Edmonton has an incredibly vibrant food scene, but this is far from being a new thing. The city has had fantastic restaurants serving everything from sushi to steak for decades. To celebrate these long-running favourites, we have compiled this list of 20 spots that have been serving delicious dishes to guests for more than 20 years!
BARB AND ERNIE’S OLD COUNTRY INN
date opened: 1975
type of food: German
signature dish: Eggs Benedict
location: 9906-72 Ave., 780-433-3242
Barb and Ernie’s Old Country Inn has gained a reputation for home-style cooking and a quaint atmosphere. With over 200 breakfast options to choose from (including their renowned Eggs Benedict), it’s a great place to start your morning. Find it hard to settle on just one German specialty? Try out their German Buffet on Saturday or Sunday and feast on German sausages, red cabbage, sauerkraut, spatzle, and more! A family business, Barb and Ernie retired in 2011, passing on the reins to their eldest son and his wife, Thomas and Charlene Feuchter. A sample of their proud restaurant and family history can be read on the front of their menus, connecting every diner to the restaurant and its story. —Georgia Ashworth
date opened: 1975
type of food: Austrian
signature dish: Bauernschmaus (Farmer’s Feast)
location: 6796-99 St., 780-433-8272
For an authentic Austrian meal in a cozy, rustic venue, pay Bauernschmaus a visit. With most of its furniture imported from Austria, and its classic Eastern European dishes, many European customers say that visiting the restaurant “feels like coming home,” according to Judy Hora, who runs the restaurant with her husband Robert. The quaint décor contributes to a warm and charming atmosphere that will keep you coming back. Don’t be intimidated by the hearty portions; you can take home your leftovers wrapped in a foil swan! —G.A.
date opened: 1977
type of food: European
signature dish: Roasted Goose
location: 10117-101 St., 780-424-4218
Bistro Praha has a warm European ambience, with classical music always playing in the background — a much-loved feature among its dedicated symphony-attending clientele. It’s also a hot spot for celebrity visits, with the likes of Kirk Douglas and Joni Mitchell having dined on the restaurant’s Czech delicacies over the years. Favourite dishes at the restaurant include the Steak à la Tartare, which is raw filet mignon exquisitely spiced and served with rye bread toast. The Roasted Goose is also popular, accompanied by soft dumplings and fresh sauerkraut. Milan Svajgr, a partner at the restaurant, credits its longevity with remaining consistent since day one. “We haven’t changed our menu in over 30 years,” Svajgr says. People who have moved away from the city and returned years later, he recounts, are pleasantly surprised that the food tastes as good as they remember. —Matthew Stepanic
BLUE WILLOW RESTAURANT
date opened: 1958
type of food: Chinese
signature dish: Blue Willow Chow Mein
location: 11107-103 Ave., 780-428-0584
Blue Willow is an age-old establishment in Edmonton, as its first location on Jasper Ave. was an oft-frequented stop for downtown diners in search of tasty Chinese food for years. When that restaurant was built in 1956, current owner Stan Mah says it was the first two-storey building in the city made from steel and concrete. Mah believes Blue Willow has been so successful because of the good service they provide and the consistent quality of the food — the same head chef has been working at the restaurant for over 35 years! Though the food and its flavours have followed a traditional Cantonese style of cooking, they’re now preparing some dishes in a Szechuan style, which will be very hot and spicy for more adventurous diners. The best way to eat here is with friends or family so you can share one of the Deluxe Dinners and experience all of the amazing dishes, from the crispy egg rolls and flavourful honey garlic ribs to the sweet lemon chicken and classic ginger beef. —M.S.
CONTINENTAL TREAT FINE BISTRO
date opened: 1982
type of food: Central and Eastern European
signature dish: Pickle Soup
location: 10560-82 Ave., 780-433-7432
Treat yourself to a fine dining experience at Continental Treat Fine Bistro on Whyte Ave. Warm tones and charming touches, like wine-bottle candleholders, contribute to the restaurant’s inviting atmosphere. Classical music during the day, and light jazz in the evening, add to the air of elegance and luxury of the establishment. However, the true masterpiece of the restaurant is the exquisite food. With a central and eastern European influence, the dishes reflect the tastes of Poland, Germany, Hungary, and Austria. For an unforgettable evening, keep an eye out for their special events, which often include guest speakers, live music, and of course, delicious food and drink. —G.A.
date opened: 1992
type of food: Vietnamese
signature dish: Spring Rolls
location: 10130-107 St., 780-424-3034 & 7909-104 St., 780-434-4448
Whether it be for a business dinner, a family outing, or a romantic date, Doan’s provides a welcoming atmosphere, and tasty, healthy Vietnamese food at two different locations. Combining traditional Vietnamese flavours and Western specialities, Doan’s offers a wide selection of delicious dishes. Their large portions are great for sharing, and don’t forget to try one of their unique beverages, such as a Vietnamese coffee or an avocado milkshake! —G.A.
