Since 1989, Rebar has been serving up fresh, funky and healthy food. Located in Victoria’s historic Bastion Square, Rebar is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
Tasty vegetarian food. A huge menu variety with daily specials, and I actually liked it, despite being a carnivore. I really thought the juices were outstanding. They are the whole reason to go. Strongly recommended.
I went in not realizing this is a vegetarian place (okay, protein from the sea doesn't seem to count). But I never hold that against anyone. All the better that it's not boldly advertised out front.
Service friendly enough, but the place is quite tight. But here's my beef with most Western-style vegetarian places. The restaurant running skills suck and the food is mediocre. I dunno, they think they get a free pass by being vegetarian? This wasn't quite the exception. It took a LONG time to get our order to arrive, despite us saying that stuff could come at any time, whenever it was ready. I noticed tables sitting empty for quite a while despite a line up at the door. Wasn't just us, diners lingered long time at their tables around us waiting for food. Servers were nice, just perhaps a little short on experience and organization.
The food itself? It's great that they didn't try to be meat substitutes, they just made dishes out of vegetables. Had a soup, coconut curry I think, enchiladas, pot stickers and salad sampler, some kids pasta noodles.
Could you go wrong with a salad at a vegetarian place? Of course not! It was a wonderful salad, absolutely no complaints. Pot stickers, also good, I prefer a nice, standard pork one, but this one is good by itself, not "good for a vegetarian version". The soup also got a thumbs up, but not that surprising given what kind it was, can you go wrong when loaded with coconut milk? The kids pasta, meh, well, surprisingly, it's what the kids wanted, but it's damn bland and boring, I think there was butter and a dusting of parmesan. Enchiladas were perhaps my favourite, it was also just plain good, no excuses.
Aah, here comes my other complaint about the food ... almost all of it, the pot stickers, the soup, the enchilada's all had a touch of spiciness to it. Usually this is a sign that whoever came up with this didn't know how to make vegetarian food tasty and "spiciness" is usually a cheap substitute or cover, which I think is the case here. There are various ways to do it better without resorting to heat and especially in the case of pot stickers, unnecessary to complete the dish. In one of the dishes, maybe, but when all of our "randomly" selected samples have the same thing ... (just go try some good Chinese or Indian vegetarian dishes, they don't all need heat, or MSG, to be really, really tasty). As a card-carrying meat-loving omnivore, I say the food is good. Full stop. It just bothers me that they are so good, oh so close to being great but just short that tiny little step.
Great idea, good food, but they need to work on their service and improve their food a bit to really bring it over the top. We all left feeling full, but not quite satiated. I am giving it a thumbs up though. Worth some stomach space here if you're in the area and don't have to wait in line.
Been to this place three times now, since my first horrible attempt at eating here. The food is creative and pretty good. Somewhat over-priced for the portion size. The quesadilla are good but I have had them made from the same recipe at another restaurant that were MUCH better and a larger serving. The yam fries are VERY disppointing, being merely large CHUNKS of baked yams not even closely resemling a fry. My friend had the mushroom burger and said it was mushy and not memorable but the bun was great. A veggie burger with no cheese and a salad should not cost $15 unless the Queen is serving it to you.
The decor is cool and the service was much better than I expected. The redeeming feature would be coming here for coffee and dessert. I have done that and both coffees(specialty and regular) as well as the desserts are awesome. Kinda but not too healthy.
I would try this place again.
I have been to Rebar many times and I always leave feeling good and satisfied. The menu is chalked full of good stuff, making mealtime decisions hard. I have tried probably 1/2 a dozen different dishes and each one has been awesome. The juices that they make are creative and very tasty.
Be prepared to wait for a table at lunch time as this place is always packed. The service is speedy so the wait is usually not too long.
I also own the Rebar cookbook and have loved being able to cook their signature dishes at home for me and my friends.
