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New Victoria tapas restaurant is the perfect gathering spot for patio and late-night dining downtown

Bray’s West Coast Tapas + Wine Bar offers shareable plates made with high-quality seasonal, local ingredients
Bray’s offers a unique dining experience that celebrates the rich natural bounty of the West Coast

Victoria’s newest restaurant combines local heritage with a contemporary twist.

Bray’s West Coast Tapas + Wine Bar  is the latest venture from a family of entrepreneurs with deep local roots who envision a warm and inviting space where family and friends can gather over shared meals.

“The menu is tapas-style, plates for sharing,” owner Gareth Bray-Bancroft says.

“We love the version of restaurants you visit in Europe and other cities where everything is shared, and everyone tries everything. There’s good wine, good food, and good conversation.”

Bray’s offers a unique dining experience that celebrates the rich natural bounty of the West Coast. Not only are the ingredients local, the menu adapts to reflect the freshest seasonal choices. 

“Whatever is fresh, whatever is local, we try to sample and display as much as possible,” Bray-Bancroft says.

“We want to showcase those flavours in a really accessible way. The menu is constantly changing, and, as items go out of season, we drop and add as necessary.”

Sharing is caring 

Sharing small plates allows guests to sample a wide range of flavours. Photo via: Adam Berke.

The idea behind the sharing plates is that guests sample several smaller dishes to experience many different tastes and flavours rather than ordering one large main dish. It’s the perfect setup for a date or dining among family and friends.

The wine bar at Bray’s boasts an extensive selection of wines from both local vineyards and notable international wineries, with knowledgeable staff on hand to help select the perfect pairing.

The gorgeous patio is also a big draw for guests.

“It’s a beautiful patio to watch the bridge go up and down and take in the hustle and bustle of downtown Victoria,” describes Bray-Bancroft. “We open at two with a happy hour, and it’s the perfect place to enjoy the sun and a nice drink.”

Bray’s is also unique in its opening hours, open seven days a week with late kitchen hours. 

“We’re also the perfect stop for late-night food and drinks,” Bray-Bancroft says. “We want to cultivate that atmosphere for later nights and want to provide a place where people can come and dine even on Mondays and late.”

Steeped in tradition

The Bray’s connection to Victoria dates back to 1882. Photo via Bray’s West Coast Tapas + Wine Bar

Running local businesses is baked into the family heritage.

Richard Bray arrived in Victoria from Cornwall, England in 1882 where he began work as a hack driver. He established a prominent livery business and expanded his ventures to begin operating what eventually became part of the famous Tally Ho's sightseeing carriages.

In the 1930s, Richard’s sons Edward and William expanded the business into a successful trucking company that continued to operate in Victoria until the late end of the century. It’s an old family picture of one of the original company trucks in front of the Capital Iron building that is a focal point of the space.

Today, Bray-Bancroft, along with his parents Cynthia Bray and Clifford Bancroft, is proud to continue on the legacy of the Brays, inspired by their entrepreneurial spirit and their deep connection to the city.

To learn more about this delicious piece of Victoria’s history, and to peruse the menu, visit