Discover Saskatoon

Exploring the World in 5 Saskatoon Restaurants

Food & Drink, Members
Posted By Danielle Byl , June 25, 2024
If you're like me, you might love to travel. That feeling of being immersed by new experiences to discover everywhere you look is intoxicating! And what is one of the best things about travel? The food!! You might love it so much that if you won the lottery it would be the first thing you do - travel (and eat), and travel (and eat), and repeat!

If you're like me, you might love to travel. That feeling of being immersed by new experiences to discover everywhere you look is intoxicating! And what is one of the best things about travel? The food!! You might love it so much that if you won the lottery it would be the first thing you do - travel (and eat), and travel (and eat), and repeat! 

Well again, if you're like me and you haven't in fact won the lottery (yet #fingerscrossed), your world travel experience might need to be done a bit closer to home. But you are in luck because whether you call our city home or you're passing through, we have some incredible international cuisine right here in Saskatoon (and bonus: none of that pesky jet lag to worry about!) 

Las Palapas Resort Grill

Heading (metaphorically) south from Saskatoon, with fresh Mexican dishes and a vibrant atmosphere, you feel as though you have been literally transported to the tropics from the moment you pull up to Las Palapas Resort Grill. Located in the Nutana neighbourhood, whether you're looking for a break in the middle of winter or you're looking for a sunny patio in the summer - this place is paradise, where you might come for the pazole (soup), but stay for the margarita tower! And tacos...and enchiladas... and desserts.. and everything!  Las Palapas Resort Grill is also a great option for those with dietary restrictions as many items on their menu can be made dairy/gluten free or vegan. 

The dishes at LP are always made with fresh, authentic tropical ingredients, and I love trying new items every time I visit. This time we tried the Frijoles (bean) Enchiladas and Quesadillas Carne Diablo (steak strips), and they were so good! The flavours, the textures, and the fresh ingredients left us wanting more and more! The meals perfectly paired with their incredible cocktails or mocktails! My favourite is the Ranas mocktail. With pineapple & lime juice, coconut syrup & soda water, it is by far one of the most refreshing beverages I've ever had! 

Las Palapas, like their food, is always a fun and lively time! Make sure to keep an eye on their socials because every week, they feature offers and specials, such as their 3x special tacos for 'Taco Tuesday', or their featured cocktails, such as the impressive mango orange Prosecco bulldog, which is perfect for special occasions!

Did you know: The current site of Las Palapas Resort Grill is actually the former site of the original iconic Homestead Ice Cream Shop! 
Las Palapas Resort Grill is open all week 11.00am -11.00pm at 910 Victoria Ave, Saskatoon, SK S7N 0Z6


Next on our trip around the world, we're crossing the "Atlantic Ocean" (ie. The South Saskatchewan River) and heading for Europe. Does anyone else ever daydream of visiting a small ancient village in Italy and indulging in fresh homemade pasta, rich and vibrant sauces, decadent desserts, and a perfectly paired glasses of vino? Sigh. How about now? If you do, then local restaurant Primal might just be for you!  According to their website, Primal specializes in 'Creating time honoured Italian food & handmade pasta using Saskatchewan heritage grains & whole animal butchery.' 

To start, we chose the Caponata (which is similar to a relish with eggplant and roasted vegetables). Not normally being a huge eggplant fan myself, this dish surprised me! Eggplant is not generally a go-to vegetable for me. I have never been able to successfully prepare myself, so I never think to try it when I'm eating out.  But this series is about trying new things and I'm so glad I did try it, because this starter was seriously so delicious, and combined with the fresh buffalo mozzarella and focaccia bread - well, it was heaven!

Though traditionally in Italian cuisine, pasta is the first (or 'primo' course), we opted to have it for the main course, choosing the gluten free spaghetti carbonara with pancetta and pecorino, and the pork agnolotti with greens, fennel, tomato, chili bread crumbs and pork jus. The combination of textures, the complex flavours, with the fresh, perfectly cooked el dente pasta - they were insanely delicious. 
For dessert, we had the pavlova. If you haven't tried it yet, go - right now - I'll wait. Crispy chewy meringue served with sea buckthorn curd, whipped cream, citrus pieces, herbs, and finished with a drizzle of olive oil. This tart, light, refreshing desert was the perfect way to finish our 'trip to Italy' meal. 

Primal is one of Saskatoon's highest rated restaurants and it's easy to see why. With incredible 'time-honoured' dishes, plus incredible gluten-free pasta options, there is something for everyone.

