Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

4.4
337 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Northwest
Q represents Queen and country, the revered figure for whom this hotel was named. A singular letter, for a very singular space.

Located in the most storied room in Victoria, Q at the Empress is a must-visit culinary celebration that is second to none. This atmospheric space has a distinctly modern, contemporary feel, all the while staying true to the building’s unique iconic heritage with its dark cherry wood ceilings and spectacularly detailed moldings. Focusing on regional ingredients, the carefully curated menu features locally sourced seafood, meats and produce prepared surely and skillfully by Chef Morgan Wilson and his incredible team. Try one of over 850 bottles of wines from the temperature controlled visible wine wall featuring the best of the Pacific North West and select vintages from all over the globe. From romantic dinner to vibrant social event all you need to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy Q at the Empress, the place to be on Vancouver Island.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Northwest
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Hours of operation


Breakfast: Daily: 6:30am - 11:00am; Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Daily: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
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Phone number
(250) 389-2727
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Morgan Wilson
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Private party contact
Dining Reservations: (250) 389-2727
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Belleville & Goverment Streets
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Parking details
Valet or self parking is available in the Fairmont Empress parkade
Additional
Cocktails, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, View, Wine
What 337 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
77% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Visiting Victoria

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LR
Denver
22 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely table in a lovely restaurant for a 70th birthday celebration. Terrific business lunch value. Our waitress was a delight!

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IB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 4

We waited quite some time for the menu to come. When we ordered, the Waiter then brought bread and butter plates & knife and put it on the wrong side where my husband was sitting. He then brought the overpriced bottle of wine for us to try and the white wine hadn't even been chilled!!! How about that?
When the meal arrived, in a fairly reasonable time, there weren't any salt and pepper shakers on the table t=so we had to wave down the waiter and ask for some. He should have checked all this before we sat down. Th Bill was horrendous - $165-00 for one course with wine and bread! Plus tip!

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HW
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Q has the best service and food I've had in years! Thank you for reminding me that there are still great places to go!

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SH
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We live in Victoria and have dined at the Empress periodically for the last 25 years. Based on our last two dinners, the Q has really upped their game. There is a focus on local ingredients. Food is excellent and the service is second to none. The Q is now our favorite restaurant in Victoria. The only issue I have is the live band (loud) in the lounge can make it difficult to have a conversation.

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L
Orange County
12 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great dining experience / All food was served spectacularly and exceeding expectations / Service extremely professional and flexible to changes

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g
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We thoroughly enjoyed lunch at the Q. Great food and great offering of their 60-minute special. First class experience.

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DS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful restaurant, even though hostess wanted to seat those who just showed up over our Open Table reservation made months in advance! Then she tried to seat is in a corner! We were insistant, as we were celebrating our anniversary, and the best dressed couple in the dining room! Once we were seated, our waiter Andrew made up for the snub and presented us with a wonderful dining experience! Thank you Andrew!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

We were pleasantly surprised by the food and the service for a hotel restaurant. Both were wonderful. Our server Will was very pleasant and efficient and made us feel very welcome. The food was also delicious and beautifully presented. The only negatives were that it was loud given the high ceilings and it was very expensive (e.g. $17 for a glass of wine). Overall we would recommend this restaurant to other diners.

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d
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

Slowest service ever. The waiter was friendly, but it took 30 minutes to get our first drink (to cheers for my wife’s Birthday), and 1.5 hours before food arrived at our table. We had to rush to eat and pay the bill to get home for the babysitter. We are local residents in our 30’s, and will not be returning anytime soon.

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V
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Kitchen was overwhelmed took over an hour to get entrees talk to the manager he said they were experiencing unusual delays that night

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LL
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

My family had there dinner 9/7/18. The duck was almost uneatable, we did not see our waiter for over 15 minutes. We had to wait over 20 minutes between courses, it was hot and VERY noisy. We did get a refund for the duck dinner, the halibut and lamb dishes were good. For spending over $300 Canadian for our dinner which include one bottle of wine, no cocktails, it was highly disappointing. Spend your vacation money somewhere else. There is no view, the bar is near by and its music makes conversation almost impossible.

