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Aug 30, 2007 11:42 AM

Edmonton Resto Recommendations

My husband and I are coming to Edmonton for the long weekend and we are looking for great places to eat.
We are staying at the Hotel MacDonald downtown.
We would like to be able to walk to the restaurant (25 minute walk or less).
We love all types of food and are looking for recommendations in the $20 entree range.
We are also open to lounge-type places.
Also, if anyone has a great place for Sunday brunch, it would be appreciated.
Thanks for your recommendations.

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  1. I hear good things about Culina's sunday brunch. It's just on the other side of the river from where you're staying (around 99th st and 89th ave, I think).

    1. Unfortunately Edmonton's downtown can be kind of quiet after work. There are a few good choices within walking distance of the hotel Mac, but if you're willing to drive or splurge on a cab at least 1 night, you'll open the door to way more options.

      For example, I'm a huge Culina fan, but that one's definitely too far for you to walk to.

      Very close to the hotel you have Sorrentino's (

      Ric's Grill ( and the Blue Plate Diner ( are on 104th street, only 3 blocks away.

      1. Oy - hate to say it but Ric's (too pedestrian - chain rest.) and Blue Plate (kitsch theme is just too contrived and no food to back it up) are both at the bottom of my list.

        If you are staying at the Mac you have a GREAT Sunday brunch option right next door to you at the Courtyard Mariott, fab brunch and awesome view from patio of Edmonton's river valley. Also the Coast Hotel on 105 Street and 102 Ave has a great brunch daily at a lesser price than the Mariott.

        If you are in Alberta you MUST try Alberta beef :) My all time pick is Mirabelle on 109 Street just north of Jasper Ave (101 Ave). Don't be fooled by the dated decore, the steak and Bearnaise are out fo this world - I'd drink the Bearnaise there if I could ;)

        I agree with the Sorrentino's pick - the one right downtown on 100 Street and Jasper Ave is great - I've been eating the Cannelloni ther for over 10 years and it's yet to be topped in my opinion. This location in particular serves a bison Cannelloni as opposed to Veal and it's delicious. For a more authentic location, try the Sorrentino's in Little Italy on 108 Ave and 95 Street. Much more rustic than the high-end central location, but that's reflected in the prices too.

        If you like Greek, you must Must MUST try Koutouki on 124 St and 107 Ave. It's been around forever and was even featured for 2 seasons on Food TV as a show called "Family Restaurant". This is the real deal for Greek. I would highly recommend reservations and going on a Friday night when the bellydancing and plate smashing ensues. As far as food - the mezes are great but I always have to get the Moussaka - OMG - there are no words! Just try it - it's the real thing - lamb not beef! Koutouki is a bit of a walk but there are mutiple buses heading West on Jasper Avenue that will take you to 124 Street in about 15 mins then you just walk the 3 blocks.

        If you are into Chinese, I highly recommend Noodle Noodle in chinatown for Dim Sum. The Lo Mai Gai, Sui Mai and especially the baked and steamed Char Siu Bao have yet to be topped for me and I've looked :) Dim Sum is daily from 11-2, but I would go either Sat. or Sun. as on the week ends they make specialties that you only see on those days.

        Best of luck! I just moved to Vancouver after being in Edmonton for 16 years and I'm all about food so I'd be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

        13 Replies
        1. re: eastcoastgirl_westcoastlife

          I'm not sure that I'd agree with Koutouki, sorry. Annynstar, where are you from? Can you get decent Greek at home? I went to Koutouki and I left feeling insulted at the value. The food was okay, the service was meh, and I've had exceptional Greek food for 1/3 the price on the Danforth in Toronto. Edmonton has other things to offer; I think Koutouki is just on a high given the success of the show. I'm just going on my recent experience... maybe the prices have been inflated recently? That said, the belly-dancing and plate smashing sounds fun... there wasn't any of that when I was there.

          From what I hear (and from what's been said here), Sorrentino's might be a better bet.

          1. re: littlegreenpea

            Than's too bad littlegreenpea, that you had a bad experience at Koutouki. I haven't been to the DT location in a few years so that may be affecting my opinion. I recommended that location as the orginal poster was looking for something downtown, but by far my fave location is the one on Calgary Trail N. (103 St) Just north of the Coast Terrace Inn, and north of the Whitemud Freeway (45th Ave.) The service is great and I agree the prices are high, but I only go there for special occasions and find that the value is reflected in the food. If you ever want to give it another go and maybe try the south side location.

            1. re: eastcoastgirl_westcoastlife

              Sounds good. Maybe I'll try one of the other locations if I'm feeling like Greek.

