Living in Grandin, technically the Oliver neighbourhood, of Edmonton certainly has its perks. Not only is my walk to work downtown a mere 10 minutes, I’m also a quick walk or bike ride to the shops and restaurants on 124th street. I am so grateful of the revitalization of that street/neighbourhood over the last decade, including the addition of both the Thursday and Sunday 124 Grand Markets. I’ve heard Giselle Courteau share stories how people thought she was crazy to open a bake shop in 2009, but just look at how much traffic that the Duchess Bake Shop has brought to the area. Today, 124 Street has to be one of the hippest and tastiest areas of the city.
While not all the wonderful shops ands restaurants cater to Celiacs, there are quite a few that I feel comfortable dining at. Last year my friend Linda Hoang asked me to guest write a gluten-free guide for dining throughout Edmonton. Here is my disclaimer; like that list – this one is not exhaustive or inclusive of all GF options. I often get asked about gluten-free recommendations, so here are the ones I most often recommend in the 124th area.
Woodshed Burgers – 10723 124 St
I knew when Chef Paul Shufelt opened his second restaurant Woodshed Burgers, a burger joint on 124th street, that he would have gluten free options for me. As much as Paul gripes on social media about customers changing orders, he has never had an issue ensuring this Celiac had something to eat at his restaurant. Not only can I order burger on a Care Bakery gluten free bun, there is a dedicated fryer on site that no gluten enters. Chef Shufelt makes gravy with cornstarch, so patrons can request a GF poutine (make sure to specify when ordering). Burgers and fries are a rare treat for Celiacs, and the last meal I had at Woodshed was one of the most satisfying bites I’ve had in a while.
Smurf Burger: Nonay beef, roasted mushrooms, bacon, arugula, blue cheese aioli on a gluten free bun
Bodega 124th Street – 12417 Stony Plain Rd
Many people don’t know, but the 124th street Bodega location (which is just off 124 street located on the south side of Stony Plain Rd) has a secret patio located around back of the restaurant. Chef Lino, who suffers from gluten challenges himself, offers a tapas menu packed with gf options. Piri Piri chicken, cheeses, olives, cured meats, and paella are all naturally gf dishes, and many more can be enjoyed without the side crostini.
Tapas: piri-piri prawns, braised pork cheeks, and bacon-wrapped dates
Big Plates: fresh mussels with saffron tomato cream (no crostini)
Dessert: torta de Santiago – Galician almond cake with crème anglaise
OEB – 56-10240 124 St
The first time I went to OEB in Calgary I was shocked by the number of gluten-free options on their menu. However, if you look up their menu online, there are very few things labelled as GF. In contrast to some restaurants (like the prominent vegetarian restaurant in Edmonton I went to that had a two-page menu that wasn’t actually GF – as 95% of things were contaminated), OEB seems to only identify the item is the dish is GF, not if it can be made GF.
Each time I have eaten there I have found the service staff very helpful with ordering GF. While I normally want to order a breakfast poutine, which can be done with distinctively different potatoes, the last time I dined I asked about Croque Madame as I was told it could be done on GF bread. After ordering, the server came back to ask if I wanted mine made off the shared grill (yes), and confirmed if I would still want the order without the onions, which the kitchen could not confirm were safe. Normally I had modifying menu items, but each time I’ve dined it seemed no issue to the server and didn’t compromise the final dish.
Hogs & Scallops breakfast poutine (request GF potatoes) served with brown butter hollandaise.
Meuwly’s Artisan Food Market
Making a charcuterie board? Meuwly’s is your one-stop show for everything you’ll need. Meuwly’s makes over 150 different food products at their production kitchen- from dry-cured salami to coffee bbq sauce to pickled grapes – many that are gluten free.
Maple breakfast sausages, pate and pork terrine.
Northern Chicken – 10704 – 124 St
Ok, so chefs Andrew Cowan and Matt Philips are not presently serving a gf version of their fried chicken, but the dynamic duo are happy to accommodate Celiacs at Northern Chicken. At present, the GF main is the BBQ spiced drumsticks, roasted and then pan-fried to order. Side dishes are constantly evolving, and the current menu offers gf pork and beans, potato salad, coleslaw; both the butter leaf lettuce and broccoli salads can both be made gf with modifications.
The bacon cream corn (when available – order two servings of this sinful side dish)
RGE RD – 10643 123 St
So, technically RGE RD is on 123 street, but it is too close (and too good), not to include them in this post. A visit to Caitlin Fulton & Chef Blair Lebsack’s RGE RD is always a treat. While the menu online does not clearly identify any GF options, Celiacs are in good hands at RGE RD. With a constantly changing menu, questions are best directed to your server who can tell you if the day’s kitchen board or questionable bits for the day are gluten free. I’ve also been able to order the RGE RD Road Trip – a hands off approach to dinner where the chefs decide your multi-course dinner.
Beef tartare (ask for modification for chip)
Nature’s Green Acres Pig Roast (modified side)
Prairie Noodle Shop – 10350 124 St Suite 4
While several restaurants offer GF pho around town, Prairie Noodle Shop is one of the few offering gf ramen made with their sweet potato noodles. Start with an order of their charcoal salted edamame and ask if there are any specials that day coming out of their gf safe fryer.