5 restaurants to check out at Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria

Prix-fixe multicourse menus at dozens of eateries make up the annual food festival

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      The mainland has Dine Out Vancouver Festival; Victoria has Dine Around & Stay in Town.

      The culinary festival in the B.C. capital is now in full swing, running until February 2.

      Nearly 60 restaurants are participating with multicourse fixed-priced menus ($20, $30, $40, or $50).

      Here are five to check out: 

      Ferris’ Grill and Garden Patio  A Victoria mainstay since 1991, the restaurant has three main-course options: prosciutto wrapped rockfish with confit potatoes and grilled kale; duck confit, butternut squash gnocchi, crispy brussels sprouts, rosemary demiglace or tagliatelle with mushrooms, spinach, leeks and porcini cream.

      Aura Waterfront Restaurant and Patio The newly revamped restaurant at the Inn at Laurel Point flavours local products with global ingredients. It has two Dine Around menus on offer, with selections including barbecue sambal skate, gochujang chicken, cashew Scotch egg, and deep-fried sushi.

      Spinnakers Gastro Pub If you haven’t been to Spinnakers, you haven’t had the full Victoria experience. Established in 1984, it has led the way for craft brewing in B.C. Among its multiple local suppliers are Saanich Organics, Salt Spring Island Sprouts & Mushrooms, Island Lavender Farm, and Little Qualicum Cheeseworks.

      Little Jumbo Restaurant and Bar This hopping little spot is inspired by the winningest bars in New Orleans, Austin, Seattle, and Portland. For Dine Around, choose your main: fennel-crusted tuna loin with sherry salt-and-vinegar chips, pickled fennel, citrus yogurt, and compressed apples); pumpkin risotto (along with Grana Padano, pepitas, and pickled pumpkin—say that 10 times fast); or braised chuck flat (with preserved lemon gremolata, gruyere-whipped potatoes, and crispy brussels sprouts).

      Varsha Indian Kitchen This family-run eatery showcases contemporary Indian cuisine, with Dine Around options including butter-chicken samosas, lamb curry, and Malai broccoli (the veg marinated in ginger, garlic, chilies, and cardamom then cooked in cream in a clay oven).

      The Stay in Town portion of the fest, meanwhile, consists of hotels offering special rates ($109, $129, $149, $169, or $199). Accoms range from Accent Inn Victoria to Oak Bay Guest House to Fairmont Empress.

      As with Dine Out Vancouver Festival, the official charity of Dine Around Victoria is the BC Hospitality Foundation.

      More info is at Tourism Victoria.