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3.5
  • Food3.5
  • Service2.5
  • Value3
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews13

Willie's Bakery & Cafe

537 Johnson St
Victoria, BC V8W1M2
Tel: (250) 381-8414
  • Cuisine: Bakery, Cafe
  • Price: $ ($15 or less)
  • Reservations: Not accepted
  • Service: Takeout, Catering
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Features: Patio
  • Hours: Mon - Fri: 7AM - 4PM, Sat: 8AM - 4:30PM, Sun: 8AM - 4PM
  • Willie's is a small cafe with a beautiful patio next to Il Terrazzo in downtown Victoria. They serve homemade soups, sandwiches with homebaked, fresh bread, and other bakery treats.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Hugely satisfying
By EatsFats of Vancouver (321 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, August 5, 2013 - 10:50pm [Dine in]

Went here for breakfast, beat the morning crowd by getting here earlier. Good thing we did! Place filled up fast!
These guys work hard all morning, so cut 'em some slack if things take a bit longer. They're not slacking nor obviously inefficient.

Lots of interesting stuff for breakfast, but more or less "standard" items. Had the "222" and Huevos Rancheros and a kids pancake breakfast. Not sure what they did to the eggs in the "222", but it was waaaay more than 2 eggs. The "dollar size" pancakes were ... well, I dunno what kind of dollars those are, but it's more than enough to feed a grown up. You're getting the picture? You will not leave this place hungry.

Points off for a few pieces of roast potatoes being a bit cold for whatever reason, but otherwise, the food was hugely satisfying. Filling, but not bloating (which is a rare experience for us nowadays). Nothing really too salty, everything tasted fresh and hearty.
Didn't notice anything super innovative, but I guess that is not the target here.

As with most breakfast places I go to , I could not recommend this as a destination. However, if you are in the area in the hankering for breakfast (all day apparently) and you're feeling ambitious, yup, this will feed you nicely for a couple of meals. Would be one of my first choices here probably.

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Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich
By thecritic of Vancouver (376 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, February 17, 2006 - 7:28pm [Dine in]

This is a great cafe located in the culinary wasteland also known as Victoria. I have tried a few of their sandwiches and they were pretty good but the phylly cheesesteak sandwich is the bomb. Loads of meat, sauce and other good stuff. Its not a traditional cheesesteak sandwich at all, more like a hippy variety which usually gets points off in my book but this time its done to perfection. Bread is made fresh on location. They have a great patio which is usually busy in the summer.

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Overall Good.
By KitsKid of Kitsilano (70 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 26, 2009 - 11:14am [Dine in]

Once again we decided to walk around and stumble across a brunch place. After 1/2 hour of walking around we decided to try Willie's, the wait was pretty standard for brunch, long but moving along quickly, 10 mins tops for a table of 2.
We were sat on the patio side. I found the tables/chairs awkward; the were those mosiac patio wrought iron bistro sets. The patio side had big windows with heaters overhead which was nice. We were given menus once we were sat and moments later our server asked us for drinks. We each had coffee, I had a fresh squeezed Mamosa and my husband had fresh OJ.
Once we were ready to order the server took our order without writing it down, he had the blackstone benny - easy to remember and I had the "2 eggs my way" - i had to repeat then correct her as she recited what I had back to me, I was somewhat hesitant that she would get it right, in the end she did, so no problem there.
My brunch was good, they make everything onsite, it's either local or organic or both. I really liked the options they gave on my meal, I had the srambled eggs, multigrain toast, chorizo sausage and tomatoes.
They offer ketchup and hot sauce once your meal comes, I liked both but the hubs didn't - the hot sauce was more sweet than spicy. He doused his benny in it as he usually does with franks/tabasco and regretted it since it wasn't his type of spice. He even went so far to say that it "ruined" the flavour of his benny.
Overall pretty average brunch, coffee was good, eggs were good, decent portions, they charge for substitutions, ie my tomato instead of potato ($2). We noticed that they had their owns twists to dishes, which was fine, but when you want the usual, it gets annoying. Brioche bread instead of english muffin, cooked tomato instead of fresh, savoury dinner type potatoes rather than the 'breakfast' kind.
Also, the bathroom, you need a key to get into the restroom, but there's not sign. The sign is inside asking you to return the key, so I stood there for a few mins waiting thinking that the person was taking forever, eventually someone said 'you need this to get in' and passed a key from behind the bar.
This place was definalty kid friendly and a typical coffee house/bakery/cafe. Overall good.

