There are the places that everyone talks about, and then there are the hidden gems that go unnoticed by tourists but are well-loved by locals.
If you’re planning a trip to Edmonton, AB, skip the lines at the city’s most popular restaurants and try one of these underrated places to eat instead.
1. Island Café and Bistro
With its somewhat plain decor, this lunch spot in west Edmonton may not look like much at first glance. But the authentic Malaysian dishes served here are anything but plain - from the spicy dumpling soup to the Laksa noodles, everything that comes out of the kitchen is simply excellent. And with plenty of vegan options on the menu, there’s something for everyone. If you’re new to Malaysian food, just ask the owners - they’re always more than happy to make suggestions.
Want to try something different? Choose from one of more than 20 flavors of bubble tea. Got a sweet tooth? Try some red bean mochi ice cream or a delicious slice of crepe cake for dessert. You really can’t go wrong at Island Café!
2. Van Loc Vietnamese Sub Shop
A hidden gem in Edmonton’s Chinatown, Van Loc Vietnamese Sub Shop has been serving authentic and affordable Vietnamese cuisine since 1997.
For under $10 you can get a submarine sandwich (Bánh mì) loaded with delicious Vietnamese sausage and fresh vegetables on a light, crisp baguette. Van Loc is the perfect place for a quick and tasty lunch bite.
Something a lot of overrated restaurants in Edmonton, AB, have in common? High prices and small portions. You won’t run into either of those problems at Mamenche’s, a local family-owned restaurant that serves up generous portions of authentic Salvadorian cuisine.
If you go to Mamenche’s, you have to try the pupusa. A Salvadorian classic, a pupusa is a corn tortilla stuffed with a savory pork and cheese filling, and no one makes it like Mamenche’s. Everything from the tortillas to the tamales is made from scratch, giving every dish that comforting homemade feel.
4. Veggie Garden Restaurant
When most people think of vegetarian restaurants in Edmonton, AB, they think of Padmanadi’s - but it’s certainly not the only great meat-free option in town.
As the name suggests, The Veggie Garden Restaurant is a hole-in-the-wall that serves up vegetarian and vegan-friendly Chinese and Vietnamese food. Situated between 101 St and Chinatown, it’s easy to miss, but well worth checking out. On the menu, you’ll find things like vegan pho, stir-fries, rice noodle dishes, crispy tofu, and fried shiitake mushrooms.
5. YEG Burger
If you’re craving amazing burgers, fries, and milkshakes, look no further than YEG Burger. Located in Northwest Edmonton, AB, YEG Burger is a down-to-earth halal burger joint with a casual and friendly atmosphere.
Nothing beats an order of fresh-cut, homemade French fries, a crispy buttermilk chicken burger, and a Ferrero Rocher milkshake - and yes, it tastes just like the chocolate candy! They also serve up tasty falafel burgers, mushroom burgers, and poutine, all at budget-friendly prices.
Feeling hungry yet? The next time you’re in Edmonton, AB, try one of these underrated restaurants – www.edmtowing.ca says your taste buds will thank you for it!