Feature Image Source: PxHere
by Emma Fraser
Fine dining is no longer about the white-glove service that we’ve become accustomed to but refers to carefully created culinary masterpieces. If you’re looking for an adventure for your palette, then you’ve come to the right place.
We scouted the city of Edmonton for its finest cuisine and have curated this list of restaurants based on their menu selections, ambiance, and creativity. This list is not just about fine dining – it’s about the city’s finest culinary masters.
Before we take a look at our list of the top fine dining establishments in the city, let’s talk a little bit about cost first.
How Much Does a Fine Dining Restaurant Cost in Edmonton?
Fine dining has traditionally been equated with the table service – white tablecloths, gloves, and a smartly dressed server. However, this concept is now outdated and has evolved to represent restaurants that are breaking new ground in the culinary scene.
Fine dining still does tend to cost more, though.
On average, a starter will cost between $14-$20, while entrees will reach up to $20-$50 per dish. Tasting menus are often the most expensive, as they are often made to order and can cost between $90 – $150.
Not all fine dining restaurants need to be ridiculously expensive, since there are more affordable options out there. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of the menu items from the restaurants on our list.
|Restaurant Yarrow||Full Seasonal Menu||$180.00|
|Lite Seasonal Menu||$95.00|
|The Butternut Tree||Broccoli (pork belly, soft boiled duck egg, pickled garlic scape, cereal grains)||$15.00|
|Suncreek Ranch Elk (burnt cabbage, mustard glazed carrot, fingerling potato, sand cherry jus)||$45.00|
|Cavatelli (spicy pork and fennel sausage sugo, broccoli rabe and pecoroni)||$23.00|
|The Marc||Beef Tartare||$17.00|
|Brasserie Bardot||D’Escargot Wellington||$14.99|
|Foie Gras Glissière||$32.99|
|Smokey Bear||Flat Bread – Nduja – Soured Cream $14||$14.00|
|Bear & Flower Farm Pork Chop – Whipped Miso||$38.00|
The Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Edmonton
Now that you have an idea of how much a night out in a fancy restaurant will cost, we’re now ready to take a look at our list of the best fine dining restaurants in Edmonton.
1. Restaurant Yarrow
|SERVICES||Tasting Menu, Desserts, Wines, Cocktails, Bar Snacks|
|ADDRESS||101 – 10544 114 Street Northwest, Edmonton, AB, T5H 3J7|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: 587.881.8282 |
|OPERATING HOURS||Wednesday to Saturday: 6:00pm – 2:00am|
Restaurant Yarrow is the newest concept by chef and owner Ben Staley and is known for its seasonal-based menu and eclectic flavors. With constantly evolving flavors based on available ingredients, this fine dining eatery promises an experience to remember.
What makes this restaurant unique and a must-visit is their menu – they only serve a tasting menu composed of 20-25 servings. Guests are served all together in the restaurant’s 10 seats over a period of three to four hours for a true culinary experience.
However, you can’t just walk into Restaurant Yarrow and sit yourself down – surprisingly they don’t offer reservations either, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, guests will purchase “tickets” to their dinner event, resulting in culinary treats intimately and individually prepared for each guest, making it a highly personal experience.
Last time we checked, Staley and his team were serving the likes of heirloom cucumber with dried tomatillo, dry-aged duck in black garlic, and maltolate truffle, just to name a few of the flavors on their tasting menu.
However, no reservations or tickets are required to have a drink here in the cozy bar nestled in a corner that can accommodate 12 people. We would have liked to see more crafty beverage creations, but the selection is quite diverse and you’ll enjoy their Peace 2.0 and Pity Remark.
They also have interesting choices for bar snacks, like Sea Urchin Roe in brine or the PEI Mussels in paprika sauce, which is a great way to sample some of the flavors that you may encounter in their tasting menu.
Every season will bring about a different collection of dishes, with summer composed mostly of vegetarian fare while the colder months will bring about heartier protein-based courses. The continuously evolving menu is reason enough to return more than once to Restaurant Yarrow, and earns it the top spot on our list of the best fine dining restaurants in Edmonton.
Dana Jabbor was blown away by the exceptional food and service she experienced at Restaurant Yarrow, citing it as a “science”. This is her story:
“Restaurant Yarrow is hands down the most interesting of all culinary experiences I’ve ever experienced. I loved experiencing all their different and unique offerings, from the outstanding tasting menu, to the perfect burgers, and the french bistro food. They manage to do everything perfectly, with just two people and a great bartender. Its not just food, this is science people. Not just science in their food, but in the way they provide service. Refilling glasses, fixing people’s napkins while they were away, checking in on tables. It was fascinating to watch. So why should you go here? Well, if you are a big time foodie and want to enjoy an out of this world experience, then I’d say this is for you. Oh, and a little advance warning, be sure to arrive on time and expect to spend a good 3 hours! Keep it up Yarrow, you are making a difference here!”
