By Steven Sandor, Cory Schachtel, Matthew Stepanic | February 28, 2023
This could have easily made its appearance in our Best Tried and True category, as well. The Lingnan dates back to 1947, and it’s been located just on the edge of downtown since the Beatles were four kids who had just arrived from England to conquer the North American charts. The place drips history, and every corner feels like an homage to the many Chinese restaurants that dotted the prairies through the last 100 years. But, the food is why we’re there — and the family- style meals never disappoint. The famous lemon sauce can be found in a couple of chicken dishes (try to leave any on your plate — you won’t) and the Lingnan Special is an Egg Foo Yong dish that’s a tribute to the Chinese railway workers who came to Canada, and adapted their cuisine to North America. The Lingnan is a spot that remains postcard-worthy, it’s just that the photos would be in colour, now. — Steven Sandor
Central McDougall | 10582 104 St NW, Edmonton | 780.426.3975 | thelingnan.com
97 Hot Pot
Even in the Before Times, I wasn’t super keen on all-you-can-eat buffets. Somehow, I didn’t find the six-inch sneeze guards to be particularly protective against germs. And while the food was always warm, you could never be sure how long it was out.
97 Hot Pot’s All-You-Can-Eat Menu is like the opposite of most western buffets: The raw ingredients never sit out among patrons — instead, servers bring them from the kitchen to your table, which has a hot pot engineered into it. After simmering your broth (I went with the Original Miso soup), you drop the ingredients (vermicelli noodles, chicken, beef, shrimp, and two eggs — one cracked, one hard boiled) in and bring it to a boil, then enjoy your meal knowing for certain that no one has sneezed on it. Overhead fans keep the windows steam free, with the added bonus of ventilation, making 97 Hot Pot one of the safest places to enjoy a tasty meal. — Cory Schachtel
After a friend introduced me to this unassuming restaurant, I became an evangelist for the best soup in the city. I recommend building your own noodle soup here with dozens of options for broths, noodles, meats and veggies. My go-to is the Spicy Little Sheep Broth, which has the perfect kick but also offers a similarly rich flavour in a non-spicy version. I always add a side order depending on my mood, but frequently return to the fork-tender Beef Brisket with Lo Bok. — Matthew Stepanic