Cheap date spots in Victoria

Culture Food | Drink

10 restaurants near UVic

One cheap date option this Valentine’s Day: Oregano’s Pizza. Photo by Cormac O’Brien, Editor-in-Chief

Picture this: a tall, blond man in a suit folds and re-folds his purple pocket square, while his girlfriend tries to tame her frizzy hair and stand up straight in her high heels. What fancy event could they be attending? Are they headed to a classy dinner? The theatre, maybe? 

Oh, did I mention that they’re on the bus?

Whether it’s a dinner date with a significant other or a night out with friends, deciding where to go for Valentine’s Day can be stressful. There’s an expectation that Valentine’s Day will include a fancy (and likely expensive) dinner and that’s not always realistic for university students. Most of us are on a tight budget (who knew cheese could be so expensive?)

A solution: my boyfriend and I are fans of what we like to call “Cheap Fancy Dates.” We get all dressed up and then choose a “cheap date” location for our meal. We may be the most overdressed people at the pizza place, but we have fun and never spend too much money.

Here are a few potential “Cheap Fancy Date” locations for you and yours to try this Valentine’s Day (or any day — because let’s be real, garlic and parmesan fries are always a good idea.)

1. El Furniture Warehouse

El Furniture Warehouse is an edgy restaurant with fun decor, cool music, and dim lighting. There is a wide variety of meals and drinks and while their cocktails aren’t cheap, food is $5.95 all day, everyday. That, mixed with vegetarian and gluten-aware items makes it a great option for students!

533 Yates St.
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 1K7

2. Famous Original

OK, so it may weird people out to see a finely dressed couple eating $4 slices of pizza larger than a human head, but so what? Famous Original has amazing New-York-style pizzas “the size of a car tire,” and they sell by the slice for $3–$4. After 9 p.m., the slices are half-off with a drink purchase. They have vegetarian options and their creamy garlic dipping sauce is TO DIE FOR. Oh, and the PBRs are $3.50. So . . . what time are you meeting us there?

538 Yates St.
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 1K8

3. The Monkey Tree Pub

You know the bar from How I Met Your Mother? This is the Victoria version. The food is amazing and they have inexpensive drink and meal specials — like their $15 burger and beer Mondays — every night of the week! There’s also music bingo, darts, and many other fun activities!

4025 Borden St.
Victoria, B.C.
V8X 2E8

4. Bin 4 Burger Lounge

Not only are their imaginative burgers fairly priced, after 9 p.m. their burgers are half-off with the purchase of a drink. So head down to try out some wild burgers! From “My Big Fat Greek Burger,” to the “The Breakfast Club,” they’ve got something for everyone (including vegetarian options — see the “Mr. Bean.”)

911 Yates St.
Victoria, B.C.
V8V 4X3

5. Foo

Looking for a delicious Butter Chicken or Pad Thai and some cheap beer? Look no further than FOO. They’ve got a fun food-truck vibe and many flavourful dishes with large portions all under $15.

769 Yates St.
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 1L4

6. Fujiya

Fujiya is a Japanese food restaurant with great sushi that doesn’t break the bank. It can’t get any better than a made-to-order California Roll for $3.95!

3624 Shelbourne St.
Victoria, B.C.
V8P 4H2

7. Oregano’s Pizza Shelbourne

Ever wanted to try a pierogi pizza smothered in hollandaise sauce? Well you can do just that at Oregano’s! They have great pizza deals, a student discount, and a wide variety of pizzas ranging from the “Tequila Sunset” to their “BBQ Bourbon Chicken.”

23-3615 Shelbourne St.
Victoria, B.C.
V8P 4H1

8. Brasserie L’Ecole

Brasserie L’Ecole is a French-country-style restaurant with many incredible menu options. While many of these items are expensive, the “Garlic and Parmesan Fries” are a great option because they’re $10 and the serving size is perfect for sharing. Plus, they serve Absinthe from France — so that’s fun. There are no reservations, so get here early!

1715 Government St.
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 1Z4

9. The Penny Farthing Public House

This is another one that isn’t exactly inexpensive, but there are some cheaper menu options and the vibe is amazing! I recommend the Penny Farthing for a dessert date, because they have some delicious and inexpensive desserts that are great for sharing (or not — because they’re that good). The “Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding” is probably the most incredible thing I’ve ever eaten, and it pairs nicely with the Dark Matter Ale from Hoyne Brewing Co.

2228 Oak Bay Ave.
Victoria, B.C.
V8R 1G5

10. White Spot

Most of us have heard of White Spot; they proudly advertise their use of fresh, B.C. ingredients and they are famous for their Legendary Burgers smothered in secret Triple “O” sauce. However, they are, in my opinion, the unsung heroes of breakfast cuisine. Most locations serve brunch until 2:30 p.m. and they have some delicious options. The “B.C. Sunny Start” is an egg burger with extra toppings – like the Triple “O” sauce – that bring it to the next level, and their eggs benedict is surprisingly the best I’ve ever had. Plus, all their brunch items come with endless smash-brown potatoes making it the ideal location for an inexpensive brunch date! I’ll take an IV drip of hollandaise sauce and some smash-browns to go, please.

1871 Fort St.
Victoria, B.C.
V8R 1K1