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The Best Restaurants in Edmonton, Alberta

Edmonton Restaurants

Dining Out In Edmonton — check out my Top 10 List of Edmonton restaurants usually reserved for locals:

In This Restaurant Article You Will Discover:

  • Where to Have a Great Cinnamon Bun
  • Canada’s Best Cup of Coffee
  • Asian Fusion At Its Finest
  • And More!

Edmonton is Alberta’s gateway to the north and is full of visitors all year round, whether they are there to shop at the world’s largest mall, take in one of the exciting summer festivals, on a work-trip for Canada’s oil industry or any other reason. No matter why you’re in Edmonton, you’ve gotta eat. Here is a top 10 list of Edmonton’s best restaurants — usually only known to locals:

Tokyo Noodle Shop

Sure, it’s more than 1,000 km from the nearest ocean — but if you’re looking for great sushi in Edmonton, you can find it at Tokyo Noodle Shop on Whyte Avenue. Nestled in the shopping and entertainment district of Old Strathcona, this brick-building eatery offers up sushi that can even measure up to a Vancouverite’s raw fish palette. For something a little different, try the Dragon Roll — but all the usual suspects make the grade. And, as the name suggests, there is Japanese hot food on the menu as well. 780.430.0838; 10736 82 Avenue.

Pagolac

Ask any Edmonton local where the best Vietnamese in the city is, and I bet he or she lists Pagolac as number-one. In fact, ask most where the best lunch is on the south side, and Pagolac will be right up there (even though there are two locations, in the city). Offering up traditional Vietnamese quickly and at a budget-pleasing price, Pagolac is not just one of the best such restaurants in Edmonton, it’s one of the best casual Vietnamese diners in Western Canada. Try the Pan-Fried Lemon Grass With Pork & Egg Rolls, one of the Pagolac Combinations or even the Wor Wonton Soup. 780.433.8899; 9642 54 Avenue. 780.425.1540; 10566 97 Street.

Padmanadi

And now for something completely different — a vegetarian restaurant that lists Ginger Beef as one of its prime specialties. Of course, it’s not actually beef, but a veggie substitute — and you virtually cannot tell! Located in Chinatown, Padmanadi offers up seemingly meaty dishes like curry chicken, curry mutton and sweet-and-sour pork, but it’s all meat-free. (The curries are my favourite.) It’s a real treat, and a true hidden gem. 780.428.8899; 10740-101 Street.

New Asian Village

What many Edmonton visitors may not know is that the city has a very high standard of Indian food — it could be Edmonton’s Marquee Ethnic cuisine. If you’ve got a hankering for endless plates of butter chicken, palak panir, tandoori chicken, lamb vindaloo, aloo gobi, naan and more — only one restaurant can fit the bill: New Asian Village. A high-class buffet with four locations, this is not the cafeteria-style all-you-can-eat café you may picture when you think “buffet.” All five locations are just as rich with ambience as they are with the smells and tastes of India. (The Saskatchewan Drive location being my favourite). OK, I’ve just made myself hungry — I’m off to the buffet. 780.482.1111; 10149 Saskatchewan Drive; 17507 100 Avenue; 9308 34 Avenue; 320 Manning Crossing; 200-10A Main Boulevard (Sherwood Park).

Chianti Café

Another Whyte Avenue restaurant, Chianti Café is one of Edmonton’s most popular Italian eateries — due to it’s fabulous food (like the Fettuccine Supremo) served at very reasonable prices, as well as it’s charming ambience in a century-old brick building that once served as a post office. If you’re not in the Old Strathcona area, Chianti has a second location in Clareview (and locations in Calgary, where the restaurant was founded). Chianti could be the best mix of great Italian food and value price in the province — see for yourself soon! 780.439.9829; 10501 82 Avenue. 780.456.3211; 13712 40 Street.

Lux Steakhouse & Bar

You didn’t think I’d put together a list of Edmonton restaurants without including a steak house, did you? It goes without saying that Lux Steakhouse & Bar, located downtown, serves AAA Alberta Beef — the best in the world — but what you may not expect is a New York style longbar, a private room for various functions, a lunch menu and an overall atmosphere that oozes cosmopolitan class. If you visit, eat a steak — be it New York, tenderloin, ribeye or Surf ‘n Turf. However, if there’s a vegetarian in the crowd, Lux has a Mushroom Wellington that will keep him or her happy — and there are menu offerings that include lamb, chicken and even a gourmet hamburger and so much more. Add to that a fantastic wine list and you’ve got one of Edmonton’s premiere dining experiences. 780.424.0400; 10150 101 Street.

