Hangout Handbook Get Outside in Victoria

Hangout Handbook Get Outside in Victoria
Photo by Jenna Shouldice
In our annual Hangout Handbook, Exclaim! asks some of our favourite artists to discuss the hidden gems in their towns. Here, Kathryn Calder outlines her picks for Victoria.

What's your favourite breakfast/brunch spot?
The Roost Farm Bakery (9100 E Saanich Rd.) out in North Saanich has a great breakfast/brunch on the weekends. It's a lovely drive to get there, and then you fill up on lovely food. And there is often a chicken running around. And you might even see an alpaca or two next door. Their bread is baked in-house, and most of the food is grown on their own farm next door.

What's your favourite coffee/daytime hangout?
When I'm with my friends, we often go to Habit, either the Atrium location (808 Yates St.) or the Pandora location (552 Pandora Ave). They have the best tea — Earth's Herbal Tea — locally made by a fellow musician and friend, Lily Fawn. I recommend the Root Beer Tea, but they're all delicious.

Who serves the best fancy cocktails?
Ferris's Oyster Bar (536 Yates St.) makes the best fancy cocktails. I like mine not very sweet, which can be tricky to find, and Ferris's always comes through.

Where's the best dive bar?
Big Bad John's (919 Douglas St). It's small, but always full, and there are bras and peanut shells everywhere.

What's your favourite diner?
Floyd's Diner (866 Yates St.) Huge portions, and they have an option called the Mahoney, where the chefs make you whatever crazy food combos they want to (you get to pick: breakfast or lunch, sweet or savoury). It's hard to describe, but it's always insane. At the end you can flip for it double or nothing if you want. If you win the coin toss, you pay nothing, if you lose, you pay double... It's quite entertaining if you have friends visiting.

Where do you go for a fancy dinner?
I love Ferris's Upstairs (536 Yates St.) The atmosphere is lovely, the food is always excellent, the prices are a little more reasonable than some other fine dining places, and I never find the food too rich. And the brownie is a must.

What's your favourite park?
My favourite park is Beacon Hill Park. It's so beautiful, there's a petting zoo, a band shell, there are wild flowers and little rock outcroppings everywhere, baseball diamonds, playgrounds, bridges over streams, ducks. It has it all. Plus the beach is right across the road.

What's the best place to take a date?
Take your date to the beach! Or climb up Moss Rocks. There's a lovely view from the top. Bring a picnic blanket and some wine and snacks. Very romantic!

Where's your favourite place to have indoor activities/sports?
In the winter I love going to the pool for some exercise, but let's be honest, I mostly go for a soak in the hot tub, and a visit to the steam room/sauna. The Esquimalt Rec Centre (527 Fraser St.) has a really lovely pool, and it has a current pool, which I love.

Where's your favourite spot for outdoor activities?
Thetis Lake. I love the water, so I love hanging out at Thetis lake and swimming in the summer.

Where's the best movie theatre?
For big blockbusters it's Silvercity at Tillicum Mall (3130 Tillicum Rd), but for the less mainstream movies it's Cinecenta at the University of Victoria (3800 Finnerty Rd.)

What's the signature annual event/festival/community gathering in your city?
I love Rifflandia Music Festival. Always such a fun time.

Where's your favourite stage?
Lucky Bar (517 Yates St.) has been my favourite place to play/see bands in town for almost as long as I've been going to bars.

What's your favourite record store?
Ditch Records! (784 Fort St.) The best!

Where's your favourite after-hours hangout spot?
The Mint (1414 Douglas St.) is great for late night food and drinks. The food is always delicious and plus it's one of only a few places open after midnight for food.

Where's your favourite outdoor space?
Anywhere by the water.

Kathryn Calder is a solo artist and member of the New Pornographers, whose new album Brill Bruisers is out now.