Cook Street Village is a Victoria Gem! Its close proximity to both Beacon Hill Park and Dallas Road make this community a favorite among locals yet widely missed by tourists. In addition to the quaint small-town feel of this historic street, the neighbourhood also has an abundance of cafes, restaurants, pubs, and numerous boutique grocery shops. In other words, Cook Street Village is an awesome place to sit back, have a bite and a sip, and watch the locals stroll by.
Here are our top 5 picks for the neighbourhood:
1. The Tin Roof Market & Deli (101-1075 Pendergast Street)
Owner Candace Bath opened this great deli because she wanted to create a community store for real people with healthy, clean products. Mission accomplished. The Tin Roof Market & Deli sources great local products at a very reasonable price. The deli section of this quaint shop has some great meal options including homemade sausages, deli salads, and pretty terrific pizza (including a gluten-free option). They have a great little patio and FYI they are licensed offering a small selection of beer and wine.
2. Pizza Prima Strada (230 Cook Street)
Want some seriously delicious pie? You need to try Pizza Prima Strada. Serving up traditional Neapolitan pizza, this place is authentic. They use Caputo OO flour for the crust, Italian plum tomatoes for the sauce, and local ingredients including fresh Mozzarella di Bufala from local Fairburn Farm. Despite having won a ton of awards for their pizza, the atmosphere is anything but stiff & pretentious. The big open wood burning oven in the middle of the restaurant is a welcome site on a rainy day. Our favorite slice? The Salsiccia Piccante with the house made fennel sausage, mozzarella, and roasted bell peppers!
This is a neighbourhood classic serving up traditional pub fare in a fairly standard pub setting. What sets this place apart is the patio. They have amazing outdoor seating where you can meet up with friends and watch all the action on the bustling street. They also serve up some great local craft beer including Philips, Driftwood, and Race Rocks.
4. Hot and Cold Cafe (313 Cook Street)
This is one of those places that is like a secret club that only a few are privy to the exact location and know how amazing it is. It’s tempting to want to keep that a secret but I guess I’ll share it with you all. The food at this tiny cafe is nothing short of amazing. The menu features various soups made daily including at least one vegan and a gluten free option. All of the soups come with this fluffy, delicious organic house-made focaccia bread that I dream about at night. They also serve up an array of globally influence mains like the beef curry or Irish chicken sandwich. But with only 20 seats, please don’t share this secret with everyone!
This cafe/restaurant opened its doors in 2011 and have since become a neighbourhood staple. They have a cafe on one side that serves up great coffee (Victoria’s own Discovery Coffee) and pastries to go, and on the other side a sit-down restaurant with an extensive menu serving up comfort food and wholesome meals. They have a beautiful open kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare your dishes, many made with local ingredients (some from their own herb garden!). This is a great spot to come for brunch (I am partial to the ancho-braised beef short rib hash) but like all Victoria brunch hot spots, come early!
Want to try all of these great places and learn more about the Cook Street Village? Well why don’t you join us on our Cook Street Village Culinary Tour! This tour is a fun 2-hour journey through the neighbourhood where we learn about the history and culture of the area while tasting and sipping our way through the local hot spots. Here are the details:
- Days: Thursdays & Fridays
- Time: 2.30-4.30pm
- Meeting place: Tin Roof Market & Deli (101-1075 Pendergast Street)
- Cost: $65 (includes all food & beverage samples and GST)
For more information or to book tickets visit: www.offtheeatentracktours.ca/victoria