Introducing Thursday Lunch Hour Chinatown Tours

Hey,  Shirly here! I’m the Summer Tour Coordinator for the Chinatown tours. I am happy to report since commencing tours in June, we’re off to a great start.

The Chinatown tours started as a pilot project by a group of passionate young volunteers. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of this project to help enrich the curiosity of others who are interested in the history , the current development pressures and opportunities, and some of the specialty businesses in Chinatown.

Some of the most notable moments of the tour, according to the participants, is learning the history of how the two Chinatowns came to be and the several stops at different businesses. We visited Ying Fat, a store that manufactures and distributes tofu and other soybean products. People were fascinated by how many dessert options they had available. My favorite would be tofu pudding, or as I say it in Chinese, “Doufuhua” Other businesses that we visited were Kanto, Creative Gift & Etc., Shan Shan Bakery, Bao An Herbal and Kim Fat. Indeed, Chinatown is one of those places that you can find everything within walking distance.

Here are some shots from recent tours!

We’ve had a lot of interest in the Chinatown tour. So much so, that we are pleased to announce regular lunch hour tours on Thursdays from 12:00 p.m.-12:50 p.m. starting this week, in addition to the longer Sunday tours! If you are interested, join us on either Thursday or Sunday for a walk in Chinatown.

You can register online:

July 12, 2018

July 19, 2018

August 2, 2018

August 9, 2018

August 16, 2018

August 23, 2018

August 30, 2018

September 6, 2018

Meet at the north side of Canada Place by 97 Street NW and 101A Ave (across from the Nook Cafe) . Request for private tour with 10 people or more!

If you are interested in learning more about Chinatown or would like to volunteer with us, contact edmontonchinatowntours@gmail.com

Edmonton Chinatown Tours

Chinatown is a mystery to some, and can feel intimidating to others. The neighborhood has gone through several phases of relocation and transition. In spite of these upheavals and changes, the community of Chinatown is still strong. To learn more, consider joining us on a walking tour this summer, returning for the second consecutive year.

Come join us for a two hour walk exploring Edmonton’s two Chinatowns. The tour will run this summer from June 10 to September 23, 2018 on the second and forth Sunday of each month. Learn about the history, visit significant landmarks and meet business owners.

These tours are one way of outreach and engagement; we hope in the future to do more to support the Chinatown community.

If you can’t make it on Sunday, don’t worry! Private tours for groups of 10-12 people can be arranged. Also, if you have a specific interest about Chinatown, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

RSVP for a tour on EventBrite at one of the dates below:

Meet at the main entrance of the Shaw Conference Centre at 9797 Jasper Avenue and look for guides wearing “I ♥ Chinatown” t-shirts!

Please bring:

  • Water
  • Umbrella (the tour will run rain or shine)
  • Clothing that is suitable for the weather (hat, comfortable footwear)
  • A snack in case you are hungry, as no lunch will be provided on this tour
  • Sunscreen, bug spray
  • A big Smile 🙂

Because of the distance covered, this tour is not recommended for children under 5 years old or for people with mobility challenges.

Chinatown is a unique and diverse area in the city – don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn more!

Credit to Sharon Yeo for editing this blog post.

Chinatown Dining Week Feature: Viphalay Laos and Thai Restaurant

Last to be profiled: Viphalay Laos and Thai Restaurant located at 10724 95 Street (Stadium location). We sat down with Lily Mounma, the owner of the restaurant.

Tell us a bit more about the restaurant?

This is a family run restaurant that has been passed down to the Mounma siblings, with Lily operating the stadium location. The name “Viphalay” is a combination of three names representing the women of the family: “Vipha” is Mama Mounma, the original chef and the creator of most of the recipes; “Phalay” is Lily’s middle name; and “Vilay” represents Lily’s sister.

How long has the restaurant been open?

The restaurant will be 10 years old in June 2018.

What is the style of cuisine served at the restaurant?

Thai and Laos food. It is a mix of different spices with the addition of fresh ingredients to bring out the flavours of the food.

What makes your restaurant special?

It is the original location (the second location is downtown). We invite people to come enjoy great food that feels just like home.

Why do you think people should dine in Chinatown?

There are tons of restaurants where you can experience different cuisines. And most importantly, it’s affordable!

