Camille’s, the best of 38 coffee places and restaurants in Victoria in on Month

Once in a while I feel a bit tired of the places where I eat lunch, then I have the urge to try new ones (and the ones I haven’t visited for sometime).

I think we, as humans, tend to be build habits and become repetitive and boring over time. After few years back, when I decided to try every restaurant in Victoria (and got close to my goal), I have gotten used to the same restaurants.

So I decided for one month to try new ones. Keep in mind. These are places where I had lunch or coffee. There rankings do not reflect their dinner service. I believe we evaluate lunch time in a very different way that we evaluate dinner time. Lunch is more utilitarian, while dinner is more about the event.

The big winner: Camille’s

Most of the best restaurants do not open at lunch time (e.g. The Brasserie, Ulla, and many others). It was welcoming news to see Camille’s open for lunch. I have never eaten there. It was just the second day it was open. I really, really hope they stay open at lunch time. It is some of the most sophisticated lunch time food I had in a long time in Victoria.

The best new restaurant: Effes

Ok, not so new. It has been there for few months now. Simple kebabs, but delicious. It is a great place to stop for a snack any time of the day (although they run out of meats in the afternoon). It is located to the right of the Odeon cineplex on Yates.

The disappointments

  • I will never be back at the Bard and the Banker .

  • Ça Va was the biggest disappointment. In my opinion, it is not worth it at lunch time.

Other surprises:

  • Regardless of how bad the coffee is, the Oak Bay Maria Coffee Shop is a great destination. Sadly, location beats quality when it comes to a coffee.

  • My thai place was much better than I remembered it.

  • I really, really enjoy eating at Aura. The view is great.

The overal ratings

How to read them.

Rank meaning
♥♥♥♥ Will comeback: to be part of my rotation
♥♥♥ Would come back: once in a while
♥♥ Can be convinced to come back: only if needed
Will take a lot of convincing to be back: have to be forced
  Will NOT come back: never

And the results (by the way, you can tell the places I regularly visit by omission

Date Restaurant Ordered Cost Notes Score  
May 10, 2013 Effes Beef Kabab ~10 Excellent kabab ♥♥♥♥  
May 11, 2013 Bard and the Banker   ~16+tip Horrible food, bad service. I will never eat here again.    
May 12, 2013 Sizzling Tandoor (Uptown) Buffet ~15+tip Great tandoori and butter chicken, Few options. Excellent value. ♥♥♥♥  
May 13, 2013 Tibetan Kitchen Beef Curry 12.20 + tip Good value, lacks flavour, though ♥♥♥  
May 14, 2013 The Black Hat —————– —— No longer opens for lunch NA  
May 14, 2013 Koto Lunch B 13.65 + tip Decent bento box. Tempura felt greasy, salad was a mess. It is an izakaya, what can I expect! ♥♥  
May 15, 2013 Ca Va Salmon 18.90 + tip Not impressed at lunch time (salad type menu), average but overpriced food, but willing to try it at dinner time.  
May 16, 2013 Cafe Ceylon Burger 15.70 + tip Very flavourful burger (the special of the day) ♥♥♥  
May 17, 2013 Skinnytato Goulash Potato pancake 15.70 + tip Nice, simple food. The menu is limited, but good experience. ♥♥♥  
May 18, 2013 Curry Lounge Restaurant Lamb spinach curry, chicken biryani Good food, but a cavernous location ♥♥♥  
May 18, 2013 Special Teas A fancy darjeeling ~2.50 Excellent tea, cozy atmosphere ♥♥♥♥  
May 19, 2013 Dolce Vita Coffee Drip coffee, medium roast <2.00 They open until 10:30 PM!!! ♥♥♥♥  
May 19, 2013 Bin 4 Burger Lounge Very good burger, disappointing fries 11.09 + tip Great deal after 9:00 PM, will definitely come back at that time (at normal prices I would come back) ♥♥♥♥  
May 21, 2013 Saigon Harbour Special #1 9.98 + tip Good value for the food. Rest. had a make over; looks nicer and more inviting. ♥♥♥  
May 22, 2013 Ill Terrazzo Spaguettini con capesante   Good food and good value, but WAY too much food (split in 1/2, eat 1/2 take home the rest for a nice dinner) ♥♥♥  
May 22, 2013 Discovery coffee (discovery st) Expresso 2.25? + tip Excellent coffee ♥♥♥♥  
May 23, 2013 UVic food services Sandwiches No comment  
May 24, 2013 Saigon Night Grilled pork and shrimp on noodles 14.35 +tip A lot of food. The grilling smells great, but pork slightly overcooked. I think Saigon Harbour is better ♥♥  
May 25, 2013 Forum Braised duck and noodles 9.40 +tip Great value. The noodles lacked seasoning. Great service (albeit, the place was almost empty). I liked the duck. ♥♥♥  
May 25, 2013 Willi’s Cafe at the Royal Museum Coffee 2.10 Note to myself: the coffee is not the greatest but the patio rocks on a warm day. Come more often ♥♥♥♥  
May 27, 2013 Pink Bicycle Portabello Burger 11.55 + tip Good burger and good vale. ♥♥♥  
May 28, 2013 King Sejung jejuk bugolgi lunch special 8.35 + tip It is hard to complain at this price. Quality is inverse proportional to it. ♥♥  
May 29, 2013 Oak Bay Marina Pan fried cod-fish special 16.80 + tip I feel their food feels a bit outdated, but my fish today was delicious. Well worth it. ♥♥♥♥  
May 29, 2013 The Marina Coffee Shop Coffee 1.75 The coffee is not very good, but the view is great. ♥♥♥♥  
May 30, 2013 Pagliaccci’s Chicken chikadee ~15.00 + tip Feels like production line food; my entree arrived before I finished my soap; entree a mess. i don’t get its popularity  
May 31, 2013 My thai place potato curry ~10.00 + tip Much better than I remember it the last time I was there. ♥♥♥♥  
May 31, 2013 Sally Bun chicken curry bun 3.25 (I think) Great snack ♥♥♥  
May 31, 2013 Subway Italian spicy sandwich ~5.00 As in any other subway. ♥♥  
June 1, 2013 Sizzling Tandoor (downtown) buffet ~14.00 + tip I think the uptown is better, but it is not bad at all ♥♥♥  
June 2, 2013 Pizza Strada salshisha picante ~16.00 + tip Excellent pizza (perhaps best in town) ♥♥♥  
June 3, 2013 Baan-Thai (downtown) Chicken curry special 10.24+tip Good food, although I wish they would change their lunch menu one of these days ♥♥♥  
June 3, 2013 Malea Coffee American 2.50 Bad coffee    
June 3, 2013 Pho Hoa #15: pho with all meats It is one of the few options open late any day of the week. That in itself is a reason I go there it. Food is not bad. ♥♥♥  
June 4, 2013 Baan-thai (foul bay) Special 4: tofu and red curry 10.24+tip      
June 5, 2013 Camille’s Fish stew 18.90+tip Excellent food, some of the most sophisticated cooking at lunch time. They just started serving lunch ♥♥♥♥  
June 7, 2013 Sockeye sushi Bento B 16.85+tip It was a good lunch. Plenty of tuna and salmon, but not memorable enough. ♥♥♥  
June 8, 2013 Aura Kimchi pork sandwich 15.75+tip Great view, makes it one of my favourite destinations. The food is good, but sandwich oriented at lunch time ♥♥♥♥  
June 9, 2013 Rebar Enchiladas 16.10+top Rebar was one of my favourite restaurants, but it stagnated. The food hasn’t change in 10 years! I want more variety. ♥♥♥