              Also, annynstar, give Kabsa a shot if you're looking for a quickish/casual bite to eat. It's a 5-10 min walk from where you're staying. I just posted a review here:

              1. re: littlegreenpea

                That's funny, as I feel that Kabsa is overpriced :S I much prefer La Shish (Jasper and 118) for middle eastern, the shwarma is to die for!

            2. re: littlegreenpea

              I agree, littlegreenpea. I didn't have any real complaints, but I think Koutouki gets a little more hype than it deserves due to the tv show. Let's face it, souvlaki is NOT hard to do, and should be priced accordingly.

              For the record, I went to the 124th St. location, and did try other things besides souvlaki. I'm just saying that I suspect souvlaki makes up about 60-70% of their orders (as in most Greek restaurants in Canada). So in that sense they're very much a "mainstream" Greek restaurant, not specializing in expensive seafood or grilled quail or anything.

              1. re: egon61


                I have had this discussion with friends back home in Montreal and with Theo, Yianni's son who operates the Koutouki Ouzeria out in the west end.

                I miss the fish tavernas we used to frequent on Parc Avenue in Montreal rather than just souvlaki, domathes, keftedes, spanokopita, roast lamb, etc. etc which seem to dominate in western Canada.

            3. re: eastcoastgirl_westcoastlife

              Didn't even realize Ric's was a chain - I'd never seen any other locations.

              Interesting question though: do you consider Koutouki or Sorrentino's "chains"? They have multiple locations as well...

              1. re: egon61


                Yep, Ric's is a chain. Well a "chain" to the extent that I am assuming one pays a franchise fee. I think the 3 locations in the Edmonton area [St. Albert, Downtown Metals Bldg. and Riverbend are owned by the same group].

                I know there is one in Lethbridge and a couple in Kamloops. We have eaten at one in Kamloops in the Sheraton Hotel and it is quite good. Much better IMHO that the Metals Bldg spot here in Edmonton which has been disappointing.

                No, I would not consider either Koutouki or Sorrentino's to be "chains" per se because for the most part they are "family" or "investor group" owned.

                Might be different if the Psalios familiy in the case of the former branch out and open "franchises" based on the "Family Restaurant" publicity.

                I thought that Sorrentino's was going that route when they opened in Jasper and Grande Prairie but that appears to have stopped and I know the Japser location is no longer a Sorrentino's.

                They are however beginning to open some cafes like the one under construction in Edmonton Centre which I think will be based upon their cafe downtown.

                I think it was started by investors from Prince George BC but I may be wrong in that regard.

                1. re: egon61

                  No egon61 I do not consider the others to be chains as they are family restaurants, and YES Ric's IS a chain and I've been dissapointed at both the Downtown 104 St location and Sherwood Park. I've been dining at Koutouki long before the hype you speak of - my choice is based on quality - not a television show I don't watch.

                2. re: eastcoastgirl_westcoastlife

                  I would double check on the Marriott. I do not think they do Sunday Brunch although the Mac itself certainly did at one point in time.

                  I think the Marriott goes the buffet route on Thursday and Friday but ceased the Sunday buffet due to lack of interest.

                    1. re: eastcoastgirl_westcoastlife

                      You could be right.

                      Merely conveying what one of their servers told me last week.

                  1. re: eastcoastgirl_westcoastlife

                    I had lunch at the downtown location yesterday and quite enjoyed the new menu which was turned out earlier in the week.

                    I had a nice goat cheese tarte over micro greens to start and a delicious piece of baked halibut in a piquant lemon, chardonnay, caper berry sauce for my main. The halibut was just gone and came slightly undercooked as requested so that it was melt in one's mouth tender and flaked nicely.

                    Drives me nuts...admitted a short "drive" in my case...when one gets a nice filet of fish that is cooked to death so it is dry.

                    Their evening menu looks quite good as well featuring lamb three ways, a duo of duck, several beef dishes, cuccuoco [mispelled I know, sort of like a cross between a mediterranean fish soup and bouillibaise without being either if it is anything like what they were serving upon opening at their Whitemud Crossing location]...I may have to break with tradition and head back downtown some evening and have dinner there.

                    Of course their annual mushroom festival should be beginning shortly.

                  2. I would be inclined to stay at the Mac for Sunday brunch in that area. Blue Plate is much less formal and would have a nice weekend vibe going on. Depends on what kind of brunch you are seeking.

                    Too far away from you but for other Edmonton readers, I just had Sunday brunch at the Lendrum Sunterra. They have only a few items but fantastic value at 5-7$ per plate. It's a semi-cafeteria style. I had a quiche and was really impressed with the quality. Don't all go at once; they only have a few tables and even so the service was a bit uneven.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pepper_mil

                      Bistro Praha for veal, Madison's Grill in the Union Bank Inn for high end...

                    2. Thanks for all the great suggestions, I am looking forward to eating this weekend!