Victoria’s reputation as a destination for diverse and high quality culinary offerings grows each passing year, but sometimes it can be easy for locals to find an excuse not to make the effort to go out and discover a new favourite restaurant.
Well, the excuses will run out when Tourism Victoria launches the annual Dine Around & Stay in Town this February. Intended to encourage locals and visitors alike to get out and tickle their taste buds, the event makes it easy, and affordable, to give something new a go, or reconvene with an old favourite.
“Victoria is well-known for having a culinary scene that punches far above its weight class, especially if you are a fan of locally-sourced, farm-to-table menus,” says Paul Nursey, President and CEO of Tourism Victoria. “One of the best things about the Dine Around and Stay in Town gala is that it brings all of these fantastic foodie experiences together, and encourages diners to try menu samples they might otherwise never consider.”
More than 60 restaurants, pubs and cocktail lounges are participating in this year’s event, each offering three-course menus in a range of prices from $20 to $50. For those out-of-towners, some local hotels are also offering discounted rates during the event, encouraging the “stay in” aspect.
Andrew Moffatt, co-owner and operator of Heron Rock and Crooked Goose bistros, said he knows locals put Dine Around on their calendars for this time every year as something to look forward to. For those in the industry, Moffatt said the efforts of Tourism Victoria and the BC Restaurant Association to promote Victoria restaurants is much appreciated.
“Even though Heron Rock has been around for over a decade, we know there are many first-time customers who haven’t found us yet,” said co-owner, operator Andrew Moffatt. “Dine Around gives those people a reason to check us out.”
The foodie festival kicks off with a gala launch at the Victoria Conference Centre on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 5 p.m., promising a night of samples and handcrafted libations from all of the participating restaurants, along with more than 20 VQA wineries and BC craft breweries.