Edmonton restaurants at the forefront of cocktail culture

by Jana Lee

Time for a cocktail? Look no further than this roundup of Edmonton’s best bars and restaurants serving liquor in style. Classy, cool, and definitely unique, these modern spots are taking cocktails to the next level and are worth a visit no matter the occasion. [Image credit: iStock.com/gruizza]

Edmonton restaurants at the forefront of cocktail culture

Ampersand 27

Equal parts casual and modern, Ampersand 27 describes itself as “flavourfully imagined”. With an aptly named cocktail menu of Causes, Cures, and Remedies, who knows – you may find yourself indulging in more than one cocktail at this Whyte Ave hotspot. Our cocktail pick: Bitter Be Nice.


One of the newest additions to downtown Edmonton’s restaurant and bar scene is Clementine. Nestled in the Oliver neighbourhood under the new Pearl Tower condominiums, the decor of the bar alone will keep you coming back. With its vintage feel, Clementine creates the perfect ambiance to enjoy a creatively concocted cocktail. Try the Verte – you’ll be pleasantly surprised how well matcha goes with alcohol.

El Cortez Tequila Bar & Kitchen

Attention, tequila enthusiasts! This is your stop. El Cortez features delightfully refreshing tequila cocktails that are sure to convert even those that typically say “no gracias” to tequila. Really, they’re that good. Our top pick? A classic margarita or the Paloma.

Have Mercy Southern Table & Bar

So, maybe tequila really isn’t your thing. Have Mercy is conveniently located above El Cortez to give you an alternative. Take your drinking boots down South for stiff bourbon-based craft cocktails. If you’re a fan of Southern comfort food and American whiskey, this is the spot for you. Must try: the Rattlesnake.

Fairmont Hotel MacDonald

If you’re feeling particularly classy, consider the Confederation Lounge at the Hotel Mac, which is as much a historical landmark as it is an upscale hotel. It serves up premium hand-crafted cocktails in a space that’s made for unwinding and enjoying the view of Edmonton’s river valley. Bonus: it’s consistently voted Edmonton’s best summer patio. Must try: The Mac’s Sensational Ice Tea.

North 53

North 53 is a must-visit restaurant in the Edmonton’s 124 Street area. They serve playfully inventive cocktails, whimsically named and crafted in combinations that unexpectedly work well together. Pay a visit and try the Friendly Stranger or Strawberry Slow Gin Fizz.

The Common

A contemporary gastro lounge, The Common features refreshing cocktails divided into three categories: Famous, Almost Famous, and Infamous. If you’re in a group, you can even order a cocktail pitcher! Our top picks? The Cucumber Fizz or Watermelon Mojito.

Three Boars Eatery

Three Boars’ food is meant to be shared. We can’t say the same about their cocktails – once you get your first taste, you won’t want to share it with anyone else. Though their cocktail menu is modest, they’ve clearly perfected their craft. Try the Hooked on Tonics next time you’re in!


Enjoy a contemporary Canadian experience at Woodwork, located in the heart of Downtown Edmonton. It’s as if you’re walking into a modern home library, though in place of books are shelves of expertly curated spirits. Enjoy wood-fired eats over their take on the Old Fashioned to complete this rustic-chic experience.

The Workshop Eatery

Located in south Edmonton, Workshop features tested-until-perfect classic cocktails. Our top pick is the pickled Caesar with prairie cucumber vodka and house made Clamato juice. Caesar fans, this is your time to indulge.

Edmonton features plenty of good libations to indulge (responsibly) in. Now that you’re armed with a list of Edmonton’s best, it’s time to taste test your way through cocktail hour!

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