Regina's best restaurants of 2017
Local foodie gives CBC her top picks of the year
It was a year of ups and downs for Regina's restaurant scene, with the closures of both Flip and Malt City in the downtown core.
There were some exciting restaurant openings and new local food trucks, with unique and authentic flavours.
To put a wrap on this year's food scene, we've put together a list of must-try restaurants for those visiting town or residents looking for a delicious night out.
The judge and Regina's resident foodie is Aleana Young, owner of the Takeaway Gourmet food store in Regina.
Where she ate most this year
Best new restaurant
Wann Izakaya. It's kind of a take on Izakaya, which is essentially a take on Japanese bar food, so a focus on sushi and lots of deep fried things. They make, I think the best ramen in Regina.
One of the things that I've consistently been impressed with is food trucks. For the trucks in Regina, in such a small market, to do consistently such a good job, with really limited kitchen space and really limited time to sell, I think is just amazing.
I love me a greasy spoon breakfast so I like the classics. I like Nicky's Cafe, Mr. Breakfast and The Mercury. With all due respect to places that are doing some awesome brunches, I think there is a gap in the market for a breakfast-specific restaurant in town. If somebody wants to open one, I will give them all of my money.
Best dinner out
For a fancy meal, especially now that we've lost Flip and Malt City, I love Crave. I think Crave has the best cheese and charcuterie program. I think they have a nice and accessible wine list and, it's underrated but out of every single fish dish that I've had there — they do a nightly fish special — I have not had a piece of badly cooked fish.
Lamb Rack w Beet Fettuccine, Mushrooms + Tomatoes w Succotash Stuffed Squash <a href="https://twitter.com/ReginaDowntown?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ReginaDowntown</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CHEFcravekwb?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CHEFcravekwb</a> <a href="https://t.co/w9Wrq2bxKN">pic.twitter.com/w9Wrq2bxKN</a>—@cravekwb
Best local bargain
I think Victoria's Tavern does a fabulous job at consistency and affordability. They've really hit their stride and found a great niche in terms of pub food that's a little bit upscale but still within that pricing.
What to expect in 2018
The opening of the Grassroots Restaurant Group's new location in Regina (they own Ayden Kitchen and Bar, Little Grouse on the Prairie, and Sticks and Stones in Saskatoon).
I'm also interested to see how the downtown food scene continues to evolve. I think it's really doing some great things. I know a great little Chinese place that just opened up on Hamilton called The Rice Guy which is doing really good handmade Chinese food.
I think there is a lot of vacant restaurant space...and I'm interested to see what fills that void.
One of the things that I think is so special and magnificent about this place is how supportive people are of their local establishments and their local businesses so I'm really hopeful for the nest year. While it is obviously heartbreaking to see closures, because they're people's businesses and people's lives, it is an opportunity for somebody else to try and do new things. I am optimistic for the year to come.