Where can you enjoy authentic homestyle perogies just like Baba used to make, maple bacon fried rice topped with a fried egg, and craft cocktails good enough to win awards? It is not one restaurant that I am talking about, it is the city of Saskatoon. It is not called the Paris of the Prairies for nothing after all.
In fact, I would venture to say that the culinary scene is on par with cities 10 times its size. While there may not be hundreds of restaurants to choose from there are enough to ensure a fantastic meal every night of your visit. Where to eat in Saskatoon is a game I would happily play. If I was a local I’m not sure I would cook at home with so many great options available. Everything from fine dining at Little Grouse on the Prairie to Baba’s Homestyle Perogies and even an Asian fusion restaurant called Odd Couple that perfectly fuses Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Japanese cuisines with North American ingredients. Who’s hungry?
Let’s start at the first restaurant I visited upon arriving in Saskatoon and some of the best perogies I have ever eaten. I may not be Polish or Ukranian but I grew up eating handmade perogies and cabbage roles so I think I can call myself an expert.
Baba’s Homestyle Perogies 720B 51st St E, Saskatoon – Baba’s is a destination. If you have to rent a car for the day do it. Hand-pinched perogies, cabbage rolls and homemade beet borscht are made daily and if you are in a rush they even have a drive-through window for you. It does get cold here during the winter after all.
No matter if it’s summer or winter how can you not love a loaded plate of perogies with a side of cabbage rolls and sausage? PRO TIP: Baba’s makes a mean Mushroom dill sauce that you have to try.
Odd Couple 228 20th St W, Saskatoon – Craving a taste of Asia when you are in Saskatoon? look no further than Odd Couple on 20th Street West. Two generations of Yuens run Odd Couple and it shows with an homage to classic dishes with a modern twist. The Tomato Pad Thai and the Maple Bacon Fried Rice topped with a Sunny Egg are two great examples. Odd Couple has even partnered with local microbrewery 9 Mile Legacy Brewery located across the street to create a signature beer that pairs well with their food. Hot food and a cold beer make this a perfect pairing. PRO TIP: the Crab Rangoon is off the charts delish.
Little Grouse on the Prairie 167 3 Ave S, Saskatoon – Celebrated season 1 winner of Top Chef Canada Chef Dale Mackay returned to his home province and quickly took over the food scene. His second restaurant, Little Grouse on the Prairie is all about family style and sharing. Start your night out with a great craft cocktail, order a few dishes and pair them with one of the select wines on the wine list.
The menu is constantly being updated to match the seasons and what’s available. Here is just a sample of what I feasted on. Truly a magical night and who doesn’t love attentive service. PRO TIP: Let the Chef plan your meal, you won’t be disappointed.
Hearth Restaurant 2404 Melrose Ave, Saskatoon – Newly opened (July 2018) Hearth Restaurant sees Beth Rogers and Thayne Robstad return to their hometown to open one of the most exciting and unpretentious new dining spots in the city. Attentive service, casual atmosphere and an eclectic assortment of fine china is the backdrop.
Ingredient forward cooking showcasing the best of what Saskatchewan has to offer and they make a mean cocktail! PRO TIP: Order the house-made ice cream sandwich, it is to die for.
The Hollows 334 Avenue C S, Saskatoon – Take a passion for all things vintage, a love of foraging for fresh ingredients and put them into the historic Golden Dragon Restaurant building and what do you get? The Hollows by Chefs Christie Peters and Kyle Michael of course.
If you are dining with friends start off with a champagne punch bowl, it’s a vintage drink and delicious. Then dive into a Chef’s tasting menu family style. You can also order a la carte, but I say be adventurous and let the Chef choose for you. Here are some of the dishes my friends and I shared. PRO TIP: The Hollow is all about local, local, local so embrace it and revel in a 2-mile diet.
Park Cafe Diner 515 20th St W, Saskatoon – Hands down THE place to go for breakfast and brunch in Saskatoon. Kitsch meets kool at this city institution. It opened in 2005 yet it looks like it has been here for 50 + years.
Patrick Hearn and Kent Rumpel are passionate about food and it shows in what is served on the plate. The hollandaise sauce for my Eggs Benny is made fresh, the onion rings are so crunchy they can be heard two tables over when I take a bit and the five types of bacon they serve are all made just for them. This isn’t a diner it is a breakfast temple. PRO TIP: the bacon flight is not on the menu but if you ask they will make you one.
The Night Oven Bakery 629 b 1st Ave N, Saskatoon – I love a good bakery and The Night Oven Bakery is that and a whole lot more. Bryn Rawlyk has taken his craft to a whole new level. All the grains used at the bakery are grown in Saskatchewan. They are all milled onsite and then transformed by hand into every delicious treat on the shelves. You may come for a Croissant but I guarantee you’ll leave with at least a pound of flour. PRO TIP: eat everything it is delish, and the bread makes a great host gift if you visit friends and family.
Well, there you have it. Seven restaurants in Saskatoon, one for each day of the week, that I insist you check out. There are more for sure but this will give you a great start and confirm that Saskatoon is one of Canada’s great culinary destinations.