Hello - am visiting Edmonton next week from deeply rural southern Alberta and need to get my fix of food + drinks that I loved while living in Toronto.
Where should I go for:
1. Coffee: meaning good espresso-based drinks. Taste of the coffee is more important than the atmosphere. Happy to grab + go something resembling the lattes from Caffe Artigiano in Calgary or Mercury Organic Espresso Bar in Toronto. (Possibly Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse or Transend?)
2. Dosas: Craving a zippy paneer dosa or something similar. I've found references only to Savoy's South Indian Cafe.
3. Pupusas (Salvadoran).
4. Za'atar "Pizzas": Is Sunbake Pita Bakery as good as it sounds?
5. Ethiopian: Is Habesha the place to go?
I would add my support for Transcend. I've always enjoyed the pupusas from Acajutla (11302 - 107 Avenue), and I know you can get them at El Rancho. I've only eaten the Sunbake Pitas before and they were good. I was unaware of Habesha until a few weeks ago so I can't comment (it did get a recent mention in the Edmonton Journal, albeit brief), but Lagano Skies seems to have quite the following.
Habesha is the place to go, and Sunbake is as good as it sounds.
For dosas I recommend Masalaz, as it's the only specifically South Indian restaurant I know of in Edmonton. I don't know if they have a paneer dosa on the menu though. It's at 4218 66 st and its number is 780 484 0582.
1. another vote for Transcent
2. I had a good paneer dosa at the wedding catered by Maurya Place sometime ago. But I don't think it is on their regular menu.
3, You should try Acajutla on 107 Avenue. I work with many Latin Americans and they love this place and say it is very authentic. I know they have pupusas.
4. There are two Lebanese bakeries/delis on 127 Street north of the Yellowhead that are amazing. One is Lebanese Pita Bakery and the other I can't remember the name of but is 2 blocks further north. The Zaatar at either place is divine. I worked on a project in the area last year and bought zaatar at least twice a week.
Mark my vote for Transcend...they recently came in third or fourth nationally (not internationally) in a barrista competition. They deal directly with the growers...they are in sane (in a nice way) about coffee.
http://www.transcendcoffee.com/ (they have a video there of Chad Moss at the competition)
Best pupusas IMHO are at Los Comales. Family run, great food very good prices.
10824 97 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5H 2M3
(780) 423-1213 (just north of downtown)
I am partial to the Blue Nile, but I have not been to the others for Ethoipian so I am no positon to compare. Odd place to find but google it.
1-10875 98 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5H 2P6
We have going to the Lebanese Pita Bakery for years (and through various owners) and it remains a family favourite. For general Middle Eastern products check out El Safadi Brothers Market
1. Coffee at Transcend is truly great. Knowledge and passion. Good skills on the espresso machine and a high end Clover brewer for your non-espresso based coffee. Da Capo and Three Bananas also does a pretty decent cup of coffee if you are in their areas (109th St and 88th Ave, and Churchill Square respectively).
2. Langano Skies on Whyte Ave and 99 St. is quite good for Ethiopean.
For pupusas I second the recommendation of Acajutla (their green sauce and curtido are perfect). Acajutla also has the best refried beans I've eaten in my life. Really good pupusas can also be found at El Rancho on 118 Ave and 87 St, and if you're there you can get yummy enchiladas salvadorenas as well.
Los Comales gets raves from lots of people but it SUCKED when we went. The pupusas were soggy and everything tasted as if it had been sitting around forever.
Ah, Mercury, how I miss thee. The closest thing in Edmonton is the newest thing: Credo on 104th st. just north of Jasper. They use Intelligentsia beans (like 3 Bananas which is, yes, good too most of the time) & make a fab cappucino; daily brew varies and is dripped by the cup. If you can, check out Credo on Saturday morning when the Farmer's Market is going--lots of good things to try--if you're a carnivore, try the buffy burgers.
For paneer and such, try Remedy on 109 st. and about 87 ave. Fairly cheap, lively and easy, good beer choices, bad coffee.
Great pupusa at Ajutla on 107 ave & 113 st. I may have spelled it wrong--
C'est tout for me.
I hope you have a splendid time.