Located in historic Bastion Square since 1867, this is one of the oldest pubs in Canada. Offers a wide selection of micro-brewed and import beers on tap and traditional English pub fare.
If you have to ask what "Cheers" is you are too young. This is a gtreat friendly local pub with regular people coming and going. In summer they have a small deck overlooking Bastion Square and in winter a fireplace tries to chase the chill away.
Whenever I am there a couple of lovable good old boys are running the place and will tell you what's good and what's not. I always feel at home there and tend to go way too often so that I have tried everything I like on the menu and feel like I should go somewhere else - but I come back. So should you.
They put their prices up at the beginning of 09 summer so it's not quite as good value as it used to be - but the food is always good and satisfying.
I enjoy the Garrick' Head Pub because it just feels like a good old Victoria pub. There is nothing fancy about it and it has a simple pub menu with the basics like burgers, fish & chips, and Shepherrds pie. They serve a good pint and the open wood burning fireplace really adds character. Garrick's kind of reminds me of a place an old fisherman would come into to warm up and have a nice bowl of chowder after a cold day at sea.
Unpretentious, simple pub with a great patio in the summer and a nice fireplace to sidle up to in the winter. Don't expect gourmet gastro-pub fare -- the Garrick's Head is a relaxed friendly place that's great for a casual lunch or a late-night Strongbow. The bangers and mash and chowder are solid pub fare, and the daily specials are always worth trying. Ignore the over-priced tourist traps and hit the Head for a relaxed pint with friends.
After being confined to touristy places during our Alaskan cruise, we had one final stop in Victoria. After walking past all the trinket shops, it was time for dinner - & a beer. We had stopped in front of another Irish pub, but before we could get one step up to the door, saw several patrons leaving while saying "there's gotta be another place around here to get a beer." We took that as a sign to keep looking. Right around the corner we spotted the wooden sign for the Garrick's Head Pub. Looked like a lil hole in the wall. Exactly what we were looking for. Went inside and immediately felt at home. It was loud, crowded and smelled of old, beer soaked wooden floors. We quickly found an empty seat (not an easy feat) and sat down. Within a few minutes the only server that night (besides the bartender) was at our table, menus in hand. He offered a quick smile, a rundown of the specials and took off. He was back in a jiffy (after seating several other people and delivering some food) to take our drink and food orders. The place had become packed by then...granted it was going on 8pm on a Friday night. The food took a little while to make it to our table, but only because they were so busy and there was only one cook as well. The food was great. Pulled pork chipotle sandwich served with a heaping amount of fantastic fries and a salad all on one plate. Not only was it tasty, but plentiful as well. I had a hard time eating just half of it. Couple that with a great beer and you've got yourself the kind of meal to write home (or a website review) about. Entire check, for 2 dinners and 3 beers was around $40. We didn't mind adding another $15 to round it off before heading out for the rest of the evening before "all aboard". If you've got a minute in Victoria and can find this place (we were lucky enough to stumble across it) do yourself a favor and stop!
After a week of dining at all the touristy places, this Pub was such a breath of fresh air. Although not really - they had a real, honest to god wood fire going in the fireplace and you could smell the wood burning. And I guess that's the point of this place - it's authentic, it's real. It's not like the other four restaurants I ate at this week. They were all cutesie, tourist BS joints, with cutesie tourist meals. I walked in and the server asked if I wanted a menu - and offered that the special was a burger and a local beer for $12.50, taxes in. I skipped the menu and was not left wanting. The burger was huge - huge - and appropriately cooked. A large portion of fries, a large salad with no skimping on the ingredients and a pint of local lager. For $12.50, for god's sake! Taxes in!
You know, the way this site rates places, I'd give Garrick's Head a "solid" rating across the board - because that's the best rating I think a pub could have. Honest, straight-forward, solid. But that would be 3/5, and you'd go to one of the poncey tourist dives instead. If you must, go to the rest of them - but save a night for Garrick's Head. There's no pretense here, and it's well worth the while.
Food: Having eaten here all of once, it was decent, clean, nutritious, generous portions - no fault at all. They did the burger, salad and fries perfectly.
Service: She didn't fuss over me, but the server too was what I'd call solid: Do you want to look at the menu, or do you want what I'm recommending you have? I appreciated that. She - and the Pub - deserved the tip.
Value: All week, I've paid $6.50 a pint for local beer. $7.50 by the time taxes were in. So $12.50, taxes in, for all of the above? I'm not sure how they do it and break even. Exceptional value. Incredible value.
Ambiance: Delightfully, refreshingly, NOT touristy. Real. Appropriate. It's a pub. Not a dressed-up-North-American-version-of-what-an-English-pub-might-be-if-it-were-on-television, but a pub. No pretense, real food.
Garrick's looks to seat around 40. The crowd was mixed while I was there, about half full - 20-somethings, perhaps the college crowd, a couple artistic types, three middle aged guys with beers...just a decent place to hang out.
A note to the traveller: Garrick's is not easy to find. They do not have a storefront on Government St, although that's their address. Coming in off Government, you go through a building lobby and wonder if you took the wrong turn - I took two tries to find it. Don't go without the address, and pay close attention. There's only one sign hanging on Government Street. But it was dark, windy and raining when I went out - so that didn't help.
If you're visiting, and you're tired of the tourist stuff, treat yourself to one real meal in downtown Victoria. Go to Garrick's.
Victorias best pub, hands down!
The staff are amazing and friendly, great music, and great pub grub. What more can you ask for , with a fantastic menu of local, Canadian beers on tap, it's a win win situation for everyone. Not to mention the best jukebox ever! With one of the best patios to spend a late afternoon on in one of the busiest foot traffic areas of the downtown core you know the scenerey will be great.
All restaurants will serve food as good as Garricks Head, which is ironic, as it is pub grub.
The burgers are awesome, and cheap, with the meat they use in it as nice and tender as anything I've paid 5 fold for. And the fish and chips are right up there, with ingredients as fresh as they come. The fish size is generous and not dripping in fat. The fries are a solid performer too.
And when you have finished, you can get slaughtered on the many well kept beers on tap and take throw some darts off someones bonce!
The only reason I wouldn't go back, would be if the lads behind the bar started wearing skirts (no one wears kilts in Ireland y'know) behind the bar. I wouldn't want to see the tears in their eyes.
The original Garrick's Head (different spelling in the phone book) opened in this location in 1867. Today's pub opened in 1989 and was previously a part of Smitty's Restaurant.
If one comes here in the autumn or winter they will most likely be greeted by the smell of the wood burning fire and the aroma of beer mixed with good pub stle food. This little gem of a pub is rustic and very popular with the collage crowd. The servers are young and good at what they do.
The food is a step-up from normal pub food yet the prices for both food and drink are on the high side, especially for cocktails and 'hard' drinks like rum, vodka ...
But if you've never experienced this place you owe it to yourself to drop in for a pint either at the small but accomidating bar or at one of the tables near the fireplace or on a fine day sit outside and enjoy people watching.
This place is located across from the Irish Times and is totally different and unique for Victoria. Give it a try.