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Sep 3, 2009 10:53 PM

Edmonton: Dinner and brunch downtown?

I will be in Edmonton this long weekend, and just wondering of any good local restaurants downtown (maybe near the Westin where we're staying) for Saturday evening. Nothing fancy, but maybe something cool/casual or even eclectic? Any good "hole-in-the-wall" type places nearby as well?
And also any places downtown that is good for Sunday brunch? (Non-hotel restaurants?)


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  1. I like the Blue Plate Diner for brunch or dinner. While not a hole the wall, it's definitely eclectic.

    Tzin is a cool wine/tapas bar on 104 st, just north of Jasper ave, that is worth a visit.

    You may want to explore Chinatown as it has lots of interesting pan-Asian dinning choices. The Golden Bird on 97 st is definitely a hole in the wall, but the Vietnamese food is enjoyable.

    2 Replies
    1. re: S_B_Russell

      best brunch downtown IMO is Cafe de Ville, reservations required. Manor Cafe is also good. Both of these are a little more expensive than the above mentioned Blue Plate. They are also further away (124th street).

      Interesting dinner: Bistro Praha, make reservations, eastern European. Not really cool, but more grandma's basement kind of thing.

      The Hat is good grub, more trendy pub style.

      most of our ecclectic places are out of downtown, the 2 mentioned by Russel are probably the key ones downtown.

      out of downtown: Culina Millcreek or Culina Highlands, plus a miriad of places around the university.

      1. re: cleopatra999

        It should be noted that the building Bistro Praha was in on Rice Howard way had a fire earlier in the year. They (along with Cocodi's) are relocating later in the year. Bistro Praha to 104 Street, south of Jasper and Cocodi's to the area around 115 Street and Jasper.

    2. Check out this relatively recent thread for more suggestions.

      1. Slim pickings for dinner downtown, especially if you don't want "fancy". Not that I would call anything in Edmonton fancy, but I assume you mean places like Character's, Hardware Grill, Madison's, Khazana, etc. Those restaurants really typify the downtown dinner scene - it's more of a lunch area.

        Cafe de Ville is very good for brunch. It used to be one of my favourites, but I haven't been for over a year. I hope they are still good.

        The Manor was good 10 years ago. Now it will make a turd and not much more. I haven't actually been to their brunch, but I can't see how a place that does dinner the way they do could get anything right.

        Wildflower is in the core of downtown on 107st and 100ave, and they have an excellent brunch. Felix will be here soon to tell you that because it was reviewed by The Journal it is categorically bad. Disrespectfully, I must disagree. They make great eggs benedict, and their french toast is top notch too. They also do really good dinner, but I don't know if you want to eat at the same restaurant back to back.

        I must also object to Blue Plate. Yes it has cool/casual/eclectic going on, but it also has bland and carelessly prepared food. Up to you.

        For a casual dinner I'd recommend the west end of downtown around 118st. There is Famoso pizza there as well as La Shish. Hudon's on 113st and 104 ave have great burgers.

        Chinatown is obviously hit and miss, and I can't make many recommendations there, but if you are in the mood it's a good choice for close to downtown.

        6 Replies
        1. re: itwillmakeaturd

          I know everyone will have their own likes/dislikes when it comes to restaurants, but that said I will also put in my 2 cents and essentially agree with itwillmakeaturd.
          I have not been impressed with 2 dinners at The Manor at all, although their patio is beautiful. Also haven't had good luck at Blue Plate, although I haven't been there for brunch.
          Wildflower Grill's brunch IS excellent. The value for presentation/creativity/taste is top notch. Amazingly good french press coffee also.
          For less expensive "cool hole in the wall" type places, my votes would be for The Hat (great burgers, cool pub vibe) on Jasper, and if you can get over there, Famoso makes excellent Napoli-style pizza and has decent wine. For a bit more money but a small, intimate vibe, Tzin Wine Bar & Tapas is a great choice, located near The Hat just off Jasper. Enjoy!

          1. re: itwillmakeaturd

            Blue Plate Diner, never measures up, but never confuse it with the Blue Pear down the road a bit. Blue Plate is all form, no function. The Blue Pear is minimilist forma adn ALL function. Excellent food from excellent ingredients.

            1. re: foodiesnorth

              I would not say that it fits into the OPs request for nothing fancy, cool/casual. The Blue Pear is very high end/expensive despite its minimilist decor

              1. re: foodiesnorth

                i love this thread. i agree with you both, though my one time dinner at the manor was quite good. but that was a couple of years ago and my one time brunch there was fairly awful. the food was swimming in oil. anyway, i was at cafe de ville for brunch this past weekend and it was quite good. the service and the coffee were both excellent too incidentally. based on your comments, i am going to try the brunch at the Wildflower soon. As for Blue Plate - if they spent as much time on the food as they do on maintaining the hipster quotient, it might be worth the money.

                1. re: ihatepickyeaters

                  Ditto for me too about the Blue Plate. Why people love it so much is beyond my comprehension.

                  1. re: anonymoose

                    And service too.. the level of service from a certain unnamed male waiter is atrocious.

            2. Although not downtown, Violino's on High Street has been wonderful both times i have eaten there.