Tony’s Pizza and Culina in Edmonton

This weekend’s dining experiences were brought to us by Twitter. Heading to Edmonton for Saturday night and not up to date on the best places to eat in the city, I put the call out. This new-fangled social media thing sure can come in handy, can’t it?

I was instantly answered with a flurry of #yeg dining suggestions – many for Culina, some for the patio at the Hotel MacDonald, a few suggestions for Indian, Turkish, Ethiopian and Japanese food, and some coffee shops. One for Tony’s Pizza, which a quick Google search showed to be directly between our hotel and Rexall Place, where Mike had to be to see Iron Maiden (the reason for our visit). We made haste as it was early dinner hour, and secured a spot on the patio.

It was a hit. I took advantage of the fact that our trip up to Edmontown had nothing to do with me, meaning I didn’t have to be presentable or really do any work, and so I jumped into the car in flip-flops and a t-shirt with no intention of changing. (Well. No intention of upgrading from an outfit of that nature.) Tony’s worked with my dress code – it’s an old school pasta-and-pizzeria that felt instantly comfortable. It was a full house, and most tables were occupied by families who you could tell were regulars. I left wanting a big plate of garlicky pasta, and to eat it at a long table of verging-on-rowdy friends and family with voracious appetites.

We ordered a classic New York style pie (extra large and thin, with spicy tomato sauce and cheese) and Sal’s Deluxe (prosciutto, capicollo, marinated tomatoes and bocconcini) and had more than enough to bring back to the hotel room for breakfast and lunch.

Sal himself was in the kitchen flipping dough high and wide into the air, the way you don’t see Italian pizzeria cooks do anymore, and W was so in awe that Sal (at least I think it was Sal – everyone in the kitchen seemed to be calling someone Sal, so we’ll assume it was him) invited W to stay and watch through an open window, within 4-year-old arms’ reach, as he patted, tossed and topped the dough and slid it into a hot oven to blister. He even gave W a little wad of dough to toss about himself. He was in heaven.

And so was I, on the other side of the glass door, sitting on the patio drinking a $4 glass of house red and eating wide slices of New York-style pizza I could fold in half and eat.

This morning, after what was supposed to be a good old-fashioned sleep in (W was up no later than 6:20, riling us to get up already and go to the pool!) we went to Culina Mill Creek for brunch, a teeny spot in the Old Strathcona district with wood chairs, wine bottles filled with cold water and lots of sunlight filtered through gauzy curtains.

We started with grilled cornbread and blueberry butter (wouldn’t you?) and followed with an egg, bacon, tomato and edam panini (me), mushroom frittata with spicy braised bacon (Mike) and eggs in a creamy basil sauce topped with crispy bacon (our friend Jen).

They made W a single egg, over-easy. I can’t wait to go back for dinner. Next door, buffered by a wee barber shop, is a new wine bar and charcuterie called Bibo, owned by the same great people I met this morning, that may warrant some further research too.

Sorry if this is reading a little like a junior high school book report – something has decided to take over my head/throat/esophageal area and render me at least partially useless, or at least tired and fuzzy-headed. More so than usual, that is. I’ll stop typing and attempt to sleep it off now.


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14 comments on “Tony’s Pizza and Culina in Edmonton

  1. suchanjv
    June 28, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Cool! I was looking for a french onion soup recipe when I found your blog. Weird coincidence! I live in Edmonton and was at the Iron Maiden concert last night to. It was pretty amazing! I’ll have to try out Tony’s Pizza now, sounds pretty good.

  2. Erica B.
    June 28, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Sounds like a fantastic weekend Julie! Culina Mill Creek looks fantastic – definitely must try the next time we’re in Edmonton thanks 🙂

  3. thepinkpeppercorn
    June 28, 2010 at 10:07 am

    YUM! I really, really, really want some of that pizza! And I have to admit, I’ve perused Culina’s menu many times…. now there’s no more excuses!

  4. Cheryl Arkison
    June 28, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Tony’s! Wow, I haven’t thought of that palce in ages. We used to eat their with friend’s all the time. Glad you had a good weekend.

  5. Jessica
    June 28, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Thank you for this. I don’t mind the junior h.s. report at all – I feel like I know so little about good places to eat in Edmonton and Calgary. I just discovered that Old Strathcona area a couple weeks ago because my son had an appointment at the Stollery – I had no idea it was there. Looks like a neat place that we’ll need to take a field trip to in the near future so we can explore!

  6. clea
    June 28, 2010 at 11:54 am

    dear Julie,
    what would you do with gobs of leftover chocolate mousse? I really don’t want to throw it away, nor can I eat it all by myself before it will go off. help!

  7. Manon from Ontario
    June 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Hello Julie, sorry to hear you are under the weather…but you know what, this might be just what you need in order to take some “me” time 🙂

    Take care,


  8. JulieVR
    June 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Well. I’d love to come over and be of assistance. What about using it to fill baked tart shells or pavlova? Or layer with chunked fruit or berries or cake or crumbled cookies – sandwich between digestive biscuits or chocolate wafers and freeze?

  9. Erin M
    June 29, 2010 at 1:08 am

    Yummy looking pizza and breakfast sounded incredibly interesting. Sorry to hear your under the weather, sounds pretty much exactly like I am still attempting to get over. The worst part is I lost my sense of taste or smell for about 5 days. Thats just wrong!

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  12. Stephanie Raffaele
    September 6, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    What a great place! We have been going here for many years and it never disappoints us. We started with the Bruschetta and then my friend had a Penne Sambuca. As always it was fantastic! Highly Recommended!

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