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Victoria restaurant deemed top new restaurant in Canada

Marilena Cafe and Raw Bar wins more awards in its first year of business
Marilena Cafe and Raw Bar restaurant back dining space. (Ella Matte/News Staff)

A restaurant in Victoria that opened last year is making headlines after being named Canada’s top best new restaurant of 2024.

Marilena Cafe and Raw Bar, located in downtown Victoria on Douglas, was ranked number one for new restaurants in the country and number 27 for Canada’s best restaurants on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants List, making it the only Victoria restaurant to make the list.

The magazine, Canada’s 100 Best, is a yearly guide to the best dining destinations across the country based on the votes of 150 voting judges made up of food critics, chefs, restaurateurs, discerning diners and industry insiders.

Judges evaluated restaurants based on the entire dining experience, reads the website. This includes service, decor, the depth of the cellar and food quality.

READ MORE: Victoria, B.C., restaurants named among the best new restaurants in Canada

Marilena Cafe and Raw Bar also made the cut in 2023 for Air Canada’s top 30 restaurant list.

The menu emphasizes seafood, a Japanese-inspired raw bar, cocktails and a 42-page wine program, with executive chef Kristian Eligh at the helm.

Set in the LEED Building at 1525 Douglas, it offers a contemporary dining room designed with natural wood and marble.

It was opened by Vancouver-based Toptable group, known for its restaurants in Vancouver, Whistler and New York City.

Read the full review, along with menu suggestions, at

Marilena Cafe and Raw Bar restaurant wine, beer, and liquor bar. (Ella Matte/News Staff)

Sam Duerksen

About the Author: Sam Duerksen

Since moving to Victoria from Winnipeg in 2020, I’ve worked in communications for non-profits and arts organizations.
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