YAM magazine’s Best Restaurant Awards 2024 celebrate Greater Victoria, B.C.’s exciting food scene, judged by an independent panel of chefs and food experts. 


Syriana, Best Middle Eastern or North African, YAM Best Restaurants 2024
A bounty of savoury dishes from Syriana, including hand pies, flatbreads, falafel, hummus and, in the centre, their famous pistachio-and-honey-filled baklava.

Best Middle Eastern or North African: Syriana

#2-1258 Esquimalt Road  |  $-$$ |  syrianacatering.ca  |  No reservations; walk-ins only

At Syriana, Safaa Naeman is in pay-it-forward mode, sending peace and gratitude out to her adopted home, and you can taste it in every bite of her homestyle Syrian food.

A refugee from the ongoing civil war, Naeman opened the sunny little café in Esquimalt in 2023. It’s the first location for her burgeoning catering and restaurant business, itself an offshoot of what started as a simple sideline, selling beautiful baklava and pastries at farmers’ markets.

Now she has a team of Syrian women in the kitchen, creating a range of tasty Middle Eastern foods — whether pillowy hand pies (fatayer), silky hummus, spicy yalange (dolmades) and handmade kibbeh for a mezze meal, or juicy skewers of beef kebab, grilled chicken or falafel served with seasoned rice. This is comfort food at its finest.



Yalla Middle Eastern Street Eats