Vista 18 offers breathtaking views of Victoria, Mount Baker and the Olympic Mountains. To compliment the surroundings they offer a menu utilizing local seasonal ingredients to create a menu of West Coast inspired dishes.
I will admit I haven't dabbled in Vista 18's menu proper, but as a place to start an evening out, or a place to meet some friends for drinks and appies, this is easily the best value in Victoria. With a rare 18th story view of downtown Victoria, and tasteful decor - Vista 18 has amazing ambiance without being ostentatious. You could show up in casual (well, maybe not ripped jeans casual) or formal clothes and fit in. The after 10pm appetizer menu is a great deal: 2-for-1 and the items are already reasonably priced. "Naan"chos, Hickory Sticks (like the chips but fresh made frites), BBQ Duck Quesadilla and the Popcorn Chicken all stand out. I don't know how they make any money on olives as you get more for $3 than you would getting a tub of olives at Thrifty's - with the 2-for-1 deal it's quite amazing.
Drinks: an excellent range, not on the cheap side, but nor are they on the astronomically expensive side. You're looking at spending about the same as Smith's or Irish Times pubs here, maybe a bit less. They have some pretty unique revivalist French cocktails with absente and other obscure things that would get the nod from Hemingway (who once noted that all the strange liquors taste like licorice).
This would also make a nice date spot, especially if your partner hasn't heard of it yet. Entering a hotel lobby to get to it, you don't really know what you're in for - and then the elevator doors open onto such a wonderful and intimate room.
Service wise they are fairly attentive and the turnaround on appetizers is less than 10 minutes from ordering.
I was here a couple of weeks ago but given that all the reviews are dated I decided to write one up myself! After all, I had a splendid time here.
Located in the 18th floor of the Chateau Victoria Hotel (hence its name), Vista 18 is definitely a "looker". The view you can get here of the down town is simply breathtaking. I had been here on one other occasion, valentines day the year before but wanted to give it another try. The play live music, jazz in case your wondering which just sets the mood for the night and makes you forgive any mistakes in food or service. Anyways, I had heard a lot about their breakfast and had only been here for dinner, so obviously I was dying to try it.
We didn't get to make it on time for breakfast but we still headed here for lunch. I had the cobb salad with the prawns and they were amazing to say the least. Sure, it was expensive but the food and ambience made up for it. My boyfriend ordered the reuben and the seafood hot pot, and got full.
Certainly this is one of the most unique restaurants in Victoria. The view is amazing, especially on a bright summer evening. Also, the live music was very good, if a bit loud. The crowd here is classy and a bit older. I was only here for appies and drinks, but our waiter was attentive and friendly. My dish was the fish and chips, which was served in a unique tall wire basket. The chips were actually very thin and crisp potatoes slices covered in some tasty spices. However, the fish was basically non-existent and consisted of a single, albeit tasty, fried fish ball. For the $7 price I certainly expected more.
I thought we were going for a fine dining experience, but this is far from it. The decor is dated (late 80s early 90s) We sat near the window and you could see a layer of dirt on the window ledge, even cobwebs. Service was slow. It wasnt clear if our server was inexperienced or neglectful, but everything took forever.
Took our drink order, came back to tell us they were out of the wine we wanted. There wasnt much else on the wine menu that interested me so we passed on that. Stuck with cocktails. Never refilled my water glass. We had to ask for everything, bread was empty, never refilled, in fact a buser came and took it away......
The appy was good, diner was not so good. My steak was overdone and the veggies were overcooked. the potatoes were the only thing worth eating.....over all the plate was average, nothing to excite the taste buds.
Dessert was a disaster too, I had ice cream with chocolate sauce, easy right? nope, ice cream was old, you know when you leave it in the freezer for months and the ice crystals form. ya that old. The chocolate sauce was not house made, it tasted like the Hersey's from the can, which i used to like as a kid so I guess it wasnt that bad.....
I wouldnt go back unless it was for appys, booze and the live entertainment. That was the highlight, they had live jazz. They were excellent!
This restaurant has the best view in town period! The food is quite good, although there are not a lot of non-seafood options for people. For Appetizers, try the yam chips they are amazing. Overall this is a really great place that mostly only people staying in the hotel know about, more people from Victoria should give it a try as they are missing out.
This was my third visit to Vista 18, the last time I was there was in 2008. I don't know if they've changed the chefs or servers but I won't be returning.
My $27 "AAA" steak was tough, so tough that with my steak knife I still had a hard time cutting through. Accompanying the steak was two measly little baby carrots and about 5 mini potatoes, not nugget size, we're talking about the size of a large marble.
The rice pudding was served with a fork, a fork!! To me pudding should be creamy and smooth. The rice was undercooked and dry. It was presented on a plate, in the shape of a cake, as it was red rice it gave the appearance of eating a raw hamburger patty. Gross!
