Edmonton's skyline with heat vent exhaust coming out of the towers in winter.
Central Edmonton refers to the most urban, dense, and oldest area of Edmonton. The area is best known as the location of the Downtown Core.
The following neighborhoods are a part of Central Edmonton:
- Downtown (bound by 105 Avenue in the north, 97th Street in the east, 109th Street in the west, and 97th Avenue in the south) is the (arguably) best known neighbourhood of Central. Downtown consists of four sub-neighbourhoods:Central Business District, MacKay Avenue, Warehouse District and the Arts District. Downtown has a wide variety of retail, nightlife and theatre. It is also home to the Government Core and many high-rise residential buildings. All in all, downtown's got it goin' on.
Density is quite high in the Government Core and Oliver. As you can see there are a lot of medium-density office buildings and high-density condo buildings all west of 105 Street NW.
- Rossdale is a tiny residential neighbourhood on the River Valley Plain. It has gone through tons of reinvention over the decades. At first it was a tiny residential area with beautiful homes in the 1900s, then in the 1950s it got entirely rebuilt. In the 1980s it got a "suburban implantation" where suburban ideas were introduced. During this time TELUS Field and Rossdale Plant opened. Now, today, it is a neighbourhood that is trying to go back to an urban setting with urbanism studies in place.
- Oliver (bound by 109th Street in the east, Groat Road in the west, the river to the south, and 107 Avenue to the north) is the densest residential community in Alberta. Oliver has a broad range of things from nightclubs to gift shops, cookie cutter whatever restaurants to bachelor pads. This area is the next Old Strathcona, with all kinds of up and coming things. The place still keeps its old charm with old houses and French revival buildings. It hosts 124 Street shopping area along with some fine cuisine. A short while ago, Oliver Square and Long Street and Area were developed on the north side of Oliver. This is a somewhat out-of-place suburban shopping area implemented in an urban zone, which features some nice stores and basic ones. The area has nice little parks and has one LRT station.
- Boyle is just east of downtown and it was actually once called the downtown of the city. It is because before the current downtown was owned by the Hudson's Bay and no land could be developed really, when said land was sold to the city, it developed massively and had become downtown. This left Boyle empty, and today you can take a stroll in "old downtown" and notice the buildings haven't changed much. Pretty historical.
- McCauley is the lively multicultural neighbourhood that is probably better known as Chinatown/Little Italy.
- Little Italy is (95 Street between 105 and 110 Avenue) a beautiful Italian neighbourhood radiating the core of Edmonton. Coming here expect a influx of Italian immigrants/people and shops for all Italian foods of quality. Definitely great.
- Chinatown is on 97th Street between 105 and 111 Avenue NW and is a vibrant Chinese community. Coming here (especially in the summer) expect to feel in a small Chinese city with beautiful Chinese fruits, small outdoor markets, fantastic food stores, absolutely fantastic restaurants, and much much more. See Chinatown in the stay safe section.
- Riverdale refers to a small residential community south of Boyle.
- Westmount is a neighbourhood split in two. This is in two ways, the first of which is because the eastern part dates back to the 1920s whereas the west side is from the 1960s. Two totally different architectural styles and design patterns. The other, is that it's in two districts. The older side is in Central, whereas the newer side is in the West. Groat Road is the dividing line. The area is known for its charm and walkability, as well as Westmount Centre (west of Groat Road).
Central Edmonton is the most walkable area of the city. The neighborhoods are more pedestrian-friendly than those in the outlying suburbs and are easy to navigate due to the proximity of amenities and mass transit options.
For Central Edmonton, transit is divine. One can choose from:
- The Edmonton LRT has 13 stations (from Clareview in the north to South Campus) that rip through central Edmonton, making it easy to get to various neighborhoods in a snap.
Central Edmonton has the most stuff to do, by far in Edmonton's area. From a thriving arts' district to architectural gems-it has it all!
Alberta Legislature building at dusk
- Alberta Legislature Building, . Beautiful to visit any time of the year at any time of the day. In December the grounds are lit with thousands of lights and there is a skating pond one can use. In the summer you can wade in the pools and play in the fountains north of the building. There are security staff walking around and it is quite safe even later in the evening.
- Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA), 2 Sir Winston Churchill Square (Go to Enterprise Square), . Monday-Friday 10:30AM-5PM (Thursdays 4-8PM free admission); Saturday & Sunday 11AM-5PM. Art Gallery of Alberta explores all forms of art and great for seeing how artists interpret things. The facility is modern and up to date. The gallery recently underwent a new section called Edmonton Modern, a architectural study about Edmonton's architecture of the 60's and 70's. Aside from that, there is always something different going on at the Art Gallery of Alberta like NHL paintings or cross Canada art gallery tours or whatever. It is truly a unique and nice experience and the people there are really friendly/helpful. Great for just wanting to have quiet time and looking at beautiful, sometimes odd, things. It should not be turned down. Good, cheap rates.. edit
- Gallery Walk - the first of its kind in Canada - is a handful of interesting galleries from local and international artists'. Its on Jasper Ave. between 123rd and 124 Streets. It's something neat to have a look at and you could even buy a few pieces. For parking, consider 123 Street just north of Jasper Ave.
- Edmonton Public Schools Archives, 10425 99 Avenue NW, 780 422-1970. A full-on museum at the corner of 99th St. and 104th St. It includes archives of the education system, Edmonton public in particular, from way back when Edmonton started getting schools and universities. The place is lesser known as Mckay Avenue School. Though it may seem a little lame, it is kind of interesting to learn about the education system and great for history buffs.
McKay Avenue School around sundown in Edmonton.
- Edmonton Archives, 10440 108 Avenue, ☎ (780) 496-8711 (cms.[email protected], fax: (780) 496-8732), . Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.. The archives detail in historic photographs, events, statues, clippings of Edmonton in this unique museum. edit
- High Level Streetcar, 4 Stations: 100 Ave, 97 Ave, 90 Ave, and 85 Ave, ☎ (780) 437-7721, . May through October only. The classic High Level streetcar takes you from just north of 100 Avenue between 109 St. NW/110 St. NW in Downtown to Old Strathcona (103 Street and 85 Avenue). It crosses the HighLevel bridge and has magnificent views of the river valley and downtown. Nice for just relaxing. edit
- Chinatown, Stretch of 97 Street between 105 and 109A Ave. edit
- TELUS World of Science Edmonton (formerly the Odyssium), 11211 142 St., 780-452-9100, . Edmonton's largest science museum with an architectural design that is out of this world, with lots of science exhibits, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater. They also have some delicious pizza.
