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Nov 6, 2009 06:57 AM

Seeking trendy place with delicious food for a group in Edmonton.

Will be in town from NY visiting friends & am looking for a cool place with good food that works well with a group of 10-12. Any suggestions...please don't say Earl's or Joey's!

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  1. Edmonton doesn't do 'cool' very well, but there is some great food. However most of the good restaurants are small. Any food prefences and location would help?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dan G

      Am open to all types of cuisines, excellent food and I will try. Though am trying to steer clear of steakhouses. Location isn't a problem either.

      Are there any tapas or "sharing" type places?

      1. re: trinyc

        can't think of any tapas-style places here (spanish or not). How about Indian? Haweli is downtown and good, easily could put together table fora dozen. Zaika is middle of nowhere, but worth the drive.

        Or Ethiopian? I really like Langano Skies on Whyte Ave, and they could also easily make up a large group table...and big platters of food eaten with hands are very fun.

        There might be some places downtown I haven't tried, like Wildflower, that can do a party that size, but most of my favorite places in town are so small they would have a hard time accommodating a dozen people - hard to actually arrange the tables for it.

        1. re: Dan G

          Thanks Dan. Would you mind sharing your faves list? Would love to try some of them when not w/ the larger party :-)

          1. re: trinyc

            Edmonton is full of mediocre food...I've become tired of it so rather than wasting time and money on it, I eat out less and go to Red Ox Inn and Blue Pear regularly. I think RO is probably the best in town, closely followed by BP. covers both... and see and for current menus.

            Others: Culina Millcreek is great, haven't been to their Culina Highlands (MC and Highlands are neighbourhoods) yet, but it got named as one of best new places in Canada by the Air Canada magazine (which does pretty good at this -I've never been dissapointed by one of their choices and have eaten at many across the country).

            Hardware is very good, but not as good as they think!

            Twisted Fork for burgers, bar food, cheap wine and beer.

            Bua Thai for Thai.

            Famoso for pizza, good not great but better than most here.

            Blue Pear Restaurant
            10643 123 Street, Edmonton, AB T5N 1P3, CA

            Culina Millcreek
            9914-89 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2S7, CA

    2. I would suggest Culina in Millcreek. It's one of my favorite restaurants in Edmonton and it's relatively cool, in a hipster kind of way.

      You may also consider Tzin Wine Bar. It probably only seats 20 people, so you would want to make a reservation. I like the food and wine selection there and the room is pretty cool to boot.

      8 Replies
      1. re: S_B_Russell

        Dan G! you are getting so jaded ;)

        I guess cool & trendy in this city depends on age group.

        If you are at the university, then Sugarbowl (cafe/food/beer) is one of the places to be.

        If you are the typical younger downtown crowd then you are at Joey's or 100 or Lux. None of which I would say go to. However if you want the downtown after work corporate scene this is where you will be.

        I am assuming b/c you are from NYC you are looking for more chic/trendy/cool in which case I would emphatically agree with Culina Millcreek. It is probably the only place I consider 'cool'.

        I like Suede lounge (good for groups, check into res if a weekend night) for tapas as well as Tzin, they are both in the trendy department, at least in my books.

        if you want a totally non-trendy but good family style Italian place I like Pazzo Pazzo, their dishes are huge, great for sharing.

        What about Skinny Legs & Cowgirls, haven't heard much about it lately? this is a truly unique experience, or Wildflower Grill. they are on my list of places to go, others may be able to comment. Search for either and you will get lots of info on this board.

        Sofra is a popular Turkish restaurant, not sure that it would fall under cool though.

        Wild Tangerine is pretty cool, with asian fusion food.

        having never been to NYC, I bet that these will not compare to what cool and trendy is there.

        for innovation I would say the Blue Pear, they are the only ones really doing anything original, they have a monthly tasting menu. I agree that the food at Red Ox Inn is consistently great, but not overly innovative or trendy, just really great fine dining.

        Good luck! I hope you can find something you like here!

        1. re: cleopatra999

          Yeah, I guess I've been travelling so much in the past several months and eating at great places that I am kind of getting fed up with Edmonton. We don't really have many places that you just want to hang out in, like Vancouver (Fuel or the izakayas), Toronto (too many to name), London (St John, Maze, Harwood Arms, Fox and Anchor...) even Bison in places and have great food too.

          Skinny Legs...forgot about it, maybe because it is very inconsistent in terms of both food and service. Definitely a unique experience, but then again so is having your wisdom teeth pulled and I'm not sure I would recommend either.

          Wild Tangerine I should try, but I was so underwhelmed with their old restaurant, Polos - maybe the only place in town more over-rated than Jacks - that I can't bring myself to do it.

          I guess the Culinas are probably the closest thing the OP would be looking for.

          Wild Tangerine
          10383 112th Street, Edmonton, AB T5K1M9, CA

          1. re: Dan G

            Dan G: LOL. I love your description of Skinny Legs. It is dead-on.

            1. re: Dan G

              dan g, it's like your reading my mind about the state of restaurants in edmonton. every other city in canada except winnipeg kills it for dining out. i live in toronto now and lifestyle is part of the reason. i don't blame ya for feeling frustrated. i know lot's of people in edmonton who love their joeys, kegs, and earls. i just ask mom for some good old fashioned home cooking when i come back for holidays.

              1. re: rafer madness

                Yeah, rafer, it gets frustrating knowing that Calgary, with a similar size population has so many great restaurants, while we have a handful of good to almost great, and a whole lot of mediocre. And I don't even what to think about Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver.

              2. re: Dan G

                LOL skinny legs description... yeah that was funny. But seriously, are any resturants consistent these days? or does it depend on the day you get there. We've gone to some tried and true resturants and then questioned Where were we just now?

                1. re: Dan G

                  Dan G:

                  No comparison between Polo's and Wild Tangerine apart from Wilson and Judy being at both.

                  That having been said I have not been back to WT for quite some time although I thoroughly enjoyed their shrimp popsicles and marinated octopus salad.

                  Has anyone been back to Jack's since Peter sold it to Mark?

                  Wild Tangerine
                  10383 112th Street, Edmonton, AB T5K1M9, CA

                  1. re: Bob Mac

                    no. But I was in the minority around this board that actually had really great meals each time I was at Jack's.

                    Might make a good review of the month??

            2. If money wasn't an issue, why not book the private room at the Hardware Grill. They will do a tasting menu that is great for a group. And you can certainly get a red meat -- either beef or bison - fix there.

              1. Definitely Wildflower Grill...I prefer their menu over Culina family of restos.

                1 Reply
                1. re: too_hungry

                  Thanks everyone---will definitely look into these suggestions :-)

                2. I always find with a group that large, you can never manage to talk to everybody at your table anyways. If the group is willing to accept, say, 2 tables for 6 or 3 for 4, that would probably open up a lot of possibilities.

                  I don't know of a lot of places that can accomodate a party of 12, and even good restaurants can struggle when trying to time 12 meals for the same table all at the exact same time.

                  Characters is a restaurant downtown that has private rooms on the lower level that can handle very large parties.