Bronte Valk, another customer, was also blown away by his experience here, as he adds:
“Had such a lovely experience dining here. The chef was extremely attentive, interactive and I loved how the restaurant was designed in a way that made it easy to initiate conversation with other diners…at a safe distance of course. Another unique aspect of this dining experience was courses served in different parts of the restaurant. I liked moving from having bubbly and oysters in the lounge to sitting in front of a fire in the kitchen while my main courses were being made. I haven’t seen any other restaurant do this before, and I found it very innovative. Of course the food was delicious, i’m no fan of mushrooms but a standout of the night was a delicate, mushroom custard. You know the food is good if the star of your favorite dish of the night is something you usually have an aversion to. This place def makes me proud of being from Edmonton. Very excited to go back.”
2. The Butternut Tree
|MENU||A la Carte, Tasting Menu, Chef’s Menu Gourmand, Local Beers|
|ADDRESS||The Ledgeview Business Centre #101, 9707 110 St NW Edmonton, AB T5K 2L9|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (780) 760-2271 |
Email: [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Wednesday to Saturday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm|
The Butternut Tree is Chef Scott Downey’s take on Canadian cuisine, fusing it with his experiences traveling around the world for a decade. A fairly new restaurant only opening its doors in 2017, this is his first restaurant and his culinary introduction to his fellow Edmontonians.
The restaurant itself is a little hard to find even if you’re familiar with the area, so go slowly and keep your eyes peeled or you just might miss your turn. It’s located near the Alberta Legislature Grounds and the city’s picturesque river valley; we highly recommend getting a window-side table for the view.
With an open-concept kitchen with nothing but glass panes separating it from the guests, Chef Downey highlights the transparency of his preparation to enhance the dining experience. The dining area is spacious and may seem sparse of decor but with a fantastic view of the gardens and valley, you’ll barely even notice it.
The Butternut Tree highlights seasonal ingredients from all over the country, with an emphasis on the indigenous rather than local. With his experience cooking in a Michelin-star restaurant in New York, the culinary team takes long-time Edmonton classics and fuses it with global flavors to give it a distinctly modern character.
Based on our last visit, we loved the Miso-Birch Portobello Steak with fiddlehead ferns and polenta cake. However, the fresh Wild Sockeye Salmon with Manila clam, Saskatchewan wild rice & Lovage stem porridge tickled our palettes just right as well.
We also appreciated that the Butternut Tree wine and craft beer menu was composed entirely of Canadian selections. If you need a recommendation on pairing, their well-trained and friendly service staff are more than happy to do so.
Chloe Ducholke is a regular and sees The Butternut Tree as one of the best fine dining restaurants in Edmonton. She writes:
“LOVE this place!! Seriously a gem in Edmonton!! Highly recommend to anyone who would identify as a foodie, go for the tasting menu! Everything is Canada sourced except for the coffee I believe, EVERYTHING! The plates are works of art and the flavours and ingredients are inspired. The view is fantastic, the vintage train passes right by the large floor to ceiling windows and the legislative building is right next door. Our server Adam was so passionate and knowledgeable, impeccable service! Can’t praise enough!”
Allan Chiu visits often for the tasting menu and highly recommends other diners to do so, as he says:
“Excellent tasting menu during the weeknight. An early reservation gets you a table beside the windows. The Constable Ezio Faraone Park lights up in the evening, makes a great view. If you’re not having the tasting menu, the braised maitake mushrooms was excellent. Good value for the money.”
3. Corso 32
|SERVICES||Antipasti Starters, Pasta First Courses, Meat Second Courses, Sweet & Cheese Desserts|
|ADDRESS||10345 Jasper Ave, Edmonton, AB T5J 1Y5|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (780) 421-4622 |
Email: [email protected]
To dine in Corso 32, you’ll need to make a reservation in advance because this 32-seater restaurant easily fills up as guests seek out its delectable Italian cuisine with delicate plating.
The space inside here is surprisingly small and narrow, but you should expect this from a place with only 32 seats. Mostly featuring tables for two, the space between tables was less than desirable, and you’ll feel like you’re dining with the couple next to you.
Nevertheless, with Chef Daniel Costa and wine director Allen Anderl at the helm, you can expect great wine and food pairing here that is all proudly Italian. Their other restaurants, namely Bar Bricco and Uccellino, boast equally flavorful fanfare and are situated alongside each other in their downtown Edmonton spot.
As proof of their seasonal menu that is always fresh and rotational, they even place a date stamp on when the current menu was created. Aside from their ala carte dishes, Corso32 also features a Pasta Tasting Menu every night featuring five different pasta dishes and one dessert.
