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September 23, 2019

The Block is Hot

The Block is Hot Ever since Duchess Bake Shop moved in, 124th Street looks extra tasty. The patisserie might have helped put the street on the map, but so many new flavours have cropped up since 2009, you’ll need a map to explore them all. by Omar Mouallem Illustration by Michael Byers…

The Block is Hot

Ever since Duchess Bake Shop moved in, 124th Street looks extra tasty. The patisserie might have helped put the street on the map, but so many new flavours have cropped up since 2009, you’ll need a map to explore them all.

Illustration by Michael Byers

*Editors Note: This story has been updated to reflect the recent closure of the Makk on 124.

Cococo Chocolatiers [s]

10103 124 St., cococochocolatiers.com

From the Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut brand comes the closest thing to what you’d find in Wonka-land – including 2,700 square feet of loose chocolates.

Owner’s Pick: Rosemary Fusion (2012 International Chocolate Awards silver winner)

Matahari [a]

10108 124 St., 780-452-8262, matahari-asiandining.com

The Bothy Downtown [w]

10124 124 St., 780-760-8060, thebothy.ca

From Speyside’s bold bottles to Campbeltown’s briny tastes, owner Doug Townshend offers a “passport” to traverse the dizzying Scotch selection. He’ll even pair your picks with a continental dish.

Owner’s Pick: 12-year-old Glendronach

Caf de Ville [f]

10137 124 St., 780-488-9188, cafedeville.com

Glenora Bistro [b]

10139 124 St., 780-482-3531, glenorabistro.com

Cookie Love [s]

12325 102 Ave., 780-499-2849, cookielove.ca

Once a farmers’ market sensation, Iva Stone moved her treats – 13 cookies along with ice cream sandwiches made with another local favourite, Pinocchio – into her own space.   

Owner’s Pick: Peanut butter s’mores

Pure Kitchen [b] 

12325 102 Ave., 780-705-2626, purekitchen.ca

The owners started with a food truck and canteen in Rexall Place. They serve fast for delicious breakfasts and lunches, from frittatas to housemade soups. 

Owner’s pick: Banana-stuffed French toast

Urban Diner [d]

12427 102 Ave., 780-488-7274, urbandiner.com

Violino [f]

10133 125 St., 780-757-8701, violino125.com

Manor Casual Bistro [b]

10109 125 St., 780-482-7577, manorcafe.com

Dahlia’s Mediterranean Bistro [b]

10235 124 St., 780-488-7656, dahliasbistro.com

The Makk on 124 [f] *Now closed

10418 124 St, 780-705-3710, themakkon124.ca

Its name comes from the three owners (plus an extra ‘k’ for good measure), but partner Matt Klatt says there are three more words to live by: “Casual, local, fresh.” It’s fine dining without the tablecloths, plus vegan and celiac options.

Owner’s Pick: Alberta duo, a Merlot slow-braised beef cheek and panseared striploin with Merlot reduction

Canteen [f]

10522 124 St., 780-485-6125, canteenyeg.ca

Andrea and Frank Olson made their mark with the south side’s preeminent gourmet restaurant, Red Ox Inn. Now they’re touting casual dishes, overachieving wines starting at $36 and simple, un-muddled cocktails.

Owner’s Pick: Moroccan-spiced lamb chops

Numchok Wilai [a]

10623 124 St., 780-488-7897, numchokwilai.ca

Clever Rabbit [d]

10722 124 St., 780-455-4550, thecleverrabbit.ca

Vegetarians rejoice! It’s everything you miss about diners, without the greasy meat. The menu turns seitan (or “wheat meat”) into tacos and donairs, and finds other detours to diner favourites.

Owner’s Pick: Lentil loaf with cashew gravy

Blossoms Cafe [s]

10721 124 St., 780-453-1000, blossomsedmonton.com

Built on a service for chocolate-dipped fruit bouquets, the real attraction is Julie and Heather Mateer’s family recipes. Whether waffles or moan-inducing Bavarian custard crepes, fresh fruit is always at the centre of their breakfast/lunch menu.

Owner’s Pick: Loaded omelet

Somerville Wine and Cheese [w]

10723 124 St., 780-454-9463, somervillewine.ca

Though it opened at the height of the charcuterie rage, meats and cheeses are no longer the allure. The attraction is chef Neil Chamberlaine’s modern French dishes like pan-seared scallops with arugula, pesto, lime, chili and smoked sea salt. 

Owner’s pick: Steak frites: a seven-ounce filet mignon with handcut fries, truffle butter and jalapeno ketchup

Duchess Bake Shop [s]

10718 124 St., 780-488-4999, duchessbakeshop.com

Provisions by Duchess [s]

10720 124 St., 780-705-3344, duchessprovisions.com

Hinted by the National Post to be “the best patisserie in Canada,” this branched-out supplies shop carries everything to make the best pastries in your postal code – even an apple Earl Grey jelly so local, some of its apples are plucked from the neighbourhood.

Owner’s pick: Salted caramel

Tiramisu Bistro [b]

10750 124 St., 780-452-3393, cafetiramisu.ca

Name another place where you’ll simultaneously find kids building puzzles, yogis and studying students in the same line of sight? Seble Amelga’s vision of a utopian society converging over simple Italian recipes brings them together.

Owner’s Pick: Gorgonzola pizza with green apples and walnut

Smokehouse BBQ [Q] 

10810 124 Street, 587-521-6328, smokehousebbq.ca 

A month into business this southern barbecue joint closed its doors due to – save the jokes – a fire. The restaurant will reopen within the next few months. Call it a hiccup, because nothing can replace Terry and Sherry Sept’s authentic recipes and smoker, which slowly softens briskets and ribs into napkin-requiring sandwiches.

Owner’s pick: Bacon Bomb sandwich