expansions, the first from 1910-1912 and the second in 1928 and it was officially designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1981.  

In more recent times, this grand hotel underwent a significant restoration costing in excess of $60M.  Restoration of the exterior involved the removal of ancient ivy vines which had taken over nearly the entire frontal façade of the hotel, obscuring the impressive structure with its elements of French Renaissance architecture.  

Today, the Fairmont Empress boasts 464 well-appointed, air-conditioned guest rooms and suites. All rooms and suites have been tastefully designed to honour the distinction and opulence of its history while providing the best of modern luxury and amenities, including a full fitness centre with indoor heated pool. With spectacular views of Victoria’s Inner Harbour, equally iconic Parliament Buildings and the surrounding City Gardens, nearly every room has a beautiful view as well.

Recognized by Conde Nast as a Top Resort Spa in Canada and Top 100 Spas of the Americas, the award-winning Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Empress is Victoria’s luxury spa and features signature, West Coast inspired treatments. Feel like royalty with the Empress for the Day package, or enjoy a soothing simple Mom to Be prenatal massage designed to soothe swelling and achy muscles.

After you’re blissfully rejuvenated from your spa treatment, we highly recommend indulging in one of the Hotel’s most noted culinary experiences – High Tea. Seasonally, High Tea at the Empress can be served on their well-appointed terraces with sweeping views of the harbour and in cooler months tea is served in their grand and picturesque Lobby with its turn-of-the-century elegance.  

Delicately tiered platters and royal china serve up a delectable selection of flakey, freshly baked scones with house-made strawberry preserves and cream, fluffy pastries with honey from the hotel’s hives, a variety of exquisite finger sandwiches and an exclusive selection of premium loose-leaf teas gifted to the Empress by Her Majesty in 1939.  

Indulge in a Little Retail Therapy on Your Babymoon in Victoria’s Picturesque Downtown

A Babymoon is not solely reserved for couples.  Many mothers-to-be are enjoying mother/daughter quality time or one last hurrah (at least for a while!) with their closest group of girlfriends.  If you are planning a girls-only Babymoon in Victoria, we would be remiss if we didn’t tempt you with a little retail therapy. 

From artisan jewelers to high-fashion clothiers, from West Coast crafts to First Nations artwork and from novelty gifts to practical mum-and-baby goods, Victoria’s downtown core has some of the most robust and satisfying shopping in the region – all of it easily walkable and charmingly picturesque. You’re sure to find the perfect Babymoon souvenir here.

Victoria’s Culinary Scene Will Satisfy all of Your Cravings

Some pretty specific food cravings can happen during pregnancy. Victoria’s Downtown offers an almost overwhelmingly wide variety of restaurants and eateries for adventurous and discriminating foodies alike. Go ahead and indulge!

From West Coast fresh-caught seafood restaurants to food markets or even just one-of-a-kind food trucks, you’ll be spoiled with the selection on offer.  Looking for gluten-free or vegan? No problem!  Many restaurants in Victoria offer delicious menu selections for those with special dietary requirements and there are a number of great vegetarian and vegan eateries that are favourites to many Victorian locals. Whether you want breakfast, brunch, or a quick bite late at night, our guides can help you discover the perfect spot to dine.

Get off Your Weary Feet and Explore the City by Horse and Carriage on your Babymoon

We’ve arguably saved the best for last (not that we’re biased) with our memorable Tally-Ho carriage tours! Continuing with the historic city theme, you’ll be whisked back in time with a sightseeing experience like no other.  Step aboard one of our cozy, old-style carriages, rest your weary, perhaps puffy (?) feet and slow things down with one of our popular city tours. It’s a quintessential centerpiece to your weekend getaway. Come in the spring and take in the award-winning gardens and cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Wind your way through Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park and gardens, breathe in the salt air on our ocean-site routes or capture the hustle and bustle of the city sites with one of our Inner Harbour tours.  Whether you select one of our set tours or have us create a special custom Babymoon Victoria package, there’s nothing quite like sightseeing to the sound of horse hooves.

Our professional, uniformed guides are passionate about their work and keep the horses’ and your safety as a top priority.  Well-versed in the history and significance of many of Victoria’s landmarks, our guides can enthrall you with stories or, if you’d prefer, leave you to enjoy the sights on your own terms. Our elegant carriages feature convertible roofs and warm faux-fur blankets to keep you cozy in all weather and they can seat up to six guests. 

We’re happy to help you make the most of your Babymoon in Victoria BC by providing contact details for any hotel, spa or restaurant – just tell us the experience you’d like to have. Contact us by phone or email to let us know what you have in mind for your Babymoon.