Whether you’re craving a contemporary Italian meal or a fresh, handmade pastry, there are plenty of restaurants, cafés and bakeries to choose from in Edmonton. While some eateries are beloved favourites that have been around for decades, others are newcomers that have been quick to make their mark on the city’s dining scene. Here’s where you should eat in Edmonton.
Sugarbowl may be known for its giant cinnamon buns and huge selection of craft beers, but there are plenty of other reasons this casual, local hangout has been around since 1943. The local café and bar has plenty of rustic charm with its red brick walls, wood tables and front garage doors that open up to the patio in the summer. The weekday breakfast and weekend brunch menus differ a bit, but both feature classics like Belgian waffles, huevos rancheros, eggs Benedict and, of course, those sticky cinnamon buns.
With its skylight, herringbone wood floors and large planters filled with greenery, Café Linnea’s bright and airy space is a beautiful (and tasty) spot to start your day. The menu of seasonal Scandinavian and French dishes includes Complète Galette, which features a buckwheat crêpe, miroir egg (sunny-side-up, French-style), gruyère cheese, ham and greens.
Chef Daniel Costa owns three side-by-side Italian restaurants on Jasper Avenue in downtown Edmonton. Corso 32 was the first of the three to open in 2010, and if you want to get a table, book a reservation well in advance. Once you’ve snagged a spot, start your meal off with an order of Parmigiano-filled arancini before diving into a plate of handmade ricotta agnolotti and finishing with the hazelnut-topped chocolate torta.
Chef and owner Daniel Costa opened the newest (and largest) of his three restaurants right next door to his other two eateries last summer. Order a glass of wine at the stand-up bar or grab a seat in the modern, minimalist restaurant for antipasti and handmade pasta. Try the tagliatelle with sage, Parmesan and l’Ancetre butter or the papardelle, a ragu bianco with pig’s head, prosciutto and parmesan.
European restaurant Sabor is well known for its seafood dishes. In addition to several meaty and vegetarian dishes, the downtown restaurant serves dishes prepared with Ocean Wise approved seafood. These include grilled octopus tapas, seafood paella, lobster risotto and Chilean sea bass. The restaurant also hosts an annual, month-long seafood festival in August.
Fans of popular Edmonton bar and eatery The Common won’t have to go far to dine at its new sister restaurant, which opened only a few doors down from it’s parent establishment this past February. Grandin Fish ‘N’ Chips’ name spells out its specialty, but there are plenty of other fishy delights to be had here as well as a bowl of seafood chowder with a cheddar biscuit or PEI mussels. Fresh seafood is also available for purchase to take home.
If there’s one thing you can depend on, it’s a Saturday morning lineup in front of Duchess Bake Shop’s door before it opens. This popular bakeshop is an Edmonton institution as locals and visitors alike indulge in its delicious desserts and pastries. Try the decadent mini chocolate Duke Cake, a key lime tart or a few pastel coloured macarons in flavours that include pistachio and salted caramel.
Venture a few blocks off Whyte Avenue to find La Boule Bakery in Old Strathcona. This small neighbourhood bakery has been open less than six months but it’s already hard to imagine the city without its bright yellow lemon tarts and perfectly oblong éclairs in flavours like passion fruit and tiramisu.
For some of Edmonton’s best chai head to Remedy Café. The licensed café is known for its chai drinks, as well as Indian and Pakistani fare that includes tandoori chicken wraps, samosas and chana masala. Remedy has five locations across the city, but if you can, try and visit the flagship location in the Garneau neighbourhood. A 2014 renovation expanded the space so there’s a ton of seating, tables to work at and lots of outlets if you need to plug in.
Transcend, a local roasting company and coffee shop, has been a staple of Edmonton’s coffee scene for years, but it recently opened another café location inside of the brand new Ritchie Market, which is home to a local meat market, brewery, restaurant and bike shop. Transcend also moved its roasting operations to Ritchie Market, which you can see in action while enjoying a cappuccino or London Fog milkshake.
What’s New at the 2017 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival
The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is the largest fringe festival in North America. It attracts thousands of spectators who come to watch more than 200 theatre productions throughout the city. This year (Aug. 17 to 27, 2017), there’s a magical new theme, more shows than ever and new spots to eat near the festival grounds.
Best Patios in Edmonton (Including One That is Open All Year)
As Edmonton’s dining scene continues to grow, so does its patio game. Make the most of long summer hours by dining alfresco at Café Bicyclette, Craft Beer Market, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Little Brick Café and General Store, or Sugarbowl.