Three nights in Edmonton - what's essential?
Will be visiting Edmonton for three nights (Mon-Tues-Wed), staying on Whyte St a few blocks east of U of A. What's essentially or uniquely Edmonton or Alberta? What's memorable?
I live in Boston and have access to something reasonable-to-good in most genres, so I'm not looking for anything particular other than where you'd take a guest who you wanted to enjoy Edmonton.
Thanks in advance, Edmonton hounds!
I would say you should try some bison, some beef and some Saskatoon berry pie. For bison, pheasant and other game, my favourite is Normand's on Jasper. it is French bistro-style and has good wine cellar.
Both locations of Culina concentrate on locally sourced produce and they too have bison.
For beef, I would suggest 100 or maybe Hardware Grill.
The best food walking distance from your hotel would the Greek at Yianni's, the po' boys at Da De o's and most things at Packrat Loius'.
My suggestions operate under the assumption you are relying on public transit or walking. If you have a car, please reply, my suggestions will differ quite dramatically.
A new favourite of mine is Wildflower Grill. It's downtown, but easy to access via the LRT system from the U of A area. Getting off at the Corona Station and walking south on 107 Street to the Matrix Hotel will find you there. French with Canadian twist, their dinners and lunches are great.
Others may snark, but I really like the burgers at Hudsons, if you want a casual option. Freshly ground, decently priced and the bar has a friendly ambience for a simple meal. Locations on the U of A campus and on Whyte Avenue. It's a local chain that serves above average pub fare.
Breakfast/lunch/dinner on a weekday is pretty good from the New York Bagel Cafe. It's north of Whyte Avenue, probably 20 minute walk from the campus. Others may try to persuade you to eat breakfast (or other meals) at the Highlevel Diner, for it's proximity and legend in Edmonton. Do not listen to them unless you like long line ups for undercooked yet burnt homefries and mediocre eggs. Their ketchup is quite good though. :-)
For light snacks/lunch, coffee, drinks and gelato, DaCapo and Sugarbowl (within steps of eachother near campus) are fantastic choices. Located very near to the aforementioned Highlevel Diner.
I have to second Normands as the closest thing to quintessentialy Albertan. He offers a very good meat selection (and we love our meat 'round here).
Culina on the South Side is closer to you and is the better of the two (IMHO). VERY small though so reservations are a must (maybe less so mid week). Packrat Louies has some really good food esp. the lemon pizza.
Dadeo Diner is right near your hotel on Whyte Ave and is an Edmonton institution. Granted, you might not be keen on eating Cajun in Canada, but they make excellent po'boy sandwiches and have a great local mircobrew on tap, which includes chilly pepper beer. I'm quite fond of the place.
We were just at Dadeo on Friday night and again had a wonderful evening, so I would agree with the other posters who already threw that one into the suggestions pool.
As for enjoying Edmonton, if the weather is cooperative, you might want to head to the patio at the Hotel MacDonald downtown and enjoy a bevvie there.
Thanks to everybody who's replied, this is exactly the sort of advice I was hoping for. I will report back if I have any interesting experiences.