Charles Cazabon's Notes on (Mostly) Saskatoon Restaurants

These are my notes on various restaurants (mostly) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (where I live) which, in my experience, serve good-quality food. If you want to make sure you get a good meal, you could do worse than to try one of the specialties of any of the restaurants listed here.

Most of these restaurants are places with simple atmosphere and quite reasonable prices, but there are a number of fancier fine-dining establishments listed as well. I used to say that if you were looking for something like Where to Eat in Canada or the Michelin Restaurant Guide, this wasn't it, but that's no longer really the case. You could consider the fine-dining portion of this list to be Where to Eat in Saskatoon if you wished.

Typical prices listed below are for dinner for two, in Canadian dollars, with soft drinks, tax, and reasonable tip. They do not include wine as fancier restaurant guides typically do, mostly because I don't drink the stuff.

This list is divided into sections by genre / cusine:

On with my notes.

Last updated 2 January 2006.


Chinese / Vietnamese Restaurants

Ki Sum Bakery

Location: Chinatown: north side of 22nd Street West

Genre / Cuisine: Chinese

Typical price: $20

Specialities / Recommendations: Baked buns (satay beef, barbecued pork, etc), noodle soups, wor wonton soup

Notes: More of a lunch place than a dinner restaurant; you don't go here for the atmosphere. You go here for satay beef buns and noodle soup.


Saigon II

Location: North side of 33rd Avenue, between Idylwyld Drive and 2nd Avenue North

Genre / Cuisine: Vietnamese

Typical price: $30

Specialities / Recommendations: Any of the Vietnamese dishes are excellent; Ginger Beef, Vietnamese Crispy Chicken, and Lemon Chicken are our favourites.

Notes: Typical Chinese-Canadian food also available.


Spicy Garden

Location: 8th Street: north side of 8th Street East, in the strip mall at 8th and Cumberland.

Genre / Cuisine: Vietnamese

Typical price: $25

Specialities / Recommendations: Excellent Vietnamese dishes. Also good omelettes and breakfast food.

Notes:


Red Pepper

Location: Downtown: west side of 3rd Avenue, between 21st and 22nd Streets.

Genre / Cuisine: Vietnamese / Thai

Typical price: $25

Specialities / Recommendations: Mostly Vietnamese dishes, with some Thai influence.

Notes:


Thai Restaurants

Keo's Kitchen

Location: Mayfair: north side of 33rd Avenue west of Idylwyld

Genre / Cuisine: Thai / Laos

Typical price: $30

Specialities / Recommendations: "Summer rolls" -- like the soft spring rolls at Nit's, but smaller. Pork is traditional, but only available on Wednesday (or in large orders). Have the chicken instead if you have to. The lime beef salad is also excellent.

Notes: Good Thai food, and it's not a two-hour drive from Saskatoon like Nit's.


Nit's Thai Food

Location: Moose Jaw: Main Street

Genre / Cuisine: Thai-Canadian

Typical price: $20

Specialities / Recommendations: Thai spring rolls, Thai beef salad No. 35.

Notes: Not in Saskatoon; actually Moose Jaw. But the best food you're likely to eat in a month.


Indian Restaurants

India Palace (used to be Chic Peas, now moved and renamed)

Location: 8th Street East: north side of 8th Street East at Cumberland, in strip mall

Genre / Cuisine: Indian

Typical price: $35

Specialities / Recommendations: Fridays and Saturdays feature a buffet which is quite good. Not a typical buffet; small portions brought out frequently keeps everything fresh.

Notes: Good Indian food at reasonable prices.


Taj Mahal (website)

Location: Broadway: north side of Broadway Avenue at Main Street

Genre / Cuisine: Indian

Typical price: $50

Specialities / Recommendations: Anything. Everything they serve is a house specialty.

Notes: Absolutely fabulous Indian food. A touch expensive, but a nice treat. Make it an evening; reservations heavily recommended.


A Passage to India

Location: Downtown: just north of downtown on the east side of 2nd Avenue North

Genre / Cuisine: Indian

Typical price: $30

Specialities / Recommendations: Tandoori cuisine.