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S
Seattle
17 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 1

Loud and disappointing. Since the remodel, the bar is right next to the restaurant and when the live music starts, the fine dining experience goes away. The space is loud and you have to nearly shout to hear each other. Just as disappointing, the food was not very good. The heirloom tomato salad had bad tomatoes in it, the burrata was sour. It took 25 minutes to get our cocktails. This is nothing like we remember Q being. It would have been surprising for a mid-level restaurant but when the restaurant passes itself off as special, it's incredibly disappointing. Not worth the money at all.

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JM
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

This is the second time in a row where we’ve sat for almost 10 mins after sitting down waiting for our waiter. The food is overpriced, and our table of 8 sent back two dishes because both diners thought the meal was terrible. The overall dining experience is no where worth the price and poor service.

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TS
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My steak was so good, it was like butter. In flavour and tenderness. The compressed potatoes were original and inspiring. Steak could’ve used some more Demi glacé, but I really like things saucy. Personal preference. Overall, a meal that will be remembered for many years to come for how fantastic everything was. Thank you for the experience!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday dinner with my mom was just amazing, food was so flavourful and delicious

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HJ
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good value, great atmosphere for a special occasion. Our servers, especially Li, were excellent. We would go to this restaurant again.

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MD
Montana
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were by the kitchen. Only reason ambiance rating.

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DF
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The food overall was very good except the halibut was dry and somewhat overdone. The steak was excellent, as was the burger. The wine, I think, is overpriced, in my opinion. The service was first class other than not being told about the special prices on beverages to accompany the special lunch offer. We enjoyed the whole occasion.

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RD
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Overall, it was a very good dining experience and perfect place to celebrate a special occassions. Thanks for making my special day a great day and memorable. Service is fantastic and food is really good.

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SG
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful treat

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MS
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent location. Food was done to perfection and flavours well balanced. Wine list excellent to pair with meal. Knowledgeable server.

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JW
Calgary
9 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

Service was moderate for a high end hotel. Server was pleasant but it took 5 minutes for someone to greet us after we sat down. Servers did not know proper order taking and serving etiquette. The restaurant was only 40 percent full. Menu options seemed outdated. I normally love the Fairmont hotels and their dining facilities. This experience left me flat.

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YC
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

A wonderful meal, nice presentation and good service. I enjoyed it!

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RT
Denver
36 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 5

We were hoping for a nice, romantic dinner at the iconic hotel restaurant in Victoria, but it didn’t happen. It was very noisy because there’s no barrier between the loud lounge and the restaurant. Service was poor - not the waiter ‘s fault - he was responsible for too many tables. I ordered the lamb chops and got a large plate of chick-peas and two small pieces of meat, and my wife’s pork consisted of four bites of meat. The Q at the Empress is obviously running on its iconic history, not the quality of the experience.

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LW
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated the success of a medical operation. Good idea to go to the empress.

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J
Portland
15 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I almost never eat at hotel restaurants because the food is usually not that great. The Q at the Empress is an exception. Beautiful, delicious food, well prepared. We had halibut that is some of the best I’ve ever eaten. The waitstaff is friendly and efficient. We have eaten here for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and all three menus provided wonderful dining options. I will be back when next we are in Victoria!

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F
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The Q is good not amazing. There was nothing wrong with it in particular but it’s not memorable. There aren’t a lot of choices in Victoria so I wouldn’t hesitate to eat here again if in the area because we found it to be more upscale than most other restaurants in Victoria. The room is pretty but if you are a party of two.. try not to be seated in the long row with bench seating and small tables for two all lined up close together because it’s not private and it feels too bistro like for the price and rest of the room. Do order a mixed drink- the bartenders are great and have some unique specialty cocktails including one with purple gin. Overall, the ambiance is nice at the right tables, the food is good not fab, but it’s one of the better choices in town.