The service was slow, and the waiter seemed annoyed to have us there.
I don't mind paying for quality food and service but this was a far cry from both. It's too bad the beautiful setting is wasted on this poor restaurant.
We went here for our 8 year anniversary. First night out alone without the kids in months. The view was awesome. The restaurant was empty except for one table of 6 loud chatty women and yes they stuck us right beside them. we asked to change tables and they were fine with it. so we ordered a drink and dinner and our waiter seemed to disappear. we didnt get our salad to share for half an hour and our main another 45min. I had to send my steak back cause I ordered medium rare and got well done and my wifes tasted like a hockey puck. the vegetables were bland and odd tasting. the service was slow and at times there was none and the desert was stale tasting. Bottom line you may as well just climb mount douglas cause the view is great and you'll save yourself a 100 bucks
The only resturant with a view like that of the city can get away with higher prices, snobby servers and mediocre food...
But when I visted Vista I found it to be an excellent restaurant! We stopped by for dessert and drinks, and the atmosphere was perfect with live jazz playing. I thought the server was polite and prompt, the dessert was unique, and I expected the higher prices because the view was amazing.
Compared to other high-end resturants around Victoria with only a view of the ocean, I will definitely come back to Vista, if only for special occasions.
Vista 18 has everything. Great views, and delicious food and drinks. Getting a spot by the window is the best, but you can still take in a lot of the city from just about anywhere in this place. The food is worth what you pay for it, and it's tasty and presented nicely. The staff is friendly and attentive, and I never feel neglected or like I had to wait too long for my order. I'd recommend getting dressed up and going out for a classy night on the town here.
Excellent, have been a frequent visitor for the last 6 years, outstanding discreet service, the view is magnificent. Menu has a wide variety for every taste. My favorite restaurant for business lunches.
Congratulations Vista 18!
When contemplating where to take my fiancee out for her birthday, I'll admit that Vista 18 did not cross my mind. But upon a recommendation from a "foodie" friend I realized that it had been a while since I had been there. I remembered the view as being spectacular and so it seemed fitting for my lady's special day. I made my reservation the week before and asked for a special table with a great view (as it was, after all, an important day). I was informed that while they could not guarantee a specific table due to restaurant policy they would make it a request and do what they could to ensure I got a great table. The person taking the reservation even went as far as to recommend that I move my reservation back if I had no preference to time as there was a better chance of us getting a great table with a view of the sunset.
The host greeted us and we were informed that our table wasn't quite ready. We were offered a seat in the lounge to have a drink and listen to music while we waited. This proved much more enjoyable than waiting on a bench as is typical. We barely noticed that 15 minutes had passed when our host returned to inform us our table was ready. It was definitely worth the wait. The sun was was just starting to go down over the Sooke hills and made for a most picture worthy moment(note to anyone going to Vista 18, bring a camera). We were greeted by our server and after a quick debriefing we were well informed and given some time to contemplate our choices. I ordered a bottle of wine from the large wine list but our choices for dinner took a little longer. My fiancee could not decide stating that she wanted to try everything. I too was having hard time deciding as, being a steak guy, there were so many options. This included size, cut and accompanying sauce. We eventually made our choices and were not disappointed. We shared the calamari which was prepared seared instead of breaded and deep fried. We also had the carpaccio which spurned my carnivorous side.
Our entrees equalled the bar set by the appies. My fiancee went with the Halibut which was served with potatoes, greens and topped with a berry and lime sauce. I had to fight my fiancee for even a small little taste. I went with the 6 ounce tenderloin with a red wine sauce (under recommendation of our server). It was prepared to perfection and tasted even better than it looked. Our service from after that was un-obtrusive and helpful. We were aware of our server but we were never interrupted.I found it odd that we were not offered a dessert menu upon finishing and my fiancee surely was noticing this oversight. I soon realized the reason for this when our server appeared with a multi-layer chocolate cake with a candle in it for my fiancee! Apparently the host had let the server know that it was a birthday and they had taken it upon themselves to take care of a dessert for us. This blew both of us away as typically this is something you have to ask for. We shared the dessert although I am sure you can guess who got the lions share of the cake. I was most impressed when I received the bill. The value was outstanding! The wines have a small markup (compared to other hotel restaurants) and the food was well worth the price paid. I have had the pleasure of dining at both the restaurants at the Top of Vancouver and the Calgary Tower and can in all honesty say that Vista 18 wins the value award hands down. To be able to dine with a view of the sunset overlooking the city, with 3 courses and a nice bottle of wine while listening to live music for under $125 seems like we were robbing Vista 18. But we received everything with a smile and even were thanked for coming in. I have been recommending Vista 18 ever since and will not hesitate to drop in for drinks and tapas to listen to the music in the very near future.
