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Best Bars in Edmonton for a Woman to Enjoy a Drink Alone


Best Bars in Edmonton for a Woman to Enjoy a Drink Alone

By Liane Faulder, Alberta Food Tours Inc. Tour Leader and food writer for the Edmonton Journal

Sometimes a girl feels like getting out for a glass of wine and a nibble, but the thought of downing a beer and a plate of nachos at the local sports bar simply doesn’t appeal.

Happily, Edmonton offers a number of spots where a woman travelling on business by herself, or who is simply in need of a reprieve from the busy world, can venture solo in comfort and style without fear of looking out of place.

The Blue Chair  – 9624-76th Avenue 780-989-2861

Cosy and casual, this south-side neighbourhood restaurant and music venue is perfect for single gals who enjoy a little jazz or folk music with their glass of Malbec. Owner Harold Wollin says it’s common for women to come in alone. Staff offers a seat at one of the high-top tables against the wall near the kitchen, where our solo patron can read a magazine or listen to the music without feeling exposed. (Some single women say they prefer to have their backs against the wall, so they don’t feel like they are in a fishbowl.) The mushroom crostini on the appetizer menu is perfect for splitting with yourself.

The Marc – 9940 106th Street 780-429-2828

The bar in The Marc is an adjunct to the main restaurant and a great place for a woman to go for a drink after a long day of meetings. It’s small enough to feel homey, but with enough chatter to make one feel part of the hustle and bustle. There are just a handful of seats at the bar, plus a couple of small tables for two, and a communal table if you are so inclined. It’s common to see women on their own in the bar at The Marc, reading or peering at their cellphones, a common solo strategy. The frites with truffle oil is a good girlie staple, or if you are feeling manly on your girl night out, order raw meat. The Marc’s steak tartare is not to be missed.

Bar Bricco – 10347 Jasper Avenue 780-424-5588  

This small, dark and Italian-style jewel of a wine bar is perfect for the solo female. The menu features small bites (known as spuntini) that lend themselves to either a quick, in-and-out snack with a glass of wine, or a slower, more thoughtful approach over a longer period of time. The joint is jumping after 6, which means there will be someone to chat with, or not; perhaps you are enjoying a special moment with your well-balanced Negroni. Order the Egg-Yolk Raviolo. It’s miraculous.

Canteen – 10522 124 Street 780-485-6125

If you find yourself in the 124th Street area, with its burgeoning restaurant scene, slide into Canteen. It’s primarily a restaurant, but has a charming and comfortable, 12-seat bar (the chairs swivel, and they have backs). Watch for the big smile of co-owner Andrea Olsen, who makes all comers welcome. The restaurant is buzzy, so you can feel like part of the crowd, but if you want some quiet time, the seasoned staff knows enough to get you that Gin Fizz or locally crafted brew and then move along. The stuffed dates are an elegant choice for nibbling.