Main building of the TELUS World of Science, which houses an Imax theatre and planetarium.
Buildings of the Royal Alberta Museum, located just west of downtown.
- Coronation Park (right beside Telus Science Centre)
- Royal Alberta Museum, 12845 102 Ave, ☎ 780-453-9100, . The Albertan provincial museum on the eastern edge of the West End and holds many exhibits including a thorough Albertan History segment. edit
- Edmonton Planetarium, (now defunct). This building may be small, and out of business, but it is quite the building. Unique constellation artworks mark the floor to the first planetarium in Canada. You cannot go inside, but from the outside you get a grasp of the space love that was the 60s. editame="Edmonton Planetarium" alt="" address="" directions="now defunct" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat=""
Some of these listings are in different districts. Their listings are in here because the views are of central and pertain to the article. At the end of the listings that are not in this district there are links to that district.
- Gallagher Park (Go to Connors Road, and turn north onto Cloverdale Road and go down the hill a bit and park and then go into the park-near the top of the hill is the best) is the magnificent skyline view. It fantastically combines the clean cut park, old houses, and the amazing skyline. It has a very complete view as you can see all parts of the skyline. You will be in awe. Especially with the Muttart Conservatory four pyramids popping out too. The trees around it give a nice frame to the ultimate skyline that centres the Central Business District and accents the residential high rises. Beautiful mix. Edmonton/Southeast.
- Louise McKeeny Park is a cool way to view downtown Edmonton. It shows mostly brutalist/Early modern towers and contrasts with the river.
- James MacDonald-Scona is probably the most awkward area to get into. You'd need to get in from downtown and go from 97 Avenue onto the James MacDonald Bridge. From there you'd need to take southbound on Scona Rd. NW until your first chance at getting off (it's not an overpass or anything) which would bring you to 99 A St. NW. From there, find a place to park your vehicle (unless you're walking) and walk around in this little residential village. You'd need to go west or northwest to the riverbank and then there's prime viewing. You'll see the panorama of skyscrapers at your feet. Definitely beautiful. Edmonton/South Central
- Duggan Bridge. In south central. On Saskatchewan Drive is this brief break from trees into a nice view of Edmontons skyline. This side shows some density, as well as industrialisation through the power plant near downtown but still the beauty of the trees in the parks.
- Forest Heights is a more office tower view of downtown, where you see the least amount of residential and density. Despite that, it gives a really clean shot. Basically go to Forest Heights Park. In Edmonton/Southeast.
- Crestwood has no particular place to look. Just watch out for views of the river because then you'll find the breathtaking skyline. Do be careful though, it's right at the edge of the valley there's no railings so its a big drop if you fall. Edmonton/West End.
- 102 A Avenue NW and 96 Street NW is a very interesting angle. It shows grit, modern pleasing buildings, crowdedness, intensity, and multiculturalism. Definitely a neat angle.
- River. Literally meaning a view from the river. The best would be to take Edmonton Queen and from the east, look west. It would be similar to Forest Heights view.
- Jasper and 96th is a classic view of Edmonton. It's centrepiece is the Gibson Block, basically Edmonton's Flatiron, and behind is the modern office towers of the downtown. It's a contrast and great for historians and people who love the design of modern planning.
- High Level Bridge is basically the NW view from High Level Bridge. It shows of great density yet has the nice touch of the river valley.
- Robbins Centre. Means go to the Robbins Health Centre and look out on the main southface windows. It gives a neat look on downtown and is unspoiled. You shouldn't have a problem going to the building as it is a public institution.
Edmonton's architecture is fairly ripe for its size. It has an excellent amount of modern architecture and the old buildings stick out like a sore thumb - in a good way. One can stroll 101 Street from Jasper to 103A Avenue and see many of Edmonton's skyscrapers. The most iconic, Manulife Place, built in '83 is a stunning modern structure and is Edmonton's tallest. It uses elegant glass and minimalist details. Ajoining Manulife is the wonderful Commerce Place, which is another modern gem with neat shapes and nice glass. 104th Street in the downtown is home to some fabulous pre-WWII warehouses that make a nice walk. Whyte Avenue is home to an array of cool pieces of architecture, that give it that small prairietown vibe. The Coronation Park is also a cool spot. It has the Edmonton Planetarium which is now closed, but is a interesting Mid cen Modern building for sure. Then there is the TELUS World of Science Edmonton, which has another planetarium of the Mid 1900s. The Peter Hemmingway Pool has excellent curves and beautiful glass you'd be surprised it was built before the advent of the quick and easy modern computer. The Alberta Legislature is a beauty too. One of Edmonton's finest historical structures with all the cornices and everything that make historical buildings great. Adjacent to it is the Leg Annex which is the first curtain wall building in Canada, and while it may not look the greatest, it is something to marvel in architectural history. 100th Street in the downtown is pretty cool as well, with a few interesting historic buildings, then go further north to Churchill Square, and the beauty of the surrounding buildings come to you. The Grant MacEwan Downtown Campus also offers some architectural merit. Even the recent expansion, Robbins Health Centre uses fine glass and everything. The University of Alberta Campus is also nice. It has a wide variety of architecture and buildings from smokestacks to hotels to hospitals to classrooms to residences. It has some cool old buildings like the Rutherford House and some new gems like Mazankowski Institute on 83rd Ave. Either way, I think you'll find Edmonton has some nice architecture, you just have to look beyond the obvious stuff.
- North Saskatchewan River Valley Parks scatter across the Central district's southern side. These places are good places to walk, relax, enjoy, or go to festivals. Louise McKeeny Park is probably one of the most interesting because it has good connections to downtown and it has a view of downtown plus it is on the river and is home to some great public art.