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Excellent food; lost service
By joannemuriel of Victoria, BC (42 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - 3:39pm [Dine in]

I love this place! The bennies are great, however, I do miss my English muffin (it's served on a loaf of some type). Every time I go there, I have a wonderful experience. They have a lovely fountain with precious birds all around, and the atmosphere is really nice. Too bad the service is always slow, lost, late, wrong, and screws up. Otherwise, the place is just great.

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Loved it!
By moekraft of Victoria (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, July 28, 2007 - 8:15am [Dine in]

I was hesitant to eat breakfast at Willie's because of the reviews that read slow service. I only had a couple of hours before my flight home but after talking to the hotel staff decided to give it a go.

I was very pleased with Willie's from the service to the coffee to the hot fresh homemade pancakes to the atmosphere. It was very enjoyable and the food delicious. The best coffee in Victoria!

I went to Willie's on a Thursday morning and found that there was no wait to be seated and was eating breakfast 10 minutes later. The wait staff was very friendly and available. I ordered pancakes and home fries along with oj and coffee. The extra large pancakes were smothered in mixed berries and served with real maple syrup. The home fries were baked and then fried. They were simple but good. The coffee was outstanding.

Anyway, give it a try. It's worth it. I hear it is very busy on the weekends, the wait is out the door, so I recommend going on a weekday.

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Overall a solid breakfast place
By kettle of Victoria (26 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 11:16am [Dine in]

We visited on a Saturday at 10am and was happy not to stand in line. Ordered two eggs benny, and although I was disappointed that my eggs were overcooked, the meal was good. What I do really enjoy is their baked goods, which can be found at the Royal Museum as well. A line did end up forming later, so I suggest going early (as with every breakkie place in Vic) to beat the rush. I am looking forward to visiting in the summer when the patio is open.

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Great fresh offerings...
By NikkiJ73 of Victoria (22 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 1, 2007 - 6:38pm [Dine in]

I have only eaten here once as it's not in a part of town that I have frequented in the past, but with the new shops and feeling this part of town has to offer, I plan on going again.

The ambiance is very quaint if you go on a sunny day and can sit outside in their little bricked in courtyard, complete with a fountain, climbing plants and a lot of little song birds. The inside is nice with exposed brick as well, which in the winter makes for a cozy feel.

While I have only eaten there once, I have been in a couple of times, usually finding the service to order anything so ridiculously slow, that I've left in the end. The one time I did decide to stick it out, the wait time was painfully slow, there was a mix up and in the end I just took what they presented (the mix up) because I was so hungry after the wait. The food was very good though, fresh and tasty, so I will go back, but try to go either earlier or later than the lunch crowd.

As for the reviewer that said Victoria is a culinary wasteland, I take great offence to that. We have some excellent restaurants in town and I would be happy to recommend some if you like. We, as any other city, have our fair share of flops, but there are some hidden gems too.

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Good food in a touristy area
By monja of South Granville, Vancouver (13 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, October 16, 2008 - 2:05pm [Dine in]

I wasn't sure about going to this place because it was listed on quite a few tourist brochures, which is never a good sign in my books. I went in and tried one of their muffins, which was great, so I went back the next day for brunch.

It's a busy location but seating is fast even with a lineup. Awesome location in a turn-of-the-century brick building with high ceilings and huge front windows. Customers seemed a good mix of tourists and locals.

I had the huevos rancheros and my gf had the 'two of everything'. I thought my dish was excellent; my gf was happy with everything (eggs, toast, tomatoes) except her pancakes, which she thought were a bit undercooked. The sourdough toast was excellent, as befits a bakery. Portions are decent-sized, but not huge. Had an americano that was awesome - they use Cuppa Joe coffee. The only negative is this place is bu-sy. Go if you don't mind bustle.

