Victoria’s Best Restaurant Award Winner 2023: Best Middle Eastern or North African – Yalla

YAM magazine’s Best Restaurant Awards 2023 celebrates Greater Victoria, B.C.’s exciting food scene and are judged by an independent panel of chefs and food experts.

BY CINDA CHAVICH | PHOTOS BY JEFFREY BOSDET

YAM magazine’s Best Restaurant Awards 2023 celebrates Greater Victoria, B.C.’s exciting food scene and are judged by an independent panel of chefs and food experts.
The halloumi kale salad at Yalla.

Best Middle Eastern or North African – Yalla

1011 Blanshard Street | letsgoyalla.ca

Yalla gets the nod this year as Victoria’s top Middle Eastern restaurant, a casual spot for a punchy palette of flavours from the Levant.

As their tagline says, it’s all about “Middle Eastern Street Eats” and that’s what you’ll find when you visit the small shop for their quick menu. Try the Persian lamb shawarma and crispy brussels sprouts, a crunchy kale salad with fried haloumi or a platter of hummus to share with friends. There are a few seats inside, but Yalla is designed for takeout and nothing beats repairing to a table in sunny Fort Commons, a secret urban oasis behind this collection of historic storefronts at Blanchard and Fort.

Runners-up

Superbaba, with its Lebanese falafel, eggplant and grilled steak wraps, rolled up in fresh housemade pita breads; and Bold Butchery & Grill, famed for their Afghan-style chicken shawarma seasoned with 15 herbs and spices.