For your starters, we recommend the Arancini which are crispy risotto balls stuffed with seasonal fillings. You can pair it later on with their Cavatelli which has spicy pork and fennel sausage, broccoli rabe, and pecoroni.
Although their Primi and Secondi dishes are plated for a single person, sharing is highly encouraged, which is in line with Italian traditions but the opposite of what fine dining is meant to be. With a classic menu that’s presented to its participants with a modern artful flair, Corso32 just might redefine your notion of cuisine from the region.
Kimberly, a resident of Edmonton, highly recommends Corso32 for its high-end food as well as the pasta tasting menu. She shares:
“A must try in the city of Edmonton. Upscale food, with a casual atmosphere. The food was fantastic. We had the pasta tasting menu and I highly recommend it. Every dish was perfectly cooked, presented and appropriately seasoned. The GNOCCHI, I don’t even know how to explain how good it was, a must try. Wait staff was very knowledgeable about each dish we were presented and were super attentive. The whole restaurant including thr washrooms were clean and tidy. They had a coat check which was a wonderful addition to the visit.”
Samara Drewe, another customer, also shares her thoughts:
“The pasta was, without a doubt, the best I have ever tasted. Our server was so wonderful, she took the time to explain everything on the menu in detail and when asked for recommendations, she did not steer us wrong!! The desserts we ordered were out of the ordinary, I have never had cheese with honey and pepper. An unusual flavour combination but delicious as well. You definitely get what you pay for here, well worth it.”
4. The Marc
|SERVICES||Brunch, Dinner, Pantry, Take Out|
|ADDRESS||9940 106 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 2N2|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: 780 429 2828 |
Fax: 780 429 2827
Email: [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||LUNCH Wednesday to Friday: 11:30am – 1:15pm |
DINNER Tuesday to Saturday: 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Serving upscale French-inspired creations, The Marc is considered one of the more elegant dining options in Edmonton. Set in a casual, monochrome ambiance, the subdued decor does well to enhance the artful styling of the plates coming from the kitchen.
Although the interior could have used a little bit more charm, we highly recommend dining on the patio instead. The Marc’s uncomplicated but elevated dishes can easily make you feel like you’re in a quaint Parisian bistro while dining al fresco.
The service here is friendly, efficient, and smooth, enhancing even further your already great first impression. If you haven’t already done so, asking your server for wine pairings would be a wise choice, and they have great bottles of champagne and rose, even though the selection changes often.
For starters, we like the Vine Tomato Salad with Fleur Jaune Stracciatella cheese, Meuwly’s capicola, and tarragon oil because it’s light and sets you up just right for the heavier protein-based mains. Although their special Beef Tartare with cornichon, aioli, espelette, cured egg yolk & house-made potato chips is also a must-try.
The highlight entree here is the Duck Breast served with chickpea panisse, Moroccan spiced vegetables, red pepper creme fraiche, and cucumber slaw. If you’re looking for something a little heavier, the Entrecote Frites is a 10oz grilled ribeye basted generously with foie gras butter, served with frites and an arugula salad with truffle aioli.
Named one of three best restaurants in Edmonton and four-time winner of “Best Steak” by Avenue Magazine, the Marc has gained quite the following since opening its doors in 2011. It’s complex flavors with an albeit simpler approach, is made easy to comprehend by even the most untrained of palettes.
Brent Olson chose The Marc to celebrate a special event and was not disappointed. This is his story:
“I celebrated my graduation earlier this evening in this fine place. I am glad to say that we had a magnificent evening and the restaurant was unquestionably the reason for this happy meeting. The crew helped in a splendid style, the cooking was very good and my guests were extremely happy. We shall definitely visit again for more joyful events. Thank you very much.”
Chris Hackett, another customer, also agrees that The Marc is a great place to celebrate, as he writes:
“Perhaps the best restaurant in the city. A family favourite for both special occasions and every day dinners.”
5. Brasserie Bardot
|SERVICES||French-Inspired Cuisine, Wine, Cocktails|
|ADDRESS||10109 – 125 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 1S7|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (780) 757-8702 |
Email: [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Tuesday to Saturday: 11:00am – 11:00pm|
Brasserie Bardot isn’t your average French restaurant – their goal is to put an unexpected twist on familiar flavors. Owned by the same group of the infamous Violino, this “reimagined French Brasserie” offers guests beautifully presented comfort food combined with wine and cocktails.
Located in a historic site first built in 1926, this pub-style eatery is charming, warm, and welcoming with an atmosphere that’s perfect for a romantic evening out. The original fireplace is a highlight feature in the dining area, along with its vintage decor that’s been touched up with modern re-designs to give a casual but homey ambiance.
They describe themselves as a “Chef-driven cocktail brassiere” but the extensive wine list and serving portions of the beverages steal the show. Wines are available in 3oz, 6oz, and 9oz options while you can have a craft beer in a baby pint.