- Beaver Hills Park is on the corner of 105th Street and Jasper Avenue (neighbouring Sobey's) and is well paved with some neat local art and tree scenery. Nice for a quiet relaxing break after shopping your butt off in downtown or having an outdoor meal!
- Walk along 97th Street (between Jasper Avenue and 110 Avenue) and look at all kinds of different areas of the city, like betweeen Jasper and 106th Avenue you can see the differences between downtown and Boyle. Definitely a neat walk.
- Ride the bus around a central neighbourhood and see its uniqueness at a glance.
- Victoria Golf, 12130 River Road (in the river valley), 780-496-4914 (Pro Shop - April-October),. (Public: 6027 yards, par 71) This is another city-owned public course. It's situated in the river valley a couple of minutes from downtown, and has a large driving range on site. The setting is very attractive, although the course is less treed than Riverside with a more-open feel, particularly on the back nine. As with Riverside, tee times are booked by phone starting 6PM sharp two or three days ahead of the date of the reservation (call the automated system at 780-496-4900 to book).
- Edmonton Cracker Cats780-423-2255, . The local Golden League Baseball Team plays minor baseball at TELUS Field. Formerly apart of the Northern League.
- Edmonton Chill plays at the athletic centre of Grant MacEwan University. They are Edmonton's basketball team and play for the International Basketball League.
- Edmonton Eskimos  780-448-3757 (Ticket Office). The local Canadian Football League (CFL) team plays at Commonwealth Stadium. They have won numerous championships and were once the best in the league.
- Citadel Theatre, , 9828 - 101A Ave., 780-425-1820. The place has some of the broadest ranged, most unique plays in Canada. One can choose from Family, Seasonal, or "rice theatre". The Rice gives intimate plays guaranteed to provoke a response. Family plays are great for if you have little ones with you as they are both entertaining for adults, and G rated. Seasonal ones are mainstream and have Christmas, Valentine, Easter, Summer, and Fall themes, among others. Some of them are repeats of previous years, others are different. Each is sure to please a different demographic.
- Winspear Centre, 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW, 780-429-1992,  is a major performing arts centre that focuses mostly on music. Definitely a nice place to see unique musical acts.
- Roxy Theatre, 10708 124 Street NW, . Despite the fact that this offbeat place not very well known, it is still a great local theatre with a community sense and a variety of really unique plays.
- City Centre Empire Theatres, 10200 102 Avenue NW. A nice quiet movie experience with all the amenities of the big guys (Cineplex Odeon/Scotiabank/South side theatres/Whyte Ave theatres).
Due to Northlands Park, Churchill Square and numerous spots downtown, Central Edmonton is the festival centre of the city!
- Capital Ex, Northlands (July). Formerly known as Klondike Days and now renamed, this is Edmonton's main exhibition event, complete with a parade on the first day and fair at Northlands Park. Other exhibition events such as Global Connections, showcasing wares and foods of other countries, and Ed Fest, the 10-day rock festivals with up to 3 bands per night. The place is great for celebrity spotting who might be playing their music that night. It has games, roller coasters, ferris weels, waterslides, and other Carnaval Festival stuff. edit
- Festival of Trees, (November). Showcases decoration and trees of different styles that are unique enough to take the idea and use it at home. It is a kick off for winter. edit
- New Years, takes place on Churchill Sq., just south of City Hall. (December). Every year the turnout gets bigger. Full of fireworks and fun hot chocolate. It takes place on New Year's Eve. edit
- Cariwest, (August). This August parade features many wonderful Caribbean costumes and tunes. Participants eventually end up in Churchill Square, where all can enjoy Caribbean food and item vendors. This tradition comes primarily from the Caribbean nations of Trinidad and Tobago. They close down Jasper Avenue from vehicles, but for an event like this, it's okay, as it is that good. edit
- Edmonton Gay Pride, (July). Celebrate Edmonton's GLBT community with Edmonton Pride, complete with parade and festival at Churchill Square. It includes colourful designs, costumes, dances, and songs. edit
- Edmonton Streetperformers, (August). Canada's best street performers converge on Edmonton to show off their skill. It takes place over a timeperiod of 10 days and is fun packed with clowns, jugglers, mimes, magician's and more. Great for kids, adults, toddlers, seniors, teens, babies, whatever. edit
- Edmonton Folk Festival, Gallagher Park (August). This festival showcases samplings from around the world of lush folk music. edit
- Animethon, (August). A collection of different anime designers and unique books all in one location. Some materials found only in Japan otherwise. Very unique and even for you non anime lovers, can be quite neat. edit
- Work's Art and Design Fest, takes place for thirteen days on Churchill Square. (June). One of the best North American comntemporary art fests, this cool fest is home to unique artworks, lectures, and more. It gets you into the heritage behind art. edit
- Taste of Edmonton, Churchill Square (July). A number of Edmonton eateries show off their wares. This event coincides with Capital EX (formerly the Klondike Days). Each participating restaurants has a booth where it showcases two dishes that can be 'purchased' with tickets. These dishes are small portions and require a various number of tickets, which are purchased at nearby ticket booths. A popular sport is trying to determine which booths give the best value before you run out of either tickets or room in your tummy. If you really want more, check out the restaurant. edit
- Edmonton Dragonboat Fest, (August). in the river valley between Downtown and Strathcona. Six dragons boats spread out across the river, 22 people in each dragon boat, on the water, all waiting for the sound of the horn, all wanting to be first to cross the finish line some 400 meters away. edit
There is plenty of good shopping in Central Edmonton:
- 124th Street & Environs is a major up and coming shopping area in Oliver. It features neat cafés, boutiques, furniture and gift shops, hair salons, spas, restaurants, and galleries. 124 Street has a few sub areas that are worth mentioning:
- 124th Street (between Jasper and 111 Avenue). This part is divided into:
- Block to Shop (124 between Jasper and 102 Ave NW). This area is home to a nice concentration of woman's boutiques. Most of these cater to professional women and are quite stylish and lead in brands and price range (some with cheap prices). Some of the stores also carry menswear. There are also a few restaurants.
