Vegan Mofo The End: Saskatoon, SK – The Land of the Living Skies. aka, The Passage way to Elsewhere.
Once upon a time I lived in Saskatoon, SK so I’m ending MoFo where I began writing this blog. Parts of me hated living there (the parts that don’t like to be cold) and parts of me loved it (the parts of me that loved finding fun stuff to do against all odds). People tend to pass through Saskatoon on their way to somewhere else.
While I’ve written most of this from experience and memory there are quite a few resources you can check out if you want to learn more.
Planet S Magazine – If you’re in town for a while you can check out the special events happening online or in paper form on every street corner downtown.
Happy Cow Saskatoon
Vegan Saskatoon Meetup Group
Raw Food Potlucks: where you can eat stuff like this:
Saskatoon is not a huge place so for the most part you can walk around everywhere. There are great trails for biking, running and walking, but another option is Saskatoon Transit. There is a trip planner on their website. Adult fare is $2.75, but they also offer a day pass you can buy in advance for $6.95
Places to eat:
The Upstairs Fondue (613 8th Street East) restaurant (which also often has vegan desserts) which has vegan fondue complete with a tomato herb “cheese” and a delicious rich dark chocolate sauce. In addition to other vegan options like veggie sandwiches for lunch.
Saba’s African Cuisine (901 22nd Street W, Saskatoon, SK) – The vegetarian combo plate usually does not include the egg dish, but ask to make sure. They open in the evening, and have odd hours (as in sometimes they’re supposed to be open but their not) but it’s delicious food, and normally very attentive helpful service (if Saba is there). You can catch the #50 or #60 bus here.
Keo’s Kitchen has two locations one on a popular commercial, arts and bar stretch of the city on Broadway Avenue (1013 Broadway Ave, Saskatoon, SK) and another one downtown (129 2nd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK). A Laotian/Thai food place that knows what Vegan means. All of the curries are all fantastic, the coconut rice is sweet and delicious, and spring rolls are crispy rice noodle filled snacks perfect with sweet hot pepper sauce. My favourite dishes were the Massamun Curry (with extra veggies), and the Pad Thai (with crispy tofu).
I actually had to reference an old blog post of my own to find the address of the downtown location since they do not have a very good web presence, but you can see more pictures there of yummy Laotian cuisine if you want to.
Genesis Family Restaurant (901 22nd St W, Saskatoon, SK) My friend and I used to go in and order vegetarian shanghai noodles in tamari based sauce, and abalone cap mushrooms in tamari based sauce, and lotus bean paste balls so often that some of the waitpeople KNEW what our order was going to be. Specifying tamari based sauce is important because even though the dishes are marked “vegetarian” on the menu the default sauce it’s made with is an oyster sauce.
Caffé Sola (38 23rd Street East), occasional vegan options, depends on the day. Quirky little place and very close to the Greyhound station. Grab a coffee!
Sushiro (701 Broadway Ave, Saskatoon, SK) – Now, I’m not a fan of sushi, but this place had some awesome options. The restaurant itself was nice to sit in, they have a few creative cocktails and delicious vegan maki options. It’s also conveniently located on Broadway Avenue, which has a couple of great little shops worth checking out.
La Bamba Del Norte (234 Primrose Dr, Saskatoon, SK) – I visited this place in the last year, and got the vegan style enchiladas. When I went in the waitress checked to see what the rice was made with and unfortunately it was with chicken stock, but maybe (hopefully) they’ve changed that practise. Otherwise it was a good meal.
Spadina Free House (608 Spadina Crescent East, Saskatoon, SK) – So this was my version of Fresh, and Rebar in Saskatoon. I loved to hate it, I hated to love it, but I went there repeatedly. When I lived in Saskatoon the vegan options were pretty minimal, but looking over the menu has shown a lot more to choose from (though still very cheese based vegetarian options). It’s a great place for snacks (like the yam fries sans mayo sauce) or beer, and during the summer it has a great outdoor space.
Places to Stay:
Saskatoon doesn’t have a hostel anymore, so the best place to stay (in my experience) is the Hotel Senator (243 21st Street East Saskatoon, SK). It’s not as ridiculously expensive as the other hotels in the city, and it’s right downtown within walking distance from the Greyhound bus station. Though nearly everything worth seeing is within walking distance.
Places to Visit:
The Mendel Art Gallery (950 Spadina Crescent E, Saskatoon, SK). Free admission all the time, though donations are accepted.
What’s really lovely is the conservatory space, it’s such a nice place to escape the cold in the winter and be surrounded with greenery. While you’re in the Mendel there is also a cute coffee shop, Museo where you can get delicious soy lattes and the like. Sometimes they even have vegan snacks. This was probably my favourite place to go for coffee with or without visiting the rest of the gallery.
The Mendel Art Gallery is right on the riverbank, and connect to the Meewasin River Valley Trails, which are wonderful places to run and walk anytime of year.
The Canadian Light Source synchrotron (101 Perimeter Road, Saskatoon, SK). You can take a tour of the synchrotron facility but you have to book one in advance. And in case your wondering what a synchrotron is… it’s a type of high-energy particle accelerator. Maybe it’s too nerdy for you, but I say it’s worth visiting!
The University of Saskatchewan. Well, yeah sure, I’m plugging my alma mater, but seriously, it’s a beautiful campus. It made leaving the house on miserible cold winter days slightly less miserable. Wandering around the inner bowl area is very relaxing in the spring and fall, you can admire the architecture of Greystone buildings that are almost a century old.
Campus also has an Observatory (108 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon, SK) that’s worth checking out. They have public viewings on Saturday’s, with hours that vary by the month.
Diefenbaker Center. Well, it’s another museum, what a surprise! This one is on the University of Saskatchewan Campus and focus’s on the life of John Diefenbaker, Canada’s 13th Prime Minister. It also has a rich collection of Canadian History in general, and was an enjoyable visit.
Take in a show with the Rosebud Burlesque Troop. Another plug for my alma mater, since I attended the The Rosebud Burlesque Club and Academy for Wayward Girls in it’s first year of operation. They have shows every once and a while, and they are always fun.
Roxy Theater (320 – 20th Street West, Saskatoon, SK) – this movie theatre will play films you wont see anywhere else in Saskatoon. Alternative cinema at it’s finest. One time, it was the only cinema in CANADA playing a movie I wanted to see, it was a very surreal moment.
The Better Good (640 Broadway Avenue, Saskatoon, SK) – A locally owned sustainable lifestyle and environmentally conscious store. They donate 10% of their profits to charity. There are quite a few woolen products here, but they do have vegan friendly items as well.
Saskatoon Farmers Market! (414 Avenue B South, Saskatoon, SK) – where to find organic veggies straight from the farm, and fresh baked vegan friendly loaves of bread! They are open Sundays and Wednesdays.
Thank you for reading and I hope to see you next month! Good bye VeganMofo 2010, it was fun while it lasted!