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2.5
  • Food2.5
  • Service2.5
  • Value2
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews17

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse

308 Catherine St.
Victoria, BC V9A3S8
Tel: (250) 386-2739 Reserve Online
Fax: (250) 384-3246

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Tasty lunch - beer okay
By lindarose of Vancouver (172 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 9:32pm [Dine in]

Had lunch with the kids (it's a brew pub with family seating as well).

Shared a cheese plate with beer matching. The cheese was very, very good. I thought the beer was only okay - it just wasn't terribly flavourful. Also, when served - the waitress named each beer in the sample glasses - I advised I would like to have the names written down so that I could remember them as a made my way through my cheese plate and beer matching. I might as well have talked to a brick wall - she ignored my request and never returned with pen or paper.

Hubby and I also ordered the halibut and chips. This was good. The fries were tasty and not greasy. The fish was a nice, thick cut and cooked perfectly with a tasty batter.

The children each had a cheese burger off the kid's menu. It was good quality, served on a nice, soft kaiser. There was no mayo on the bun (which is good in that it is lower in fat, but not good in that it made the burger a tad dry). The burger was served with some quality greens, but I would have liked to see a slice of tomato to make the burger a bit more moist (but not adding fat).

The service was adequate (except for the above noted lapse of not writing down the names of my beer samples).

The ambiance is great. It is on the water and nicely decorated. Washrooms clean and stocked.

Will return for the food - but I might pass on the beer.

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Great Views not so great artisan platter
By diner40 of Vancouver (95 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, July 13, 2008 - 10:30pm [Dine in]

Went to Spinnakers today with three friends for a late lunch and to enjoy a beautiful sunny day on their deck. I really enjoy the beer they brew here although one of my favorites sadly, the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" has been taken off the menu for now and replaced with something else. I ordered the something else and was quite disappointed however what really sort of ruined my visit was what I ordered. Reading the menu the artisan platter sounded very good, it wasn't. The platter, a smallish plate, came with a very small piece of salmon, trout , smoked oyster, three thumbnail pieces of cheese, about six olives and some sort of pickeled thing that no one could figure out what the heck it was. The pickeled thing tasted sort of like a radish but actually still not sure what it was, the waitress was pretty much MIA during our visit so I didn't ask.
The big beef about the platter was the size, very small and the quality of what was on it. The fish was quite dry, the oyster was fine , the cheese nice as well but there was just not enough of it.
For $12.00 I expected a whole lot more to be honest. I have eaten here before and it was excellent. The fish and chips are very good so is the falafel burger. I should of gone with one of those two choices but live and learn I guess. I will be back for something else next time and to soak up the sun on their beautiful deck overlooking Victoria's Inner Harbour, a great way to spend an hour or two in the summer sunshine. I hope to have a more positive review next time, we'll see.

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A sudden decline?
By dux23 of Victoria, BC (41 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, November 3, 2009 - 4:10pm [Dine in]

I'm not sure what's going on at Spinnakers these days.

Maybe they run a totally different show upstairs in the pub - but they shouldn't given the prices are the same.

I've traditionally made a point of bringing anyone from out-of-town who likes microbrewed beer here for the "beer and artisan cheese" and "beer and truffles" pairings - and it's been a great experience everytime.

Not this time, however. It seemed like everything that came to our table had been sitting in a fridge. The flatbread crackers that come with the cheese were soggy as if they'd been collecting condensation in the cooler - plates set out (it came out WAY too fast given how many people were there) in the back ready to go. The portions were easily 2/3rds of what we had had two months ago! The salad was soggy in a left-over dressed green salad sort of way. The chicken wings were a half-assed Franks hot sauce travesty, with a blue cheese dip that tasted like wax. The kicker was that half of the beers seemed not-so-carbonated (a problem spinnakers has with its bottled product, but one I haven't encountered getting it from the tap before) when they first arrived.

What made this exceptionally bad is that this was a large going-away party for a friend who's moving to Manitoba - so it seemed such a slap in the face to give a group that populated 1/3rd of the seats in the upstairs pub such a lame experience. All of us had frequented Spinnakers throughout the years, and it seemed like the sendoff was to the idea of ever patronizing this restaurant again.

It's sad, because it used to be amazing. It will take quite some time for me to feel like risking a night out there again (especially in light of other more recent negative reviews). We'll stick with truffles from their downstairs shop and make our own artisan cheese and chocolate pairings at home with Phillips beer and the Artisan cheeses Spinnakers serves, but which can be bought for far less at Thrifty's deli.

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Great on a warm summer day
By kettle of Victoria (26 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 12:36pm [Dine in]

I visited Spinnakers in the summer and was seated outside on the deck. It was a gorgeous day and this was the highlight of the visit. The fish and chips and beef burger were great, and we also got a pitcher of their beer which was good too. Then the bill came and I realized that for that price, I wouldn't be making it a habit of coming back frequently. I love the open kitchen and "elegant pub fare" concept, and I just need to get a raise so I can return and try more items.