- Gallery 124 (124 between 102 and 104 Ave). This area isn't just full of galleries of neat art, it also has some nice stores. Cute little furniture destinations and outdoor wear places line this section, as well as a lot of hair salons and a few boutiques.
- 124th North (124 between 104 and 111 ave). This transitional area is growing very fast. In one part, it has high end, good stores that cater to a varied range of people. Then, there is still the stuff from before this place had interest in boutiques, interior designers, cafés, and restaurants. It hosts interior design places that are high end and some nice clothing shops for all kinds of people. It also has a lot of gift stores and small restaurants.
- High Street (102nd Avenue NW between 124 and 127 St NW). This area is host to neat café's and cute restaurants with top notch quality. It also has small gift stores, most notably, Notables. There are also a few furniture places and little pastry stops that are worth stopping at.
- 124 and Jasper (Jasper Avenue between 123 and 124 St NW). This area is home to the "Gallery Walk" which is totally different from shopping, unless, of course, you are interested in buying artwork. It also has a few neat little stores.
- City Centre Mall  is in the downtown core at 102nd Avenue and 101 Street, It includes over 120 stores including major brands (i.e. The Gap, URBAN, Claire's, The Bay, Coast Mountain Sports, Sportchek, Laura, Aldo) and was originally two malls (Eaton Centre and Edmonton Centre). Apart from major chains it has a few cool unique stores like Artwork's that showcase high end furniture and home décor. It is very busy on a weekday lunch. This place is perfect for the urbanite who wants to shop at the brands, rather then the unique shops elsewhere downtown. It can be hard for someone unfamiliar to get in and out of as some northside entrances use hallways to get into the mall. Consider using the entrances on 102 Avenue, especially the one between L'Azia and the Bay or the Coast Mountain Sports one. Mon-Wed 10AM-6PM; Thu-Fri 10AM-8PM; Sat 10AM-6PM; Sun/holidays 12PM-5PM.
- 104th Street (between Jasper Avenue and 103rd Avenue) is a nice, up-and-coming shopping district in the warehouse district downtown. Expect a pedestrian-friendly environment of wide sidewalks, beautiful trees, nice buildings, and slow cars. 104th Street is a smaller retail area, growing very rapidly. The area is home to a lot of really nice independent stores catering more to the younger crowd. Most notably, 29 Armstrong is an interior design store, and showcases the hottest styles in interior design in a beautiful old building. Another popular one is Ces't Sera Chemistry Clothing, which is a men and women's clothing store with items that are very stylish and somewhat formal, but also some casual wear. Along with all that, there are more furniture stores, stationary stores, groceries, and more.
The buzzing 104th Street City Market on a nice Saturday.
- City Market on 104th, 104th St. between Jasper Avenue and halfway along 102nd Avenue, . 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays between May and October. The oldest farmers' market in the city. The street gets closed off to vehicles from Jasper Ave. to 103rd Ave. Expect a variety of things to buy from cotton candy to shoelaces! 104th Street is closed to vehicles when the market is on.
- Chinatown is the largest Asian concentration in Edmonton. Expect authentic food stores and all kinds of other stores similar to Chinese cities and towns.
- Manulife Place with connections to City Centre is home to the the largest concentration of high end stores like Holt Renfrew department store, Henry Singer, Alligator Pie (designer labels for children), and gourmet chocolatier Bernard Callebaut stores. Commerce Place offers yet more designer shopping such as Sam Abouhassan, Plaza Escada, and Diamori in a modern mall setting. The building is kept clean, how else do you explain all the beautiful retailers?
- West Jasper is the area of Jasper Avenue west of 109th Street, east of 123 Street. Full of small stores, but more scarce than in other areas. It is nice for a safe quiet walk or if you know a specific store. The most popular store is Who Cares? which is a woman's clothing with trendy styles catered to women over 30. It can be a quite busy area, due more to the nightlife than the shopping though.
- Alberta Craft Council Gallery & Shop, 10186 - 106 St., ☎ (780) 488-6611, . M-Sa 10AM-5PM. This shop features high quality arts and crafts made by mostly Albertan artisans. The shop has a large selection of handmade ceramics and jewellery. The shop is a great place to purchase unique locally made gifts and art. There is also a small gallery space in the building that features rotating exhibitions by the Alberta Craft Council. edit
- Audreys Books Ltd. (Audreys), 10702 Jasper Avenue (nw corner of 107 St. & Jasper Ave.), ☎ 7804233487, . 9-9 M-F, 9:30-5:30 Sat, !2-5 Sun. Edmonton's oldest independent full-service bookstore, offering an electic mix of books, a wonderful selection of greeting cards, calendars, children's toys and many carefully selected gift items. Audreys also offers Edmonton's premier special order service. edit
The Central area definitely has the best selection in Edmonton when it comes to cuisine. In Chinatown, you can expect authentic Chinese restaurants and grocers. In Little Italy you can find some of the best Italian restaurants and the best bakery. In the Downtown core, there are tons of options from Portugese to Tex Mex to Italian to Burger Places. Jasper West happens to have a couple nice Italian and North American restaurants.
Coffee, Smoothies, and snacks
- 3 Banana's, 9918 102 Avenue NW (Churchill Square), ☎ (780) 428-2200, . Whether it is iced or hot coffee, 3 Banana's has some yummy coffees of different flavours. Aside from that they have good blended smoothies and offer regular drinks. For food, they have the best mini-pizzas around and some very good panini's (sometimes they run out). They also have muffins, cookies and goodies. Nice for a lunch or snack. edit
- Axis Cafe, 10349 Jasper Avenue. Right in downtown Edmonton near up and coming 104 Street is this funky cafe. Great for grabbing something to go while touring the city, or coming to meet friends. You won't be disappointed. This place also features some snacks and most of the coffee is Italian. Also, every Friday is live music, every time is different.
- Caffe Sorrentino's, 10665 109 Street NW, ☎ (780) 477-2789, . A nice Italian twist to the cozy Canadian café. edit
- Java Express, 10355 Jasper Avenue NW. Right near the central business district on the "Downtown Coffee Block" is this neat coffee shop that originated in Vancouver. The experience is very casual and a mid-price.
