Zambri’s crispy polenta and house-made meatballs, topped with poached eggs and tomato sauce.

Zambri’s crispy polenta and house-made meatballs, topped with poached eggs and tomato sauce.

SIDE DISH: Find your flavour

It’s great to have a place for a snack or meal that you know will delight and surprise.

Tourists are here, the sun is shining and the patios are full. It’s great to have a place for a snack or meal you can duck into, or send visiting family and friends that you know will delight and surprise. Finding new places that aren’t always top of mind is always fun.

Nourish Kitchen & Cafe (a hidden gem at 505 Quayle Rd, at The Gardens at HCP) has opened Nourish in the Harbour at 225 Quebec St in James Bay. They’ve been hard at work converting an old building into a bright space for dining, gathering and raising a glass to all things local. Both are amazing spots for brunch, lunch and coffee. Everything is made from scratch with whole ingredients. Try the Benny’s Gone Nuts. It’s vegetarian, but your meat eating friends can add bacon.

Northern Quarter Kitchen & Stage at 1724 Douglas St opened to showcase local performers, wines by the glass, craft beer, cocktails, and seasonal food items.

On Pender Island, a new resort and kitchen has opened, WOODS on Pender. Think island rosé and local food on a patio in the woods. Enjoy the company of fellow city folks in search of nature’s respite, with a weekend in a refurbished Airstream. The Marina Cafe in Oak Bay, 1327 Beach Dr, has become Marina Dockside Eatery, with a renovation, new patio furniture and menu items, they now serve local Caffe Fantastico coffee and Silk Road Teas. Oceanfront, casual, and one of the best hidden patios in the city.

While hardly anyone would call Zambri’s, 820 Yates St, a hidden gem, their brunch seems to be a bit of a secret. Most dishes $12 – $14, the meatballs on polenta is my favourite. Crispy polenta and house-made meatballs, topped with poached eggs and tomato sauce, have a glass of prosecco for a great Sunday morning. Brunch is served inside and out, Sundays 10:30am – 2:30pm.

Ça Va Bistro Moderne in Fernwood is tucked into a romantic French-inspired space with a kitchen that focuses on affordable fine dining paired with a BC and international wine list. Dinner $13 – $28 is served 5pm – 9pm Tuesday – Sunday. In View Royal, Crooked Goose Bistro at 4136 Wilkinson Rd (sister restaurant to Heron Rock Bistro in James Bay), offers brunch, daily features, live music, and works with local purveyors of food and drink you don’t have to head downtown for. Fresh Coast Health Food Bar in Saanich has smoothies, cold pressed juices, salads and wraps in their 202 – 3749 Shelbourne Street location, and their new food truck usually found in the Capital Iron Parking lot. Check Twitter for current locations.

Enjoy your summer dining!

Try it you’ll like it:

-Buttermilk marinated Down South Fried Chicken at Fernwood Inn, $13.50

Postmark Brewing’s Blonde Ale, available at Spinnakers Spirit Merchants and other private stores around town, 12 pack $26.35.

be love restaurant’s vegetarian green curry bowl, $14.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island Symphony conductor Pierre Simard is releasing his new synthwave album ‘Plandemic’ on March 5. (Photo courtesy Olivia Simard)
Vancouver Island Symphony conductor releasing side-project EP of electronic music

Pierre Simard, recording as Plan Omega, presents ‘Plandemic’

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
Vancouver Island children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

This image released by SYFY shows Meredith Garretson, left, and Alan Tudyk in the new series "Resident Alien." (James Dittinger/SYFY via AP)
B.C.-shot ‘Resident Alien’ invader gets lift-off with viewers

New Syfy series catching on, proving TV doesn’t have to come from premium cable

WILDLIFE TREE: Tofino Poet Laureate Christine Lowther stands next to a giant cedar tree on District Lot 114, the site of Tofino’s controversial affordable housing project. The tree was pinned with an official Ministry of Forests yellow wildlife tree sign to educate fallers that the tree needs to be left standing for food, shelter and nesting. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Tofino author Christine Lowther calling for poetry about trees

“I’m thrilled to be of service to trees through poetry.”

West Coast-themed metal art by Nanaimo artists Hayley Willoughby (pictured), her father Jack and partner Blair LeFebvre is on display in the window of Lululemon at Woodgrove Centre from now until March 13 as part of the store’s monthly local artist program. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Metal artists present cross-generational show at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

Work by Hayley Willoughby, her partner and father on display in Lululemon window

Vancouver Island Symphony principal violinist and concertmaster Calvin Dyck is among the musicians performing in the upcoming Salmon and Trout concert. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Vancouver Island Symphony will make a splash with fish-themed quintets concert

Performance was to take place in November but was rescheduled due to COVID-19

Nico Rhodes, Lucas Smart, James McRae and Kosma Busheikin (from left) recorded their set for the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival’s online video series at the Harbour City Theatre in December. (Photo courtesy François Savard)
Music starts next week at online Nanaimo International Jazz Festival

Ten free, virtual performances to occur over three weeks in March

The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
 The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
Victoria calls for artists to fill Commercial Alley gallery

Competition open to artists in the Capital Regional District

Cowichan Valley author Teresa Schapansky’s books for young readers have become a phenomenon on Amazon. (Submitted)
Cowichan author tops Amazon charts

Award-winning author Teresa Schapansky learned of a need for low-level readers in the classroom

Nadia Rieger restocks some of the art supplies at the Crows Nest Artist Collective. Their move to stocking more art supplies over the course of the pandemic was a response to increased demand, which she thinks shows people have been turning to creating art to cope with mental health struggles due to lockdowns and restrictions on other activities. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Vancouver Islanders using art to conquer COVID blues

It seems people have been turning to their creative sides to stay mentally and emotionally healthy

Chris Bullock, Parksville artist, stands next to his ‘Mermother’ series, on display at the McMillan Arts Centre until Feb. 29. Bullock himself will be at the MAC from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. every Saturday until the end of the month. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville artist Chris Bullock’s unique illustrations on display

‘I’m heavily influenced by old comic book styles from the 1950s’

Most Read