Riversdale used to be the type of place your mother warned you about, but today, this newly revitalized west end neighbourhood is a must-visit. Next to cool clothing and furniture boutiques and the historic Roxy Theatre, you’ll find new and old restaurants as diverse as the people wandering Riversdale’s busy 20th Street. Here are our top spots for a meal.
Tuck yourself into a window-seat table to people-watch at this laid-back, family-owned Asian restaurant that opened in 2014. Hong Kong-born head chef Jackie Tso shows off his expertise with simple, yet modern, mouth-watering dishes like grilled lemongrass chicken sandwiches, Singapore noodles and bacon fried rice.
Try this: Order the tomato Pad Thai (also available gluten-free and vegan with spiced tofu) made with tomato curry wok-fry, rice noodles and chicken.
In 2011, when model-turned-chef Christie Peters and her business partner opened The Hollows in the space that long housed the beloved Golden Dragon restaurant, they didn’t change much except the name and menu. Sit amid golden crane wallpaper, wood paneling and hand-painted glass lanterns while you feast on farm-fresh dishes like dandelion fritters, elk carpaccio and heirloom cucumber salad.
Try this: Come hungry for the weekend breakfast poutine, made with naturally pasteurized chicken gravy and Quebec cheese curds topped with a poached egg.
Locals can often be found reading books in Drift’s hammocks while sipping cappuccinos and snacking on crepes. And now, they can also enjoy cocktails and gourmet eats upstairs at Vista Lounge, an outdoor terrace and restaurant that opened here in July. The menu features dishes with a Mediterranean flare, made with local ingredients that pair perfectly with the creatively crafted boozy drinks.
Try this: Start with the Teero (spicy feta dip served with warm pita and grilled veggies) and pair it with The Smokey Robinson—a delicious cocktail made with Highland Park 12 year whisky, Cinzano vermouth and Aztec Chocolate Bitters, garnished with charred cinnamon.
This locally loved diner, with its blue-and-white-checkered floors and old-school décor, may easily be overlooked by visitors, but it’s consistently rated one of the city’s best since it opened 10 years ago. Friendly staff and heaping, all-day breakfast staples like homemade hash browns, eggs Benny and pancakes (not to mention hearty lunch options) ensure you leave feeling satisfied.
Try this: Opt for Benny, Murphy and the Boys for traditional eggs Benedict made with homemade Canadian back bacon.
Leyda’s, which opened in 2013, is Saskatoon’s only restaurant to offer a menu consisting entirely of whole food, gluten-free and nut-free items. Owned by a Saskatoon doctor who saw a need to cater to certain diets, this spot features carefully sourced organic ingredients in foods like homemade bread, soups, salads and even desserts that promote well-being.
Try this: Treat yourself to guilt-free vegan chocolate fondue with fresh fruit.