Eat Here Now: 5 Edmonton Restaurants for 2012

We receive many emails from people looking for Edmonton restaurant recommendations. Here’s where you’ll find us come meal time; five new-ish, not-to-be-missed Edmonton restaurants.

Cibo Bistro (11244 104th Avenue - Oliver Square, 780.757.2426, cibobistro.com, @cibobistroedm)
This intimate 50-seat bistro brings classic Italian menus to folks who believe Italian food is more than just pasta. Local and seasonal ingredients are combined to created tasty multi-course affairs. Try the Zeppole (goat ricotta and pancetta doughnuts with gorgonzola dip) and Osso Bucco (preserved lemon gremolata fried bone marrow). With blackboard lunch specials for $10, a selection of wines under $40 and delicious food, it’s all buono to us.

Ousia (10846 – 82 Avenue – Whyte Avenue, 780.761.1910, ousiarestaurant.com, @ousiarestaurant)
Like you need any encouragement to eat Mediterranean food and drink sangria. Settle into Ousia for plates like saffron squash risotto, Moroccan spiced chicken kebabs and pistachio herb crusted sea bass. For a twist on Saturday or Sunday brunch try the Ousia Benedict (prosciutto, avocado, sunblush tomato, poached eggs, Spanish hollandaise, fresh market fruit) or Lamb and Chorizo Hash (Alberta slow braised pulled lamb, patatas, spicy choriço, sausage, scrambled eggs, sundried tomato purée). Delicious.

Café du France (#111 11523 100 Avenue – Le Marchand Mansion, 780-447-2690)
Hidden on the backside of Le Marchand Mansion, Café du France brings the south of France to Edmonton. The food is an uncommon, but delightful mix of Mediterranean (seafood bruschetta, fattoush salad) and French specialties (Coquilles St. Jacques, foie gras, shrimp pernod). The main draw is the tableside flambés and good old-fashioned service. It’s the kind of place you’ll want to frequent often – and always save room for dessert.

Tres Carnales (1119 100A Street – Rice Howard Way, 780-429-0911, trescarnales.com, @trescarnales)
Send your taters to a beach or side street in the Pacific Mexico. Using super-fresh, high-quality ingredients, Tres Carnales makes tacos, tamales and tortas the authentic Mexican way (no nachos and burritos here!). Made all the more muy delicioso with a group of friends and margaritas.

Viphalay (10523-99 Street, 780.756.8188, viphalay.com)
Serving authentic Laos and Thai food, Viphalay is a family-run business where every dish has a story (ask about the ‘Drunken Noodles’). Expect a menu that’s hot, with all the tom yung kungs, spring rolls and satehs you’d expect. Come lunch, it’s more curry in a hurry. Taking inspiration from street vendors across South-East Asia, the lunch menu is quick and tasty. While the original location (10724-95 Street) will stay a mainstay; three cheers for the new downtown location!