New restaurants in Edmonton: Fall 2017

By Sarah Sussman

Edmontonians are really starting to develop a palate for new tastes. This fall saw the opening of many exciting new ventures in the city ranging from vegan junk foods spots and Asian dessert cafes to small-plate bistros and culinary neighbourhood bars. Here are the new Edmonton restaurants to add to the to-do list. [Photo credit: istockphoto.com/ca/portfolio/photonewman]

New restaurants in Edmonton: Fall 2017

Hit the sweet spot

Nothing hits the spot quite like a kick of sugar. But if you’re looking to take things to the next level, try out one of these new dessert spots.

Re: Grub is a cult favourite Calgary staple that just opened an Edmonton location off Whyte Avenue. The eatery first opened as a burger bar, but is now known for its crazy mason jar milkshakes. The behemoth creations come garnished with everything from ice cream sandwiches and slices of cheesecake to glazed donuts and Bob Marley muffins (yes – Bob Marley muffins are something that actually exists).

There’s high demand for Korean “bingsu” shaved ice right now and Edmonton has seen a surge in new Korean dessert cafés. Celebrate the snowy season by heading over to Snowy Village for decadently creamy bingsu in delicious flavours like green tea, chocolate, cheesecake and mango. If you’re not in the mood for frozen dessert, try a taiyaki. The cute fish-shaped croissant-like pastries are filled with options like sweet potato, red bean or custard.

And while bingsu and other Korean desserts are still going strong, Edmonton is now looking to Taiwanese cuisine for inspiration as well. The popular Taiwanese dessert franchise Zen Q recently expanded into Canada and opened up a location on Jasper Avenue. Indulge in tasty treats like tofu pudding, grass jelly and – of course – bubble tea. Make sure to try the creamy frappe – a Taiwanese shaved ice dish of creamy frozen ribbons loaded with jelly, tapioca, condensed milk, cereal and more.

Veggin' out

Edmonton has seen the opening of several exciting new vegan eateries pop up over the last year specializing in comfort dish staples like pizza, nachos, macaroni and cheese and more.

A new favourite amongst vegans and carnivores alike, Die Pie is a downtown vegan pizza joint specializing in plant-based Neapolitan pizza. Die Pie has a gut-busting lineup of offerings like macaroni and cheese pizza (with king oyster “bacon”) and a buffalo “chicken” pizza with ranch and dill. All of the cheeses are made in-house with either nuts or hemp and are available for purchase to enjoy at home as well.

Raising the bar on bar food

Have you ever suffered through really bad food at a really good bar? How about really bad drinks at a really good restaurant? It no longer has to be one or the other. Over the last few months, Edmonton finally got some more chef-driven bars that pair adventurous dining concepts with good beer and good cocktails.

Located in the newly-built Ritchie Market, Biera is Blind Enthusiasm’s neighbourhood restaurant serving up great local craft beer with farm to table-style bar bites. Chef Christine Sandford has put together a share style menu with offerings like juniper smoked beef tongue pastrami, sunflower seed and malted rye risotto and house-baked Biera sourdough (served with house made butter, olive oil and whipped lardo). Stop in for a bite and order up a pint. You can even purchase a growler to take home with you.

This summer, Forest Heights was treated to the opening of a German eatery and bar called Cartago. The spot specializes in cocktails, small plates and (of course) German beer and opened as an upgraded version of the typical “neighbourhood bar.” It’s a sleek and stylish community gathering spot with elevated bar food, original cocktails, an excellent beer selection and massive sunlit windows. Nab a warm pretzel (courtesy of Zwick’s Pretzels) or order up some schnitzel fingers to pair with your drink.

Seasonal and regional cuisine

There’s nothing quite like savouring regionally sourced ingredients at their peak. Many new restaurants in town are opting to take a farm to table approach by sourcing seasonal and sustainable ingredients from farmers and suppliers within the community.

Over in the Ice District, the menu at Bündok is constantly changing. But the kitchen always experiments with new ways to incorporate Alberta produce and meat into unexpected dishes like fried chicken skins, grilled nectarine tartine, lamb schnitzel and more. The bar program features an Alberta craft beer list as well as cocktails made with regionally brewed spirits.

And for those who like social snacking and sharing, Revel Bistro & Bar is a contemporary downtown eatery putting a modern spin on classic dishes. Using regionally sourced ingredients (where possible), the menu is chock full of standards with elevated twists. The Caesar salad has veal sweetbreads in it, the cassoulet is made with octopus and the fritters are made with pork and seaweed.

With so many new dining options around Edmonton, treat your taste buds and get out to grab a bite. Whether you’re looking to dip your toes into plant-based eating or want to try some massive monster milkshakes, make sure you check out some of these new must-try restaurants.

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