Tiny, intimate and cozy Edmonton restaurants

While there’s nothing wrong with a big, loud restaurant, sometimes you’re just not in the mood for all that hub-bub. When you feel like having an intimate conversation with a friend or partner or crave some quiet with your meal, a smaller establishment can offer some respite. These Edmonton restaurants all seat 60 people or less, making them the ultimate spots for a cozy dinner. [Image credit: iStock.com/hlphoto]

Three Boars Eatery

1
8424 109 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 1E2

This popular spot retains an intimate feeling by having three small seating areas instead of one huge dining room. When you walk in, you’ll find the main floor bar, which seats about 10 people. People come here to sip craft cocktails, like the Dan Harvey Wallbanger. Upstairs is the main dining room, which has a mere 26 spots for guests to sample small plates from a menu that utilizes local ingredients and changes almost daily. In summer, there’s a small patio that will accommodate about 15 guests, perfect for enjoying one of the local draughts from the extensive beer list.

Corso 32

2
10345 Jasper Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 1Y5

A charming Italian eatery with a reputation for excellence, Corso 32 only has room for 32 guests at a time – just one of the reasons why it can take weeks to get a table during peak times. The romantic lighting and exquisite food only add to the intimate atmosphere. The tables are quite close together, so it’s not the best place for a private conversation but it’s a great way to make new foodie friends. Pasta made in-house and a lovely wine list seal the deal. Pro tip: to avoid waiting, avoid the weekends and request a 5 p.m. seating.

Cibo Bistro

3
11244 104 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 2X4

Another excellent Italian spot, Cibo Bistro is slightly bigger than Corso 32, with a dining room that seats 50 people. Cibo is also open for lunch during the week, making it unique for a small eatery. The food ranges from antipasta, such as olives or grilled octopus to potato gnocchi with Gorgonzola cream, toasted pistachios and 35-year aged balsamic. Don’t skimp on the mains, which include duck, rabbit and rib eye steak, or the sides, like potatoes fried in duck fat and topped with garlic, rosemary and Sicilian sea salt.

Tzin Wine & Tapas Ltd

4
10115 104 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0Z9

Tzin is a tiny spot tucked away on the 104 Street promenade. It mainly functions as a wine bar, but they do offer some lovely small plates to pair with that vino. They even tell you which wine goes well with each dish, using a fool-proof colour coding system. Dishes like duck breast with cherry chutney, sweet potato waffle and tangerine balsamic exist alongside lamb meatballs and BC side strip prawns on this always changing menu. Reservations are always recommended, as it’s basically impossible to get a seat otherwise.

Bar Bricco

5
10347 Jasper Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 1Y5

This spuntini bar can serve up to 30 guests at a time. With an extensive wine list, plus a few beers and cocktails thrown in for good measure, this is a great spot to enjoy a drink or two while waiting for a table at Bar Bricco’s sister restaurant, Corso 32. Of course, you can always just eat here – they serve a mouth-watering selection of salumi, cheese and small plates, such as olives, egg yolk ravioli and house-made ricotta. Create your own charcuterie board, including condiments like truffle and black pepper honey. For dessert, indulge in Tuscan Amadei chocolate truffles.

Red Ox Inn

6
9420 91 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6C 3P4

If you’re a fan of fancy food in a casual but intimate atmosphere, Red Ox Inn is the place for you. The restaurant, which has been a part of the community for decades, holds 36 guests, so it’s never overcrowded. The menu is small but well curated, and the wine list is carefully chosen. They serve everything from duck and lamb to trout and gnocchi. Fun fact: The restaurant was also used as the setting for Beef and Booze in the comedy sketch show, SCTV, in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.

Canteen

7
10522 124 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 1R9

This 50-seat restaurant, located on the blooming 124 Street, is owned by the same people behind the Red Ox Inn. Canteen is more modern but just as casual and cozy. The menu is more experimental, with items like corn fritters with smoky maple syrup, kale salad and Albacore tuna poke. They’re open for lunch, dinner and brunch (on weekends), so there are plenty of opportunities to grab one of the few seats available.

Cavern

8
2-10169 104 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 1A5

This tiny space, located underground on the 104 Street Promenade, manages to fit in a retail cheese boutique and a bistro wine bar. There’s only a handful of tables, so it’s perfect for a quiet date night spot. In addition to cheese boards, they offer fresh baguettes, foie gras, genoa salami, chorizo, salads and desserts, such as affogato, handmade shortbread, chocolate mousse, lemon tarts, cheesecake and truffles from local chocolatier,Jacek Chocolate Couture (located right across the street). In addition to wine, they serve espresso, beer, bourbon, Scotch, sherry and port.

RGE RD

9
10643 123 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 1P3

With a chic, rustic vibe and a cozy dining room that fits about 60 people, RGE RD is the ideal place for a romantic dinner or an intimate meal with friends. The menu features locally -sourced meat and produce, such as duck from Four Whistle Farms, pork from Nature’s Green Acres and bison from Pilatus Farms. The chef focuses on whole animal cooking, with dishes like the questionable bits (it changes daily, but is always delicious). The restaurant also includes The Butchery, a private space that can host events for 22 people seated or up to 36 people standing.

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