date opened: 1991
type of food: Regional Cuisine
signature dish: Pork Duo
location: 10065-100 St., 780-424-5181
With breathtaking views overlooking the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald grounds and the city’s stunning river valley, this restaurant is a favourite for locals and visitors alike. Executive Chef Serge Jost creates award-winning, unique dishes based on the availability of local, seasonal fare like the mouthwatering Pork Duo which includes cardamom-crusted nagano pork and slow-cooked caraway citrus pork served with mustard greens and cilantro yogurt. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also serves High Tea from Monday to Wednesday. —Lindsay Shapka
date opened: 1982
type of food: Casual Albertan
signature dish: Cinnamon Buns
location: 10912-88 Ave., 780-433-0993
The Highlevel Diner has been a staple of the Garneau area for over 30 years, providing a warm, inviting environment to enjoy fresh and wholesome food. The diner has been committed to using food from local producers, long before it was easy to do so, and takes pride in supporting sustainable farming practices. Their cinnamon buns have won the Best Cinnamon Bun in the City Contest every time it has been run, and their famed Ural Burger has been satisfying hungry customers for more than 25 years. As you bite into their hearty, healthy food, you can admire featured artwork from local artists. Watch out this September and October for the works of Bonnie Wozniak and Linda McEachern. —G.A.
date opened: 1982
type of food: French
signature dish: Elk Medallions
location: 6427-112 Ave., 780-474-5693
The building that houses this restaurant, the Gibbard Block, was built in 1912 and was originally home to luxury apartments and retail shops. Still retaining original elements like the Edwardian pressed tin ceiling, it is now home to the La Boheme Bed & Breakfast and restaurant. This quiet and romantic spot evokes the same feeling that you would get dining in an old restaurant in Paris, and is famous for its fixed price Sunday brunches (only $24 per person) that include freshly baked buttery croissants. —L.S.
date opened: 1966
type of food: International Cuisine
signature dish: Chateaubriand
location: 10111 Bellamy Hill Rd., 780-420-8366
Famous for its incredible view, this restaurant is not only located on the 24th floor of the Chateau Lacombe Hotel, it is also Edmonton’s only moving dining experience, revolving once every 88 minutes — the perfect amount of time for a luxurious dinner. Dig in to their signature dish — a 16 oz beef tenderloin flambéed with Canadian Whisky and served with a rich béarnaise sauce, seasonal vegetables, and a classic caesar salad. Make sure you don’t skip dessert, as the in-house pastry chef prepares sweet treats fresh daily. If you are looking for entertainment with your meal, don’t miss the live jazz performances every Tuesday night from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm. —L.S.
date opened: 1947
type of food: Chinese
signature dish: Dry Spicy Chicken
location: 10582-104 St., 780-426-3975
This family-run Chinese food restaurant was originally located on the corner of 97 St. and Jasper Ave., but moved to its current, larger location in 1963 when Chinese food started becoming more popular. A loyal crowd of local clientele is what owner Kinman Quon attributes their success to. He has worked in the restaurant since he was 17 and now has help from his eldest son Miles. If the names of these owners are starting to sound familiar, it is because they (and the restaurant) were the stars of a popular documentary series called The Quon Dynasty that played on Citytv in 2011. —L.S.
date opened: 1993
type of food: French Bistro
signature dish: Nasi Goreng
location: 10109-125 St., 780-482-7577
Tucked into a stunning historic home, everything at this cozy spot — from the bread to the pâté — is made in-house from scratch. Chef Cyrilles has been with the restaurant for more than 20 years and though he is classically French trained, he also takes inspiration for his dishes from his Dutch roots. Take for example the Indonesian-inspired Nasi Goreng (the restaurant’s most popular and signature dish). It would seem odd for a European Bistro to serve a spicy, somewhat exotic dish, but because Indonesia was a colony of the Netherlands, it is a dish you would commonly find in Holland today. —L.S.
date opened: 1972
type of food: Japanese
signature dish: Dragon Eyes Roll
location: 10350-109 St., 780-425-8096
The first Japanese restaurant in Edmonton, Mikado has been serving its appetizing and authentic rolls and dishes for over forty years. Owner David Okumiya is incredibly amiable with his customers and knows many by name, having served several generations of the same family. He says he always listens to their feedback and has learnt the reason most keep coming back is for the restaurant’s consistent quality. The quality is kept top-notch with fresh ingredients flown in weekly from all over the world: Tsukiji, Japan (the world’s largest fish market), California, Nova Scotia, and the B.C. Coast. Start your meal here with any of the tasty rolls, and follow them with the slow-grilled Alaskan Black Cod, which is cooked on a genuine Robata grill imported from Japan. —M.S.
date opened: 1989
type of food: Fine-dining
signature dish: Daily Wild Game Feature
location: 11639 Jasper Ave., 780-482-2600
Curious about the taste of kangaroo? Normand’s restaurant is best known for its wild game specialties, which change frequently and feature unique meats, including roast duck, pheasant, wild boar, and even kangaroo! All of their meats are expertly cooked by chef Cui Kouch, who experiments with new foods and cooking methods until everything tastes just right. The bouillabaisse — with fresh shrimp, mussels, and fish — is another popular order that sees bowls full spilling out of the kitchen. Recently, the restaurant began offering a breakfast menu, with orange juice squeezed fresh when ordered and Eggs Benedict smothered in a house-made hollandaise sauce. Owner Normand Campbell says the restaurant is a pleasure to run. “We’ve been here so long, and we want to stay another 20 years if we can. We’re happy to be here and going strong.” —M.S.
