More than just Chinese food: Edmonton’s top Chinatown spots

Chinatown has some of the best - but often overlooked - culinary offerings in Edmonton. From a delicious bowl of Vietnamese beef noodle soup (pho) to traditional Chinese dim sum and more, Edmonton food blogger Linda Hoang shares some of her favourite spots to dine in and around the Chinatown strip.

King Noodle House Pho Hoang Ltd

10613 97 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 2L5

King Noodle House is home to the famed ‘Moustache Man,’ the grumpy – yet lovable – Vietnamese owner and server of this pho restaurant. For 20 years, people have been coming to King Noodle House for their pho (beef noodle soup). You won’t find much else on their menu save for a handful of appetizers and vermicilli. Challenge yourself with the #1 Extra Large, go a bit spicy with the Bun Bo Hue, or get the popular rare, thinly sliced beef that cooks in the broth.

Van Loc

10648 98 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 2N7

Arguably the best Vietnamese banh mi submarines in the city – and also definitely the cheapest. This family-run shop serves simple, filling subs: Crunchy baguettes stuffed with carrots, cilantro, cucumber, hot peppers (optional – it’s really hot!) and your choice of various sliced meats. I love it with the pâté. Try some traditional Vietnamese bean and jelly desserts while you’re there, and catch an episode of Paris by Night ( a Vietnamese musical variety show) on their TV.

Noi Thai Restaurant

10724 95 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 2C7

Although it’s off the Chinatown strip, Viphalay has some of the best Thai I’ve ever eaten in Edmonton. It constantly delivers on good, flavourful Thai food. The space is small, so lots of people opt to order take-out here, or give their beautiful 99 Avenue location a try. You can’t go wrong with anything here – from the Tom Yum soups to the red wine shrimp and appetizers, curries and the red wine shrimp, pad Thai and drunken noodles.

Lee House Korean Restaurant

10704 97 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 2L8

A welcome Korean addition to the Chinatown strip, head to Lee House for some Korean favourites like the ddukbokki (rice and fish cakes in a sweet red chili sauce), jap chae (Korean glass noodles), bulgogi (thinly sliced beef) and bibimbab (rice with veggies, meat, and an egg). Lee House is famed for their fried chicken, and I’m also a big fan of their soups. Try the budae jigae – a kimchi stew with pork belly, ham and veggies.

Dynasty Restaurant

200-9700 105 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 4J1

Head to Dynasty for some quality Chinatown dim sum. Order a variety of dishes, including steamed pork dumplings (shu mai), shrimp dumplings (har gow), chicken feet and rice noodle rolls. They come served in steamer baskets or small plates, and are small portions. You’re charged by how many small baskets/plates you get (ranging from $3 to $5 each). It’s recommended to dim sum with a group!

Zen Shabu Shabu Sushi & Grill

10518 101 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 2R8

Craving Japanese? How about all-you-can-eat Japanese? In Chinatown, Zen is the answer. Choose from a big selection of hot and cold dishes, including sashimi, sushi and maki rolls and cones, plus udon noodle soup, rice, teriyaki chicken and beef and more. The prices are on par with other all-you-can-eat spots in town.

Pagolac Restaurant Ltd

10566 97 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 2L2

I go to Pagolac for their famous Bo 7 Mon. Suitable for two people, the Bo 7 Mon is beef, served seven different ways. It ranges from Bo Luc Lac (cubes of perfectly seasoned beef) to Chao Bo (a beef congee rice porridge), to beef wrapped in leaves, a beef ‘fondue’ (like a hot pot) and more. Most of the portions are small but, when you combine them all – you’re leaving full. Also, be prepared to get messy – it’s very hands-on!

Garden Bakery Restaurant

10019 106 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 0N8

By day, it’s a lovely Chinese bakery where you can get traditional buns and pastries; by night, it’s a favourite for the party crowd. Garden Bakery & Restaurant is one of the few Chinatown spots open late (4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). Try their Hong Kong style pasta, pan fried noodles and Chinese snacks. Feeling adventurous? I love the jellyfish and shredded pork hock or chicken.

Fresh fish can be a difficult find in landlocked Edmonton but there are some local Japanese restaurants that can satisfy the craving. Throw in ‘all-you-can-eat’ and you can’t keep me away. When it comes to pricey fish, sometimes going all-you-can-eat will give you the best value for your dollar. Food blogger Linda Hoang breaks down some of the AYCE Japanese options in the Edmonton area.
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