Let your abdomen lead you: The most effective locations to eat in Saskatoon in 2019

Looking ahead to the year ahead, there are so many things in the culinary world of Saskatoon that navigating your way through the novelties, goodies, and prices can be a challenge.

To help potential foodies plan a culinary trip for 2019, Saskatoon food judge and critic Noelle Chorney has a few suggestions.

What’s new

One of the restaurants that Chorney loves the most is called Hearth. It started as a catering company and grew into much more which is now located in the newly renovated old Crazy Cactus area in the Avalon neighborhood of Saskatoon.

“They have a really small menu with handcrafted, locally sourced ingredients,” she said, adding that it is a great meeting place.

Chorney describes it as locally inspired Canadian home cooking – they make their own sausage and pasta with a huge focus on interesting uses of vegetables.

The Gusto bar is also on Chorney’s list: a small menu, a small plate, a restaurant with an Italian focus.

This egg yolk raviolo at Bar Gusto is one of the reasons Noelle Chorney ranked the restaurant a top pick in Saskatoon in 2019. (Submitted by Noelle Chorney)

Chorney was impressed with their egg yolk raviolo – a large ravioli that is filled with egg yolks and overflows when cut.

Best value

When it comes to money, Sal Pita is high on their list.

Sal Pita employees at 415 51st St. E. produce thousands of fresh pitas every morning. (Courtney Markewich / CBC)

Chorney says the value is obvious: you can get pastries or a flatbread with flatbread and mini flatbread pizzas for $ 2-4.

“I literally bought eight of these for $ 40 and took them home and we ate them for dinner, as a night snack, for breakfast the next day,” she said with a laugh. “They went and went on.”

You can have lunch, but Chorney said that Sal Pita’s appeal is that it’s easy to take away with the food.

And oldie, but a goodie

Taverna Italian Kitchen has been in Saskatoon since 1969.

Nine years ago, Anastasios Kangles bought it from the original owners. In 2017 the restaurant was renovated. And while the menu is new, there are plenty of old favorites that are left over.

In Saskatoon since 1969, Chorney says Taverna Italian Kitchen is well worth a visit in 2019. (Taverna Italian cuisine / Facebook)

“It’s old-school Italian, but they really work to be as authentic as possible Italian,” Chorney said, adding that they encourage ordering and family style sharing.

“You can tell them, ‘Just make us a classic Italian dinner,’ and they’ll take care of you,” she said.

For the vegan in your life

Güd Eats started out as a vegan / vegetarian food truck and now has a physical location.

“It’s everything you could ever have in a fried chicken and hamburger shop … except vegan versions,” said Chorney.

She insists that you have to try her version of chicken and waffles called “Chicken and Waffles” or her bacon-flavored Caesar salad (called “Bacun”).

Watch out for food trucks

They may only appear in the warmer months, but Chorney says there are a few food trucks out there that are really worth the wait.

“SoomSoom and Rebel Melt have both won a ton of awards,” she said, adding that they are two of her favorites.

“Rebel Melt has the best grilled cheese I’ve ever tasted. And SoomSoom, everything I’ve had from there,” said Chorney.

SoomSoom is Mediterranean fusion street food, and she said you have to try her shakshuka – eggs in a tomato sauce with all sorts of spices.

“I sat on a park bench and thought, ‘This is the best breakfast I’ve ever had,'” she said with a laugh. “It’s amazing what you can do in that little truck.”

Use social media to find other gems

Chorney says that pop-ups and shared spaces are becoming increasingly popular. Guests can find new favorites via social media.

Noelle Chorney says using social media can be a great way to find and follow new restaurants and pop-up businesses. She follows Saskatoon’s Canoe Oysters very closely on social media. (Canoe oysters / Facebook)

“People follow their favorite supplier and don’t have a specific location – they’ll be in other places and they’ll let you know, and you can go there if you want to see them,” she said.

Canoe Oysters is one that Chorney is following closely on social media.

“He brings fresh oysters, and I think he’s the only person in Saskatoon who brings oysters. And then he does a lot of seafood caterings, too, ”she said.

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