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LF
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our server Maddie was outstanding! She was friendly and very knowledgeable.

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OT
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had halibut and lamb. Both prepared to perfection. Good Italian red wine by the glass.

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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was nice to return to have dinner at the ‘new improved’ dining room. Miss the old decor but times have changed but it was really nice to be back.

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KA
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I was really looking forward to dining here - with my husband and both of our moms to celebrate their 75th birthdays. The first glance at the menu was both shocking (prices) and extremely difficult to comprehend - I could hardly understand the explanations of the entrees and had to ask about everything. It was a very "snooty" menu, and the prices were more than overboard. We stayed only because we had a reservation, otherwise, I was tempted to go somewhere local. The food ended up being pretty good, but everything took a good amount of time (though our waitress was great). Sadly, and very disappointingly, our bill was over $500 for 4 people - unbelievable!!!! I would have guessed it would be half that!!! Very disappointing and extremely overpriced!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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CM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We made a special visit on August 5th to the Empress Hotel just to dine at the Q Restaurant to celebrate our friend visiting from Palm Desert, CA. Not once were we disappointed with their superior service, wine list, master crafted cocktails, or cuisine. We were so impressed with our culinary experience that we even asked to speak with the chef, Ken Hookham, and he gladly obliged. He explained the passionate process of our lunch which was just exceptional. We even got a photo with him! We also love the renovatation - luxe and refined. A supreme experience! We'll be back.

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GB
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great meal brilliantly presented and perfectly cooked..top quality for freshness and taste.The wait staff are friendly,attentive and very professional..I love this place

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RD
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We were disappointed the moment we stepped into the restaurant and our disappointment grew as the evening progressed. We dressed for dinner as it was our anniversary; the Empress Hotel's finest dining room, once beautiful and elegant, has declined to the appearance of a casual sandwich shop. It has open bench seating, no dress code, an attempt at snobbery by the menu selections, inedible fare with undeserving high prices. Our server was aloof. Our seating was by a window that provided a view of scrub bushes and concrete and was inches from our neighbors. We observed the patrons across the aisle frown at what they were served, taste it, and then push it away. Their orders, barely touch went back to the kitchen. My wife's halibut was miniscule; it rested on two spears of "fermented" asparagus. My steak was tough, without seasoning and without taste. We left unsatisfied in every way.

The "Q" is a farce and out of place at the distinguished and elegant Empress Hotel. One can only hope it will soon be out of business and replaced by a formal dining room that reflects its grand history and surroundings.

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CH
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 2

The food was outstanding but the service was slower than slow!!!! The room was very noisy and not relaxing. In a historic hotel like The Empress, I was expecting a more sophisticated, traditional dining experience.

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MD
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It is hands down one of the most beautiful restaurant I have been to. The food was absolutely delicious. The service was remarkably. Would definitely go again when I am visiting Victoria!

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MW
Louisville
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Selected for a delayed wedding anniversary dinner. Service and food was excellent as was the cocktails and wine. The staff acknowledged our anniversary with a delicious dessert to share. A very nice place for special occasions.

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CC
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Service was outstanding, food tasted good but my steak was a little to fatty for my liking. Still a great experience and would recommend to friends.

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JM
Vancouver
24 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The "Empress legend" lives on at "Q", with extremely attentive yet discreet staff. Friendly and professional, with an eye for detail without being intrusive.
Our party of four ordered different meals, and each one was beautifully presented and as interesting as the next! There was no "entree envy" as we were all pleased with our choices and were also willing to share.
There was one little "glitch" with timing, with entrees arriving before one in our party had completed starters. It was the waiter who observed this and was very quick to apologize and make up for this slight glitch with freshly crafted blackberry sorbets for all, even though none of us were concerned he wished to correct this small oversight. As one would expect, quality and price matched, and the service one would hope from a well established landmark in Victoria didn't disappoint.

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Tweets by Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel