Good things come to those who wait – and the Edmonton region has certainly been waiting for something like Chartier. Owners Sylvia and Darren Cheverie got the ball rolling with a Kickstarter campaign, which quickly set the record as being the most successful restaurant campaign in Canada. They tested menu items, created a charming, cozy space filled with mismatched vintage chairs and reclaimed wood paneling, and then finally threw the doors open to an eager public.
The menu of rustic yet refined French-Canadian classics is a much-needed addition to the Edmonton culinary scene. When living in Montreal, I fell in love with tourtire, a rich, savoury Quebecois classic, and Chartier’s version more than satisfied my nostalgic cravings. The classic ground pork filling is mixed with bison and chunks of confit duck, encased in a flaky crust and served with a delectable rhubarb relish.
Plus, when a place takes the time to bake their own bread – also delicious, by the way – you know they’re paying attention to the details. Stop by the bread window, pop in for brunch, splurge on a decadent dinner – just go. Beaumont’s main street isn’t as far as you think, and you absolutely won’t regret it. –Adrianna Szenthe
#102, 5012 50 St., Beaumont, 780-737-3633, dinechartier.com
Seoul Fried Chicken
If 2016 was truly the year of fried chicken in Edmonton, then Seoul Fried Chicken (SFC) was the most likely catalyst. If nothing else, this eatery proves that a restaurant can survive on fried chicken alone, and that Edmontonians will come in droves for the dish. Of course, it helps that there are seven flavours of the Korean-style fried chicken from which to choose: original, barbecue, onion lover, garlic soy, cilantro lime, grana padano cheese and golden kari – all of which are brined overnight before being fried to perfection the next day. -Cory Haller
7904 104 St., 780-761-3616, sfcseoulfriedchicken.com
While Workshop Eatery’s location on the far south side of the city might deter some, trust us – there’s a reason our judges ranked it third in the Best New category. The decor is warm yet industrial, the open kitchen – where diners can see chef Paul Shufelt scurrying around preparing his dishes – is a nice touch, and the food consistently delivers. The proteins, from lamb shank to the duck breast, are cooked to perfection, impossibly tender and flavourful, and accentuated with innovative accompaniments from thyme jus to vanilla parsnip puree. Add in the fact that many of the ingredients are locally sourced – including the hyper local preserves, taken from the gardens directly outside the restaurant – and you’ve got a place that will steal any foodie’s heart. –Adrianna Szenthe
2003 91 St., 780-705-2205, theworkshopeatery.com
Daniel Costa’s newest restaurant, Uccellino, is a modern spin on the Italian trattoria, and combines the casual-cool atmosphere of Bar Bricco with Corso 32’s fine dining experience. The space is a stark contrast to the dim lit rooms of Corso 32 and Bar Bricco; instead the new space opts for a light and airy aesthetic, supported by floor-to-ceiling windows and clean lines. What’s more, that inviting nature of the space stretches onto the menu with its shareable rustic Italian fare. You’ll want to share the pappardelle, which is a pork-lovers delight with pig’s head and prosciutto, and a daubing of fresh parmigiano reggiano. -Jasmine Salazar
10349 Jasper Ave., uccellino.ca
The Local Omnivore
With an aesthetic that screams punk-rock, from pallets turned into wall decor and old, heavy wooden school doors repurposed as benches, The Local Omnivore feels comfortably chaotic, like a living room where everything is slightly mismatched, but that’s how you like it.
The menu, though, is decadent. Meats are brined and smoked, and there’s a messy decadence to all the sandwiches on offer. From the corned beef to the smoked turkey, you will end up with some sauce on your shirt after a lunch well spent at the Local Omnivore. And take it easy with the pirate spice on the fries – the heat builds up with every bite, so don’t go crazy. –Steven Sandor
10933 120 St., 780-660-1051, thelocalomnivore.com