The team behind Old Strathcona staples The Next Act and Meat have brought a third restaurant to the city’s culinary scene — Pip. The quirky spot tops our Best New category this year, proving that, sometimes, simplicity is key.
At Pip, you can enjoy brunch any day of the week until 3 p.m. Sit at one of the cozy tufted booths or at the eat-in bar area where you can people-watch and kick things off with a brunch cocktail. In addition to the brunch staple, mimosas — available in orange, pineapple and pink grapefruit — the cocktail menu includes options like the Hugo Spritz, a refreshing and floral mix of elderflower, soda, prosecco and mint.
As for the food, it’s all about eggs — poached eggs atop avocado toast, eggs nestled in house-made tomato sauce with creamy bocconcini and, of course, eggs Benedict. Try something outside the box with the short rib version, which replaces ham with braised beef and caramelized onion, and tops it off with a dill hollandaise.
Trust us — you’ll want to make some brunch plans ASAP. – Adrianna MacPherson
10403 83 Ave., 780-760-4747, pipyeg.com
2. The Butternut Tree
When dining at The Butternut Tree, you’ll have a hard time deciding whether to focus on the stunning views of the River Valley courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, or the edible work of art on the plate in front of you — a good problem to have.
Chef Scott Downey focuses on seasonal, Canadian ingredients to craft a menu that is constantly changing and consistently intriguing. I recommend you place yourself in Downey’s hands entirely and go for the tasting menu, a six-course experience that will take your taste buds on a tour through Canada. – A.M.
#101, 9707 110 St., 780-760-2271, thebutternuttree.ca
3. Kanto 98 St. Eatery
Edgar Gutierrez, a driving force behind Mexican eateries Tres Carnales and Rostizado, launched this Filipino-inspired eatery one block away from the main Chinatown strip in 2018. When you walk in, the colourful walls make you feel like you’ve just entered a living comic book. And, keeping with the comic theme, the menu is playful. We might be familiar with steamed buns, but at Kanto they’re served flat, like a taco shell, cradling barbecued pork belly that’s been marinated in vinegar and soy sauce. It might be my favourite new thing I’ve eaten this year. – Steven Sandor
10636 98 St., 780-244-7388, kanto98st.com
4. London Local
Located just north of Ellerslie off of 91st Street, London Local serves high quality food in a cozy, casual environment.
It has all the standards — fish and chips, bangers and mash — and a surprising number of seafood dishes (the smoked seafood chowder is a scrumptious appetizer), but you might want to go full Brit with the Beef Wellington, a tenderloin tip with ham wrapped in puff pastry lined with mushroom pâté. – Cory Schachtel
2307 Ellwood Drive SW, 780-752-2244, london-local.ca
5. An Chay
I am not a vegetarian. And the first time I walked into An Chay, I had no idea it was a vegetarian restaurant, because I didn’t read the sign. But, after the first couple of sips of the spicy vegetarian soup, with the big chunks of tofu, I didn’t care that I never gave the sign a read. The broth was delicious, the spices punched me in the mouth. The tofu sponged up the peppery goodness and burst with flavour after I fished them out of the red broth. An Chay doesn’t serve great vegetarian food; it serves great food, period. – S.S.
11203 Jasper Ave., 780-752-2203