Downtown Dining Week Returns
Downtown Dining Week, an annual event organized by the Edmonton Downtown Business Association (EDBA), returns as more staff are anticipated to resume working in offices.
Running March 30 – April 10, 2022, this iteration sees a record sixty restaurants participating. A dozen establishments are involved for the first time, including several restaurants that opened during the pandemic such as 5th Street Food Hall, Envie, Jack’s Burger Shack, and May. Restaurants range from fast casual eateries to more formal dining options, offering multi-course dinner, lunch, and brunch menus for $20, $35, $50, and $65.
The focus of this year’s event is on staff returning to the core. “Many workers returning to the office are looking forward to socializing with their coworkers and going for lunch at an old favourite or new spot,” said Tracy Hyatt, marketing and communications manager with the EDBA. “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that people crave that face-to-face interaction and restaurants are so important for socializing.”
Last year’s Downtown Dining Week coincided with the start of indoor dining restrictions, so the event had to be reconfigured entirely for take-out and delivery. With the lifting of restrictions earlier in March, the vast majority of participating restaurants this year are highlighting table service options. “Profit margins are super slim for restaurants, so nothing beats dine-in where people can order a drink and also try something off the regular menu,” said Hyatt.
Still, there are some options for those looking for alternatives to dining indoors, including several restaurants that are equipped with heated patios, such as The Cask & Barrel, Rocky Mountain Icehouse, and The Common, and fast-casual eateries, including A Bite of Brazil, Buok Fresh Korean Kitchen, and District Cafe, that will offer take-out. Hyatt also recommends checking with individual restaurants that offer table service to confirm if their menus are available for take-out.
Hyatt is hopeful that the community will rally around local restaurants. “Everyone is eager to support our Downtown businesses given what they’ve been through for the past two years and this is a great opportunity to do it.”
- Felice, a new cafe, is opening soon at Stadium Yards.
- Vancouver-based Community Taps and Pizza has opened a location in Edmonton in the former Have Mercy space (8232 Gateway Blvd).
- Hello Mochi, which started out as a vendor at farmers’ markets, has opened a brick and mortar shop at 6191 Currents Drive.
- Alberta Donair, which also started as a vendor at a farmers’ market, has opened a location for pick-up and take-out at 9235 35 Avenue.
- Bent Stick Brewing’s tap room is now open on Happy Beer Street at 9926 78 Avenue.
- Calgary-based Blanco Cantina Tequila Bar will be opening an Edmonton location.
- Five Edmonton restaurants are participating in the first ever Filipino Restaurant Month in April, organized by the Philippine Department of Tourism and the Philippine Consulate General in Calgary. The five restaurants are: Bro’Kin Yolk, Cebuchon & BBQ, Filistix, Manila Grill, and Max’s Restaurant.
- Some businesses on Alberta Avenue, including Koultures Afro-Continental Restaurant are struggling due to construction on the street.
- Edify checks out new restaurant Flame & Barrel in Windermere, Smoke BBQ Downtown, and Meat the Bun on the south side.
- Phil’s latest Best Dish column focuses on Otto.
- The Griff looks at ghost kitchens in Edmonton.
- The Carrot experienced a break-in but has since re-opened, and Meuwly’s was also impacted by a break-in and theft of cash.
- Home baker Tara Smith Kratzmann spoke to Edmonton AM about competing on Food Network’s Wall of Bakers.
- Allen Gao from Kasey Ramen was interviewed on CBC Radioactive.
- Congratulations to this year’s winners of the High School Culinary Challenge.
Urban Agriculture and Farming
- The Global Garden at the Urban Farm (adjacent to the Expo Centre) is looking for immigrant gardeners.
What I Ate
- I met up with some friends for lunch at La Bosco Cafe for the first time. It was much busier than I expected, but I liked the casual vibe of the place, as we lingered over a long conversation undisturbed. I also brought home some sweets to enjoy, including this delectable strawberry danish, which tasted as good as it looks!
Strawberry danish from La Bosco Cafe