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Jul 13, 2009 10:30 PM

Help in Edmonton for a Newbie...

I am a new in Edmonton and I need help... I am studying in the UA, and I need several counseling and advice.

First where to shop good but cheap groceries, second where to shop fruits and vegetables also cheap.

Finally where to eat for cheap in Edmonton.

I will be here for two months in a fellowship, my first impression well Edmonton is very expensive but a vibrant and welcoming city.

Thank You all.

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  1. Welcome to our city! And enjoy our months of summer, great timing ;)

    Might I suggest the Italian Center for all your grocery needs. It's just on the other side of the river. Cheap produce, cheap pasta, best deli in the city, a nice selection of desserts and bakery items, the only thing you're not going to have a great selection of is fresh meat: ie. beef or bison. For that I would recommend taking a nice walk east down Whyte (82nd) Ave east to the K & K Import store on 99th street. They mostly stock imported German and other European foods, but they have a cheap, high quality meat selection... brats, sausages, bison, pork, veal, some fish... check it out.

    Link to Italian Center website (with address):
    K&K Foodliner:

    As for cheap eats, you don't mention which area of the city you are staying, but I'll go ahead and assume it is on campus. I think you can find a few pho (vietnamese soup) joints on 109th street just south of the bridge... Chinatown is another great place to find dozens of cheap restaurants with tasty eats, if you make the short trip... its actually located just two blocks west of the italian center. I don't know of anything that would be considered "cheap" in your area, I'm sorry, I'm not sayinbg there aren't any, just not that i can recall at this late hour - I'm sure others will be able to help.

    I would have loved to suggest some of the better diners in the area, High Level or Sugarbowl on 109 st, south of the bridge, but I don't know if $15-$20 brunches is in the price range you're looking for. Also, I would have suggested the Strathcona farmers market for fresh produce, but the farmers gotta make a living and I don't think purchasing overpriced organic carrots from Farmer Bob is responsible on a student's budget.

    1. I definitely second China Town for cheap eats. There's a ton of Chinese and Vietnamese places that are cheap and delicious.

      I don't know how mobile you are, but Superstore is pretty good for cheap groceries. They have many locations in Edmonton, but none are central - although one is on the LRT line that runs to the university. The Italian Centre might be the best bet, if the LRT is not close to where you are staying.

      6 Replies
      1. re: S_B_Russell

        I second this as well. Chinatown can be good for groceries also, depending on what you want to pick up. The larger ones have western groceries as well as Asian items.

        There's also a Safeway grocery store over on 109 St and 82nd Ave. They're not the cheapest but sale items are usually a good buy, and it is likely the closest grocery store near where you will be.

        You're coming here during a good time as Heritage Days and the Fringe Festival are both coming up and will be within a short bus ride or walking distance from the university. Lots of stuff to do and food to eat!

        1. re: anonymoose

          The Safeway on 109/82 is, according to a friend who did a study of this in her undergrad, a rip-off. They have a captive audience, basically students without vehicles, and charge more than other stores for many items and has lower-quality produce, etc. There is also a Sobeys on 112 & 83, which also doesn't have as good of quality produce as others in town, and is more expensive than others (i live in a fairly wealthy neighbourhood and my Sobeys is has lower prices!). You would be better off taking the lrt across the river to Save-on on Jasper/109, or a bus to Italian Centre.

          Another restaurant you might want to try is Twisted Fork on Whyte just east of 112. Great burgers, salads, etc and the cheapest booze in the neighbourhood (beers are only about $4 most afternoons).

          1. re: Dan G

            I have heard/read the grocery store debate many times and about the only thing that gets consensus is that Superstore has lower prices but the produce is less good.

            Other than that you will hear lots of people each claiming Save-On, Safeway, and Sobeys as being the most/least expensive, having the best/worst selection in bakery/produce/meats/fish, etc.

            I think it really depends on what you buy and what your tastes are (especially the claims about better or worse quality subjective). I'm sure you could mix and match a certain mix of goods that would make any one chain or any one store cheapest on a given day considering specials etc.

            1. re: egon61

              Not to go too far off topic, but the research my friend did (several years ago as a component of her MSc in human ecology) didn't compare Save-On to Sobeys to Safeway, but rather same-brand stores in different neighbourhoods (i.e. various Safeways compared to one another, various Save-Ons to one another). She found that produce quality (not really subjective - you can tell when lettuce is fresh vs. wilting, for example) at the Strathcona Safeway was among the worst in the city (and comparable to 118 ave/82 st cromdale store), and that the prices were higher than at Safeways in places like Riverbend, Oliver, etc. This data was then put together with data about income and mobility - so poorer neighbiurhoods where people are less likely to have cars, the prices were higher and food was worse.

              As I mentioned above, the uni area Sobeys charges more for at least some items: last time I was there (convenience because I work nearby) I bought a few items, but they didn't have everything I was looking for so I stopped at the one on Rabbit Hill on way home - same items were less expensive.

            2. re: Dan G

              Yes that safeway is truly expensive in compare to another safeways in a different place...

              1. re: josephml1

                Too bad there is not Sams in Edmonton...

        2. T&T Chinese Supermarket has great products and prices, and their remaindered vegetables are a bargain. At the Italian Center look for their deli 'ends' packages -- great value.

          1. I am truly thankful for all the help and advice I am sure I will use several of the choices that you mention in here...

            Thank you very much everyone for taking the time to post in this thread...I am taking notes.


            1 Reply
            1. re: josephml1

              there are a couple take out places that offer good value, good food.

              the first is Oodle Noodle 10803 - 82 Avenue for great take away asian noodles
              the second is Mongolian Express at 10355 78 Avenue Nw. they do stirfry where you pile your own veg/meat into a bowl for about 7 bucks, can't beat it.

            2. I live in Leduc, so most of the places I got to are on the south side. Some of my favourite restaurants are:

              - The Lemograss Cafe (10417 51 Ave) which is a casual Vietnamese place really close to the southside location of the Italian Center Shop. It's a good price, the portions are excellent and the food is always good.

              - The Sicilian Pasta Kitchen. The one I went to is southside 805 Saddleback Road (just off 23 Ave). But there's on Jasper Ave too (never been to that one though). Anyways this restaurant has never let me down - always a safe bet.

              - Grub Med A Greek Restaurant I'd never heard of until going there a few months back. I ate the most amazing lamb ever there. It's southside too - just off 119 Street North of the Derick Club (exact address is 17 Fairway Drive NW). I love Greek food and this place is fantastic, and not pricey like other restaurants can be.

              If you have a vehicle H&W is a good grocery store - that specifically just has produce. There's four locations in Edmonton - with a southside one at 1, 9261 34 Avenue.

              I have to agree with ScottP though - The Italian Center Shop is fantastic and definitely the best deli around.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dreamgirl89

                Unless the OP has a car, Grub Med and the Sicilian Pasta Kitchen are pretty far out. SPK is probably 16-20 minute drive, Grub Med 12-14. And your experience at Grub Med is very different than mine - tried twice and thought it was horrible! Among the worst lamb i've ever had. And SPK is good, but I think it is a bit overpriced and always get really bad service (worse on southside than downtown).

                1. re: Dan G

                  Thanks for all the advice...I am printing several of your choices...

                  Right now I donĀ“t Have a car... :(