Vegan MoFo: Vegan Vacation in Victoria, BC

A couple of my favourite people are in Victoria, British Columbia (on Vancouver Island) on a short visit, and since I had spent a few months at UVic last summer, they asked me for suggestions for vegan places to go eat while they are there. I haven’t really decided what my favourite thing is, to visit places for myself myself, or visit places so I can recommend places for other people to go and hear about how much fun they had. I hope my suggestions work out for them. And since I started on the topic of reminiscing about Victoria, it got me thinking… hmm, it’s probably a good idea to make a post about it. After spending the summer in Victoria and finishing my studies I planned to move there in the Fall of 2010, but instead ended up in Toronto (which I’m happy about!). One of my favourite things about Victoria is that it’s truly pedestrian friendly, most things are within walking distance of one another. There are also bike paths and dedicated bike lanes making for easy car less transportation (though the buses might get a bit too close for comfort on the “dedicated” bike lanes.) My resources this time around were mostly just from memory but here are some more just in case you felt like digging. – The Victoria Vegan – Vancouver Island Vegetarian Association – Happy Cow listing – Yelp Transit information: – Bike trails are everywhere. I know there are maps everywhere, I saw a bunch at the…

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VEMF: Victoria Electronic Music Festival

I’ve spent most of the last two days in Centennial Park in Downtown Victoria. Why? The Victoria Electronic Music Festival! VEMF is an annual event that happens in Victoria, and it’s easy to see how it could have been voted one of Victoria’s favourite events. So many people came out and had a wonderful time. I’m so glad that I got involved in it while I was here. Saturday morning I helped with set up, which was interesting. I learned that I never ever want to put up a heavy metal fence ever again, and that I much prefer putting up event tents. Who knew. 🙂 Sunday night I went on my volunteer shift and asked “What do I do?” I was told… “Dance and have a good time, and make sure everyone else is having a good time.” Amazing. There were only a few minor things I needed to talk to people about, mostly checking in with them to make sure they were doing okay or if they needed anything. Absoulutely wonderful experience, and I got to see DJ Dan and several other awesome artists.

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Victoria – Galiano Island

I don’t know where to begin. I spent the weekend camping in Montague Harbour on Galiano Island, one of the Gulf Islands off of British Columbia. We caught the ferry at around 2 in the afternoon from Swartz Bay, it was approximately two hours until we reached Sturdies Bay, on Galiano Island. It’s really amazing for me, being a landlocked prairie dweller to be surrounded by water all the time, I have to admit, I like it quite a bit. On the way to Montague Harbour Provincial Park we stopped in at Scoops (2450 Sturdies Bay Road, Galiano Island) which is located up the hill from the ferry terminal. I picked up some freshly cut french fries. And when I say freshly cut, I mean it. She chopped up a few potatos one by one right in front of me in some kind of metalic french fry making device. Needless to say they were delicious. Especially after a two hour ferry ride with a broken vending machine… oh how I wanted those cashews…

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Victoria – How you can sun yourself on two beaches, walk through the rainforest, and swim in the ocean, all in one day.

Today I went to the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, walked along part of the Juan de Fuca trail to Mystic Beach, and then back through the subtropical rainforest, to go down another trail to China Beach. All in all, a fun filled action packed day. Yesterday was quite a full day as well. Saturday morning we went on a scenic walk through Beacon Hill park, catching a Jazzfest performance, and continuing on towards Ogden Point, then walking over to Fishermans Wharf. Fishermans Wharf is of course famous for Fish & Chips, and most people lined up and ordered the 15 dollar basket from Barb’s Fish and Chip stand. I, of course, did not participate in the fish and chips. I looked around for a bit to see if there was anything for me to eat, and conveniently I did find a place with vegan hotdogs, Grilligans: “Where Bouy meets Grill” (how cute is that?). I also watched in prairie girl amazement as a seaplane was taking off (and began conspiring to find a reason to fly in one in the near future). Saturday evening I went to the Butchart Gardens to see their weekly Saturday night fireworks display. I really enjoyed wandering through the various gardens, especially the Rose Garden. It has dozens of different varieties and colours of roses, it is worth seeing. One thing that really impressed me about it is the work of Jenny Butchart in the reclaimation of an old quary. She turned it into…

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Victoria – Willow’s Beach and other things

Yesterday we went to Willows Beach as a group. And I loved it. It was around 6pm, and still sunny, but not too hot. However, the water was COLD. I saw a few people jumping in, full body, and I though I could feel my own muscles cramping up in empathy. It was a perfect evening to lay around on the beach and read or nap. One thing that I love about the University of Victoria is their vegan food options, and the staff’s willingness to ask what is in things for me. I’m the annoying girl, “is there butter in this?” “what is this?” “is there dairy?” I believe they have also upped their vegan options for my visit, which goes to show, it pays to ask in advance. I was worried once I learned I’d be eating in residence, because a limited menu for someone else, becomes an exercise in creative meal planning for me. Am I getting enough protein, vitamins, fat from the food I’m eating? Stuff I need to consider. So I emailed Food Services, and someone replied with let us know when you’ll be here and we’ll make sure you are taken care of. They normally have a vegan & vegetarian residence dining hall on campus. How amazing is that? The other day I ate a flakey pastry vegan sausage roll type thing from the salad bar. And they always have soy milk availible in the mornings for my ceral. And they’ve started making vegetable…

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Victoria – Cafe Bliss and Green Cuisine 7/5/09

I am finally at the UVic residence, relaxing after a long bus ride to campus from downtown Victoria. The rooms are big in my opinion, though they are lacking a sink. (at least in the Shirley Baker residence) I unpacked and wandered around for a bit, enjoying the surroundings and the coupious amounts of bunnies everywhere. They are all (mostly) feral, but I have to resist the urge to pet them. They are terribly cute. I went to Cafe Bliss (556 Pandora Ave, Victoria BC) recently and was not disappointed. It is right next to Mo:Le, another restaraunt I want to check out for breakfast one day, they have a Tofu scramble on the menu, but Mo:Le is not entirely vegetarian. Back to Cafe Bliss… my favourite item was the raw vegan keylime pie. Can I say wow? The texture of the crust was absolutely perfect, I believe it was a combination of almonds and figpaste, but honestly I inhaled that pie a bit to quickly to fully appreciate each ingredient. Oops. The tartness of the limes was balanced well with the sweetness of the agave which seemed like their sweetener of choice, however they do use honey in some of their foods. I also tried some warm “hot” mint chocolate, and it was nice but I’m not really into the flavour of raw cocoa or maybe the mint was just too strong. But it was still chocolatey and delicious. While wandering around Market Square I stumbled upon Green Cuisine…

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First day in Victoria – Turtle Hostel 7/4/09

I arrived in Victoria this afternoon, and it has already been great. I’m staying at Turtle Hostel at the moment, soon to be moving on to the UVic residence tomorrow. I spent the day just relaxing a bit, wandering around the east side of Victoria, and I already stumbled upon a few great vegan options. One that I’m really looking forward to trying is Pizza Pi, it’s right on Douglas Street, which on first glance appears to be saturated with little shops and restaraunts. Pizza Pi is focused on local, organic and environmentally friendly production. They have vegan cheese, and gluten free pizza crusts if need be. I’m waiting for a friend to come to town, or maybe when I’m feeling particularly hungry to order a pizza, because their smallest size consists of a 10 inch wide, 6 slice pizza. I also stopped by a Market and found it was well stocked with organic produce, normal people food, and vegan muffins. I picked up some lemon cranberry muffins, and as I hoped, they were delicious. Tomorrow will be an action packed day, I hope I can catch a few of the things that are going on.

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