This well-respected restaurant has garnered much praise in its five years. Renowned throughout Alberta (and beyond), it seems to do everything right, from decor to cuisine to wine. Housed in what was once a hardware store, the restaurant traded in hammer and nail for spatula and corkscrew, to terrific effect. The menu specializes in "prairie regional cuisine," meaning that it takes advantage of local ingredients and heritage. Starters include Quebec foie gras, bison carpaccio, and forest mushroom risotto. Main courses include such delights as cedar-planked salmon, bacon-wrapped venison, and grilled lamb loin. All entrees come with savory sauces and mouthwatering sides. Desserts are fabulous too, and the wine list combines vintages from all over the world. Highly recommended.
An unpretentious spot, this café serves up food and drink with an Italian flair. Coffee comes in a variety of formulations, providing a caffeine fix for those who need their daily dose. Pastries and gelatos in mouthwatering flavors are ideal mid-afternoon treats, while panini (flavorful grilled sandwiches filled with meats, cheeses and vegetables) make for appetizing lunch-time snacks. A full bar serves up stout drinks when you need something more than a soda.
Busy and popular, this café handles a lot of traffic, given its large size and its location in Old Strathcona. Patrons often come to hang out over a cup of coffee or a light lunch. If you crave something sweet, you'll also find it here. Pastries, desserts and gelatos are all up for grabs; you've just got to decide if you want something flaky, creamy or cold. Soups and salads provide alternatives for those who – unthinkably – deny their sweet tooth. Stop in for something on your own, or meet a group of friends for an afternoon treat. They can handle it all.
The Sutton Place Hotel's restaurant is a quiet enclave of tasteful décor and attentive service. From its perch on the second floor, you can gaze into the atrium and the bustling activity below, or simply relax over a fine meal. If you're visiting for dinner, you can enjoy a grilled steak, roasted rack of lamb, or grilled Atlantic salmon, each accompanied by a side dish that could stand on its own, such as lemon risotto, asparagus with Pernod butter sauce, or tarragon polenta. Lunch is quite popular with the downtown business crowd, who nosh on creative salads, upscale gourmet sandwiches and warming soups. And Sunday brunch is not to be missed, with a bounty of good things beautifully laid out atop groaning buffet tables. An excellent wine list rounds out the offerings.
The ambiance of this coffeehouse is one of the best things about the place. The historic brick building plays host to a hip crowd of patrons who embrace creativity and intellectual pursuits. Over espressos, cappuccinos and aromatic teas, they discuss what's new in politics, art and culture. To provide them sustenance, the Bowl sells pastries, muffins and light meals. On Friday and Saturday evenings, musicians perform live. If you're in doubt as to its location, look for patrons gathered on the front steps when the weather's mild.
Perennially popular for weekend brunch, Barb and Ernie's is a family-run establishment that takes great pride in offering not only fantastic food but fabulous, caring service as well. The old-world atmosphere is fun for kids too, so bring the whole family for a Sunday morning food-fest. Brunch options include an astounding 30+ omelette creations, a dozen versions of eggs Benedict, and an array of pancakes and sweets. Later in the day, the food takes a German turn, with wiener schnitzel, brats and fresh apple strudel taking center stage.
A throwback to nostalgic days, this diner comes complete with vinyl booths and classic 50s music. The cuisine, however, isn't meat and potatoes but shrimp and pasta, with New Orleans flair. If you're in the mood for bayou-style eating, you've come to the right place. Ten different versions of the po' boy will have your mouth watering, as will blackened catfish, crab fritters, and jambalaya. If that's not enough temptation, there are also fresh oysters and rich gumbos, but purists will be delighted with the crispy fried chicken.
A favorite with many a local resident, Ziveli is widely regarded as one of the top Greek restaurants in town. The décor is somewhat sparse, with a blue-and-white color scheme, which allows guests to focus more closely on their food! And what food it is! Traditional Greek and Balkan dishes abound, from Serbian meatballs and roast lamb to moussaka and souvlaki. Whatever you decide, it's bound to be good, and you'll wish you lived closer.
To the accompaniment of spirited zydeco music, patrons savor the flavorful cuisine of the Deep South at this popular restaurant. Seafood, not surprisingly, is tops on the menu, whether you opt for crab cakes, shrimp Creole, or blackened catfish. Traditional fare like red beans and rice is perfectly seasoned and flavored with smoked sausage. You'll also find beer-battered shrimp, crawfish and a rich jambalaya, which comes in enormous portions.
Charming and atmospheric, Il Forno is all leafy vines, twinkly lights and tempting aromas. It's certainly appropriate for dates, but families will be comfortable as well, and if you're lucky a harpist will be performing. The traditional brick oven turns out wonderful classic thin crust pies that can serve as appetizer or main course. The seafood risotto, with scallops, shrimp and crab, is divine, but pastas are excellent as well, such as penne with sausage and red wine tomato sauce. The wine list is pleasantly affordable.