Kung Pao Chicken 2 Ways from The Odd Couple. Photograph by Alan Yuen, Insomniak Media.

Affectionately called the Paris of the Prairies, this city is known for its extraordinary skies and friendly locals. Thanks to a recent push by creative chefs keen on weaving local and seasonal ingredients into their innovative menus, the local dining scene is as diverse as it is delicious.

2 Must-try Restaurants


Primal. Photograph by Carey Shaw.

“Whole-animal butchery” is not a phrase often seen on restaurant menus in Saskatoon, but that is the mission of chefs Christie Peters and Kyle Michael, owners of the aptly named Primal. They bring their thoughtful pairing of ingredients, love of all things local and goal of minimal kitchen waste to a menu focused on seasonal Italian cuisine—with a Prairie twist. Open since early 2015, this restaurant has been serving locals bowls of pasta made from Saskatchewan heritage grains, impeccable meat dishes and a distinct big-city vibe. 


Park Café

Photograph courtesy of Park Cafe.

This unpretentious retro diner is a favourite among those who love a good all-day breakfast, top-notch burgers and sandwiches, and attention to customer service. The cosy booths are always packed, and there are lineups out the door on weekends. Park Cafe is a classic greasy spoon, but one that focuses on high-quality, fresh ingredients and making as much as possible from scratch. The Park Burger, with thick-cut beef bacon and onion rings, is a favourite, as is the classic eggs Benedict. For something deliciously different, try the pan-fried pickerel. 


Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Breakfast: Hometown Diner

Located in the heart of Riversdale, Hometown Diner offers a menu full of tasty comfort food. Fan favourites include Chicken + Waffles, Huevos Rancheros and daily doughnuts.


Lunch: Lebanese Kitchen

A hidden gem in the city, Lebanese Kitchen is a family-run business that serves excellent falafel and shawarma. With dishes made fresh to order, this is the place to get your Middle Eastern food fix. 


Dinner: Odd Couple

Serving up Canadian-Asian cuisine in a fun, contemporary way, Odd Couple is adored by locals for its hospitality and thoughtful menu, which has plenty of gluten-free and vegan options.  


Must-try dish

Hearth’s mushroom dish. Photograph by Chad Reynolds.

Since it was opened by chefs Beth Rogers and Thayne Robstad in 2018, Hearth has become a Saskatoon hot spot. This farm-to-table restaurant is a love letter to the province, with a menu that leans heavily on local ingredients, some even foraged by the chefs. The wild and cultivated mushrooms with grilled bread, melted cheese and reindeer moss is as exquisite as it is delicious. Served in a cast-iron skillet, the mushrooms sink into a cheesy bed. The golden chanterelles and earthy reindeer moss render the dish so photogenic, you’ll want to get your camera out, if only to remember how dreamy mushrooms can be. 


3 Drink Stops

Whether you’re  looking to cosy up  with a cocktail or  sip on a handcrafted beer, Saskatoon has  a variety of spots  where you can wet your whistle. 


Parlor’s French 236. Photograph courtesy of Parlor.

This swanky lounge has intimate corners where you can snuggle up to your sweetheart and enjoy a variety of cocktails, whiskies and wines. Its French 236 is a pretty-in-pink cocktail made from Villa Conchi Brut Rosé Cava, Malfy Gin Con Rosa, and a burst of lemon, while its assorted charcuterie makes the perfect dish for sharing. 


Ayden Kitchen and Bar

Ayden Kitchen and Bar’s Bed of Roses. Photograph by Bob Deutscher.

Sip signature cocktails in a sophisticated setting at Ayden Kitchen and Bar. You’ll want to sample the snack menu, particularly the popcorn prawns.  


9 Mile Legacy Brewing

9 Mile Legacy Brewing. Photograph by Janelle Wallace, courtesy of 9 Mile Legacy Brewing.

A local favourite, this nano-brewery in Riversdale has several handcrafted beers on tap and exudes a friendly neighbourhood vibe. 



Little Bird Pâtisserie & Café. Photograph by Kim Butcher.

The Night Oven Bakery is home to brick oven-fired sourdough bread—don’t be surprised if a loaf ends up in your carry-on—flakey pastries and dreamy croissants. Little Bird Pâtisserie & Café sells sweet confections such as macarons and tarts (its cream-filled cruffins sell out every weekend, for good reason). The only hand-painted luxury chocolatier in Saskatchewan, River Layne Chocolate Couture creates edible masterpieces that are almost too pretty to eat. 

[This story appears in the February 2020 edition of WestJet Magazine.]