This week on the blog we’re joined by Mark and Kylee from These Foreign Roads. As former chefs, food plays a huge part in their travel experience and you can often count on them for a new recipe from one of the four corners of the world. They’re on the road for an unforeseen length of time and they’ve kindly answered our questions to tell you all about the last place they called home: Edmonton, Canada.
1. So, you live in Edmonton. Why do you love it so much?
We don’t actually live in Edmonton anymore, but we miss it a lot. Our beautiful hometown has been making so many changes in recent years, moving it forward from just a working-class city into a world-class destination. Edmonton is also known as ‘Festival City.’ There is some kind of festival nearly every weekend of the year, the majority of which are free; and all of them are really fantastic.
The city itself has so much to offer, but there are also some really wonderful areas really close by. Jasper, one of the most beautiful National Parks in the Rocky Mountains is only three hours away.
Overall, it’s a really great city all year-round, and you should check it out! Even in the winter we get so much sunshine, it might be cold (-30C at times), but we are still getting our Vitamin D, which equates to a lot of happy people!
2. Old Strathcona is your favourite neighbourhood. Why is that?
Old Strathcona has a really laid-back, hip vibe and a bunch of great restaurants. Nong Bu, Ampersand 27, Next Act Pub, Da-De-O, are just a few of our favourite eateries in the neighbourhood.
Aside from food, there are a bunch of unique shops, including vintage clothing stores, indie music shops, craft breweries, and the year-round farmers market every Saturday.
It also hosts the world-famous Fringe Festival, Pride Parade, and Art Walk. There are just so many events and activities to keep yourself busy any day of the week.
3. Where do all the cool kids hang out in Edmonton?
We aren’t cool but we love the Black Dog rooftop patio. Bring your own food (cause they don’t serve food, and there is a great pizza place right next door) and have some cheap beer and good conversations. They also have live music and comedy shows.
Head to Beer Revolution in Oliver Square. This restaurant has amazing craft brews on rotating taps, listed on screen that quite resembles something out of an airport departures lounge. Their weekly deals are great, they have amazing food and the vibe just is just great.
4. Where could we buy the cheapest food and drinks in Edmonton?
Tricky question, Chinatown has delicious cheap food and drinks but not the best place to hang out for the night. If you want good vibes and good food, go get Po’boys from Da-De-O on Whyte Avenue on Mondays and Tuesdays, they’re 2-for-1! Also, make sure to get the sweet potato fries, they are the best in the world.
5. What is the best thing to do when it’s raining in Edmonton?
Definitely check out the Muttart Conservatory, it’s an indoor botanical garden. It’s made up of four glass pyramids each housing different climates representing different regions and environments. They even have a great café open for lunch all week.
Or you can head to the Alberta Art Gallery – the building being itself an architectural marvel. Featuring everything from local artists and to worldwide touring exhibitions, it’s a truly fantastic experience.
6. Are there any unusual attractions/activities you recommend?
Mountain biking through our amazing River Valley. It is the biggest interconnected park system in all of North America! You could get a view of the entire city in one day by rolling along the well-maintained trail system. There are also plenty of off-path trails for the adventurous types. Be sure to bring a picnic and enjoy some amazing views from one of the many parks along the way!
7. Where can we learn more about you?
Thanks for taking the time to write about Edmonton, Mark and Kylee! Enjoy your ongoing adventures and we hope to catch you on a bike trail along the River Valley!