I'd heard and read many good things about Vista 18 in the past, and have made several trips to the Chateau Victoria with the intention of eating a delicious meal. While I won't go into detail, let me just say that this has been the last time I will be going to Vista 18 after numerous disappointments. The menu is boring and the food is sub-par and incredibly overpriced. Not even the beautiful view of the city makes this restaurant worth visiting.
I phoned several days in advance to book a good table/view as this was important to the 2 guests I was hosting. I was told that reservations for view tables was not possible and that seating was "first come first served" for those with reservations (e.g. that a reservation guarenteed a table, but not a specific table). When we arrived we were shown to an inside (non-view) table and I askd if we could be moved to a nearby table (N.W. corner) that had a lovely view of the inner harbour. I was told that we could not have that particular table as it had been reserved. When I inquired about how that appeared to be in conflict with what I had been told when I made our "reservation", I was told that the people who reserved this "good table" had done so before my reservation was made, and that is why they would receive priority. I suggested that it appeared, then, that reservations for specific tables did, in fact, appear to be allowed. The response amazed me. The woman who showed us to our table said "yes, I can see why you might think that. It does seem confusing, but the bottom line is you can 't reserve a specific table here". The good table then sat vacant for more than 1/2 hour, and then 4 people were seated there. Soon thereafter, one of the wait staff approached the table and began visiting with every one of (what appeared to be) her good friends for quite some time. Clearly, the (unwritten) policy appears to be that if you are a friend of one of the staff, you will get a good table and good service. If not, you will take your chances. (There were at least 12 premium view tables vacant all evening on the South and West side of the restaurant (the nicest views of ocean and Olympic Mountains) - but this side of the restaurant was "closed", we were told. The north and east side (views of city building roofs and back alleys) were all open and that was my "Vista" for the evening.
Overall, our experience at Vista 18 was mediocre. We all ordered halibut fillet wrapped in ham with baby potato and creamed corn. The fish was excellent and our waiter provided very good service. That said, there are other fish restaurants along the waterfront that offer great views and service. The only thing that Vista 18 has to offer that is unique, really, is (potential for) an elevated view. The "snarky" tone taken by the woman who seated us and the inadequate explanation of their policy on reservations left a very bad taste in my mouth, however. I would not recommend that anyone spend 30-50$ per person (without wine) on this place until it cleans up its act. Right now, I would suggest that it over-charges and under-delivers relativedly to the other excellent restaurants downtown in the same price range. It is telling that the restaurant name speaks to the view - not the service or the food. There is a reason for that folks!
I had never thought of dining here before because it seemed much too "pricey" for a student's budget. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when my friends and I went for "drinks and appys" at Vist 18! The drinks were generous and delicious and the appys were great! Some of them were more like small meals, especially the cheese platter. Even though we didn't spend a great deal of money, the staff were attentive and helpful. This is also a great place to take out of town guests to witness the beautiful view.
Have been here twice. The view is stunning, however customer service here is an oxymoron. The food is not good... it is cold and lifeless. My very expensive hamburger had one wilted lettuce leaf and one slice of anemic tomato, the bun was dry. One of our party never received his beer until dessert was served. We shall not return.
I went here on my two-year wedding anniversary and was very disappointed.
First of all, the panoramic view of the city is amazing. Too bad the upholstery looks like it's from the early 80's. No big deal, though. The naan chips brought out were okay and our server seemed pleasant if a bit nervous.
So, I ordered a steak and was warned that it was "slow-roasted" and would take a little longer. So, about 45 minutes later, it arrives--and it's cold. I inform the waiter of this and he doesn't seem to know what to do. He even tells me that "sometimes that happens because of the way it's sliced." How is that acceptable? I didn't want to wait another 45 minutes because we were headed to a movie afterwards. But it would have been nice to have it offered. Instead, we just got free dessert.
I tried to fill up on my side dishes while waiting for the cheesecake, but the asparagus was hard and borderline raw. The pomme frites were the only good part. And the cheesecake was a little too thick and bitter for me.
Overall, horrible experience and I still got charged $30+ for the steak that was too cold to be edible. Get your act together, Vista 18.
|1.||Clives Classic Lounge (13 m)|
|2.||Millos (34 m)|
|3.||Bartholomews English-Style Pub (44 m)|
|4.||Doubles Lounge (44 m)|
|5.||Chateau Victoria Vista 18 (53 m)|
|6.||Browns Socialhouse (74 m)|
|7.||Fire & Water Fish and Chop House (79 m)|
|8.||Heist Coffee (82 m)|
|9.||Belmiro's Restaurant & Lounge (101 m)|
|10.||Smith's Pub (110 m)|