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Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
Dinner, After-hours
French, European
Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (425)
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All reviews steak trout onion soup stuffed dates french cuisine worth the wait service was top notch government street cooked perfectly chinatown
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Reviewed February 4, 2021

We visited this charming restaurant in October. Everything we ordered was absolutely delicious! The atmosphere is cozy and romantic. The wine list is great and very reasonably priced. Service was exceptional. We were so pleased with this choice that we tried to go back again...during our holiday in Victoria but there was no availability. As they don’t take reservations, you should either go early or later in evening. If you call, they might be able to advise regarding the wait. Don’t miss this food experience on your visit to Victoria!More

Date of visit: October 2020
Reviewed November 12, 2020 via mobile

A truly authentic French restaurant- the atmosphere, the music, the staff were all great. The food was so delicious and the drinks selection was great. We got there right at opening time and we’re glad we did. Cannot recommend this place enough.

Date of visit: November 2020
Reviewed October 1, 2020

What a disappointment. You guys have ruined my anniversary. No reservations, no empty tables within the nearest hour. I understand you have some traditions or principles, but now it seems arrogant when you make people waiting under the door for hours. I have principles too...- and will never come again.More

Date of visit: October 2020
Reviewed August 4, 2020

What can I say that hasn't already been said??? This place is absolutely fantastic with caring service and unbelievably good food. We had the stuffed dates, pate, onion soup and split a steak for a romantic meal paired expertly with wines. A very big thank...you to Virgil, Mellissa and Mark :)More

Date of visit: July 2020
Reviewed April 18, 2020

Brasserie L’Ecole, a classic and casual French restaurant, is something of a Victoria institution. Over the years, this compact eatery has won numerous awards and accolades, including “best burger” in Victoria by YAM. It’s also been highlighted as one of Victoria’s top restaurants by Vancouver...Magazine; it’s received high praise from Travel + Leisure; and even the Vancouver Sun has tipped its cap towards Brasserie L’Ecole. In short, this restaurant has firmly established itself within the city’s cultural and culinary fabric. I like a lot of things about Brasserie L’Ecole: 1) The restaurant’s name highlights both cuisine and history; 2) The atmosphere very much reminds me of a casual Paris café; 3) The food is exceptional and clearly entrenched within Parisian culinary tradition; 4) The staff are knowledgeable, courteous and kind; and, 5) It was nice to finally knock a longstanding eatery off M’s foodie “wish list.” Brasserie L’Ecole is located in Victoria’s historic Chinatown, on Government Street. At first blush that might seem a bit odd – a French restaurant in the heart of Chinatown – but only at first blush. The name “Brasserie L’Ecole” tells us much if we have but the eyes to see and ears to listen. Consider: A “brasserie” is a casual restaurant that serves up unpretentious, simple food. “L’Ecole” is the French word for “school.” Thus, Brasserie L’Ecole = Casual restaurant in a school. At this point, you’re probably thinking, “What? That doesn’t make sense!” But it actually makes perfect sense and that’s why I say, above, that the restaurant highlights cuisine and history. Brasserie L’Ecole is housed in a historic building that was erected in 1905 by the Chinese Empire Reform Association. After the association became redundant in and around 1912, the building was converted into a Chinese schoolhouse. Hence, why I think the name of this restaurant is so smart. It subtly nods to the history of place and space while concomitantly highlighting the fact that it specializes in casual French cuisine. Brasserie L’Ecole has a fairly casual atmosphere and ambiance. This is reflected even before you get inside. The restaurant does not take reservations and instead utilizes a first-come, first-served model; thus, it is not uncommon to see lengthy lineups even before the doors open. To avoid missing out, I’d recommend arriving at least 20 or so minutes before opening time. Believe me, the food is definitely worth it. Once inside, you cannot help but be impressed by the simple décor. The hardwood floors, rouge-coloured walls with their pictures of France, casual tables and well-stocked bar take me back to casual Paris cafes. When a restaurant is able to make you reminisce about past adventures you know it’s doing something right. Indeed, one of the things I really like about Brasserie L’Ecole is the fact that their menu is never static; it changes daily. Thus, you can try something different practically every day. It keeps you coming back and it keeps the restaurant fresh. Speaking of fresh, I should note that the menu also changes with the seasons. The chef likes to place an emphasis on local and seasonal offerings. In that regard, Brasserie L’Ecole allows you to enjoy fresh Vancouver Island produce, meat and seafood with a classic French twist. The food we had was a case in point: For starters, we received some nice bread and butter – it was simple, but the perfect way to warm up the taste buds. We also ordered the Chanterelle mushrooms with puff pastry. This, I have to say was nothing short of amazing and was a good indicator of what was to come later on. Plating was elegant; the chanterelles were cooked perfectly in a brandy cream sauce; and the puff pastry was light, flaky and played well with the rich sauce and mushrooms. For mains, I ordered the trout while M got the Brasserie Burger. The trout came with a beautiful semolina gnocchi, chard and chanterelles. Plating, again, was simple and elegant; the taste and flavours were divine. Very rarely do I sop up any leftovers, but I certainly did it here. Tender fish with crispy skin + expertly cooked veggies in a versatile sauce = a winner. And what about Victoria’s “best burger?” Well, I’m not too sure about that claim, but I did get to sample the burger and I will say it was flavourful, juicy and well-balanced. For dessert, a nice crème brûlée and generous lemon tart were had. Service throughout dinner was very good. French restaurants have gained a notorious reputation for having snooty servers, though I’m not entirely sure this sort of thing is justified? When I was in Paris, I never encountered even a modicum of pretention. In fact, I’ve attended many NON-French restaurants that were snooty and off-putting. In any event, Brasserie L’Ecole was not snooty in the least. The servers were attentive and made sure everything was to our liking. FOOD: 5/5 SERVICE: 5/5 VALUE: 5/5 RECOMMENDATION: Brasserie L’Ecole was a treat and it was nice to attend with M, especially since she’d wanted to come here for “the past 10 years.” Service was top-notch and the French dishes exquisitely executed. Far from “Resting on Laurels” as an earlier reviewer claimed, Brasserie L’Ecole has definitely earned its reputation as one of Victoria’s best restaurants. Highly recommended! PS: If you found this review helpful in any way please consider hitting the "helpful" button!More