Notes: Good food at very reasonable prices. Simple atmosphere.


Fine Dining


Mr. Rizzo's

Location: Idylwyld: east side of Idylwyld Drive, in the Howard Johnson's (formerly Imperial 400) Motel, between downtown and 33rd Avenue

Genre / Cuisine: Fine dining

Typical price: $60

Specialities / Recommendations: Seafood, fine Italian

Notes: Fancier, more upscale than our usual fare. Good service, nice treat for a special occasion.


St. Tropez Bistro

Location: Downtown: east side of 2nd Avenue South

Genre / Cuisine: Fine dining

Typical price: $60

Specialities / Recommendations: ? Was special occasion fixed five-course menu when we were there. Apparently salmon in a Mexican chipotle sauce is a specialty.

Notes: Very cozy atmosphere. Again, nice treat for a special occasion.


The Victorian

Location: Circle Drive: it's on Avenue B, just south of Circle Drive, located (of all places) in the Riviera Motel. Nothing to look at.

Genre / Cuisine: Fine dining

Typical price: $70 (entrees and beverages only)

Specialities / Recommendations: Seafood, lamb, duck

Notes: Very fancy. Plan to spend an evening and order several courses (increasing the price above). Tableside preparation of Caesar salad is entertaining. More upscale than our usual fare. Excellent service, nice treat for a special occasion. I had braised duck in a Portabello mushroom sauce and it was fabulous.


Truffles Bistro

Location: A strip mall on the north side of Early Drive, in a residential area framed by 8th Street East, Taylor Drive, Preston Avenue, and Circle Drive.

Genre / Cuisine: Modern fine dining

Typical price: $60 (entrees and beverages only)

Specialities / Recommendations: Seafood, lamb, duck

Notes: Atmosphere is simple, but cuisine is very good. Very inexpensive for the type of food served, but the location/decor/dining room setup is not up to the standards of typical fine dining. Very enjoyable.


Hole-in-the-Wall Eatery

Location: Shields Townsite, near Dundurn, Saskatchewan. About a 35-minute drive from Saskatoon. It isn't listed by name in Google Maps, but it is at the center of this map.

Genre / Cuisine: Latin American fine dining.

Typical price: $100 - $140

Specialities / Recommendations: Latin America-influenced fine cuisine. Of special note is an appetizer of stuffed sweet prunes, which was a fantastic way to start the meal. I also highly recommend the lamb and duck dishes.

Notes: Not in Saskatoon proper. An interesting and eclectic cozy little place in a Spanish villa-style building in the middle of nowhere. When we were there, we had the "El Presidente" special, a five-course combination wherein two or more people can choose three appetizers, the soup, the house signature salad, and three entrees, plus dessert. For the amount and quality of food, it's a steal. We were served the best duck and best lamb I have ever eaten, and Shannon says the proprietor also made the best sangria she's ever had. An excellent experience; plan to spend the evening — we were there a little over three hours. Has been listed in Where to eat in Canada at least ten times.


Other Restaurants

Sutherland Venice House

Location: Sutherland: west side of Central Avenue, north of 108th Street

Genre / Cuisine: Greek-Canadian family

Typical price: $30

Specialities / Recommendations: Frajolaki, souvlaki, Greek-style chicken, dry ribs, best burgers in the world, lemon chicken rice soup

Notes: Venice House isn't a normal chain; member restaurants tend not to resemble each other (in decor, menu, or otherwise) at all.


Tiffany's (formerly Seventy's)

Location: Idylwyld: west side of Idylwyld Drive between 33rd Avenue and Circle Drive

Genre / Cuisine: Greek-Canadian family

Typical price: $30

Specialities / Recommendations: Excellent pizza, good Greek specialties

Notes:


Odeon Nightclub & Restaurant (website)

Location: Downtown: west side of 2nd Avenue

Genre / Cuisine: Hard to classify; steaks, sandwiches, fish, some fancier dishes

Typical price: $35

Specialities / Recommendations: Portabello mushroom soup is excellent

Notes: Has both restaurant and nightclub sides; not the quietest.