We're back with Restaurant Roundup for 2015! This year's theme: Where To Eat This Weekend. Every other week we'll be profiling a different city in Canada with a list of great dining recommendations for you to check out - from fancy to hole in the wall and everything in between! Today Edmonon's Andrea Chan of Little Miss Andrea gives us the low-down on where to eat in Edmonton this weekend!
BRUNCH or LUNCH
Edmonton hasn’t always had a bustling brunch scene. Despite many new restaurants offering brunch menus, one of my go-to spots for breakfast and brunch is Café Leva. Tucked away in the heart of Garneau, Leva is quiet and a great place to kick off your weekend with coffee and good eats. The most difficult decision you’ll have to make is which item to pick out of all the delectable pastries baked in house – the buttery croissants and the lemon tart are my favourites. If you’re looking for something more substantial, the pizzas will be calling your name.
Noodle soups – specifically ramen - are becoming more popular in our city. While Edmonton is still waiting for a dedicated ramen restaurant to open, Yuzen Japanese Restaurant in St. Albert offers ramen for lunch on Saturdays only, from 11:30 to 2:00 PM. Five different ramen bowls are available, but I recommend you try the tonkotsu – the rich, fatty broth coats every bite of the noodles and is worth the drive.
For sushi on the weekends I make my way to Sumo Sumo Sushi Bar & Grill in Sherwood Park. The fish is always fresh and presented beautifully. If you’re craving sushi on the weekend, save your visit for their Sunday All You Can Eat brunch. At $35 per person it’s a splurge, but you get access to high quality seafood and tasty maki. Look out for the Aloha Roll – the combination of spicy ahi tuna, eel sauce, pineapple, and coconut is my weakness.
RGE RD was the first restaurant in Edmonton to really highlight the concept of farm-to-table dining. They utilize ingredients provided solely by local producers, and whatever is available at the farm dictates the ever-changing seasonal menu. Dining at RGE RD isn’t just another meal, it’s also an education on how food is raised, how it should be eaten, and why it’s important for us to appreciate local producers. The menu is refreshing and dishes are creative, and I’ve never had a bite I didn’t like. Having been named the fourth best restaurant in Canada by enRoute magazine in 2014, RGE RD is a restaurant you don’t want to miss. (Closed Sundays)
Tzin Wine & Tapas
Cooking out of what is probably the smallest kitchen in the city, Tzin Wine & Tapas is where you want to be for an intimate dinner. The small sharing plates feature local producers and are packed with tons of flavour in every bite. The menu changes seasonally, but the classic bacon with apple compote on a crostini is deadly. Order lots! (Closed Sundays)
Dining a bit later on the weekend? North 53 has you covered. Open until 2AM on Fridays and Saturdays, there is a variety of snacks, small plates, and large sharing plates to indulge in and satisfy your appetite. With an innovative bartending team, North 53 is known to craft the best cocktails that Edmonton has to offer. Order some crispy fried chicken off the late night menu and a cocktail customized to your liking on the side.
JUST FOR FUN
At the end of a busy work week I like to wind down with drinks and small plates to jump start the weekend. Bar Bricco, the little sister to the famed Corso 32, is an Italian wine & spuntini bar modelled after those in Italy where you start your evening or wind down at the end of the night with small plates and a few glasses of wine. From the salumi selection to the gorgeous egg yolk raviolo, it’s hard to pick a favourite, but make sure to try out the carne cruda Piedmontese (steak tartare) and eggs Moliterno. Bar Bricco is a tiny 28-seat bar, so start your night early or end it off late to grab a spot – it will be worth your while.
Duchess Bake Shop
Regarded as one of the top patisseries in Canada, a stop at Duchess Bake Shop on the weekend is a no-brainer. With cakes, macarons, brioche, croissants, and many more French pastries, everything behind the counter is tempting, and it’s practically impossible to leave empty handed. Amongst all the offerings, the chocolate croissant bread pudding and key lime tart are my weaknesses. Stop by for lunch or pick up pastries to go - Duchess never disappoints.
SD Dessert Island
When warmer weather hits I stray from rich, chocolatey desserts in favour of lighter desserts with lots of fruit. Located within the heart of Chinatown, SD Dessert Island is a hidden gem and is Edmonton’s best spot for Hong Kong-style desserts and drinks. There are traditional dessert soups and icy drinks, but the steamed ice custard and shaved ice are desserts you don’t want to miss. A mountain of shaved ice topped with loads of fruit, coconut milk, and condensed milk is so refreshing on a hot day, and you can indulge guilt-free knowing there’s fruit in there, right?
A born and raised Edmontonian, Andrea Chan has been eating her way around Edmonton since 2010. Growing up, food played a central role in her family life, where sharing of daily experiences and family bonding occurred over meal time. As a result, Andrea has been taking on the calories, capturing the flavours, and sharing her experiences on her blog at Little Miss Andrea. Healthcare professional by day, and thinking about food all the time, follow her big adventures on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.