March 9

The Second Annual Tomato Top 100 Best Things to Eat in Edmonton

Our readers pick their favourites

Last year, when we asked Tomato readers for their opinions on the best things to eat, we thought it was a one-time feature, a way to celebrate the 100th issue. But, after being deluged with tweets, emails, phone calls, letters, and facebook posts, we realized that once was not enough. Our readers demand to be heard!

This year we welcomed a tsunami of comments, votes, seconders, and heartfelt odes to a dish or a place. Comments were funny, pointed (we were scolded a few times for not talking enough about someone’s favourite restaurant. Duly noted). We rediscovered old favourites and were introduced to tasty new items.

Thank you to all who voted, campaigned for their favourites, and entered the debate with a sense of fun and discovery. It’s been a pleasure. To those nominated; long may you prosper.

A few trends noted: less Asian on the list this year but we remain loyal to our pho; cauliflower is the new kale; and we love our sweets — there were more nominations for cookies than anything else. But, we noticed that several came from the same addresses 😉

We miss the Greek deli off 124 Street, and we said goodbye to Oasia, Bistro Saisons and Niche last year, a reminder of just how hard the restaurant business can be.

Corso Short Ribs
Corso Short Ribs

1. Corso 32
There’s no doubt that Edmontonians love Corso’s food. The Jasper Avenue restaurant tops the list for the second time with the most votes for a variety of dishes. The beloved beef short rib with fresh pear edged out spaghetti bolo, parsnip agnolotti, rabbit ragu, arancini, and the salted hazelnut chocolate dessert for the top spot. We give a shout out for their innovative, mostly Italian wine list, cocktails and amaro offerings. And we’re thrilled that Daniel Costa is opening two new spots this year, right next door to Corso 32— we bet they’ll be hip, stylish and, most importantly, delicious.

Korean fried cauliflower
Korean fried cauliflower

2. Tavern 1903
Tavern 1903’s KFC Korean fried cauliflower. Larry and Melinda Stewart’s second restaurant opened this summer to raves — the room comfortable, the food accessible, the cocktail list fun and modern. The idea that cauliflower can hit number two on a Best Of list points to something: are vegetables being taken more seriously in the land of meat and potatoes? Is cauliflower the new kale? Yes and yes.

Mushrooms with Egg Yolk
Mushrooms with Egg Yolk

3. Three Boars Eatery
Three Boars Eatery changes its menu frequently, which is good, but it does make it more complicated for fans to pick just one thing, so they don’t. The mushrooms with egg yolk on toast topped the list, lamb neck croquette was a close second, with honourable mentions: the addictively crispy anchovy-stuffed olives, toothsome pad thai and chilling with a cocktail and the boys at the main floor bar. We’re looking forward to Farrow, their new sandwich shop next door, slated for a late spring opening.

Arancini rice balls

4. Cibo Bistro
The simple rice ball called arancini is having its moment. The best place to enjoy them, especially at lunch, is at Cibo Bistro. Crispy on the outside, laden with cheese and other good stuff on the inside. We have a friend who does a drive-by several times a week — calls from his car and takes them home in a box. Voters also loved the beef cheeks, lobster tortellini and polenta fritta with salami at this friendly and authentic Italian eatery. We love their $13 lunch.

5. The Sugarbowl
Breakfast at the Sugarbowl: cinnamon bun and the huevos rancheros were mentioned most frequently. If we had a best-casual-atmosphere-with-the-nicest-people-behind-the-bar award it would go to the Sugarbowl.
The Marc’s pommes frites with truffled mayo
Pommes frites with truffled mayo

6. The Marc
The Marc’s pommes frites with truffled mayo. Ok, who doesn’t love french fries? And who doesn’t love French fries shared with mushroomy-scented mayo and a glass of Champagne? That, my friends, is one of life’s affordable luxuries. Another reason to flock to the Marc — they understand hospitality; how it can turn a humdrum Tuesday-night-after-work-dinner into something that feeds the soul.

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