Edmonton Tourist: Ritchie Market

I first went to the Ritchie Market a few years ago for a private function. Beira had just opened and we went for breakfast and enjoyed a special cask to celebrate the end of a beer run. The food was beautiful and the beer was delicious. Tiny little flowers dotted the plate – I wish I still had the photo. When I was there, Transcend wasn’t open yet and Acme Meats just started. this place was cute and charming.

img_4941

Fast forward to today, Biera is still going strong, Acme Meats had people lined up, Transcend coffee roasters were packed and the new kid on the block was all white and shiny and pretty.

img_4946

Little Duchess has now opened on the south side.

img_4939

Little Duchess isn’t as large as the location on 124 street, but it had all the things I look for in a great patissier, croissants, macarons, cookies and scones. They don’t bake onsite – but neither does its larger sister. Everything is baked offsite at their kitchen in the garment district so everything is EXACTLY THE SAME. They even have a small Provisions section, just like the other location.

img_4938

The hubs ordered a pain au chocolat and I had a raspberry white chocolate scone. We walked over to Transcend and decided against their amazing coffee because I already had a pot that morning, and we both ordered hot chocolate.

img_4942

If you didn’t know, Transcend is some of the best coffee in the city – likely because they are roasters. Fresh roasted locally is the next level in coffee. It is so good, but so is their hot chocolate. It is not overly sweet and they mix it by hand.

img_4945

They even place their signature leaf on top.

img_4947

Paired with the scone, I was in heaven.

img_4948

The hubs had demolished his croissant before I could grab a pic.

Acme meats were thriving and one day I think I will stop and bring something marvellous home. We joked about them only selling Road Runner.

img_4940

After our treats, we walked around the neighbourhood to see what was around. Did you know that Doughnut Party just opened a second location here? Perfect for us south siders. We each picked up a doughnut for home. It was a decadent day.

img_4953

Raspberry Earl Grey for me and Double Chocolate Brownie for the hubs.

img_4952

Before we hopped back into the car, I noticed Kind Ice Cream – I wasn’t really sure where it was but now I know how close it is to home! I will be back for SURE.

img_4949

This is exactly what this neighbourhood needed. I wish I was so lucky to live here.

What interesting places are near you? Get out and explore your city!

Edmonton Tourist: Doughnut Party

I belong to a karma group. It is a group of friends and friends of friends who give stuff away to each other. For example, I had a tiny oak table and gave it to one person on there and I have received art and a spirograph, I like obscure things – Don’t Judge. Since belonging to this group I haven’t needed to buy a thing and I have given away so much usable things. It is a lovely way to trade.

FullSizeRender 52

Today I was heading to heritage neighbourhoods to pick up items I have claimed. One in Eastwood – way on the Northside for me and then Laurier Heights, farther west but sort of central. The quickest way between both points was to stop at Doughnut Party.

Doughnut Party is a tiny little shop that has been open for maybe a month or so. It is located in the old garment district at 10938-119 Street, Edmonton AB. Their web page says:

Tues-Fri: 8am-1:30pm; Sat: 9am-2pm

Open until sold out – come early! 🙂

Now, I grew up with the Sherwood Park Bakery making the classic old Fashion Doughnut. Mom would come home with a few for a treat. I loved doughnuts hardcore as a kid. Then Tim Horton’s came along and was a game changer in the doughnut (not donut) game. It fast-food-ized doughnuts here. When they were a bakery, creating doughnuts in store fresh, letting the dough rise and then frying them in the vat with the baker using chopsticks to flip them, they were amazing. When Timmy’s became a fast-food chain and needed to have more control over baking so they send frozen donuts to be baked, the doughnuts became donuts. and my love wained. I no longer cared for one. Not worth the calories. Every now and then I would find a bakery that really knew what they were doing and was happy to have a doughnut.

I sat around the lunch table one day and the team was talking about Doughnut Party because they had all tried the Moonshine doughnuts from the Farmer’s Market in Old Strathcona. I had not. I feel like I was late to the party. I am no longer on top of food experiences in Edmonton because I have been busy exploring parks, burning calories rather than consuming them. Everyone said, “You have to try them! But go early because they are lined up out the door and close when they sell out.”

Okay, challenge accepted. I knew I was out on Saturday morning and could swing by.

When I arrived, the line was not out the door but the parking lot was jammed with people trying to find a spot. My advice is do not park in the lot, drive to 120 street and park along the road. You will get in before they sell out with the added bonus of burning 15 calories walking to the door.

IMG_6259

There is a bar-like counter in the centre of the room with a ramp on the left to manage line-ups. I waited maybe 5 minutes and took in the atmosphere. Brick walls and simple signs Party for 1, Party for 6 etc. There is a rule of 1 dozen per person, but they don’t offer a dozen, you would buy 2 boxes of 6. I hope you can do the math.

These doughnuts are not the cheap Tim Horton donuts. $3 for 1 and worth it.

IMG_6283

I had the Vanilla because it is my most favourite flavour ever. But I did buy one of each. From everything I have seen on instagram, they never have the same flavours out, they rotate. Flavours were Lychee and Raspberry, Vanilla, Birthday Cake with crumbed, Apple fritter, some pink coconut confection thing and a pink sugared doughnut. The names were written in red marker on the glass but I didn’t pay that much attention, no point when there were only 6 choices. Each donut is made with fresh, local ingredients. The one I bought was HUGE. I could not get a proper bite because it was high and actually fluffy. Delicate is the word that comes to mind. It melted in my mouth. Hands down the best doughnut I ever had.  It was worth the trip. Happily it is far enough away from me it needs to be a planned trip.

Go early, go often.

IMG_6282