Enjoying Art and the Eclectic Food Scene in Saskatoon – Saskatoon boasts a brand new art gallery, the Remai Modern, which can be enjoyed alongside the cities amazingly eclectic and delicious great food & drink scene.
Modern Art, Culture and Food
Side-by-Side on the Prairies!
I’m a big fan of all the Prairie cities, from Winnipeg and Edmonton to Calgary and Saskatoon, these central and mid western Canadian cities are seeing a resurgence and growth in their reputation amongst fellow Canadians, as well as being popular “hot spots” for overseas visitors, and never more so through local arts and entertainment, and the culinary scene too. On a recent trip to Saskatoon, I was treated to the most amazing eclectic food, as well as being able to explore the surrounding area of the city and discover more about the province and its cultural heritage.
The opportunity for me to explore this vibrant, friendly city was part of a special Canada 150 Canada City Bloggers incentive, organised by and with Destination Canada London and Air Transat, myself and 13 other travel writers and bloggers were sent all over the country to explore different cities and provinces. We covered Canada from the Maritimes in the East Coast through Quebec and Ontario, across to the Prairie provinces and over to the West Coast and up to the Yukon, and we all had wonderful stories to tell and share, which you can read by popping over to my fellow traveller’s websites and blogs as listed below.
Karen, Lavender and Lovage
Lorraine, Live, Share, Travel
Stuart, Go. Eat. Do.
Iain, Mallory On Travel
St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Becky, Global Grasshopper
Zoë, The Quirky Traveller
Yaya and Lloyd, Hand Luggage Only
Vancouver, British Columbia
Heather, Heather on her Travels
Victoria, British Columbia
Kat, Travel With Kat
Saint John, New Brunswick
Niamh, Eat Like A Girl
Québec City, Québec
Lucy, On The Luce
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Dave, Travel Dave
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Macca, A Brit and A Broad
As we approach the end of Canada’s 150th year of the anniversary of the confederation, I’d like to take you in a virtual round-up tour of Saskatoon and all it has to offer by way of art, museums, entertainment and food. And, if you are interested in reading all about my other Canadian Adventures, then you can read them all here: Postcards from the Provinces . Karen
Enjoying Art and the Eclectic Food Scene in Saskatoon
Art & Museums:
I just missed the opening of this fabulous new Modern Art Gallery by a whisker, but, it’s open now and having walked past the stunning designed building many times, this is definitely the place to go for your modern art fix when in Saskatoon. Remai Modern is a new museum of modern and contemporary art in Saskatoon, a growing city on the vast and ever-changing Canadian Prairies, the Remai Modern offers a unique perspective on art and culture in the 21st century, with an eye on the future. Remai Modern’s building was designed by Bruce Kuwabara of the renowned Canadian architectural firm KPMB. The museum won a 2011 Award of Excellence from Canadian Architect magazine, well before construction began, and as you can see from the photos, it us an amazing piece of modern architecture. Read more about the principals and goals of Canada’s newest modern art gallery here, Background. And if you feel a little peckish, then the art gallery also has a restaurant on site.
The Saskatchewan Craft Council aka SCC is also the place to go when in Saskatoon, this public art gallery is located on the main floor of the SCC Office building at 813 Broadway Avenue, in Saskatoon and the craft council aims to show 6 to 8 exhibitions annually, and is Saskatchewan’s only public exhibition gallery dedicated solely to the celebration of Fine Craft as an art form. The latest exhibition is one that I find fascinating, Prairie Woven: From Utilitarian Roots to Contemporary Art, featuring weaving by Saskatchewan artists, both traditional works and contemporary pieces, it’s a wonderful way to view art as part of social change and isolation, as most of the work on show is part of the Searle Grain Weaving programme of the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Previous exhibitions include the wonderful work of Judy Wood, whom I admire very much; Judy is a Saskatoon based working artist/artisan who works in various media, and depiction of the Prairie landscapes are nothing short of magical and very atmospheric. The SCC Fine Craft Boutique is a great place purchase local crafts that are on sale, and I popped in there when I was there earlier on this year…….this distinctive gallery gift shop offers handmade work from over 75 Juried SCC Members.
The Ukrainian Museum of Canada is well worth a visit when in Saskatoon…….the Prairies were the final settling place for thousands of Ukrainian families seeking a new life in Canada, and the museum’s missions statement is “To acquire, preserve, study and interpret, on a national basis, representative artifacts which depict the Ukrainian heritage and its contribution to Canada.” The museum offers a diverse collection of Ukrainian artefacts including linens, tools, books, photographs and documents collected from the first, second and third waves of Ukrainian immigrants to Canada, and houses one of the largest collections of ethnic textiles in North America, resulting in an intimate snap shot of social history for one of the largest ethnic groups who settled in the Prairie provinces.
The Eclectic Food Scene:
The food scene in Saskatoon of eclectic and exciting…..and I’d like to highlight some of my favourite places to graze, from diners to high-end and modern eateries, there is something to suit everyone. Here’s my TOP five places to wine and dine is Saskatoon:
I love the humble diner, not just the authentic food they tend to offer, but the retro decor too. Although you can enjoy lunch and dinner at Park Cafe & Diner, it’s their breakfast and brunch menu and food that I really enjoyed when I was there, in a real old-time Diner atmosphere. The breakfast and brunch menu suggests A Working Man’s Breakfast, which is steak and eggs with hash browns; Pan Fried Pickerel, a local lakes fish with eggs, hash browns and toast; The Homesteader, pancakes with bacon, ham or sausage, or my personal favourite, the Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sandwich, a breakfast patty with fried egg and cheese served in a Kaiser Roll with hash browns. Open from 8am to 4pm in the trendy Riversdale area of Saskatoon.