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Best eggs benny's in Victoria and best overall all day breakfast
By love to eat in Victoria of victoria b.c (2 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, July 8, 2011 - 3:35pm [Dine in]

My wife and myself are great eggs benny's fan. We have eaten at literally every restaurant, cafe, bistro and you name it in Victoria (as well as many in the US and Europe) and have yet to find as good as a selection as those served at Willies (think the have 6 or 7 kinds) and none as tasty as those we eat at Willies. For those of you that like the tradition American version of benny's on a Engish muffin forget it. I was pleasantly please to see this wasnt the case at Willies. Theirs are served on house baked brioche and they even had one on their in house corn bread. Delicious! The eggs are free run and were poached to our liking. The hollandaise was obviously prepared in the kitchen and was not a purchased product which seems to be the case everywhere we have tried benny's in Victoria. In all it was outstanding. I have tried the French toast at Willies before and it too was amazing and the bread was the brioche. I am really addicted to this place. Love the food, love the decor (the outside patio is a gem to sit in in the summer) and the staff is great. The food can be a bit slow when there are line ups at the door but when it comes out its worth the wait. We are also so happy to see that Willies has now gone to an all day breakfast. Smart on their part and a great for their customers. We will be back... and back.. and back. Yummy!

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Best Murffins Ever
By Marais of Portland, Oregon (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, May 2, 2007 - 7:39am [Dine in]

I go to Victoria a couple times a year. Love the harbour view and the many wonderful restaurants. As I leave Victoria to drive back to Portland, Oregon, I always stop at Willie's Bakery and get a dozen or two of their fabulous muffins to go (especially the Morning Glory muffins). When I get back to Portland, I place them in zip lock freezer bags and then enjoy them for several weeks. Brings back the taste of Victoria.

Love to eat breakfast there too but I really appreciate their selection of wonderful muffins to go.

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Avoid at all costs!!!
By rockstar119 of Seattle WA (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 11:29pm [Dine in]

The fact that this is the closest establishment claiming to be a bakery should have been our first clue, but as it was our first trip to Canada we didn't have any frame of reference or bias. We ordered one breakfast meal and a burger. The food was horrible. The burger was inedible and the eggs were grossly over cooked. The wait staff was inattentive at best and could not have cared less that the food did not come out right. When we attempted to speak to a manager about the food she spoke to the waitress in the hall and refused to come out. The following day we found the Dutch Bakery a few streets over...fantastic food and service!!!

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An Oasis In The City
By love-to-eat of Ottawa, Ontario (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, November 8, 2007 - 5:04pm [Dine in]

I love surprises and this one the best one during our recent visit to the pretty city. My husband and i stopped someone on the street and asked where was a good place to eat. We were actually walked to Willies Bakery & Cafe. (it seems that it is know city wide as THE place to go for weekend brunch). The history of this cafe oozed from the walls. The staff greeted us promptly at the door and seated us in what we were told was a newly renovated (enclosed and heated) patio that overlooked an exterior courtyard along with a fireplace, roses, terracotta pots and lots of birds). I ordered the eggs benedict and it was the best i have ever had. My husband ordered the pancake special ( i they were hazelnut and oatmeal) and he wanted more!!. We met the owner who was told us of the history which was a plus. Our latte and mocha .. the best ever!!! We will be back and will probably stay in the guest suites above the bakery. Do we recommend it. YES YES YES!

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Don't bother
By evansdan of East Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 7, 2009 - 2:57pm [Dine in]

I was pretty upset that I passed up our hotel's complimentary (meaning I'd already paid for it) continental breakfast for our trip to Willie's. The food was fine, and I would have been much happier with it had it not been for the worse service I've received in memory.

Our server brought us coffee once, and never returned for top-ups. The food arrived in decent time, and was fine (poached egg and portobello mushroom over greens, with home fries and baguette), but it took us almost fifteen minutes of sitting at our table with empty plates (in front of an open door on a cool, windy morning) to get our bill. It's not that the server vanished, either; we saw her continuing to serve and bus tables in the interim; she just always kept her eyes on where she was going, not where she was. It wasn't just us, either: the table next to us had the same server and sat for almost ten minutes before getting coffee or menus.

I don't know if they were short-staffed, but I doubt it: there aren't that many tables inside, and it wasn't that busy with counter business, either. I think either the kitchen was off kilter or the servers just aren't very good at their jobs.

I won't be going back on my next trip to Victoria.

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