In my opinion, Edmonton is best enjoyed from June – September.
Where To Stay: I would recommend somewhere close to Whyte Avenue (82 avenue) or close to Jasper avenue area (101 ave – 102 ave) (around 98 st, and no further than about 107 street, IMO.) Unless you really enjoy commercialism and a mass of people, I would suggest avoiding West Edmonton Mall. There are parts of the city that you may want to avoid staying at, but pose no extreme danger if you keep your wits about you.
Where To Go: It depends on the year, but a walk down Whyte Avenue is always a pleasant experience. Whyte ave does have a lot of bars though, so if that’s not your scene, avoid starting around 9 pm. There is plenty to do depending on the time of year. Edmonton is known as “Festival City” for good reason. Especially in the summer, you can’t go one weekend without something going on.
Some notable places/happenings:
- Heritage Days – Held on the last weekend of July – it’s a big cultural celebration with food, gifts and fun!
- Earth’s General Store – My favorite local organic grocer. They have two locations, and also hold various events.
- Happy Acres U-pick – Pick your own seasonal produce, play with some animals and get a great lunch or ice cream (or vegan alternative!).
- The River Valley. It is very acessible via the millcreek and strathearn neighbourhood, as well as on the way to downtown (off connors road.) There are many other entrances, but these are just the ones I am familiar with. 🙂 It’s a great place to go walking, biking, or just exploring.
- Muttart Conservatory – This place is mindblowing. It’s a place where they keep a whole bunch of plants. The way they display them and put them all together is breathtaking. Definitely a worthwhile visit!
- Street Performers Festival – An intense group of people that put on various shows. It is usually every July – so if you can catch it, I highly recommend it!
- Fort Edmonton Park – A fun trip back in time! Whether you have kids or not, the likelihood of learning something new and having a great time is extremely high.
Where to Eat:
Note: There are many other vegan options in Edmonton, some that I haven’t even visited yet – but these are my favorites so far!
- Padmanadi – sort of thai-ish 100% vegan restaurant. Not the healthiest – but certainly one of the best!
- Loma House Vegetarian Express – Mostly vegan (with exception of 1-2 of the desserts). Super good asian-style food with meat substitutes. They also sell teir meat substitutes frozen for at-home consumption.
- The Clever Rabbit – Best brunch in my opinion! The stuffed french toast and tofu eggs benetict together (Ian and I share) make it the BEST!
- Noorish – a great place to eat consciously (though a bit pricy). I typically bring people who aren’t vegan here because there isn’t a lot of meat substitutes and there is mac and cheese on the menu. 😛 They also have a yoga studio and hold a whole bunch of sweet events!
- Dawaat – BEST INDIAN FOOD EVER. THAT IS ALL.
- The Buckingham – A great bar on whyte ave that rocks vegan bar food. (I once got a vegan bbq burger and mac n cheese, K?) They also hold brunches once a month. Ps. The recipes are made from the awesome people at Sailin On Food Truck – which if you can catch them, I also HIGHLY recommend!
- Tres Carnales – amazing vegan (aka vegetariano) tacos.
- Nariyanni’s – Vegan buffet every tuesday! The food is south african & indian cuisine. Even if you can’t make it on tuesday, a good 60-70% of their buffet is vegan.
THE VIEWS! (just a few I had on-hand).
I live here, so I might be a bit biased – but despite the winter, this city is pretty darn good!