8 New Alberta Eats to explore from restaurants to cafés and shops
The Edmonton culinary scene is booming, with no shortage of great new eateries. Calgary’s always popular RE:GRUB has opened on 104 Street NW, serving up their hand-crafted burgers as well as their crazy good shakes, and experimental versions of both. Worried about wait times? Check their Queue Cams before you leave your house.
And Edmonton’s Old Strathcona has a new bakery. The tiny FanFan Patisserie on 80 Avenue is only 250 square feet and has no seating inside, just three tables for two outside, but plenty of goodies to take away. French pastry chef Franck Bouilhol makes croissants and pain au chocolate daily, as well as scones, Danishes, tarts, and cakes. There’s homemade sorbetto and gelato too!
Those living and working downtown Edmonton, or visiting the arena, are welcoming a new addition. Bottega 104 (no relation to Bodegas on 103 Street), is the Crudo family of Café Amore’s second restaurant on 104 Street (their Black Pearl is across the street), and is offering pizza choices, pastas, salads and appies.
In Calgary, new openings are unabated too! On 1st Street SW, where Taste was, the black flag flies for Shelter, an intimate cocktail and wine bar. This little 42-seat lounge is a hideaway – swanky yet casual, and with high-end hotel bar décor with Eastern Europe grunge. It’s a strong statement; 21 gas masks hang behind the bar, and the light fixture features over 5,000 hand-strung bulbs. The menu is defined by the concept, and Chef Marco is making everything from scratch. Try vault mushrooms and quail egg on toast, 48 hour beet-cured salmon with lemon ricotta and rice wine pearls, or go for house-made spam sliders with cola mustard. Maya Bartha’s cocktail menu continues the theme; sip American Diplomacy, with Buffalo Trace bourbon, sweet and dry sherry, amaro, sesame, and condensed milk. Fergus Bone’s wine list has just won gold in our Finest Drinks Lists awards too! Open from 4:30pm Weds-Sat.
The team behind Native Tongues has breathed new life into in the ex- Bar C space on 17th Avenue SW with Calcutta Cricket Club. Cool and casual, this pink and turquoise, small plates restaurant has a short menu of modern dishes from NE India, and is all about flavour. A tandoor oven allows executive chef Rene Bhullar to create standout dishes such as marinated, roasted zucchini, and the popular lamb and chicken Kati rolls. As there’s a large Chinese population in Calcutta, Hakka dishes are on the menu too. We can’t stop eating the sweet and sticky, salty, and intensely flavoured chili chicken! Check out Stephen Phipps’ tasty gin-centric cocktails, and while it’s still warm, take in the beautiful hidden patio. Open from 4 pm, no reservations.
From Brittany to Britannia! Suzette Bistro, home of authentic galettes and crepes in Calgary’s Mission district, has opened a second location in Britannia Plaza, and it’s perfect for this area. Bright and white, this micro brasserie has blue accents of the seaside; the music is just a whisper in the background, as in France. Come for executive chef/partner, Dominique Moussu (latterly of L’Epicerie and Cassis Bistro), and chef de cuisine/partner Steven Thompson’s authentic French comfort food. The menu is the same in both locations, and there’s a new $16 brunch with dishes such as Quiche Lorraine and Croque Monsieur or Madame. More new menu additions of charcuterie, duck rilletes, and rabbit terrine are on the way too, and you’ll want to be drinking artisan ciders from Brittany and Normandy, or anything from the all-French wine list.
Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts (CRMR) is branching out! Buffalo Mountain Café is now open in Banff at Buffalo Mountain Lodge, on Tunnel Mountain Road. This grab-and-go café has fresh coffee, pastries, sandwiches and house-made desserts – perfect for a casual bite.
And now CRMR’s Urban Butcher’s third location is open at the new Granary Road Market! As well as ethically and naturally raised local meats, Urban Butcher offers fresh deli products and those delicious CRMR Kitchen ready-made meals.