Right in the middle of the Cook Street Village neighbourhood, Big Wheel Burger offers "Real. Fast. Food." Their menu is small (as is the seating area) but they pride themselves on being fresh, local and sustainable.
Sam's Deli is as close to an institution as you'll find in Victoria, located on Government Street, just steps from the Empress Hotel and the Tourism Info Centre at the Inner Harbour. Sam's has been serving breakfast and homestyle deli fare since 1972. In the peak summer season it is always lined up out the door and seating can be cozy but you always have the option of a picnic to-go, just ask!
La Piola is one of Victoria’s best kept secrets. Located on Quadra near Tolmie (on the Saanich-Victoria border), it opened in 2002 but I didn’t discover it until 2011. Now it’s one of my favourite places to grab a fast and ridiculously tasty lunch.
Devour is small enough that I missed it the first time we drove by but others had recommended it and I was curious to try the food. One of a number of bistros in the city serving fresh local food with a menu that changes daily, Devour is small but constantly busy.
McRae's is located in what was most recently a florist/nursery on the corner of Shelbourne Street and McRae Ave in Saanich. I watched the gradual transformation with some interest as I had wracked my brain about what business might best suit the location, just a couple of blocks from Hillside Mall and surrounded by residential neighbours.
Tucked into a tiny building at the foot of a hotel parking lot, Foo doesn't have a lot of room (though they have added a patio for extra summer seating) but their primary trade is take-away. As fast food in boxes goes, this is my fave place in Victoria.
After listening to friends rave about the food here, we had to give it a shot. Rather than dine-in (the service reportedly varies from indifferent to rude -- and this from people who rave about the food) we opted to order our meals to go.
Located in a heritage building at the foot of Pandora and Wharf Streets, Swan's Brewpub may look out on a busy intersection but it feels like a retreat. We treated ourselves to breakfast here recently -- not a meal I generally associate with a brewpub, but one of Swan's best.