Park restaurants are full of choice

Park restaurants are full of choice

Those looking to dine out in Sherwood Park now have an incredible number of options and it seems like new restaurants are opening every day. With so much choice, it can be overwhelming to pick where to go for a company lunch, where to meet your friends for drinks and appetizers after work, the perfect place for a first date or a family-friendly spot to take the kids to.

Of course there is the Sherwood Park News’ own Restaurant Guide, but thanks to the Internet, you’ve got a few other options to find what you’re looking for as well. One of the most reliable ways to find a great place is Yelp, a San Francisco-based website that displays user-written reviews of restaurants around the world. Users write short reviews on the restaurants and give them a star rating. Yelp also lists the top-five restaurants of towns and cities, based on their reviews.

Based on a total of 1,650 reviews for restaurants in the area, Sherwood Park’s top honour goes to Sumo Sumo Sushi Bar and Grill with four stars. The rest of the list is an eclectic mix. The current runner up, also with four stars is Pasta Pantry & Trattoria, known well for its homemade pastas. Third goes to Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria, while Five Guys Burgers and Fries ranks in at number four. Rounding out the top five is the popular coffee shop Cafe Haven.

Average Joe’s All-Star Bar ranks in as Sherwood Park’s best bar, according to Yelp and Square One Wye Road is the top pub.

Another excellent choice for reviews is TripAdvisor, which, like Yelp, compiles user reviews and ratings from locals and visitors. Once again, the top spot goes to a sushi restaurant, but on this list it is Miki Sushi Express. Branches Fresh Food Experience is currently listed in second spot. Two Thai restaurants are ranked three and four. They are Thai Together and Ruamit Thai Restaurant, respectively. Soup & Sandwich Co. is currently listed as fifth.

The great thing about Yelp and TripAdvisor is that the rankings are fluid, so as great new restaurants pop up or if the quality at a popular spot starts to slide, the ratings will change based on the reviews.

If you’re looking for a more official star rating system, look to the Canadian Automobile Association’s Diamond Rating. It’s not as well known as the Michelin Guide that rate’s the world’s best restaurants, but Michelin has yet to rate any Canadian establishments. There are six restaurants in Sherwood Park that were rated by the CAA. Sumo Sumo Sushi Bar and Grill and the Sawmill Prime Rib and Steak House both achieved a three-diamond rating. Joey Sherwood Park and Vicky’s Bistro Wine Bar both were awarded two diamonds, while Café Haven and The Soup & Sandwich Co. both have one star. The rating system also has four- and five-star restaurants; however, there is only one five-star restaurant in Alberta, which is in Banff. There are six four-star restaurants in Alberta, all of which are in Calgary or the Banff area.

If you just want a list of all the local restaurants so you can pick your favourite while being totally unbiased, you can also visit the Discover Guide published by the Sherwood Park Chamber of Commerce. Strathcona County also lists many restaurants in its Traveller tourism brochure. Visit www.strathcona.ca/traveller for more information.

This article, written by freelance writer Dave S. Clark was originally published in Sherwood Park News.