Do you have any hopes for the future of Edmonton’s Chinatown?

I have lived in McCauley for almost 20 years, and have seen a lot of progress. Chinatown is a safe neighborhood. More activities centered around Chinatown will be good for the businesses and are a chance for people to experience what is being offered.

Check out the special menus offered during the Chinatown Dining Week.

Chinatown Dining Week Feature: Taipan Café Restaurant

Next to be profiled: Taipan Café Restaurant located at 10627 97 St NW. We had a chat with Gabriel, the manager of the restaurant.

Tell us a bit more about the restaurant?

The restaurant is owned by a family that runs a couple of restaurants around Edmonton.

How long has the restaurant been open?

The restaurant has been operating for over 30 years in Edmonton. The current owners took it over 13 years ago.

What is the style of cuisine served at the restaurant?

This is a Hong Kong style restaurant with options such as authentic Chinese food and Szechuan style food for variety. We import ingredients straight from Hong Kong for authenticity and better quality.

What makes your restaurant special?

Most people in Edmonton know about Taipan Café. It is known for its popular dishes such as oven baked rice.

Why do you think people should dine in Chinatown?

People should dine in Chinatown to experience different cuisines.

Do you have any hopes for the future of Edmonton’s Chinatown?

New additions to the core such as the Ice District and the museum are opportunities for more people to experience Edmonton’s downtown, and will hopefully bring more people to Chinatown.

Check out the special menus offered during the Chinatown Dining Week.

Chinatown Dining Week Feature: King Noodle House Pho Hoang

Third to be profiled: King Noodle House Pho Hoang located at 10615 97 St NW. We had a chat with Linda Hoang, the daughter of the restaurant owners.

What’s the origin of the restaurant?

This is a family run restaurant, originating from Vietnam with Grandma Hoang. “King Noodle House” was added in the name for an easier Canadian takeaway.

How long has the restaurant been open?

It’s been open for 21 years; 11 years at the current location.

What is the style of cuisine served at the restaurant?

Vietnamese noodle soup (pho).

What makes your restaurant special?

King Noodle House is one of the oldest running Vietnamese restaurants in Edmonton! We are known for the best pho in town, and are thus deserving the name “King Noodle”! Our pho recipe has been passed down from 3 generations. We are also the home to the iconic “Moustache Man”.

Why do you think people should dine in Chinatown?

Chinatown is a great hub for good and affordable food. There are a lot of great restaurants where you can experience authentic, quality Southeast Asian food. A majority of the restaurants in the neighbourhood are family owned and operated.

Do you have any hopes for the future of Edmonton’s Chinatown?

I am hoping for more positive effects from the new downtown arena – an increase in foot traffic and more activity at night will help support and boost local businesses.

Check out the special menus offered during the Chinatown Dining Week.

Chinatown Dining Week Feature: Cui Hua Gui Lin Noodle House

Second to be profiled: we sat down with Tony Young, owner of Cui Hua Gui Lin Noodle House, 10626 97 St NW.

Why did you decide to open the restaurant?

After running a restaurant in Toronto for 4 years, my wife and I decided to move to Edmonton with the aim of providing something unique in the Edmonton food scene. The name “Gui Lin” is the style of the food we serve and is also a city in Guangxi, China.

How long has the restaurant been open?

3 years.

What is the style of cuisine served at the restaurant?

Guilin-style food originating from Southern China. It is a combination of spicy and sour flavors.

What makes your restaurant special?

We are the only restaurant that offers Guilin-style food in Edmonton; [we think] it is unique, different, and something special.

Why do you think people should dine in Chinatown?

Chinatown offers unique food and scenery with new things for people of all ages to discover. There are BBQ houses, noodle houses, bubble tea, and bakeries just to name a few things, means there is something for everyone.

Do you have any hopes for the future of Edmonton’s Chinatown?

Through Chinatown Dining Week, I hope that people’s perception of Chinatown becomes more positive and it generates curiosity for what Edmonton’s Chinatown is offering. I hope that development in the downtown core brings hope for a brighter and busier Chinatown.

Check out the special menus offered during the Chinatown Dining Week.

Chinatown Dining Week Feature: Asian Express Hot Pot

Over the next week, we’ll be featuring each of the five restaurants who are participating in the inaugural Chinatown Dining Week, running January 20-28, 2018.