- Golden Bird, 10544 97 Street NW, ☎ (780) 420-1612. This spot is one of the city's best Vietnamese restaurants, with a menu somewhat distinct from the rest. It's family-run, and service is usually friendly and attentive. Everything is good, but be sure to try the crispy spring rolls, which are much thicker and tastier than the standard "freezer-pak" items usually served. edit
- Chicken for Lunch, 10060 Jasper Avenue NW (downtown, lower level Scotia Place food court). Very good, cheap chicken stir-fry served with a smile by Amy, who will remember your name and your order the next time. Get there by 11:30AM to avoid lunch-hour line-up. There are other food kiosks nearby if you can't wait.
- Free Press Bistro, 10014 104 Street NW, Mon-Thurs 11AM – 10PM; Fri 11AM – 11PM; Sat Sun 10AM – 9PM,just south of Jasper Avenue. The Free Press serves hot, grilled panini with fresh unprocessed ingredients, a modern twist on traditional panini. There are great pastas, salads and grilled items too, though the sandwiches steal the show.
- Garage Burger Bar, 10242 106 Street NW. Although aficionados argue about the best burger in town, this little restaurant has been appearing as one of the top two or three in city-wide reviews for years. It has a full liquor license and a good variety of inexpensive, high-quality burger meals. The prices are low and the staff friendly.
- Bistro Praha, 10117 101 St NW (Just a few doors north of Jasper Avenue), ☎ (780) 424-4218, . Mon - Wed: 11:00 am - Midnight, Thu - Fri: 11:00 am - 1:00 am, Sat: Noon - 1:00 am, Sun: 4:00 pm - Midnight. The Bistro is one of the longest-established restaurants in Edmonton. Its menu and ambiance have remained as they were when it opened in the mid-1970's, despite a building fire and move a few years ago. Downtowners fill this compact room enjoying crisp wiener schnitzel, roast goose, terrific steak tartare, and other eastern-European treats. The liquor markup is reasonable, beer selection features hard-to-find European brews, service is cool but professional, and food is consistently excellent. $10-$15 (lunch), $15-$25 (dinner). edit
- Blue Plate Diner, 10145 104 Street NW (north of Jasper Ave on trendy 104th St.), ☎ (780) 429-0740, . Blue Plate is a nice casual/formal eating establishment in a nice heritage building. The food here mostly comprises of burgers, chicken, steak, and a small section of TexMex. The place is very cozy and the place is full of neat,unique, interesting modern art. edit
- Bua Thai, 10049 113 Street. Located across the street from St. Joseph's Basilica, Bua Thai serves up high-quality Thai food at competitive prices. Particularly good is their Beef with Basil, but nothing disappoints. edit
- Café Deville, 10137 124 Street NW, . Gourmet food of multiple flavors, plus the joint has its own pastry chef! edit
- Doan's, 10130 107 St NW. The location occupies a fancy space (for a Vietnamese restaurant) and is popular with businesspeople at lunch. Doan's serves good quality Vietnamese food at good prices and it's quite the popular spot. They don't stand ahead of the other restaurants, but they are reliably good. Pretty mid range pricing. edit
- earl's: Tin Palace, 11830 Jasper Avenue NW (From 109th St., go west on Jasper and watch for their parking lot on the north), ☎ (780) 488-6582, . Coming here expect the same great food you'd find in a normal Earl's, but in a more elegant setting. The beef burger is one of the best in town, but the rest of the menu is equally trustworthy. A separate bar area keeps the sports fans and after-work socializers away from the diners. edit
- Famoso Neopolitan Pizza, 11750 Jasper Avenue NW (Just on Jasper Avenue set back from a tiny parking lot.), ☎ (780) 732-0700 ([email protected]), . Open until nine everyday except Sunday.. Famoso takes Edmonton pizzeria's to a whole new level. Their authentic, juicy pizza's will make your mouth water. They have a good variety, and when you're done with the pizza, why not a scoop of Gelato? The prices are pretty midrange, but at good quality. edit
- The Hat, 10251 Jasper Avenue NW. The place just opened very recently and occupies the once Silk Hat location on Jasper Ave. They mostly cater to the adult crowd with many drinks available. The place serves delicious burgers and fries, hence it being a burger bar. edit
- Haweli Fine East Indian, 10220 103 Street. A spacious room and central location attracts many downtowners for lunch. The weekday lunch buffet is an excellent deal in both price and quantity. Try the butter chicken and the naan bread. edit
- It's All Greek To Me, 10127 100A Street NW (From 100 St. go into Rice Howard Way), ☎ (780) 425-2073. Its All Greek offers some very authentic, yummy Greek cuisine. The pita bread is very fresh and moist-but not too moist. The food is very good and original. edit
- Italian Bakery, 106 Ave. and 97 St. NW, ☎ (780) 424-4830. Not a restaurant, but a much-loved ethnic grocery with gourmet Italian food for purchase. Dozens of varieties of preserved meats and European cheeses make up the deli counter, all at excellent prices. Elsewhere, there are canned meats and vegetables from Europe, many varieties of dry pasta, fresh European breads, and much more. The Italian sandwich, a fresh submarine available in regular and spicy hot, is a favorite take-out food. edit
- Lingnan, 10582 104 Street, ☎ (780) 426-3975, . For more than sixty years, the Lingnan has been serving a loyal clientele with excellent food, ambiance, and service, making it an institution. Recently, it was featured on the Food Network Canada show "Family Restaurant - The Quons". Hosts Kinman and Amy will seat you to your favourite table and bring you your regular order without having to ask. Eldest son Miles joined in running the family business in 2004 and has brought new challenges to bring the restaurant into the 21st century. edit
- Mucho Burrito, 10124 - 109th Street, NW (Just west of 109 St on Jasper Ave), ☎ 780-429-4220 (fax: 780-429-4231), . Despite being a chain, it is small (in it hasn't too many locations) and very rare and unique in Alberta. It is the highest quality Tex-Mex place in town and is the "Subway" of Mexican food. They make the tacos, burritos, whatever right in front of you and put on what you want. They are delicious, but be careful of spices-- they are not kidding when they say it is hot. Street access and parkade access. edit
