10 restaurants to look forward to in Edmonton in 2018

By Sarah Sussman

2017 was a great year to be a foodie in Edmonton, and 2018 is going to be even better. The city’s dining scene is flourishing with new international eateries and exciting local restaurants – the hardest part is deciding where to go first! Here are 10 restaurants to look forward to in Edmonton in 2018. [Photo credit: Sarah Sussman]

10 restaurants to look forward to in Edmonton in 2018

Sweet Jesus

One of Toronto’s most popular ice cream joints is finally coming out west! The popular soft serve ice creamy known as Sweet Jesus is poised to open its first Alberta location in West Edmonton Mall later this year. Get ready for Instagram-worthy “pimped out” cones in flavours like birthday cake, s’more and rocky road.

Avila Arepa

If you haven’t been to Avila Arepa yet, you’re missing out! The restaurant opened over the summer as Edmonton’s first Venezuelan restaurant. The Whyte Avenue hot spot specializes in arepas – doughy corn patties cooked on a grill, split open and stuffed full of ingredients like a sandwich. Try the roast pork and cheddar-filled rumbera (which means “party girl” in Spanish).

Little Hong Kong

Have you ever been to a cocktail bar inside of a cocktail bar? Soon you’ll be able to do just that. Restauranteur Kevin Cam is working on a new concept inside Baijiu called Little Hong Kong. Baijiu has already made a name for itself with its sleek interior, tasty Asian small plates and penchant for hip-hop. If you thought it couldn’t get any cooler, just wait until Little Hong Kong opens up.

OEB Breakfast Co.

One of Calgary’s favourite brunch spots is finally coming to Edmonton. After opening another two locations in YYC, OEB is making its way to Edmonton. OEB (which stands for “Over Easy Breakfast”) is a farm-to-table diner specializing in elevated breakfast fare like rabbit eggs benedict, Nutella French toast and the famous “Soul in a Bowl” breakfast poutine with brown butter hollandaise.

Die Pie

Forget everything you know about vegan food. Die Pie is proof that plant-based food can be equal parts nutritious and delicious. The Jasper Avenue joint opened over the summer as Alberta’s first plant-based pizzeria. The menu is loaded with adventurous options like macaroni and cheese topped pizza and buffalo “chicken” pizza. Everything is 100 per cent vegan and there are plenty of gluten-free options too.

The Butternut Tree

There’s more to Canadian cuisine than poutine, Caesars and maple syrup. That’s why chef Scott Downey opened The Butternut Tree, an upscale Canadian restaurant located on the edge of downtown with a gorgeous view of the River Valley and Alberta Legislature Building. The menu is constantly changing depending on what’s in season and what ingredients are available. There’s rabbit from Laval, elk from Suncreek Ranch and ling cod from Vancouver Island. Make sure you try the Canadian cocktails too!

Al Centro

Getting tired of the same old delivery pizza? Time to try something a little different. Jasper Avenue will soon be home to a Roman-style pizza bar called Al Centro. If you like Neapolitan pizza – light and crispy thin crust pizza topped full of all sorts of goodies – you’ll love Roman-style pizza. But pizza’s not the only thing on the menu – Al Centro’s menu will also feature espresso, cocktails and plenty of other Italian comfort foods.

The Holy Roller

Michael Maxxis and his father Bill Graham established the Merchant Hospitality Group to shake up Edmonton’s dining scene. First they opened a Mexican taqueria called El Cortez, then a Southern honkytonk called Have Mercy. At the end of 2017, they opened yet another new spot – Holy Roller. Holy Roller features three rooms, three completely different atmospheres, a touch of Latin America and a touch of Detroit. The pintxos (Spanish small plates) and Detroit-style pizza are a must!

An Chay

An Chay (which means “eat vegetarian” in Vietnamese) is Edmonton’s first all-vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant. The cozy little Jasper Avenue eatery boasts big sunlit windows and a gorgeous chic interior. Dig into hearty faux beef pho, heaping vermicelli bowls and other meat-free fare.

Bubba Gump’s

Bubba Gump’s is finally coming to Canada! In March 2018, the popular U.S. restaurant chain is scheduled to open its first Canadian location inside West Edmonton Mall. The 8,960 square foot flagship is a must for seafood lovers, especially if you like shrimp! You can get it in a salad, on top of pasta, stuffed with lobster, battered in coconut, speared on a skewer and even stuffed into a taco.

With so many new restaurants opening up in 2018, now's the time to get out and elevate your foodie status! Whether you’re looking for upscale Canadian cuisine, vegan pizza pie or Instagram-worthy soft serve ice cream, get out and get a taste of what Edmonton has in store this year.

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