Transcend

Prepare to transcend from a world of Starbucks and double-doubles. With three locations — in the south side, downtown and in the Garneau area — Transcend offers the best coffee in the country. Yes, I said it — a bold claim, but one that rings true. The owners travel to coffee-producing countries three times per year and source the best beans on the planet. Upon returning to Edmonton, each bean variety is roasted to complement its characteristics and complexities. Baristas received more than 40 hours of training before they serve your cup of coffee. They even offer a Coffee Education Programs, so you can be as knowledgeable as them — or at least more knowledgeable than you were. Plus, Transcend serves up Latin American-style food and even craft beer and wine. It’s, um, transcendent. 780.430.9198; 9869 – 62 Avenue. 8708 – 109 Street. 10349 Jasper Avenue.

Hardware Grill

It’s been called “Canada’s Best Restaurant.” Hardware Grill, located downtown, is a chic urban hotspot that features progressive Canadian cuisine with a French flair and an artistic presentation. (Try the Mushroom Crusted Lamb Loin or the Lacquered Duck Breast!) But don’t go thinking this is some stuffed-shirt, pompous restaurant — it’s a casual fine-dining experience where even newbie gourmets will dine in comfort. 9698 Jasper Avenue.

Famoso

Inspired by the pizza of Naples, Famoso serves Edmonton’s best slices, accompanied with fine wine and finished off with gelato. Chefs have been trained with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, an organization that preserves the standards of authentic Neapolitan pizza, so you’re guaranteed an authentic slice. Try the Cappricciosa or Quatrro Formaggio for two of the best — but there’s no losing when you order a Famoso pizza. Four locations (soon to be six). 11750 Jasper Avenue; 1437 99 Street; 14123 23 Avenue; 13655 St Albert Trail.

Lazia

Lazia bills itself as “exquisite experience for exactly five of the five senses.” I call it one of the city’s most unique restaurant hot spots. It’s chic, fun, exciting and best of all — delicious. Serving Asian fusion and Mediterranean-influenced fare, you’re going to get a meal much different at Lazia than you would see at mainstays like Earl’s or The Cactus Club.  Enjoy Malaysian Chicken Satay, Cuban Rack of Lamb, One-Ton Soup, Tandoori Basa Whitefish and so much more. With two locations, Lazia is also known for it’s cocktails and wine list — and is a great place to spend the whole evening wining, dining and laughing. 13503 St. Albert Trail & Suite A113, 10200-102 Avenue.

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Photo Courtesy Edmonton Economic Development

About the author: David Webb is a Vancouver, BC-based travel writer, photographer and magazine editor.

6 comments… add one
  • Erin May 19, 2012

    I love Transcend!! I always make sure to grab a coffee there everytime I am in Edmonton.

  • David Webb Jan 11, 2012

    Wow. I guess you and I won’t be dining together soon. I’ll admit there ARE more than 10 good restaurants in Edmonton, but I stand by my list. PS: If Pagolac and Famoso are so bad… why are both places lined up out the door during every peak time?

  • Someone with a brain Jan 10, 2012

    Apparently the writer of this article has deadened taste-buds, which truly is a a shame, as with naming Pagolac as one of the best restaurants in Edmonton completely discredits any possible good suggestions that may have potentially come from this post.

    Pagolac is a TERRIBLE – let me repeat… a TERRIBLE Vietnamese restaurant… Even in their prime (which they aren’t any longer) the food was mediocre at best… The last time I ate there, the shrimp was nearly rancid. If you want truly good Vietnamese food, check out Golden Bird in China town… Family run business… Best spring rolls I’ve had so far.

    Famoso ranks among some of the worst pizza I’ve ever encountered… I actually think it’s right down there with Pizza 26 (when they were around), and were talking about BAD BAD pizza… When I ordered there- the pizza was completely soggy, the “pizza sauce” could have been purree’d canned tomotoes (literally the same amount of effort and flavour), and the toppings were extremely chinsey and lack luster. I simply don’t get the “hype” over this terrible pizza place? It’s over priced and I’d honestly rather eat Pilsbury Mini pizza’s than this crap. (And don’t give me the crap about “Oh, it’s supposed to be soft so you can fold it over and it’s authentic” – I’ve had better pizza made on a piece of old pita bread by my 6 year old… (True story)

    Lazia was pretty decent when I ate there- maybe a little bit over-priced considering the caliber of food, but at least the atmosphere was nice.

    How could you possibly have a list of the best in Edmonton – and not mention Ernests or Jacks grill?

    I believe you have more research to do.

    Good day to you.

  • David Webb Sep 19, 2011

    Must be because it’s so cold there… 😉

  • Aldo Sep 19, 2011

    How could the best cup of coffee possibly be in Edmonton????????

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