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July 9, 2016

Recap: Exploring Alberta on the Alberta Prairie Railway!

July 9, 2016

Review: Holt’s Cafe at Holt Renfrew Edmonton

July 9, 2016
Alberta Prairie Railway - Stettler - Big Valley - Train - Travel Alberta

Last weekend, Mike and I had Sunday brunch at Holt’s Cafe in downtown Edmonton (Manulife Place).

Holt's Cafe Holt Renfrew Edmonton Manulife Place Downtown

Sunday stop at Holt Renfrew!

Holt’s Cafe is a trendy little spot located right inside Holt Renfrew, a pretty high-end store selling some of the world’s most luxury brands.

Holt's Cafe Holt Renfrew Edmonton Manulife Place Downtown

Brunching with bae.

I had no idea Holt’s Cafe even existed! Probably because I don’t usually find myself in Holt Renfrew but that’s the beauty of Holt’s Cafe – you don’t need to shop at the store in order to access the cafe’s awesome food! (Though the cafe’s regular clientele likely does shop at Holt Renfrew too!)

I think Holt’s Cafe is a really lovely little hidden gem right in downtown Edmonton.

Holt's Cafe Holt Renfrew Edmonton Manulife Place Downtown

Truffle chips from Holt’s Cafe.

For brunch, Mike and I shared the Truffle Chips, which are hand-made potato chips with herbs and a delicious roasted garlic aioli ($6) along with the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sliders with sweet pickle jalapeño slaw and a chipotle aioli ($16).

Holt's Cafe Holt Renfrew Edmonton Manulife Place Downtown

Tasty buttermilk chicken sliders at Holt’s Cafe.

We thought both of these starters were fantastic.

I’m a sucker for chips and these handmade kettle cuts are divine (plus, love anything garlic).

Holt's Cafe Holt Renfrew Edmonton Manulife Place Downtown

The Shakshuka eggs and spicy tomato pepper sauce with feta cheese at Holt’s Cafe.

Mike’s main dish was the Shakshuka, baked eggs in a spicy tomato pepper sauce skillet, with feta cheese and fresh bread ($17).

Mike loved it’s cheesiness and I had a few bites and really liked the spicy tomato pepper sauce. Take the bread and scoop the Shakshuka on top of it for perfect bites.

I thought the dish could’ve been improved with some type of meat/sausage option too – but that’s typical of me lol. #omnnivore.

Holt's Cafe Holt Renfrew Edmonton Manulife Place Downtown

Bacon eggs benedict at Holt’s Cafe!

I tried their Bacon Eggs Benedict served with Valbella back bacon, spinach, poached eggs, and hollandaise, with house potatoes and fruit ($17).

I really enjoyed this eggs benedict – the English Muffin especially was fantastic – with the hollandaise sauce soaked up in it – so good!

Holt's Cafe Holt Renfrew Edmonton Manulife Place Downtown

The Lemon Semifreddo from Holt’s Cafe Edmonton!

And we ended the meal with their Lemon Semifreddo with Summer Berries dessert! L

I am partial to light, fruity desserts and this fit the bill.

We also loved Holt’s Cafe water. LOL!

Sounds simple but they infuse it with mint lemon and orange. Mike thought there was banana in it because he loves banana-infused food and drinks but our excellent server Regie laughed and had us guess again when he said banana.

I usually down a lot of water so it was a really nice bonus that their’s was something extra special, and I’m happy Regie kept the water flowing throughout the brunch.

Holt's Cafe Holt Renfrew Edmonton Manulife Place Downtown


It was quiet in the cafe when we went, and Mike and I enjoyed people watching out the window looking down on the Manulife Place lobby entrance.

Regie tells us they get crazy busy during weekday lunches which makes sense for the downtown business crowd.

However they are open until 5 p.m. each day so they’re trying to bring in more customers on non-peak hours. They also want to do more with events, in fact that’s how I first heard of Holt’s Cafe!

I was invited to their new menu launch event but couldn’t attend so they invited Mike and I to come in and try them a separate time – we chose this brunch!

We also met the lovely Chef Julia Kundera, who actually worked at Holt’s Cafe a few years ago before heading over to The Glasshouse Bistro in St. Albert, and now back to Holt’s. Check out Liane Faulder’s story about Chef Kundera’s return here.

Holt's Cafe Holt Renfrew Edmonton Manulife Place Downtown

The Holt’s Cafe brunch menu!

Chef Kundera says they will change the menu at Holt’s Cafe every three or so months, so lots of reasons to come back and lots to try. I’ve been told their polenta fries with herb lemon aioli and spicy ketchup blue cheese ($12) are a must-try too.

Check out the current lunch menu here!

We had a fantastic brunch at Holt’s Cafe and thought the menu was well-priced too (well – at least on par with other brunch places we’ve been). It’s definitely on my list of brunch recommendations now!

So have you been to Holt’s Cafe?

What do you think?!


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Disclaimer: I will always provide my 100% honest opinion on this blog. Holt’s Cafe invited us to try their new menu. This has no impact on opinions stated in this post (I’m always honest!) 

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