This restaurant and bakery in the chic part of Saskatoon known as Broadway, uses local ingredients that reflects the seasons; when I was there, I was treated to a Saskatchewan Tasting Menu which comprised fiddle head ferns, morels and local pike. Their normal menu offers innovative salads such as Shaved raw & caramelised whole Brussels sprouts, with roasted organic sweet potato, avocado & crumbled bacon in a lemon & local honey vinaigrette and soft poached egg, or how about Pan Roasted SK Elk Medallion with local Gold Rush potato croquettes, caramelised local organic parsnips. I’m also tempted by their Flash fried calamari, slow roasted local pork belly & preserved garden chili aioli with local cabbage, apple & honey slaw too. Open from 10am to 10pm, and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.
Chef Dale Mackay’s restaurant Little Grouse on the Prairie offers mainly authentic Italian food based on prairie ingredients in relaxed surroundings. Their All Famiglia sharing menu is a great way to taste all that’s on offer in the restaurant, and seasonally, with specially selected sharing plates from their current menu, and you can add wine pairings too, which I did when I was there. A sharing platter with wine is C$90 per person, and is a culinary delight with hand dived scallops, smoked Arctic char caviar, courgettes with asparagus, ravioli with sage butter, more pasta, fish and risotto and finally a lemon polenta cake and limoncello all featured on the tasting menu alongside carefully selected and paired wines. Their full seasonal menu can be viewed here; Menu. Opening Hours: Tues-Sunday – 5:30pm to Late.
This Asian restaurant in Riversdale is owned and run by a father and son team Sam and Andy Yuen, who have created a mix of traditional meets modern Chinese food…and it works. They have a lot of dishes that cater to vegan or vegetarians, making this a hot-spot for all crowds. It’s well priced and a the perfect place to go for post or pre-theatre snacks, or a full Asian meal. The cocktail menu is also imaginative and well worth trying, again, with very reasonable prices. The menu suggests all sorts of tasty options including CRAB RANGOON, which is a Fried Dumpling with Cream Cheese, Blue Crab and Shrimp in a Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce; TIGER SHRIMP SHANGHAI, which is Tiger Shrimp, Local Thick Egg Noodle, Ginger, Scallions and Dark Soy and O.C NASI LEMAK (MALAYSIAN COCONUT RICE COMBO) with Grilled Shrimp Skewers, Fried Chicken Thigh, Grilled OC Asian Sausage, Peanuts, Cucumber, Papaya Slaw, Coconut Rice, and a Sunny Local Farm Egg. Winter opening hours are: MONDAY – THURSDAY: 11:30AM – 2PM; 4:30PM – 10PM; FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS 11:30AM – 2PM; 4:30PM – 11PM.
The second restaurant opened by Chefs Christie Peters and Kyle Michael who own and run The Hollows, Primal aims to create time-honoured Italian food & handmade pasta using Saskatchewan heritage grains & whole animal butchery. The menu is simple but innovative, with dishes such as house made fried bread, elk carpaccio with pickled walnuts, fried artichokes & garlic mayo, pork cotechino with lentils, sauerkraut & mustard as well as their signature dish of marrow bone luge being hugely popular. Other “must try dishes” are: Beef strip loin with potato, horseradish and lemon, as well as Rigatoni with goat cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, greens and truffle oil. Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 11:30am, to 1:30pm and 5pm to 10pm.
With thanks to all the people, who made this happen, especially Jodie, Aviva, Nim and Michael and all of the establishments as mentioned above who made me feel so welcome and fed me so well!
Disclaimer: This was a sponsored collaborative press trip with Destination Canada, Air Transat, Canadian Affair, Tourism Saskatchewan and Tourism Saskatoon.
Becky Moore says
Your posts always make me hungry! Looks like there’s plenty of culinary delights in this town – yum!
Heather Cowper says
Contemporary art can sometimes be quite challenging, but I always love museums that feature local crafts and textiles
Nim SIngh says
I’ve just had lunch but now i’m hungry all over again!
Kathryn @TravelWithKat says
The more I see of Canada the more I want to see. I’ve been to the west coast and the east coast but therse’s so much to discover in between! And everywhere I’ve been the food scene has been fabulous. I’m know dreaming of eating my way from East to West… or West to East!
Zoe Dawes says
What a wonderfully eclectic mix of museums and galleries! The Grain Museum is similar to one in Calgary – very quirky! Love the food scene there – yet more reasons to visit Saskatoon
Stuart Forster says
My mouth is watering. I have heard very positive reports about the culinary scene’s development over in Saskatoon. The Remai looks well worth a visit too.
Lucy Dodsworth says
I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of Saskatoon for art but after my trip to the Prairies last year I know there’s a lot more to them than you would expect. The Ukrainian influence is really interesting – and the food looks fabulous, so diverse.
Neil Bishop says
Things must have impeoved a lot since 2010, when all the Saskatoon and Regina restaurants we tried served awful food! We were told people no longer had time to savour good-tasting food, so the good restaurants had gone out of business. St. John’s NL had some excellent restaurants, then. Good to learn that SK restaurants have possibly improved
Karen Burns-Booth says
The food and variety of food on offer was excellent, with many young chefs returning to the province to start up new ventures. Try again and try the restaurants I have mentioned, and yes, I’ve also had amazing food in St John’s NFL too, excellent food there.