Edmonton, the capital of the province of Alberta, is a capital place for those of us interested in food.
The city is situated on the North Saskatchewan River, with the downtown and beautiful legislature grounds on the north side and the University of Alberta and nearby Old Strathcona neighbourhood (voted one of the top 10 coolest neighbourhoods in Canada) on the south. It is easy to cross the green river valley over the many bridges — by car, bicycle or on foot (there’s even a cute little street car that crosses the High Level Bridge).
Whether you’re in Edmonton on business, to visit family and friends, or to check out the many attractions and festivals, make sure you leave time for food, because the city’s food scene is wonderful.
Staying in Old Strathcona gives you easy access to this scene, on both sides of the river. We recommend two boutique hotels — The Varscona for more of an old world feel, and The Metterra for a modern arty stay.
On this side of the river, check out these foodie finds:
— DaDeO styles itself as a New Orleans diner and bar (no minors). The vibe is laid-back, the food southern (Po’boys, jambalaya, pecan and key lime pie), but don’t let the casualness deceive you — this is a serious kitchen. DaDeO is at 10548A Whyte (82nd) Ave.
— If you’re craving a high flavour sandwich from a different part of the world, and still a casual atmosphere, give V Sandwiches a try. Just down the street from DaDeO at 10460 Whyte Ave, they specialize in Vietnamese subs full of herbs.
— On Saturday morning, wander over to the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market for organic fruits and veggies and locally made preserves, honey, breads, soups and other delights.
— Coffee and dessert lovers will want to check out Block 1912, a small café with gelato, desserts, coffee, plus beer. Open up the drawers at the eclectic mix of tables to discover notes with other patrons’ recommendations for books, things to do and places to eat. Leave one of your own too! Find it at 10361 Whyte Ave.
— One of the two locations of the #1 chocolate maker in Canada, Choklat, is at 8111 104th Street. Stop in for a treat to take back home, bakery items to attempt to save for breakfast, and a hot cup of European drinking chocolate for right now. If you’re staying at the Metterra, join Choklat for their weekly tastings at the hotel.
— Another good spot for a gift to take home is the specialty knife store Knifewear at 10816 Whyte Ave. If you know anyone with any skill in the kitchen, they’d love a gift from here.
Leave time to stroll around the neighbourhood and then over the High Level Bridge to the north side of town. Just at the other end of the bridge are the Alberta legislature grounds with beautiful buildings, kids playing in the fountains, and just a short walk further, even more foodie delights.
Article and photos by Johanna Read