As an East coaster who grew up surrounded by inexpensive, out of this world seafood, I can honestly say if I’m a snob about anything food-related, it’s fish and chips.  I’ve eaten fish and chips at over 50 restaurants from coast to coast, and while I still have a warm place in my heart for the little shacks back home, I must say that I was privy to quite possibly the best of that dish I’ve ever had on my recent trip to Victoria.

Now, the West coast does a lot of things right when it comes to seafood, but I’ve never really had a fish and chips experience out here that I can say didn’t leave me dissapointed on some level (I won’t name names, of course, but remember, I’m picky!).  I won’t say the meals were inedible or criminally overpriced or of poor quality, but they just were not up to par with my refined seafood palate.

This all changed when I had fish and chips at Old Vics for the second time this past weekend.  Open for more than 50 years,
the Old Vic is one of Victoria’s longest-lived restaurants, and one of
its most popular. They serve excellent fish n’ chips, which come
wrapped up in newspaper just like in Great Britain.  They have won numerous awards and will be a must visit restaurant for a long as they stay in business.
The restaurant has a high-ceiling, tudor-style interior with sharp corners and glazed wooden beams, and has and has a wonderfully worn-in feel.  The service was excellent, the meal promptly delivered, and the whole experience really made me feel like I was home again.  You can almost smell and feel the ocean from your seat (it’s hard to hear over the classic rock in the dining room).

The meal:  I ordered a 2 piece Haddock and chips meal for $14.95 (I NEVER see Haddock sold this inexpensively on the West coast) and it was excellent, to say the least.  The batter was just the right amount of crispyness, not too oily, and hugged the fish filet quite nicely.   As for the fish, it had an appropriately spongy, thick consistency and had wonderful flavour when balanced against the batter.  The portions were very generous, and I was hardly able to finish my meal (and old pro like me. imagine that).

Please, please, please, if you love great fish and want the atmosphere to boot, make Old Vics a must stop on your next trip to the Island.

Old Vics Fish and Chips:

1316 Broad St
Victoria, BC , V8W2A9

(250) 383-4536


Albacore Tuna

tuna is caught from June to late fall with the peak commercial fishery
occurring in September. Canned, smoked and frozen at sea tuna are
available year round. more …

Dungeness Crab

Availability: Dungeness crab is harvested in Canada in all months. Most landings however occur from May to October.
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Pacific Halibut

Fresh halibut is available throughout the commercial fishing season
which takes place from the middle of March to the middle of November.
Frozen halibut is available year round. more …


Availability: Fresh, frozen and smoked sablefish is available year round.
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Salmon – Spring (Chinook)

There is a limited availability of commercially caught spring. However,
if run sizes permit, fresh wild spring may be available from small
winter fisheries in the periods from September through November and
January through May. more …

Salmon – Coho

A ban on commercial fishing of coho, in place since 1998, has allowed
stocks to rebuild to the point that a limited commercial fishery is
again allowed in some areas. more …

Salmon – Sockeye

Generally, sockeye is available fresh from June to the end of August;
frozen from September to May, and; canned or smoked throughout the
year. more …

Spot Prawns

Fresh and live prawns are available during the harvest season which
usually starts in May and lasts approximately 80 days. Frozen prawns
are available year round. more …