Power Lunch: Victoria’s Jam Cafe

Jam Cafe | BCBusiness
Patrons appreciate generous portions of down-home cooking at Victoria’s Jam Cafe

New owners break a cursed location with generous family-friendly comfort food and creative meat dishes

Every town’s restaurant scene has it: the Bermuda Triangle location where restaurateurs beguiled by the seemingly calm waters disappear one after the other, marked only by for-lease signs between them.

Victoria’s version was at 542 Herald Street, a heritage-building-lined promenade flanked by cafés, lofts, furniture boutiques and, until a few years ago, the much-loved Herald Street Caffe.

542 was a rotating door of concepts until mid-2012, when Jim and Candy Walmsley, who watched the carnage from their Union Pacific Coffee Company across the street, decided to open up Jam Cafe, happily breaking the curse and expanding their indie culinary brand of home-baked pastries, considered coffee and textured, bric-a-brac decor that would make a Brooklyn barkeep envious.

Then again, no hex can stand up to the inventive, generous, family-friendly lunch gems that span vegetarian comfort food (the Mac ’n Cheese Grilled Cheese with the pasta grilled right onto the bread) and carnivore creativity (jamcafevictoria.com). 

Best Table
One of the two tables flanking the sunken entrance offers a bit of elbow room when the place is crowded (which is always) and a great view of the redbrick of Herald Street.

Drink Up
Before you revel in the bottomless JJ Bean coffee, kick-start your heart with the bacon bourbon Caesar (garnished with candied bacon).

Must-Try Order
Good biscuits and gravy are hard to find in B.C., so eat a little Southern with The Gravy Coupe, a buttermilk biscuit topped with fried chicken, two eggs sunny side up and house sausage gravy.

Insider Tip
There are no reservations and you can wait for more than 15 minutes to be seated, even on a weekday.