RED OX INN
date opened: 1995
type of food: Fine-dining
signature dish: Beef Tartare
location: 9420-91 St., 780-465-5727
Looking back on their twenty years of owning the Red Ox Inn, Frank and Andrea Olson are proud of all they’ve accomplished in making this intimate establishment their own. When asked what’s kept them so popular all these years, Frank jokes, “Because we’re so awesome.” Turning more sincere, he says, “We’re committed to the restaurant and to the menu. It’s such a cozy little room, you feel like you’re going over to someone’s house.” The restaurant’s intimacy is due to its small 12-table limit and exceptional, knowledgeable staff who are on hand to recommend the perfect wine pairing. Frank and Andrea spend a lot of time on the wine list, selecting high-end, unique varieties that pair well with their food. —M.S.
date opened: 1986
type of food: Italian
signature dish: Cannelloni
location: 10844-95 St., 780-425-0960
Carmelo Rago has built himself an empire of Italian restaurants throughout the city, from his classic Sorrentino’s Italian restaurants and upscale Bistecca Italian Steakhouse and Wine Bar, to the Caffè Sorrentino and his new contemporary Buco Pizzeria+Vino. He’s succeeded, he says, because of a great team and paying attention to his customers. He opened his first restaurant, Sorrento, in 1979 and named it after the area his family was born. The company name is a spin on that first restaurant’s and means a smaller Sorrento. All of the Sorrentino’s Restaurant Group’s restaurants serve unique but complex dishes, and we recommend the most popular Cannelloni dish or the Butternut Squash Ravioli, with a spicy garam masala cream reduction and ricotta cheese. —M.S.
THE KING & I
date opened: 1991
type of food: Thai
Signature dish: Tom Yum Soup
location: 8208-107 St., 780-433-2222
The King & I became Edmonton’s first Thai restaurant in 1991, treating Edmontonians to exciting dishes prepared with fresh herbs and exotic spices. Drawing inspiration from all over the world, The King & I is always offering new and innovative recipes, and uses only the highest quality vegetables, meat, and seafood. The flavourful food has attracted international celebrities, notably Reba McEntire, Our Lady Peace, and the Rolling Stones. A devastating fire in 1998 forced the restaurant to relocate, but their new, larger location (only a few blocks away from their original spot) only allowed The King & I to grow and flourish into the popular destination it is today. —G.A.
date opened: 1943
type of food: Casual
signature dish: Chicken and Waffle
location: 10922-88 Ave., 780-433-8369
The Sugarbowl has taken many forms over the past 70 years — a burger joint, a coffeehouse, a bohemian café, and the full-service bistro and neighbourhood pub that people flock to today. Boasting a selection of over 160 craft beers and 15 rotating taps, the Sugarbowl was the first to offer Edmontonians an extensive selection of craft and Belgium beers. With tasty food and a lively atmosphere, this hot spot is always buzzing. Try to nab a table on the patio during the hot summer months, or enjoy the exposed brick walls and artwork of the cozy interior. Come by for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or happy hour, and don’t worry — the kitchen stays open until midnight. —G.A.
TONY’S PIZZA PALACE
date opened: 1974
type of food: Italian
signature dish: Sal’s Deluxe
location: 9605-111 Ave., 780-424-8777
An export from New York, Tony’s Pizza was the first restaurant to bring the Big Apple–style pizza to the City of Champions back in 1974. Co-owner Tony Mazzotta says the winning thing about all of their food is their traditional recipes: “If you had an entrée back in 1986 [when the current location opened], it’ll taste exactly the same.” Customers flock to the pizza, with daily-made dough that cooks into a crisp, thin crust, and tangy marinara sauce prepared when it’s ordered. Though they’re best known for their pizza, Tony’s pasta bakes are also incredibly delicious, such as the Lasagna al Forna, with homemade noodles, fresh mozzarella, and pomodoro sauce. “We pay attention to the details,” says Mazzotta, “You feel like you’re at home when you eat here.” —M.S.
VONS STEAK HOUSE & OYSTER BAR
date opened: 1988
type of food: Steak & Oysters
signature dish: 17-Hour Slow Cooked AAA Prime Rib
location: 10309-81 Ave., 780-439-0041
If you are looking for an expertly cooked, mouth-watering steak with soft, buttery mashed potatoes, and perfectly grilled vegetables, than Vons is your new go-to spot. On the other hand, if surf rather than turf is what you are craving, this restaurant boasts the city’s only oyster bar with fresh, raw oysters from both the East and West Coasts of North America shucked to order. They are famously served on shaved ice with lemons and freshly made horseradish. Private dining is also available, which is why this restaurant has long been a favourite for locals who are planning a romantic meal or special celebration. —L.S.