Updated: Jul 3
Local, brilliant and most importantly delicious
Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan's two largest cities, have a lot to offer! Besides many sights, they are also known for their legendary gastro scene. Their reputation as a foodie's haven, however, has nothing to do with tiny portions or unfamiliar dishes with unpronounceable names. Rather, the focus here is on creativity in the use of local and high-quality ingredients that lead to a downright flavor explosion on the palate. Even though the individual restaurants in the prairie towns are very different from each other, they all have one thing in common: good company, great atmosphere and dishes with a wow-effect.
Riversdale is home to a murderer’s row of great restaurants, but Odd Couple stands out for the simplicity and deliciousness of its cuisine, which fuses Cantonese, Vietnamese and Japanese techniques with Canadian favourites. How about glazed maple bacon and a farm fresh egg on a big plate of Chinese BBQ pork and jasmine fried rice?
Ayden Kitchen & Bar
Chef Dale MacKay’s first restaurant – Ayden Kitchen & Bar – offers one of Saskatoon’s best fine casual dining experiences. Hearty sausage platters and unusual meat dishes are on the menu here, as well as creations with fish or pasta and traditional perogies. Paired with homemade cocktails and excellent wines, they can be enjoyed wonderfully in the relaxed and cozy atmosphere. Where it’s after a delicious dinner or a special cocktail, you’ll never leave Ayden Kitchen & Bar without a feeling of warmth and comfort in your belly.
Calories Bakery & Restaurant
With its stunning wine list, fabulous desserts and creative and local menu, Calories is an award-winning bistro known beyond the province's borders. Located on bustling Broadway Avenue, the restaurant has been treating diners to its delicacies for more than 30 years and has earned its reputation. But the owners aren't just about the food: they place a high value on sustainability and community. Their dedicated and well-trained team is the link between local producers and suppliers, their kitchen and their guests. It's the only way they stay true to themselves and offer a genuine, simple, fresh and seasonal (taste) adventure.
Odla Restaurant & Market
“Odla” is Swedish and translates as "to farm, to cultivate, to grow" and fits perfectly to the restaurant’s from farm to table-motto. Arlie and Brett LaRoche of Farm One Forty teamed up with chef Scott Dicks to create Odla Restaurant & Market – a farm-direct restaurant and market – with a seasonal menu of delicious dishes. The restaurant emphasizes tradition, simplicity and sustainability – and the food is amazing.
The Cave Restaurant
In the “cave" of The Cave Restaurant, we may not find rabbits or bears, but we will find the finest culinary art, serving up a great experience for the whole family in its cave-like interior with unique decor. The family-run restaurant is known for their orzo soup and Greek secret recipe ribs. However, the menu also includes many other meat dishes, varied pizzas and delicious pasta dishes.
Still fairly new, Hearth Restaurant has a real success story to tell. With its focus on local Saskatchewan cuisine with uncomplicated yet tasty ingredients, it opened in 2018 and quickly became one of the trendiest restaurants in town. Last year, Hearth was even named to the list of Canada's 100 Best Restaurants - one of only two restaurants from Saskatchewan!
Owners Thayne Robstad and Beth Rogers source many of their ingredients from suppliers directly from Saskatchewan. They have a particularly strong preference for fresh and hand-picked chanterelles - you'll find them not only on their menu, but even in their company logo.
Hearth Restaurant recently moved to a larger space in the Remai Modern art gallery and is now located in the middle of one of the city's biggest attractions in a beautiful location on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River.
Warning: Browsing the menu of Bannock Express will cause instant hunger pangs. Owner Rachel Smith moved to a new location in 2022 to accommodate her growing business, and it’s easy to see why when you try one of her breakfast sandwiches or chef specials. Her bannock-centric meals are satisfying and delicious. For those who can’t get enough of their Bannocks, there’s an original Bannock-Express baking mix. Who is taking a piece of Canada home?
Skye Café & Bistro
Located at the Saskatchewan Science Centre, Skye Café & Bistro offers an international menu made with locally grown ingredients. The herbs used in the bistro even come from the lovely herb garden on the terrace. Directly on the shore of Wascana Lake, tasty meals by chef Jssel Hysuik can be enjoyed for brunch and lunch on handmade dishes.
Crave Kitchen + Wine Bar
Practically a Regina institution, Crave Kitchen + Wine Bar has brought fine dining and Saskatchewan ingredients to restaurant goers since 2006. Chef Jonathan Thauberger and his team create Canadian dishes using classic culinary techniques and then put a very modern spin on them. This is accompanied by a fabulous wine selection, local craft beers or first-class cocktails! The restaurant's location is also impressive: once used as the historic Assiniboia Club, the well-preserved architectural features create a truly unique atmosphere.
Italian Star Deli
100 grams of deli meat. 50 grams of provolone. Feta cheese, basil pesto, banana peppers, spicy house-made bomba spread and fresh, locally made bread. Put them together and you get Italian Star Deli’s “legendary” sandwiches. After 57 years, the Italian Star Deli has moved to a larger location, with specialty grocery items, ready-to-go meals, a hugely expanded deli section and an espresso bar.
Twice in Regina, in Saskatoon and soon in Moose Jaw and Yorkton! Parveen Singh opened his first restaurant in downtown Regina in the summer of 2013, and since then Saskatchewan just can't get enough of his exceptional Indian food. Soon the doors will open to the fourth and fifth locations in the province. The Caraway Grill is notable for its attention to detail and continues to explore new and dynamic flavors. Those who stop in will find plenty of creativity in authentic Indian cuisine in a modern setting.
Homestead Bar à Vin
There are wine bars, and then there’s Homestead Bar à Vin. Owner Josh McLean started the restaurant with his partner Leslie as a way of sharing his love of natural wine and fine cuisine. Here only selected wines make it on the menu: from small producers where grapes are still handpicked. No added yeast, no additives and no added sulfites. Anyone for a glass?
Avenue Restaurant is the second from Saskatchewan on the list of the 100 Best Restaurants in Canada - along with Hearth Restaurant in Saskatoon. Beautiful interiors in downtown Regina, delicious food from smoked mushrooms on handmade brioche, to trout from nearby Lake Diefenbaker, to warm madeleines for dessert, and the carefully prepared cocktails speak volumes. In addition to the á la carte selection, special 4-course menus are also offered - wine pairing welcome?
Bar Willow, located on the shore of Wascana Lake, boasts the best view in the city. From the restaurant’s expansive outdoor patio, enjoy the sunset over the Saskatchewan Legislative Building as you sample the extensive wine menu and snack on elevated casual fare.
Further information can be found at www.tourismsaskatchewan.com.