The Best Cheesecake In Victoria


Pagliacci’s Restaurant
Broad and Fort Street
Victoria, B.C.

Being the industrious entrepreneur that I am, I was cutting the lawns for several neighbours on my street at the age of ten, delivering newspapers for The Times Colonist at the age of thirteen, and working in restaurants from the age of fifteen onwards until I began my real estate career twenty years ago!

My first job was at a Greek restaurant where I was first exposed to the fine delicacies of calamari, moussaka and baklava. I enjoyed watching the waiters smash plates in their dancing delight but the pay was horrible. Instead I secured a union job working evenings in Victoria’s only rooftop cityvista restaurant. At seventeen stories high, it was a pretty swank affair in its day with its rattan furniture, orange tablecloths and Table D’hote menu. For my five years of employment I would swing mannequins by a noose over the roof top edge on Halloween to the delight of customers and the horror of the maitre’d. And to fill my days when I wasn’t in school, one summer I also worked at Pagliacci’s – a charming cafe owned by the much beloved Siegel family – who have been serving up the most delicious food for over thirty years. Truth be told, I got a job there because I wanted to eat free as an employee and avoid frittering away my university tuition fees dining there!

Whenever I return to Victoria I always make a bee-line to Pags and order my favourite dishes. If it’s lunch or dinner I enjoy their homemade soup with a crisp green salad chock full of goodness, a side of meatballs and their fresh baked foccaccia bread. Too full to eat anymore, I invariably have to return again to order their housemade New York baked cheesecake and an iced latte with a dollop of whipped cream. It’s heavenly, and seriously one of the best cheesecakes in the world!


Pagliacci’s often have live bands playing in the evenings. I usually indulge my cheesecake craving late at night, arriving around 9:30pm after the dinner rush (they don’t take reservations and there’s always a line up) so I can sit back with my book while listening to some great music. The other evening I enjoyed ‘The Karel Roessingh Trio’ – an ensemble of piano, bass and drums – who were fantastically talented. It was a magical time. This is a must-go destination in Victoria! Oh, sorry for the dark photos but it was night!


~ Steven

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