Whether its a relaxed family meal or romantic dinner for two you’re after, Edmonton has a great range of restaurants to suit every taste and budget. Here’s our pick of the 10 best places to try if you’re looking for a new dinner spot.
A staple on the Edmonton restaurant scene for close to 20 years, Hardware Grill specializes in ‘progressive Canadian cuisine,’ influenced both by the country’s French heritage and the local flavors of the provincial region. Most dishes resemble a modern version of well-loved comfort food, with plenty of classics like Alberta angus beef tenderloin and porcini crusted sea bass. If you’re looking for something a little more unusual, you can request the five course chef’s tasting menu, or opt for the exceptionally good-value ‘before sunset’ early dinner menu.
One of Edmonton’s more stylish dining options, The Marc is a sleek, elegant restaurant serving upscale French-inspired cuisine. The tasteful, monochrome dining room enhances the beautiful presentation of the food, which is delivered by the efficient and friendly team of attentive staff. The menu has a simple, uncomplicated feel, focusing on classic dishes like duck confit and entrecote frites.
The multi-award winning Wildflower restaurant is one of Edmonton’s best known fine-dining spots. The appetizing menu is separated into ‘lighter fare’ and main dishes, meaning it’s easy to find something to suit your appetite. Popular choices often center on the meat options, all of which are deliciously flavorful and tender, especially the pinot noir braised lamb shank.
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Habanero’s Mexican Grill is a lively Mexican restaurant with a fun, laid-back ambiance. The menu is relatively standard and features all the favorites like wings, nachos, quesadillas and fajitas, but the noticeably fresh ingredients are what really elevate the dishes. Since so much is cooked from scratch be prepared to wait a while for your dishes – just settle in and enjoy a Mexican beer while you wait.
A contemporary take on the traditional Italian trattoria, Violino is a sophisticated Italian establishment in Edmonton’s central downtown area. The authentic cookery is centered around trusted flavor combinations, such as rack of lamb with a woodland mushroom risotto and goat’s cheese wine reduction. The cozy interior creates a warm, welcoming ambiance but the outdoor patio is also perfect for al-fresco meals during the warmer months.
A trendy buffet-style restaurant in Edmonton’s Summerwood area, Zaika is a great choice for those looking to sample a range of different, tasty Indian dishes. The option is available to order a la carte, from a menu including favorites like beef vinadaloo and mango chicken, but the buffet option does offer impressive value for money and guarantees you definitely won’t be leaving hungry. The funky, dimly-lit interior makes this a much more exciting version than your standard affair, however, and the service is slick and friendly.
Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, Canadian, Seafood, $$$
Edmonton’s version of Toronto’s CN Tower’s 360 Restaurant, La Ronde is a revolving restaurant located on the 24th floor of the city’s Chateau Lacombe hotel. The food is quite pricey, but of good quality and more creative than your standard hotel restaurant fare. Offering an unrivaled view of downtown, this is a great choice for a special occasion dinner.
For a taste of modern European cooking in Edmonton, Continental Treat is the place to go. Taking inspiration from the traditional techniques of French, German, Austrian and Polish cuisine, the menu features dishes including ‘Vienna Schnitzel’ and ‘Hungarian Goulash.’ The comfortable and understated interior gives the place a homely feel that reinforces its welcoming and authentic ambiance.
Run by three friends, Mexican restaurant Tres Carnales is founded on another principle of three, thanks to its signature tacos, quesadillas and tortas. The short menu provides just eight options for fillings, but each selection is equally tempting, from slow braised short rib beef to the vegetarian choice of garlic sautéed mushrooms with ‘queso fresco.’ The venue is similarly compact, with fairly limited seating, although take-out is also available.
Corso 32 is so popular that you are advised to make a reservation well in advance in order to secure one of its 32 seats. The forward planning is made more than worthwhile, however, thanks to the exceptional Italian-inspired menu and the stunning food presentation. Dishes, including cavatelli pasta with pork and fennel sausage as well as sockeye salmon with almonds and pink lady apple, are designed for sharing and are all freshly handmade.