- Original Joe's Downtown (Oliver), 12520 102 Avenue NW (High Street), ☎ (780) 452-3034, . Better quality food than the chain's other locations and decent staff. Good for a brunch. edit
- Sicilian Kitchen, 11239 Jasper Avenue NW, ☎ (780) 488-3838. Mouth watering hearty Italian meals in a classy setting. edit
- Shogun, 10125 121 Street. Shogun is a comfortable restaurant, low-ceilinged and pleasantly lined with dark panelling. The sushi and teppan-style cooking are as good as anywhere in the city, but Shogun is generally less busy than the restaurants right downtown and can almost always accommodate you without reservations. The dishes are not innovative, but the quality is fine and prices are mid-range - overall, a good deal. edit
- Sorrentino's Downtown, 10162 - 100 Street, ☎ (780) 424-7500 ([email protected], fax: (780) 424-7507), . Monday - Friday: 11:30AM - 10:00PM; Saturday: 5:00PM - 10:00PM; Sunday: Closed. Italian cuisine in a stylish, modern downtown setting. This is the flagship Sorrentino's location in Edmonton and attracts city politicos and businessmen in equal quantity for lunch. The food is casual Italian, with an extensive selection of meat and fish dishes backstopping the expected salads and pastas. edit
- Sorrentino's Little Italy, 10844 95 Street, ☎ (780) 425-0960 ([email protected], fax: (780) 421-9123). Monday - Thursday: 11:30AM - 10:00PM, Friday: 11:30AM - 9:30PM, Saturday: 5:00PM - 9:30PM, Sunday: Closed. Each Sorrentino's location has its own character and menu, and you may find the food here is a little more old-country and little less expensive than the downtown location. The high-ceiling room is simple and warm, and service is friendly but professional. edit
- Tony's Pizza Palace, 9605 111 Avenue NW (Turn south off 111 Avenue at 96 street - search for parking), ☎ (780) 424-8777, . Mon-Thu Lunch 1130 am to 230 pm; Dinner 430 pm to 1000 pm; Fri Lunch 1130 am to 230 pm; Dinner 430 pm to 1200 am; Sat Dinner 230 pm to 1200 am; Sun Dinner 430 pm to 1030 pm. Tony's is a family-friendly spot that prides itself in authentic Italian-style pizza. The crusts are large, thin, and crisp, the toppings fresh and flavorful but thinly applied, and there's no blanket of hot mozzarella on top. They're a refreshing change from the fatty, floppy North American style. And if you don't want the pizza, there are lots of other Italian dishes, including pastas and meat dishes.Try the Italian Pretzel appetizer - big enough for 3 or 4 diners. edit
- Urban Diner, 12427 102 Avenue NW (Immediately west of 124th Street), ☎ 780.488.7274 ([email protected]), . Closed Monday; Tues-Fri 11AM-9PM; Saturday 9AM-9PM; Sunday 9AM-3PM. Urban Diner is a cute, little Canadiana food diner on High Street. It offers specialty soups, macaroni, sandwiches and more in a cozy atmosphere. edit
- Character's, 10257 105 Street NW (head south of 104th Avenue on 105th St.), ☎ (780) 421-4100, . Lunch - 11:30am to 2:00pm Monday to Friday; Dinner - 5:30pm to 10:00pm Tuesday to Saturday. Character's is located in a renovated warehouse just north of downtown. The menu is innovative Continental cuisine, with a well-recognized and inventive chef. The space is warm and contemporary, with public dining and several private rooms suited to business meetings or private parties. edit
- Creperie, 10220 103 Street NW (One and a half blocks north of Jasper on 102 Street). Sat-Sun 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM; Monday closed; Tue-Thu 11:30 AM - 9:00 PM; Friday 11:30 AM - 10:00 PM. One floor beneath street level, this restaurant provides French-style fine dining in an intimate, quiet setting. The menu features crepes with fillings like seafood Americane, jambalaya, beef Stroganoff, and salmon. Other dishes include filet mignon, cedar baked salmon, and several vegetarian options. A great spot for a cozy, romantic dinner. edit
- Hardware Grill, 9698 Jasper Avenue NW (97th St. and Jas. Avenue), ☎ (780) 423-0969, . This restaurant occupies the refurbished shell of the W. W. Arcade. a venerable Edmonton hardware store. The interior is contemporary and tables are well-spaced, enhancing privacy and lending a sense of intimacy to evening dining. Food quality is high, the wine list is extensive, and service is good, although not as consistent and well-trained as (for example) the Harvest Room's. It's definitely one of the ten top restaurants in the city, although its exact placement depends - as always - on your tastes and expectations. edit
- Harvest Room, 10065 - 100th Street (Inside the Hotel Macdonald). This is one of Edmonton's finest restaurants, with beautiful river-valley views from the window tables. Cuisine tends toward Canadian-Continental fusion, with an emphasis on local ingredients. The wine list is extensive, and the service exquisitely professional. edit
- Koutouki, 10719 – 124 NW. Family-operated restaurant with pricy but good Greek food and a pleasant atmosphere. Excellent mezethes selections, served in large portions, make the best dinner choice. Belly dancer Friday and Saturday evenings - five dollars is an acceptable tip if she stops at your table. edit
- L'Azia, Edmonton City Centre West, Ste. A 113, 10200 – 102 Ave. (Go north from Jasper Ave on 102 St., then enter the mall), ☎ 780.990.0188 (l[email protected], fax: 780.990.0181), . Monday, Sunday and holidays:11AM - 10PM; Tuesday to Saturday:11AM - 12 midnight. Nice Asian-Mediterranean fusion defines L'Azia Downtown. The rooms are full of businessmen at lunch, and it's a bit loud when busy. edit
- La Ronde, 10111 Bellamy Hill NW (Top floor of the Chateau Lacombe), ☎ (780) 428-6611, . Edmonton's secret revolving restaurant atop the Lacombe Chateau. Dress up to fit in with the Continental cuisine and polished service. edit
- La Tapa, 10523 99 Avenue NW, ☎ (780) 424-8272, . Tues Sat 9:00 to 9:30 Closed Sundays, Mondays and Holidays. Authentic Spanish food (YES, Spain!) served in a fancy setting on a quiet street right in the heart of the city. edit
- Lux Steakhouse, 10150 101 St NW, ☎ (780) 424-0400, . Mon-Fri: 5PM-10PM; Saturday 5PM-11PM. Lux Steakhouse is a fine restaurant of high class inside Commerce Place. Staff are friendly and the beef dishes are among the city's best. edit