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Good food
By Kumar of Surrey (20 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 31, 2006 - 3:02pm [Dine in]

We went here while on a weekend trip. The food was very good. I had your typical pub fare, burgers and fries. It was very good. Excellent selection of beers as well. The restaurant has a nice view of the city. Nice place for a casual lunch.

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Great Location - OK Food
By foodologist of Vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, June 6, 2010 - 3:31pm [Dine in]

Came here based largely on location (we were staying @ Delta) and website. And while it does offer an excellent view and back-drop - I am not sure I would return.

Order the mussels and frites and found this dish kinda bland (the frites with topping was tasty) but the mussels themselves were not tasty. Also had the smoked salmon - n brie pizza and this had a neat taste. The Heifeweizen was also nice but I am a lager-fan and they only had this and ales (which I find a lil' 2 heavy)

Oh well - the view and ambiance is nice

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Going down hill
By wineanddine123 of Victoria (10 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, February 27, 2009 - 9:29pm [Dine in]

Used to be great, lately the service has been sub par. Choices on the menu are interesting and have a local spin, BUT are not always properly executed and a little pricey. Once the cheese on our $14 nachos wasn't even melted...seriously! If you do go try the salmon fish and chips...or the chocolate and beer taster. They do let you do half salad half fried for your side with the pub fare, which is neat. If they found some better servers and more attentive kitchen staff they would be excellent.. the concept is great.

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Worth crossing the bridge for
By tak of Victoria (18 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 30, 2008 - 7:47pm [Dine in]

We took my parents here on their last night in town (they're from Alberta). The appetizer tray of flatbreads, cheese, olives and smoked fish was lovely but could have used more cheese. The beer is excellent and a great value. I had a turkey pasty with root vegetable -- could have used a bit of green, but very yummy nonetheless. The apple pie was very nice and not too sweet. Everyone was pleased with their meals and the prices are reasonable. The service was okay -- I felt as if the waitress didn't really want to answer my questions, which is somewhat off-putting. But the front-of-house gal was lovely, and the shortbread and crinkle cookies she sold us made the end of our night -- delicious!

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Great afternoon hangout
By Arkroyal of Victoria, B.C (23 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 2, 2012 - 8:43am [Dine in]

We are regulars here and have seen many changes in the upstairs pub. The view of the outer harbour and Ogden Point is tremendous. There's a real wood fire. The setting is great. The clientele are interesting - esp. the cruise ship passengers and the regulars bellying up to the bar with their own pint pots hanging in hooks. The food is very tasty and the menu shifts regularly, which is nice; they make attempts to vary the snacks, which we appreciate. There are 7-8 craft beer on, of which 1-2 is a seasonal. Some are served at room temp, English style; others are colder, Canadian style, which I prefer, but the beer is consistently good and the pub features caskivals and beer fests for afficianados. The only nit I have is the service. While we always get friendly enough service, it's always SLOW. Not sure if the waitresses are understaffed or the bartenders are slow or if the manager's not motivating enough, but we have never had really fast service.

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Very Disappointing
By Cascio of Victoria BC Canada (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 11:12am [Dine in]

I haven't been to this pub for a very long time and I won't go back. It was very difficult to find anything even remotely appealing on the menu. The service was terrible and slow, I had to ask 4 times for a coffee. We had a large table (about 20) - so were charged a 15% service fee that we were not told about. I did not see one meal that came to the table that looked appealing. The prices were high and the food was OK but I would not order it again. The beer was nothing special.
The atmosphere was loud and noisy - the only thing this place has going for it is the view.

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Good Food With Great View
By madduck of Victoria BC (6 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - 5:06pm [Dine in]

Went with my Girlfriend after a long night of drinking. Drank recovery caesars out on the upstairs patio. The service was decent, not amazing but not bad either. Maybe the server picked up on our hangovers and let us relax, but he still seemed to be there when we needed him.

I had sandwich called 'the cure' and that it was. Cheese, bacon, egg and onions open face on sourdough. It was great, but the fries were the best. I was at Spinnakers a few months before and they had these horrible wedge fries. I'm glad they changed them. My girlfriend had the tuna sandwich and she raved about it. I myself am not much of a rare tuna kinda guy.

The view alone is worth the extra price of the menu, and also the fact that the food is local. If you're planning to go to Spinnakers a seat on the patio is a must.

Sorry, not much to say on the beer. I haven't tried it yet

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Sadly Disappointing.
By yyjguy of Victoria (9 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 16, 2009 - 10:29pm [Dine in]

LOVED this place in the summer. Must have been due to the staff and season. WHAT HAPPENED?

There is a nice menu here, while not really that diverse it offers something for everyone. Known for they're 'BREW' Pub distinction, I don't partake too much in the hops so I'll save comment for those that are more discerning.

What i do expect with $$$-$$$$ menu rated establishments is POLITE , PROFESSIONAL AND KNOWLEDGABLE, service.

The servers there lately are complacent and condescending. It was even difficult to get a professional response from the Host/ Bartender....we seemed to interrupt his beer as we entered and waited for a table.
(* should staff be imbibing on duty?....well, lets leave that one for the Liquor Inspector or the Owner of the establishment.)