Did you know: Next time you're clinking glasses of prosecco, 'Cin cin' (informal) and 'Salute' (formal) are the ways to say 'cheers' in Italian. 
Primal is open all week 5.00-10.00pm at 423 20th St W, Saskatoon, SK S7M 0X3

Botte Chai Bar

Moving from Italy to Iran, "I'm on another plane of existence" basically sums up our recent visit to Botte Chai, Saskatoon's Persian Café and Kitchen! If you haven't visited this beautiful hidden gem yet, well you are missing out. Don't let the size of their café fool you, 'inspired by Iran's culinary traditions' Botte Chai lends itself to big flavours and bigger smiles.

Along with a Tehran Fog Latte and Iced Masala Chai Latte, we were eager to try the hearty and traditional Barley Aush (vegetable and legume soup), a beef and Potato Kolet wrap with a zingy tomato sauce with crispy fried shallots, grilled Chicken Kabab Rice Bowl (jooeh kebab), plus a decadent Saffron Rice Pudding with hints of almond and rose water for dessert. 

Let me tell you, the flavours in each of these dishes were so perfectly balanced and honestly, absolutely out of this world. After the first few bites, we literally sat there quietly taking it all in, and wondering why it took us so long to check them out! Much of their incredible menu also caters to a variety of dietary restrictions including dairy or gluten free and vegan, which is an added bonus.

Did you know: According to their website, "The word Botté, pronounced “bow-teh”, is an ancient Persian symbol [as seen in their logo]. A well-recognized teardrop shape, representing a cypress tree, tall and strong, with its head bowed in humility. Bent in tumultuous winds but never broken, is how Iranian people historically identify with it.  The symbol was extensively used in all regions that were once a part of the Persian empire, including India. The design was eventually adopted for duplication on textiles and fabrics in the Scottish town of Paisley, which is how the design is now known in the English language."

Botte Chai Bar is open Wednesday - Sunday 10.30am - 11.00pm at 123 Avenue B S # 117, Saskatoon, SK S7M 5X6

Marhaba Restaurant

The next stop on our itinerary, we're exploring Arabic and Indian cuisine at Marhaba Restaurant, who pride themselves on being 'authentic to the core' using original and traditional recipes! After we ordered we were amazed with the amount of food that was brought to the table - and, that made us so happy because wow was it ever good! 

We chose the Chicken Biryani (spicy rice with chicken, with a cool yogurt sauce called Raita), and the Lamb Mandi (mild rice with roasted lamb shank and homemade hot sauce). Both dishes had perfectly tender meat, and between them, the rice, and the sauces there was a literal tapestry of spices and flavours. It was so delicious (and I was so thankful for the cool yogurt sauce!) 

To finish, we shared a cup of Kadak Irani Chai Tea. I have to warn you, the idea was to share it because we discovered that 'kadak chai' means 'strong tea', and seeing that it was dinner time, we didn't want to be up all night. However in retrospect, when the tea arrived, maybe we should have gotten our own because after trying it, neither of us wanted to share! The robust flavours of black tea, cinnamon and cardamom steeped in the rich milk, made for one of the most incredible, perfect cups of tea we had ever tried!


Did you know: The word "marhaba' means 'hello', or 'welcome' in Arabic! 

Marhaba Restaurant is open every day from 12.00pm-10.00pm (Sun-Thurs), and 12.00pm - 11.00pm (Fri -Sat) at 129 2nd Ave N # 101, Saskatoon, SK S7K 2A9

Sushi Raku

Just a hop, skip, and a jump and we finish our journey around the world in Japan, at least in the form of the restaurant Sushi Raku! According to their website, their "approach to sushi pays homage to the artisanal beauty of traditional sushi, while also pushing the boundaries by combining sushi with other global cuisines and flavor profiles."

To be fair, the idea of eating raw fish might not appeal to everyone but you might be surprised to learn that they cater not just to sushi lovers, but that Sushi Raku also has a wide variety of delicious vegetarian items too, which is great for sushi-beginners, like me!  On our visit, we sampled the Agedashi (deep-fried) Tofu, Spicy Tuna Roll, Mango Dragon Roll, and a Oshinko Maki (Japanese pickle seaweed and rice roll). It might be easy to think that this amount of food won't fill you up, but we were totally stuffed (and we even took some home to enjoy later that night). 

The fresh ingredients, authentic experience, and super quick and friendly service will definitely see us back again soon! 

Did you know: Sushi Raku has a full and separate menu specifically with gluten-free options, and they also offer gluten-free soy sauce!

Sushi Raku is open everyday from 11.30am-3.00pm and 4.30pm - 9.00pm at 239 Idylwyld Dr S, Saskatoon, SK S7M 1L6.


I hope you enjoyed exploring the world in 5 Saskatoon restaurants with us. Is there somewhere in the city I should go on my next global cuisine expedition? Let me know! (I might forgo the suitcase next time... though it was handy for the leftovers!)

All photo credit- Danielle Byl