No fork, no knife, no problem. It’s summer, after all, and that means casual dining. Thanks to the plethora of dining options in YEG, that also means food trucks, farmers’ markets, restaurants and, of course, K-Days. From classic corn dogs to meaty skewers of carnivore goodness, here’s our take on love at first bite.
K-Days: July 20–29 | Northlands, 7300-116 Ave | k-days.com
Batter up!—some deliciousness, that is. K-Days draws more than 800,000 visitors through its gates every year, many of whom have corn dogs on the mind. Oddly enough, Edmonton is shy on this particular delight, so corn dogs are a (daily) must at this annual 10-day event. Though food trends come and go, you can always count on finding gooey caramel apples, billowing cones of cotton candy, and deep-fried candy bars teetering upon a stick.
Café Bel-Air Popsicles | Twitter @FamousForPops
Priding itself as “Edmonton’s first artisanal gourmet ice-pops entrepreneurs,” the team at Café Bel- Air started selling popsicles at the City Market Downtown during the winter of 2015. So, yes, the flavours are that good. And, yes, Edmontonians are that awesome. Expect all-natural flavours like blackberry ginger lemonade, saskatoon hibiscus, and triple-chocolate cake.
Little Village Food Truck | littlevillagefoodtruck.com
The locally owned Koutouki Taverna has brought its authentic Mediterranean cuisine to the street with the Little Village Food Truck. If you don’t already see where this is going, let’s be clear: it’s souvlaki time. Dig in to the perfectly marinated chicken skewers straight off the grill, and don’t skip the lemon-and-garlic potatoes, which you won’t want to share.
Tavern on Whyte | 10507-82 Ave., 587-521-4404 | tavernonwhyte.ca
Looking for some Instagram love? The Tavern on Whyte serves a Caesar with a skewer stacked with so many garnishes, they practically make a meal. Ready for this? The backbreaking skewer holds up not only half a grilled-cheese sandwich but also a boiled egg, pickle, asparagus, celery, stuffed olives, and more! The Caesar’s pretty darn good, too. Take a picture, then pace yourself.
Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse | 9929-109 St., 780-756-7030 | pampasteakhouse.com
Vegetarians, look away. This all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse is a meat-lover’s dream. Flip the colour-coded discs at your table to signal whether you’d like endless skewer options (including beef top sirloin and New Zealand lamb) brought to your table or if you’re taking a break—which you’ll definitely need. The towering skewers of fire-roasted meat are sliced right before your star-struck eyes, and the fixed price includes a robust salad bar, featuring an assortment of salads, house-baked breads, and Brazilian black bean stew. If you’re at the downtown location, consider an after-dinner stroll through the nearby Legislature grounds.
Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant | 2920 Calgary Tr., 780-465- 4347 | meltingpot.com
For a sophisticated-yet-retro take on no-fork-required dining, you can’t beat a fondue—or in this case, three of them! Choose from a menu of cheese, broth, and chocolate offerings, all of which have gluten-free options. The cheese fondues (like the Spinach Artichoke) are customizable with charcuterie boards, artisan breads, seasonal fruit, and veggies. As you make your way through the courses, leave plenty of room for dessert. The chocolate fondues are endlessly customizable, with options for gluten-free “dipper plates” just waiting to make the plunge. The milk-chocolate and crunchy peanut butter combo is a house favourite.