From their hors d’oeuvres, we’d suggest the acclaimed D’Escargot Wellington which consists of snail, bacon, and mushroom duxelle wrapped in a puff pastry. This perfect fusion of Canadian and French flavors is still quite “friendly” to less adventurous eaters.
Heading over to the mains, or plat principal, guests will want to try theFoie Gras Glissière, which has pan-seared foie gras and pork belly with micro greens, cognac aioli & fries. This is yet another perfect example of providing guests something familiar, yet steering them towards something a little different.
Although we’re not big fans of the Bardot Burger and the rather expensive vegetable sides, Brasserie Bardot is affordable and moderately priced. With its cozy and charming ambiance, it is a perfect spot for date night and earns it a place on our list of the best fine dining restaurants in Edmonton.
Susana Zaldana praises the service she received at the Brasserie Bardot, which helped to greatly enhance her experience. She says:
“The staff are absolutely brilliant! The mixologist (Jennifer) gave us amazing and friendly service, with amazing custom drinks! They location itself is gorgeous and the building is well decorated. The charcuterie, cordon blue and boulleboise were so tasty! Will definitely dine in again!”
Foster Giles also sees the Brasserie Bardot as one of the top restaurants in Edmonton, as he writes:
“From the moment you arrive in that place they give you a great feeling. Very courteous hosts, it is a nice place to enjoy with friends or with your date. delicious cuisine, talented chef, honest price and attentive service. Highly recommended.”
6. Smokey Bear
|SERVICES||A La Carte, Chef’s Tasting Menu, Wine|
|ADDRESS||8223 104 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 4E7, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (587) 759-0209 |
|OPERATING HOURS||Wednesday to Saturday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm|
Don’t be fooled by its name for Smokey Bear serves up some of the most avant-garde and flavorful dishes that Edmonton has to offer. Chef and co-owner Riley Aitken artfully experiments with minimalist flair in his open-flame restaurant.
Upon entering, you’ll immediately notice the humongous grill in the open kitchen as the smell of maple logs wafts in the air. The brick-themed steakhouse-style interior is cozy, casual, and inviting.
With starters like Flat Bread – Nduja – Soured Cream and Delicata Squash – Cultured Cream – Preserved Lemon, you can’t help but wonder what flavor profile and plating you’ll be offered. Surprisingly, you’ll be presented with neatly symmetrically arranged ingredients excellently complemented with a tangy, creamy yet delicate taste.
There are only two mains to choose from here and one of them is their infamous massive 10oz Bear & Flower Farm Pork Chop with whipped miso. Their newly added entree is more conventional – a half Charcoal Chicken in a cream sauce that has a rather long waiting time of 40 minutes.
Nevertheless, all, if not most of the dishes here are prepared with an open flame, so that each creation has a hint of the maple smoke that’s continuously decorating the air.
For the first-timers or the adventurous, you can’t go wrong with the Chef’s Tasting Menu, which essentially gives you a sample of some current items, creations in progress, and some special seasonal extras. Although it serves two, it’s quite filling so you may want to opt for going a la carte instead.
Moreover, you can pair your meals with one of the finest wine selections in Edmonton. Although it’s a limited selection, it’s a carefully chosen one, with each wine pairing exquisitely with the seasonal menu.
If you’re up for a culinary adventure that will broaden your horizons and senses to the world of artful cuisine, Smokey Bear is worth a visit, and rightfully earns a spot on our list of the best fine dining restaurants in Edmonton.
Sunaina Kakkar, one of Smokey Bear’s regular customers, keeps coming back for the seasonal menu as she writes:
“We’ve now been going to Smokey Bear for the past year. The staff have a wealth of knowledge in the Wine and Food industry! I absolutely love how the tasting menu changes with season. The food is so good and so well prepared! The atmosphere at this boutique restaurant is amazing! I highly recommend Smokey Bear!”
Jillian MacDonald, another regular, highly recommends the wine list at Smokey Bear as she shares:
“One of the best food experiences we have had in Edmonton! The food was not only innovative but delicious. The wine list and the servers knowledge of the wine was incredible. Some of the best wines I have ever tasted! Cocktails were also amazing! The atmosphere is incredibly welcoming and fun. The chef and his entire staff are truly passionate about their craft and wanting to give you the best experience possible. Can’t wait for many more evenings here and to share it with our family and friends! We had the best time and can’t recommend this place enough! You have to eat here!”
FAQs about the Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Edmonton
We’ve now reached the end of our list of the best fine dining restaurants in Edmonton. We hope you check out some of our selections on your next culinary adventure!
Did we miss one of your favorite restaurants that you think should be added on our list? If so, send us a message so we can check it out.
Now that you’ve had your fill of fine dining, maybe you need to explore some of the more relaxed dining experiences in the city. We’ve got a great list of the best family restaurants in Edmonton that you may want to check out.