First to be profiled: we sat down with Angus Tam, owner of Asian Express Hot Pot, 10586 100 Street (Chinatown location).

Why did you decide to open the restaurant?

A group of friends came together to open the restaurant after years of working in the food industry. The restaurant is named to represent the sauces and bases used for hot pot that is influenced by different Asian cuisines from countries such as China, Japan, Malaysia, and Korea. Thus, the name Asian Express Hot Pot.

How long has the restaurant been open?

8 years.

What is the style of cuisine served at the restaurant?

We serve individual hot pots with your choice of bases and sauces. We offer over 30 different sauces for variety, so there is something for everyone!

What makes your restaurant special?

We were recognized as one of the 100 best restaurants in Canada from 2014-2016. Everything on our menu is homemade and healthy.

Why do you think people should dine in Chinatown?

Edmonton’s Chinatown is a diverse community with a lot to offer! It is a one stop shop for all your needs; you can shop, dine, and take in the beautiful scenery and culture at the same time. There is a lot to discover in Chinatown!

Do you have any hopes for the future of Edmonton’s Chinatown?

I’d like to see more people visiting Chinatown, and a brighter Chinatown that is safe for everyone who visits.

Check out the special menus offered during the Chinatown Dining Week.

Chinatown Dining Week Menus

We hope you’re hungry! For our inaugural Chinatown Dining Week, we’ve engaged five restaurants who will be showcasing some of the best dishes they have to offer in two-course, $15 fixed price menus.

What: Chinatown Dining Week
When: January 20 – 28, 2018
Where: 5 restaurants in Edmonton’s Chinatown

The $15 specials below will be offered for dinner over the nine days (menus and hours are subject to change).

  • Asian Express Hot Pot, 10586 100 Street (Chinatown location)
    Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-1:30am, Friday-Sunday 11am-2:30am

    Appetizer: two golden fried buns (served with condensed milk)
    Main: Hotpot (soup base, choice of four items, vegetable basket)

  • Cui Hua Gui Lin Noodle House, 10626 97 Street
    Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-10pm, closed Mondays

    Appetizer: bacon wrapped shrimp
    Main: beef brisket vermicelli in soup (Guilin style)

  • King Noodle House Pho Hoang, 10615 97 Street (cash only)
    Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 10am-7:30pm, closed Mondays & Tuesdays

    Appetizer: spring roll and grilled pork ball platter
    Main: choice of large bowl of pho

  • Taipan Cafe Restaurant, 10627 97 Street
    Hours: Thursday-Tuesday 11am-11pm, closed Wednesdays

    Coffee or tea
    Main, choice of:
    fish filet with garlic shrimp (served with fries & garlic toast)
    8 oz. sirloin steak with garlic shrimp (served with fries & garlic toast)
    club house hot plate with steak, chicken filet and smokies (served with fries & garlic toast)
    chicken filet, pork chip and fish filet (served with steamed rice or spaghetti)

  • Viphalay Laos and Thai Restaurant, 10724 95 Street (Stadium location)
    Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11am-2pm (lunch) and Tuesday – Sunday 5-9pm (dinner), closed Mondays

    Main: choice of any curry or stir fry (served with coconut rice)
    Dessert: choice of roti rolls, banana envelope, or scoop of coconut ice cream

If the menus haven’t whet your appetite, we’ll be updating the website over the next two weeks leading up to the event with features on each of the participating restaurants.

Save the Date: Chinatown Dining Week, January 20-28, 2018

We’re thrilled to introduce the inaugural Chinatown Dining Week, which will run for 9 days this January!

What: Chinatown Dining Week
When: January 20 – 28, 2018
Where: 5 restaurants in Edmonton’s Chinatown

Many people are already aware of the culinary gems tucked in this historic neighbourhood, but Chinatown Dining Week will provide an opportunity for others to discover new favourites! Chinatown is known for its diverse range of cuisines, some of which will be showcased in this event.

The participating 5 restaurants have put together special $15 fixed price menus that will be offered after 5pm from January 20 – 28, 2018. Each menu will feature two courses. Participating restaurants include:

Menus will be released at edmontonchinatown.ca on January 8, 2018 – check back then to whet your appetite!