Wow. Rebar. Like Green Cuisine, they've been doing exactly the same thing for years. It works, and clearly it works well given their on-going success... but after the release of their cookbook, I rarely feel the need to go down to Bastion Square when I can accomplish the same thing at home for less. I really wish they'd change up the menu every now and then - but I left Victoria in 2000, came back in 2005 - and everytime I've been to rebar it's been the same-old, same-old. Solid same-old - but I know there must be creativity in that kitchen still - so please bring it on!
If you're visiting Victoria, and are vegetarian / health-conscious - this is definitely one of the restaurants to check out (as well as Cafe Bliss, Mo:Le and Green Cuisine).
If you're looking for an exceptionally healthy lunch, a fresh organic juice, and the Cascadia vegan brownies that blow the doors of every brownie in town, then you can find them all under Rebar's one roof. They have the yummiest salads in town, with the best lemon/ginger dressing. I have dreams about their food and eat there every time I'm able.
Everytime we go, it's packed. it helps that they have a juice bar such that my 2 year old can get a head start on some fresh fruit juice while we wait.
We go because it's healthy. Everything is average, we've had a decent experience every time.
Their desserts are highly recommended, taste just as good as the "not so healthy" versions.
We sure wished we had a place like this where we live in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. A wonderful, delicious, and healthy lunch (except for our indulgence of sharing a huge slice of outstanding carrot cake for dessert - not too sweet, very flavorful). My husband is a meat and potatoes eater and really enjoyed his (meatless) enchiladas calabacitas. Even though it was listed as a starter, the shrimp quesadillas were highly flavorful and very filling for an entree. Very eclectic decor and clientele (great people watching!).
My once favorite restaurant has unfortunately fallen out of favour now thanks to some crummy service :(
I used to enjoy getting takout on a regular basis from Rebar, their menu offers a number of terrific healthy choices, namely the veggie burger.
However walking in to a half empty restaurant and standing at the entrance for 10 minutes waiting for a staff member to acknowledge you is an enormous turnoff.
So much so that I decided against returning there again.
I now get my daily veggie burger takeout order from Canoe Club, highly recommended :)
My visit to Rebar was great; it was one of those visits where you don't know whether you should thank yourself for not looking up the menu. We stumbled upon this place after doing some shopping downtown.
My surprise came from the fact that it was a healthy, vegan place. The not-so-health-conscious and meat-loving person in me was kind of taken aback, but since we were kind of hungry, we decided to stay and give it a try.
I honestly did not think I was going to come out of this place feeling full or satisfied, but boy was I wrong. The poutine was good but the yam and pepita quesadilla surprised. For mains, we settled for some huevos rancheros and burgers. I opted for the swiss and mushroom almond burger while my girl chose the classic. I liked everything surprisingly.
Great place for lunch or tea, fabulous soups and desserts. One of the few places in town that still makes vegetable juices. There is also a wide selection of silkroad teas. If you don't know where to eat, rebar is always a good choice
We had a very satisfying meal at Rebar on Thanksgiving weekend. There was a bit of a wait on the Saturday night, but it was worth it. We started off with some of their fresh juice concoctions. I had one made with apple,pineapple, and cucumber. I usually find juices a bit sweet for me but this one was not, instead it was a very refreshing beverage, yum!
For my meal I had the spicy soba noodle salad which has assorted vegetables, like cucumber and avocado, as well as cashews and other good stuff. I'm glad I got the dressing on the side because it was very hot! But it worked well with the salad and the combination was delicious! I'm not that much of a salad person but this one was very tasty and satisfying. My husband had the Monk's curry. There's an ingredient in it that I'm not fond of, I think it's the thai basil. But he really enjoyed the dish.
One of the other reviewers complained that the menu hasn't changed much over the years and that it's all in the cookbook. That may be the case (I have the cookbook too), but many of the recipes are quite time consuming to prepare, and it's a lot easier to have them do it for you, and do it right!