Date of visit: September 2019
Reviewed January 12, 2020 via mobile

Really great dining experience. The food is great, the staff are friendly and excellent. The atmosphere is great too. We lived in Dublin before we moved to Victoria, and always bring visitors here, they are always impressed.

Date of visit: November 2019
Reviewed December 15, 2019

We love going to Brasserie for dinner. The food, drinks, and service are excellent! They do not take reservations and the lineup outside can be discouraging the first time, but they do a wonderful job making sure everyone gets a seat. The burger and fries...are outstanding. Take a break from your counting calories and enjoy the menu.More

Date of visit: December 2019
Reviewed December 9, 2019

We have had wonderful dinners here over the years and finally returned to have another delicious dinner during our most recent visit to Victoria. We ordered drinks and then enjoyed our starters of foie gras mousse and the beet salad. We shared the Coppa for...our main course - it was melt in your mouth delicious - braised pork shoulder -- washed down with a couple of glasses of Gigondas...coffees and chocolate torte finished off another exceptional dinner. Great service as well. This restaurant is worth a visit....no reservation policy but the table and the food is worth the wait.More

Date of visit: December 2019
Reviewed October 29, 2019

Great service, love the stuffed dates, I have had vegetarian here and their steak and always pleased with presentation, nice hot plates and delicious food. If there is a wait as they do not take reservations it is well worth the wait

Date of visit: September 2019
Reviewed October 15, 2019 via mobile

Steaks were delicious. Service was phenomenal. We had to wait a while for a table but it was worth it!

Date of visit: October 2019
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Questions & Answers
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September 23, 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from 319kathryn | Reviewed this property |
Jeans are alright,cleaned and pressed with a smart shirt.I have dined here in casual and dressy outfits.I do always make an effort,nothing else will do but that is just my code of dress!!
September 13, 2016|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Yvon G | Reviewed this property |
No valet parking. You have to park on the street or in the parking near by. Also you have to be there early for the first seating at 5.30pm or you will have to wait until 7.00 pm next seating. No reversation taken.
Nancy E
August 15, 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from 842AlanT | Reviewed this property |
Contact the restaurant directly @ (250) 475.6260
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Frequently Asked Questions about Brasserie L'ecole

  • Brasserie L'ecole is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
    • Food: 4.5
    • Service: 4.5
    • Value: 4
    • Atmosphere: 4.5