Servers of the world take note.....Obviously when you leave half a dish or platefull of food behind on the table) and no...you don't want it to go.... the Server should really clue in (discreetly) as to what the scenario was up with the food without just yanking it away and quickly offering dessert.

If you care enough to serve it then please care enough to ask how things are. Really, it doesn't come out of your pocket?!?!

There are better places for a view in Victoria, although the patio here is nice in the summer for al fresco dining - my pick is lunch / brunch and definitely NOT dinner or evening venturing into the pub if you're not intoxicated. NOISY and obtrusive environment. But hey, Pubs are like that. This just happens to be one big room with a vaulted ceiling so it echos like no tomorrow. Personal choice simply but this would not be a destination restaurant for me anymore. They simply didn't live up to the expectation.

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I'll stick with the pub grub next time.
By BeezBaby of Victoria, BC (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, January 26, 2009 - 11:28pm [Dine in]

I took my teens and one of their friends out for dinner and $90 later, I can't say I was impressed with the Gastro portion of the brewpub. We were seated immediately by the fire which was very pleasant. I had the red beet risotto with pear sauce. It was tasty, although with just a tablespoon of cheese and one clove of roasted garlic in the works that did not make it - "wow, I can never make risotto this good at home!" quality. Maybe a couple of toonies wrapped in foil on the bottom would've been nice to find because this wasn't a $17 plate of aborio/beet entree. Teen 1 had the falafel burger with feta and fries and she was stuffed; fair enough... teen 2 had the salmon fillet with clams with some bread floating in the broth ($21!!). The piece of salmon was tasty yet pathetically small. Do they not have at least a small scale so they can measure up a little more than a rip off? Two clams that were offered to me were sandy. #3 had the old standard chowder, which is always wonderful, of course. We shared a cheesecake and that was very yummy and our server brought us a few truffles on the house... I would've bought some truffles but taking kids out on a Monday for a bite was already hurting the pocket. The stout was delicious, full bodied and smooth. Our server was super attentive and capable. I've had her before and she was really the highlight for me. I wish the kitchen cared as much - maybe the upstairs was rocking them. Next time, (and there will be) I vow to stick with what they do best - pub grub - soup, bread, chowder, burgers, salad.

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Our First Visit
By DaveD of Kelowna, BC (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, December 8, 2008 - 9:57pm [Dine in]

After spending 3 weeks in Victoria and dining out every night it was decided to go to Spinnakers. After a short 4 minute wait at the counter we were given a table. 12 mins. later a server appeared and took our drink order. a glass of beer and a coffee. 14 mins later our drinks arrived and we ordered our meal. One ordered soup and one ordered apple crisp. I intended to order an entree but was not sure when it might arrive. 23 mins later the soup arrived followed 21 mins. later by the apple crisp. Food was acceptable however servers where no where to be found. 3 cooks were seen in the kitchen when we left. This was our first try at Spinnakers and we certainly could not recommend it to anyone.

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Fantastic discovery. Great beers
By bizarro of victoria (2 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, April 9, 2010 - 10:39am [Dine in]

I stumbled across this place by accident (sort of). It was recommended to me by a server at their competition (swans brewpub). The building is fantastic, sitting right on the water. We each ordered a different beer and loved them all. Huge variety. The food was great too. Best burger i had all vacation.

well worth the short walk from downtown.

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Gone completely downhill
By lisamedia88 of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 7:26pm [Dine in]

Five years ago, Spinnaker’s pub was divine. More recently, our dining experiences there only bring to mind one word: ghastly.

I should have walked away when my coveted glass of Venturi Schulze Millefiori arrived warm, but the raw oysters were fine (how can you screw that up) and the view was spectacular. My dining partner ordered the pork tenderloin, which arrived flavourless and white, like a boiled sausage on a pile of overcooked vegetables. I ordered the steak, which was in the range of well done when I had ordered it medium rare. My potato croquettes were burnt and I too had the opportunity to enjoy some mushy carrots and asparagus. The meals were not just bad – they were inedible. Nothing was seasoned, everything was overcooked.

We decided that it just wasn’t worth it to force ourselves to eat this swill, and our very gracious server had a word with the manager, who declined to do anything except remove the food from our bill. It was nearing 10 pm at that point, and we were shocked, as patrons of the Inn as well as the restaurant, that no further efforts were made to ensure we had a meal. Our server even told us she would have comped our entire bill, but alas, she had no power to do so.

It’s really unfortunate – as we said to the server, we want this restaurant to be successful, and we feel bad that it’s gone downhill lately. It’s unlikely that we will ever go back.

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Not your Average Pub Food
By foodsmith of Kamloops (3 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 4, 2006 - 4:44pm [Dine in]

We walked from the Delta Hotel to Spinnakers. Great micro brew made on the premises and the food was very reasonable in price and way better than most pub's fair.

The Smoked fish plater included trout, tuna and salmon in very generous portions and fairly inexpensive. The beers are the main reason to come though. Wonderful selection. Only complaint is the smoking area has a tendency to drift inside.

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