I haven't been in a long. long time as a result of poor service. I sent the owners my concerns via their website but I guess I wasn't important enough to get a response back. For me, the food can be wonderful, but if the service is poor, then I don't go back!
I eat at rebar at least once a week for lunch and I've never had a negative experience. Expect to pay a little more than you're probably used to but have piece of mind that you're eating something that's good for you.
beware of the clubhouse if you order it your first time you may never try another item on the menu.
also if you work/live downtown, check out their specials online each week and order for pickup to avoid the lineups during peak times.
We go to Rebar everytime we're in town and it's pretty consistant with its ups and downs.
Ups: Menu is the same, plates are delish. I'm all about different kinds of food and eating healthy, so places like these are great finds for me.
Downs: They don't have any sort of hostess or waiting process. We couldn't really tell who was there ahead of us, it's not like they take down your name or number, you just wait at the front and watch people eat until someone has time to talk to you.
All in all, like i mentioned, it's hard to find healthy eating places like this. Their pastries are good also, take some to go cuz it's definitely better than the stuff you get at Starbucks.
Service was less than desirable. When arriving in person to eat-in you pretty much can forget "please wait to be seated"...you have to go and stand next to a server to get their attention.
Portion size is ridiculous. As a restaurant that prides itself on serving vegetarian/vegan alternatives you would think that you could get REALLY full for a decent price. Wrong. If you order the Yam fries as a side (with an entree) they cost $3.95 and you get a half portion. The website says $4.95 for yam fries. When you go to get your fries, you will be charged $6.50. If you call ahead to pick up some fries you will get about a full yam and a full potato worth of fries...if you were to purchase a potato and a yam and cook them yourself you could probably do it for $1.50. Don't tell me that it costs $5.00 for the garlic dip & whiskey sauce they provide.
Also, don't bother using the website to get prices. When I called in the female who answered made the mistake of saying:
(1) ya, I'm not sure when we will be updating the website.
(2) Really? I see the portions as they leave the kitchen and they are pretty generous. Also, it really depends on who is in the kitchen that day.
whoa! forget consistency!
I will not be eating at Rebar again.
Just by the recipe book.
I used to live in Victoria and would always hear good things about Rebar. I wish I would have gone for breakfast sooner. I have now been there twice for breakfast and the menu has been quite unique. I am a meat eater, but tried veggie sausage for the first time and it was good! I did find the service to be relaxed but they were in good spirits and filled water glasses as well as serving food in good time. Consistently good breakfast every time I have visited and I will be a repeat customer.
Signed the veggie breakfast convert.
This critic is actually generous!
There are very few great restaurants in Victoria!
I mean incredible & outstanding cuisine, it's a fact.
But if you are looking for affordable, healthier and not uptight,
Rebar is home, with a warm heart. The ambiance is outstanding in a colorful way,
and the location is interesting. It is indeed perfect for a week-end brunch rendez-vous. It may be below ground but the sun shines and the cactuses flower all year round. You may feel to close to your neighbors, but that's part of the experience. The staff is casual and with personality. We miss Meghan our favorite server very very much!
If you come here be prepared to wait. In Victoria this place is known for slow service. Still the selection of juices/smoothies is awesome and they've always came pretty quickly and I've always been satisfied. The food is okay, it's excatly what it says it's going to be so don't expect anything more. Which doesn't mean it's bad food, it's great! But being a vegetarian I could make these dishes at home. Their hummus & pita is awesome! I like the healthy choices and their breakfasts are super, the food is always fresh and their homemade dressings/dips are fantastic. It's a little bit expensive but not too bad.
Tried Sunday brunch - I found the omellete a bit cold on the surface first but the yam filling inside was so tasty it made me forget all about it. Nice selection of special herb tea. Even though the restaurant was packed, the service was pretty prompt. Unfortunately my partner's coffee cup was not clean - the waitress replaced it quickly, but they should've checked it when setting the table. Nice restaurant with unique food - I'll go back for more.