Fast casual restaurants have exploded in Downtown Edmonton, serving everything from Asian dumplings to plant-based BLTs. A simple guide to some of the best counter-service when you’re pressed for time.
Buok Fresh Korean Kitchen, 10707 100 Avenue
Taste the crunch of the carrots and there’s no denying how fresh the bibimbap at Buok Fresh Korean Kitchen is. Build your own bowl or try a bulgogi beef sandwich. After 3pm, you can order Korean small plates, such as Ddeok bokki, Korean rice cakes sautéed in chili sauce.
Filistix, 10621 100 Avenue
The food at Filistix takes inspiration from Filipino and Southeast Asian cuisine. On the menu, you can expect to find chicken adobo, beef stew and a few kinds of fried rice and noodle dishes. But if you want a real taste of everything the menu has to offer, try the Indonesian and Filipino meals. Each set comes with five dishes.
Ono Poke Co., 10142 104 Street
Haven’t tried poke yet? Ono Poke Co. is the real deal. Chef Lawrence Hui travelled extensively across Hawaii learning from the state’s best chefs to come up with a dozen signature bowls, such as spicy Thai salmon and Musubi tuna.
Tiffin, 10404 Jasper Avenue
It’s love at first whiff when you step inside quick-casual Tiffin located on Jasper Avenue. There’s plenty of bustle and chatter, while the smoky aromas speak of killer Indian cooking. Our current faves? Five lentil curry, palak paneer kofta, fenugreek chicken and the garlic naan.
KB&CO, 10223 104 Street
Casual conscious eats is the mantra at KB&CO where you’ll feel instantly healthy after eating. The quick-casual was one of the first vegan restaurants to sprout up in the core so it has dedicated customers who queue up all day long. It has your standard wraps and salads but there’s nothing regular about the taste. Everything is exploding with flavour from the tahini and beet wrap to our favourite, the Nori Glory salad loaded with mixed greens, coconut rice, red pepper, cucumber, nori, avocado and micro-greens. Stop by in the morning for oat and hemp seed berry waffles, or a delicious smoothie.
Copper Branch, 10316 Jasper Avenue
Canadian quick-casual Copper Branch will satisfy committed vegans with its approachable menu that might even fool meat eaters. But make no mistake the burgers, chili, soup and power bowls are 100 percent plant-based. The spicy black bean burger is a hearty affair, but it’s worth ordering the buffalo wings to taste the range of Copperbranch dishes.
Al Centro, 9892 Jasper Avenue
The beautifully designed Al Centro has emerged as one of Downtown’s hottest “fine casual” counter-service spots. Savoury breakfast paninos, Roman style pizza, flavour-packed salads are just right for breakfast and lunch. Say yes to a pre-show cocktail from their extensive drink menu. Check out their Italian pantry to pick up all the staples to cook that perfect Italian dish at home.
Loaded Pierogi, 10815 Jasper Avenue
This Jasper Avenue outpost of Loaded Pierogi is the place to find Ukrainian food Downtown. The majority of the 12 pierogi dishes are beyond the classic onions and sour cream toppings. Wild mushroom and truffle, Montreal smoked meat and buffalo chicken offer something for everyone.
Dagu Rice Noodle, 10408 Jasper Avenue
If you’re after a real winter warmer, make a stop at Dagu Rice Noodle for their famous “Crossing the Bridge” rice noodle soups. Pick from four different bases, including tomato and mushrooms, and then add your noodles, protein and chicken tableside. It’s heaven in a bowl!