5 most overrated restaurants in Victoria, BC

5 most overrated restaurants in Victoria, BC

Grocery Alerts helps Canadians save money so I wanted to write this article to help save all of my local friend’s money by making sure they do not dine at these overrated establishments in Victoria, BC.

My wife and I enjoy the odd meal out (fish and chips, a nice steak, sushi, fresh ceviche), but I have been so underwhelmed the last few times eating out that this post needed to be written!

5. Pagliacci’s

Maybe tastes change over the years, when I first moved to Victoria close to 8 years ago, I worked just 2 blocks away from this popular restaurant. It was great, you could get a nice bowl of bottomless soup for under $8 (with foccacia bread on the side).

Have things changed over the years – the bread recipe has changed and it is just OK now and the place has not been renovated to keep up with the dining times. If you ask most people they either think it has “amazing food in a great atmosphere”, or “average food in a tight setting”. Here is another Victoria blogger’s review of their brunch on Sundays.

My favorite is this review. Like I said, I think it is too tight to eat comfortably and as the father of an infant, space is a premium I require when dining.

Pagliacci's on Urbanspoon

4. Millos Restaurant

This is one of the few Greek restaurants in Victoria, BC. It has been serving traditional Greek meals for over 30 years. You would think with that kind of tradition that the food would be outstanding. Unfortunately, while the interior of the restaurant is quite colorful and well decorated, the food is very overpriced for the quality.

I ordered lamb and it was so ordinary, it tasted like I ate at a fast-food greek restaurant. I strongly believe the only reason this restaurant has been around for 30 years is the great location it has (mega-tourist exposure).

Millos on Urbanspoon

3. Japanese Village

When I first moved to Victoria and ate at this Teppan steak house, I thought I was a great experience. Your personal chef dazzles you with tricks flipping bite-size bits of steak and seafood. Chop, season, sizzle – That’s teppan-grill dining at the Japanese Village. They are famous for their fantastic secret recipe sauce.

After dining at other Teppan restaurants, you see how much cleaner other restaurants are. I was not impressed the last time dining here (the lighting is so dim that you can’t see the dust).

Another thing is that it is not very cheap for their simple Chicken Teriyaki dinner that includes: Shabu shabu soup, Village salad, appetizer shrimp, hibatchi vegetables, short grain rice, and sherbet or ice cream and chicken it costs $23. The other Teppan restaurants I dined at were cleaner and seemed to have a wider selection on the menu. Honestly, if you are looking for a Teppan experience just go to a Benihana when you are in the US.

Japanese Village on Urbanspoon

2. The Pink Bicycle

I know I will get some slack for this from loyal customers but I brought a group of friends to dine there and after hyping this restaurant I was really underwhelmed. I dined in April 2012 and I had the Pink Bike Cheese Burger for $12 dollars.

From 604Foodtography.com

It is described as Vancouver Island naturally raised Hereford beef from SpringFord Farm seasoned to perfections and topped with smoked cheddar & pink bike sauce. The one compliment I have for this burger is that the buns are outstanding but you can buy them next-door at Bond’s Bonds. The burger I ate was dry and lacked flavour.

I hate reading a laundry list of ingredients only to taste dry food. It is not rocket-science (they have been open for 3 years) so they should be experts at cooking burgers. I am not the only blogger that thinks it is overpriced.

It is expensive at this restaurant for anything greater than a basic burger and the wait is really long if you go for lunch (make sure you have a work that lets you take 2 hour lunches).

The Pink Bicycle on Urbanspoon

1. Smoken Bones Cookshack

When my wife and I first dined there at their old location in Langford, BC it was incredible. I ordered the pulled pork burger that came with 2 large side portions (BBQ beans and yam fries). It had 3 slices of crisp bacon and nice cheese and the perfect bun for the burger. The pulled pork was literally oozing out of the burger and I could not even finish the burger it was that big and flavourful.

Well, fast forward a year and the owner built a  new restaurant near downtown Victoria. They even had Chef John Brooks and John Catucci, host of Food Network Canada’s “You Gotta Eat Here” film an episode at the Cookshack in May 2012. I went last month with my mother and my family and the food was OK (not worth the over $55 for our bill).

The service is great but if a restaurant doesn’t display the Urban Spoon badge on their website, something is wrong (like their 52% rating). The new interior of Smoken Bones is not very well designed and feels very low quality.

Save your money and go to Bin 4 Burger Lounge – much better value and they do burgers very well. I am not the only blogger that thinks it is not that great.

Take a look at the rating below! Currently only 52% of people like it on UrbanSpoon.

Smoken Bones Cookshack on Urbanspoon

Some of our favorites includes:

Bon Rouge (expensive but always an experience and the food is outstanding).

Bon Rouge Bistro on Urbanspoon

Brasserie L’école (incredible local food, atmosphere and service)

Brasserie "L'école" on Urbanspoon

Are there any local Victoria restaurants I missed?

Steven Zussino

Steven Zussino is the co-founder of Grocery Alerts Canada. He loves to help Canadians save money on groceries. He also runs the blog, CanadianTravelHacking.com.