- Mikado, 10350 109 St NW, . The original, now lamentably closed, was the first Japanese restaurant in Alberta. The downtown location is a little noisy in the open center area, but a tatami room can be requested if you want privacy and quiet. The food style is a mix of traditional Japanese and offerings of nouveau Japanese cuisine (Dragon Eyes, Mango Tango Roll, Sushi Pizza). Reservations are wise on key nights, or be prepared to wait. Note: there is a second Mikado in South Edmonton Commons. edit
- Pazzo Pazzo, 10016 103 Avenue NW, ☎ (780) 425-7711. Large portions of arguably Edmonton's best pasta come served by excellent staff in a charming Little Italy location. edit
- Violino Gastronomia, 10133 125 Street, ☎ (780) 757-8701. (formerly La Spiga) Upscale Italian in a historic Edmonton residence. Outstanding food and service and is ideal for celebratory dinners or business lunches as well as just to enjoy good food. Private function space available. Reservations recommended. edit
- BLVD Bar & Kitchen, 10765 Jasper Avenue, ☎ +1 780 934 2583, . A former bank, this restaurant and nightclub provides a large central bar and bookcase surroundings. Excellent summer patio. Music is primarily DJ-oriented house music and hip hop. edit
- Cask and Barrel, 10041 - 104 Street, ☎ +1 780 498 1224, . Little hole in the wall with a prodigious patio during summer months. Nice place for a quiet drink. edit
- The Common, 9910 - 109 Street, ☎ +1 780 452 7333, . The Common is a restaurant that turns into a hip, stylish nightspot after hours. The DJs here primarily play techno, hip-hop, and house music. In the basement is a separate bar known as 99Ten, which is a smaller format house and dance music mecca. edit
- Cask and Barrel, 10041 - 104 Street, ☎ +1 780 498 1224, . Little hole in the wall with a prodigious patio during summer months. Nice place for a quiet drink. edit
- Central Social Hall, 10909 Jasper Avenue, ☎ +1 780 705 1900, . Increasingly popular, show up early or prepare to line-up. A restaurant and sports lounge during the day, it becomes a nightclub and pickup place for the city's beautiful people. edit
- Denizen Hall, 10311 - 104 Avenue, ☎ +1 780 424 8215, . Retro bar/nightclub located near the Ice District and Arena. Popular but lesser sophisticated and younger crowd than most other bars in Downtown. Includes a live music stage, pinball, and video games. In the basement is a separate bar called the Chvrch of John, which plays a variety of electronic and alternative music varieties in a quirky setting. edit
- Knoxville's Tavern, 10736 Jasper Avenue, ☎ +1 587 988 5669, . Larger nightclub with country oriented music and crowd. Usually lined up on the weekends. Although country music is typical, they also entertain rock and pop music nights too. There are two additional clubs above Knoxville's Tavern of lesser popularity. edit
- Mercer Tavern, 10363 - 104 Street, ☎ +1 587 521 1911, . Popular bar situated within a historic building across the street from the new arena. Good selection of beers and average quality menu. DJs during weekend evenings. edit
- Needle Vinyl Tavern, 10524 Jasper Avenue, ☎ +1 780 756 9045, . Busy new bar situated along Jasper Avenue. One of the primary live music venues in Downtown Edmonton. Wide variety of bands. Slightly older crowd and good patio action during the summer. edit
- On the Rocks, 11740 Jasper Avenue, ☎ +1 780 482 4767, . Rock and pop music oriented bar at the western end of action on Jasper Avenue. Older and lustful crowd, it is known as a meat market. Gets busy on weekends. edit
- The Pint Public House, ☎ +1 780 497 7468, . Modern pub that converts to a busy nightclub during the evenings. Good summer patio. Pop, dance music, and hip-hop music. Also visit Hudsons Downtown, which is the competition of similar variety next door. edit
- Sherlock Holmes Downtown, 10012 - 101A Avenue, ☎ +1 780 426 7784, . Authentic British Pub situated in the heart of the city. Typical guitar and keyboard entertainment most nights. edit
- Starlight Room, 10030 - 102 Street, ☎ +1 780 428-1099, . Large, live music venue situated in an old brick armory building. Usually busy during the weekends with some gigs during the week. Wide variety of music including metal, rap, techno, and pop music. In the basement is the Brixx Bar, which is oriented to a heavier music crowd like industrial, punk, and goth music. edit
- Y Afterhours Club, ☎ +1 780 756 2255, . Opens at 1:00 AM and closes at 8:00 AM. Definitely a younger and stranger crowd here. Plays the highest quality house, garage, and D&B music but no drink service due to liquor laws so most guests arrive pre-fueled. edit
- Alberta Place, 10049 103 Street NW, . Easy downtown accesses with some suites having great views. Rates arond (per night) $112. edit
- GO Backpackers Hostel, 10209-100th Avenue, ☎ 780-423-4146, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. Taken over the closed Riverview Inn and offers rooms with 4 and 6 dorm beds as well as private rooms with double or queen beds. Full common facilities. Pub, the Jekyll and Hyde in the lower level. $25+. edit
- Coast Edmonton Plaza, 10155 105 Street NW (North on 105th St. from Jasper Avenue), ☎ +1 780 423-3204 (toll free: +1 800 716-6199, fax: +1 780 423-3204), . The Coast offers fine suites with all excellent views and a neat restaurant that is friendly. Prices average at $166. (53.543342,-113.497825) edit
- Comfort Inn Downtown Edmonton, 10425 100th Ave (Go south of Jasper Avenue on 104th St and turn right at 100th Ave), ☎ +1 780 423-5611 (fax: +1 780 425-9791), . checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. Hotel offers a free breakfast. $120-$150. (53.53499984741211,-113.49150085449219) edit
- Delta Edmonton Centre, 10222 102 St NW, ☎ +1 780 429-3900 (toll free: +1 800 661-6655, fax: +1 780 421-3259), . checkin: 3PM; checkout: noon. This hotel is very nice and connected to City Centre Mall and is great for wanting to be downtown on a budget. Most suites have some very nice views and the staff is friendly! edit
Edmonton's fanciest and most expensive hotels fill up quickly due to a current lack of 4 and 5 star hotels. Consider booking up to six weeks in advance to get the best choice.
- Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, 10065 100 Street NW, ☎ +1 780 424-5181, . Known as Edmonton's most elegant grand old hotel, construction for this Chateau-like building began in 1911 and was completed in 1915. Located in the heart of downtown, the breathtaking view of the river valley, fine dining from the Harvest Room, and beautiful suites, makes it the inn-of-choice for the rich and famous. It is also an ideal venue for meetings and banquets. It has been named the best corporate hotel by National Post in Canada. The prices are generally high. edit
- Matrix Hotel, 10640 100th Avenue, ☎ +1 780 429-2861, . Right near the glamourous Alberta Legislature is Edmonton's only boutique hotel, Matrix Hotel. The Matrix is what was the Inn on 7th after a massive make over in '06-07. Today it is ultra modern with the best interiors for a hotel. This hotel is often called the W Hotel of Edmonton, Alberta. The pricepoint is in the high range. edit
- Westin Edmonton, 10135 100th Street, . Definitely world class with nice hotel rooms and great services. Many restaurants and lounges are nearby (with Rice Howard Way right there), not to mention Churchill Square which is full of festivals. edit
- Union Bank Inn, 10053 Jasper Avenue NW, ☎ +1 780 423-3600, . This lovely boutique hotel inhabits a small recently converted bank building in the center of Edmonton's downtown. The interior is modern and business-friendly (Internet connections in nearly every room), while keeping an updated "heritage" theme in its comfortable rooms. Its restaurant, the Madison Grill, is one of the city's finer dining establishments, and if it doesn't suffice, you are only a couple of blocks away from any of the major downtown restaurants. edit
- Sutton Place Hotel, 10235 101 Street NW (From Jasper go north on 101St., if you've hit 103a Avenue, you've gone too far.), . Very clean suites with good views and practically every room has internet connections. edit
- Chateau Lacombe, 10111 Bellamy Hill NW, . The staff can be friendly and you can get good suites without notice (usually). They also accept pets. It is near good transit and road connections to get you Downtown, Old Strathcona, West Edmonton Mall, a friend, whatever! Mid-to-high pricings. edit
- Coast Suite Hotel, 10205 100 Ave NW. Very comfortable suites, some of which come with kitchens and living rooms with fridges and pull out beds. Average pricepoint is $154. edit
- Marriott Courtyard, 1 Thornton Court NW, ☎ +1 780 423-9999, . Very easy to find with some amazing views from any direction. $245 is the median for price. edit
- Holiday Inn Express Downtown Edmonton, 10010 104 St Northwest, . A beautiful 1960s architecture defines the outside, whilst the inside is completely up to date with the latest luxuries. Good connections to 104th Street shopping area, Heritage Trail, the Legislature, other hotels, Jasper Avenue, and the LRT. Pricepoint is $140. edit
Where to avoid
- Chinatown (which is 97th Street between 105 and 107 Ave)has a lot of poverty and can be full of beggars after 4PM.
- 107 Avenue is not a very good place to be. Overall it is okay if you are just driving but it isn't advised as a pedestrian. There are a lot of gang fights and drug dealings in the neighbourhood (105 Avenue in the south, 110 Avenue in the north, 120 St in the west, 97 St in the east). It is also really dirty and full of garbage. It is best avoided. Go south of 105 Ave and you should be fine. On top of that, it is in a new development "Northedge" which is trying to turn around the area into a trendy viable place. Unfortunately, it still isn't safe (sometimes 105 Ave can be ok), not until more residents and shop come.
At times, mostly downtown, especially during winter, on the weekdays after 6PM or in quiet areas, you may have people ask you for money. They are rarely aggressive. If you are under 19, you will rarely be asked. There are two approaches:
- Ignore them - just pretend you didn't hear them and keep walking. Do not look at them.
- Say no - do it politely with a "No, sorry" as they will usually just say "Alright. Thanks. Have a good day."
Central Edmonton is perceived as a very scary place, although don't believe the rumours other than MCCauley, you are pretty much safe. Yes, things happen, but it's about as common as in the suburbs.
In particular some areas/situations may seem sketchy:
- Some areas of Jasper Avenue can seem a little dangerous [by perception] and dirty (between 103 and 99 St. in the spotlight) although it is safe to walk by them without getting hurt or begged at. Rarely does bad stuff happen.
- Sometimes, on weekdays during fall and winter after 8PM, the downtown core can seem very quiet and lifeless. Despite the odd quietness, a lot of stuff is still open and should not be something to worry about like a homeless person running out asking you for a money. Not to mention this should not sway your opinion that the core of Edmonton is dead, you gotta let the city sleep sometime and most people want to be at home relaxing after a days work rather than shopping or bar hopping which would happen on Fridays/Weekends/Summer.
- Apocalypse Gaming, 10185 107 St., 780-441-9980, . Su-Th 10AM-Midnight, F,Sa 10AM-2AM. Located one block from the Corona LRT station and Grant MacEwan University. Has 30 custom designed gaming PCs, high speed internet and gigabit LAN, an XBox360 Rock Band stage, large lounge area for snacks and drinks, retro coin-op arcades (TMNT!), regular tournaments and game nights.
- Bohemia Cyber Cafe, 11012 Jasper Avenue,780-429-3442, . M-F 10AM-1AM, Sa 11AM-1AM, Su 11AM-Midnight.
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