Hangout Handbook Eating Your Way Through Edmonton

Hangout Handbook Eating Your Way Through Edmonton
Photo: Vanessa Heins
In our annual Hangout Handbook, Exclaim! asks some of our favourite artists what an ideal day in their hometown would entail. Here, the Rural Alberta Advantage's Nils Edenloff outlines where to eat in Edmonton.

What's your favourite breakfast/brunch spot?
Elm Café (10140 117 St NW) on the western end of Jasper Ave is more of a light stuff/sandwich affair but really great.

What's your favourite coffee/daytime hangout?
District Coffee (10011 109 St NW) is south of Jasper Ave and they're also brewing with Phil & Sebastian Coffee, a Calgary roaster.

Who serves the best fancy cocktails?
Woodwork (10132 100 St NW) is a newer place downtown. I personally think it's impossible to go wrong here with an Old Fashioned and a charcuterie plate.

Where's the best dive bar?
Hawkeye's Too (10048 102 St NW) where you get what you pay for.

What's your favourite diner?
Dadeo (10548 Whyte Ave) is a New Orleans style diner, and they've been around as long as I can remember. I usually go with a Po'Boy or something along those lines, plus they bake their own biscuits and serve them with a jalapeno jelly, which is pretty awesome.

Where do you go for a fancy dinner?
Continental Treat (10560 82 Ave NW) could be debatable whether or not it counts as a "fancy" dinner, but it's just so good. Classic Central/Eastern Euro cuisine with a great beer selection.

What's your favourite park?
Constable Ezio Faraone Park (11004 97 Ave NW) If you've climbed the stairs up from the River Valley, then you've definitely passed through this park and more than likely have seen the statue of Cst. Faraone, who was shot in the line of duty on June 25, 1990.

What's the best place to take a date?
Muttart Conservatory (9626 96A St NW) Yes they're iconic and yes they're glass pyramids, but it's so much more. A botanical garden just east of the Low Level Bridge, comprised of four glass pyramids, each is dedicated to a different tropical, arid and temperate plant life.

Where's your favourite place to have indoor activities/sports?
Plaza Bowl (10418 118 Ave NW) Always remember that if you're at a bowling alley, get the burger. Hands down the best advice I've ever received! It may not be a fancy restaurant, but that doesn't mean that the cook isn't going to put some pride into their burger.

Where's the best movie theatre?
Princess (10337 82 Ave) Beautiful old theatre also has a second smaller screen in the basement, and more than once I've pretty much had the place to myself.

What's the signature annual event/festival/community gathering in your city?
Edmonton Folk Fest (www.edmontonfolkfest.org) is the biggest music festival of the year for the city. I've been more than a few times in my life, though we have yet to be able grace the stage ourselves.

Where's your favourite stage?
Starlight Room (10030 102 St NW) We're more of a stand-up club band than one for a soft seater venue, so we'd rather play multiple shows in one night at smaller, more intimate venue rather than move to a bigger space. We've played the Starlite Room on our last album tour, and we're looking forward to playing a couple shows there again in late October when the new record comes out.

What's your favourite record store?
Blackbyrd Myoozik (10442 82 Ave NW) I remember back in high school when they were still in the Garneau area, I was down from Fort McMurray for the weekend and my family was heading back that night. I phoned over to see if they had any copies of Hayden's Everything I Long For, which came out the previous week. I was told that they didn't, but that he was actually playing at Blackbyrd that evening. I debated whether or not to stay for the night and bus it back the next day, ultimately deciding to pass. Still the biggest show regret of my life. I read reviews after the fact and apparently it was an amazing show and he played to 15 people.

What's your favourite underground/out of the way bar/drinking establishment?
Hotel Selkirk at Fort Edmonton (7000 143rd St.) Pre-Prohibition style saloon with what was once the longest bar in Canada. It's Fort Edmonton, and it's exactly what you expect.

Where's your favourite after-hours hangout spot?
Queen Donair (10549 82 Ave NW). Like most people I tend to regret a late night donair immediately after waking up. However, that's rarely stopped me from stopping by on my way home in the wee hours.

Where's your favourite outdoor space?
The end of the world. Enjoy it while/if you can.

What favourite hometown activity of yours would surprise people if they heard about it?
It's pretty awesome to have access to a quality Ukrainian sausage ring, I definitely picked up a couple from Uncle Ed's Ukrainian Restaurant (4824 118 Ave NW) to bring home last Christmas. I have yet to find a good replacement in Toronto.

Nils Edenloff is the singer and guitarist in Rural Alberta Advantage. Their new album, Mended With Gold, comes out September 30 on Paper Bag Records.