Every once in awhile it’s nice to go out for a delicious meal — whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner — and Saskatoon has plenty of restaurant options for students to check out. The Sheaf has put together a list of a couple under-the-radar spots in the city that are a must-try!
Golden Pagoda, located on 2nd Ave North, is an authentic Burmese restaurant which serves dishes that can best be described as a mix between Chinese and Indian cuisine, filled with amazing spices that you’ll only find there.
Some of my top choices when dining at Golden Pagoda are the pickled green tea salad, which is mixed with cabbage, roasted baby lima beans, roasted yellow split peas, roasted sesame seed and a garlic tamarind dressing, or the spicy ginger lemongrass tofu curry. A couple runners-up are the shrimp in coconut sauce and the spicy eggplant.
Golden Pagoda is a great place to take a bunch of friends or family. This way you can dine family-style and order a number of dishes, and each get to try a little bit of them all. Be sure to order some coconut rice and naan bread for the side, along with a nice cold Singha Lager beer.
The Hollows and Primal
Located on 20th Street West, Primal is fairly new to the Saskatoon dining scene. Opening in early 2015, Primal is often called the sister restaurant to the popular Riverdale spot, The Hollows. Chefs Christie Peters and Kyle Michael first opened The Hollows in 2011, whose dishes use ingredients that are both seasonal and local, and then opened Primal four years later, following the same style of using Saskatchewan products to influence Italian cuisine.
Two of my personal favourite dishes at The Hollows are the pannekoeken — a dutch pancake with bacon, two sunnyside eggs, aged gouda and apples — which is served during their brunch times and the buttercup squash ravioli from their dinner menu.
Primal is best known for its pasta dishes — from a pork and beef heart bolognaise tagliatelle to a squid-ink spaghetti puttanesca alla chitarra — your tastebuds will be thanking you. My personal favourites at Primal are their starter house-made fried bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and the rigatoni which is served with goat cheese, mushrooms, oven dried tomatoes, greens and the always delicious truffle oil.
Jin Jin Cuisine Dumpling
If you’re ever craving dumplings, this is hands down the place to go. The owner speaks little to no English and often will point at the menu, indicating what you will be having without seeming to have taken what you’ve ordered into account — and honestly, this is the way to do it.
Typically, I order the cabbage and pork or the leek and pork dumplings, both of which, are absolutely delicious. Take risks with the menu and try something besides the dumplings — the cold cucumber salad is another favourite of mine, and make sure to try whatever the owner points to on the menu and brings to the table, because whatever it is, it will be yummy.
Jin Jin is located at 417 20th Street West and is a great place to go with friends for a fun and delicious lunch or dinner.
Prairie Harvest Cafe
Locally sourced dishes and community oriented, Prairie Harvest Cafe is a hidden-gem in the residential area of Brevoort Park located at 2917 Early Drive. With a unique menu, there isn’t a ton of dishes to choose from, but from the choices you do have, they are all great.
The restaurant is small and typically quite busy, so it’s a good idea to book a reservation if you want a spot. There is a cute patio with giant picnic tables which is perfect for a nice fall evening with a couple of friends. Alongside the lasagna — which is a favourite of many — I recommend the perogies and the gnocchi. Pair them with a nice beer or wine, and you’re set.
Bridget Morrison / Culture Editor
Graphic: Sarah Foley