With over 600 eclectic, independent and alternative shops and services to explore, it’s little wonder Old Strathcona is regarded as the place to experience Edmonton’s finest live theatre and music, boutique shopping, dining and nightlife. Read on for some of our top spots in this historical district and then visit www.oldstrathcona.ca for even more.
CHIANTI CAFE Housed in the historic Old Strathcona post office building and featuring super affordable made from scratch Italian fare — including over two dozen pasta dishes — it’s little wonder this charming eatery has been voted one of Canada’s top 100 restaurants and is popular with everyone from university students to young professionals to families. 10501 Whyte (82) Ave., 780-439-9829.
WHEN PIGS FLY This quaint gift shop brims with intriguing and unusual trinkets, jewelry, stained glass, home accessories and more. Chances are, you won’t walk out empty handed, as it caters to any aesthetic taste, covering rustic wares, vintage inspired décor, sleek, modern finds and even children’s toys and accessories. 10470 Whyte (82) Ave., 780-433-9127.
ROWENA Lovers of pin-up couture will revel in this fashion boutique where you’ll not only find the sweetest selection of 1940’s and 50’s inspired pin-up dresses, but also rockabilly, gothic and other alternative cultures clothing and accessories. The shop offers a wide array of lines for both guys and dolls including Lucky 13, Dirty Devil, Deadly Dames, Trashy Diva and Lip Service. 10762 Whyte (82) Ave., 780-439-5445.
BLUES ON WHYTE Featuring top local, national and international blues talent, Blues on Whyte in the legendary Commercial Hotel is the place to enjoy live blues music from soulful Mississippi Delta to finger-snapping Chicago style. The easy-going atmosphere and standout musicians are second to none, and with live music seven days a week, the place is almost always bustling. 10329 Whyte (82) Ave., 780-439-3981.
WEE BOOK INN This locally owned and operated second hand bookshop includes two floor levels of fiction and non-fiction finds including a sizable selection of antique and collectible literature. Look for their resident cat who you’ll find purring away contentedly in one of the shop’s cosy corners. 10310 Whyte (82) Ave., 780 432-7230.
BLOCK 1912 An eclectic European style café with vintage ambiance, Block 1912 is a trusty Whyte Avenue staple offering specialty coffees, wine and beer, an assortment of in-house made desserts, sandwiches and gelato. This is a casual, inviting spot, perfect to stop in at and unwind after an afternoon of shopping. 10361 Whyte (83) Ave., 780-433-6575.
PRINCESS THEATRE For a dose of history and entertainment, watch a film at the Princess Theatre, Edmonton’s oldest surviving cinema, which screened its first film in 1915. The ornate building still features the original auditorium and balcony, and has remained much the same as when it was built nearly 100 years ago. Today, the theatre screens an interesting mix of independent, foreign and alternative films. 10337 Whyte (82) Ave., 780-433-0728