I generally have cravings for soup. It’s a major comfort food for me, and while I usually satisfy my soup cravings year-round, I admit warming up during winter with soup just hits a bit different than at any other time of year.
Which is why as part of my partnership with the City of Edmonton promoting visits to Edmonton’s Chinatown (#YEGChinatown_Partner), I’ve put together some suggestions for Chinatown soups to help you warm up this winter (and beyond)!
There are more than 100 businesses in Chinatown—most of which are family-owned restaurants offering up authentic dishes representing all sorts of Asian cuisine—and many of those dishes are the tasty soup variety!
I’ve made a point to post about Chinatown before but be sure to watch for more Chinatown-specific content from me going forward, as I share the many ways this district—its people, and its places—are special, and how you can get the most out of your Chinatown experience.
Please note: obviously there are many more soup options in Chinatown than just what’s been outlined in this blog post! If you have a favourite Chinatown soup, or place, that isn’t mentioned, leave a comment and let everyone know what Chinatown gems you love too!
Also: although I have partnered with the City to promote Chinatown, all recommendations, opinions, etc. are my own. I have been a longtime supporter of Chinatown and have always encouraged visitors!
10 Soups To Warm Up With This Winter In Edmonton’s Chinatown
Locations listed in alphabetical order
1. 97 Hot Pot – Chinese Hot Pot
Location: 10602 97 St.
I take advantage of 97 Hot Pot’s lunch and late night special an embarrassingly high amount, it’s so good, so comforting, and such a good deal. My go-to soup broth for my hot pot meal is the Tom Yum, though sometimes it’s nice to just start with the chicken broth and tweak tastes with your own sauce concoction.
97 Hot Pot is great for group dining where everyone gets their own individual pots and chosen ingredients. You can do All You Can Eat (anytime) for $32.95 or select 1 soup base with 6 items for just $17.95 at lunch or after 9 p.m. This is one of the very best, filling, satisfying, and comforting soup meals you can get in Edmonton, with excellent value for money that’s also delicious!
2. Boualouang – Tom Yum Soup
Location: 10569 97 St.
Boualouang is a long-standing Thai restaurant on the Chinatown strip that serves consistently delicious cuisine—including popular curries and Thai soups, like the Tom Yum (spicy Thai hot and sour soup with lemongrass, lime, galangal and mushrooms—choose from shrimp or chicken as your soup protein). There’s also a coconut milk version or wonton soup offering here.
Don’t let their outdated Google hours fool you—these days they’re usually only open for dinner (but be sure to call to check before you come down!)
3. Emperor’s Palace – Minced Beef Egg Drop Soup
Location: 10569 97 St.
Egg drop soup is an extremely comforting dish for me, and Emperor’s Palace in Chinatown has a great one with minced beef topping as well. This restaurant is a go-to for many for Chinese dim sum and an expansive Chinese dinner menu (very 12-course banquet meal vibes).
For soup selections, choose from wonton, wor wonton, seafood hot and sour, chicken cream corn or the generous helping of minced beef egg drop soup.
4. Gui Lin Noodle House – Minced Pork Vermicelli Soup (Gui Lin Style)
Location: 10626 97 St.
Along the main 97 Street strip of Chinatown you’ll find a gem of a Chinese restaurant called Gui Lin Noodle House, which specializes in dishes from the Gui Lin region of China. A most comforting (non-soup) dish includes their Gui Lin Style Fried Macaroni with Pickled Vegetables (I can’t order from here without getting an order of the macaroni!).
But if you’re looking to warm up with a soup, get the Minced Pork Vermicelli Soup (Gui Lin Style), which also comes packed with pickled vegetables and an addictive broth you can’t stop slurping.
5. King Noodle House – Bun Bo Hue (Spicy, Lemongrass Soup)
Location: 10638 100 St.
My parents’ Vietnamese restaurant King Noodle House Pho Hoang, one of Edmonton’s longest-running Vietnamese restaurants, specializes in Vietnamese beef noodle soup—pho—the national dish of Vietnam. You can get any number of topping combinations. Our broth recipe is passed down three generations and it’s a good one.
While our pho is stand-out—I may be biased but customers will agree lol—I wanted to highlight the Bun Bo Hue soup as one of the most comforting soups for me (because I also shout out to another pho restaurant in Chinatown below).
Bun Bo Hue is a spicy, lemongrass beef noodle soup originating from the Hue region of Vietnam. While pho usually allows you to customize toppings, Bun Bo Hue is pretty specific—with well done beef and Vietnamese pork sausage (ham—cha lua). The true dish also comes with congealed pork blood but most Vietnamese restaurants in Canada don’t offer this (including ours) as most Canadians don’t want it lol (it is good though). I love my mom’s BBH and I know you will too!
6. Lee House Korean – Spicy Kimchi Stew
Location: 10704 97 St.
In Chinatown you’ll find an excellent Korean restaurant called Lee House, with a range of Korean BBQ items, rice, noodle, and ‘bokkeum’ Korean stir-fry dishes, along with very comforting Korean soups and stews. For the longest time the Budae Jjigae Korean Army Stew was my favourite Korean soup but over the years I’ve switched over to the Spicy Kimchi Stew, which also comes with pork. The soup bowl quantities here aren’t massive but they are incredibly satisfying, and something about it coming out in hot Korean stone bowls makes it even more comforting? This Kimchi Stew is also gluten-free (as are many dishes at Lee House).
7. Noodleholic – Build Your Own Soup Bowl
Location: 9658 107A Ave.
I love the concept of building my own meal to my specific preferences (I think it’s one of the reasons I love Chinese hot pot so much!) Which is also why I am a big fan of Noodleholic and their ‘Build Your Own Soup Bowl’ concept. It’s sort of like hot pot but the soup is prepared in a bowl for you from the pros instead of you cooking the ingredients you select yourself.
I like that one of the toppings I can select here is Century Eggs, something I normally only ever eat diced up in a (also comforting) congee bowl at dim sum—but here they give you big slices from a full egg and the taste is just phenomenal (it’s an acquired taste lol. If you like blue cheese I think you’ll love Century Eggs). They have a bunch of great soups here that you don’t have to build yourself too, but I always go for the Build Your Own.
8. Sai Woo Garden – Hot and Sour Soup
Location: 10571 97 St.
Sai Woo Garden is something of an institution in Chinatown. You’ll find authentic Cantonese dishes here and many in the community have nostalgic memories of doing big multi-course meals with families here. Great food, great service, a bit dimly lit of an interior but that’s part of the hole in the wall charm.
While there are many dishes you should order here, for the purposes of these comfort soup recommendations, I’m going to go with a classic: Hot and Sour Soup. It’s one of my favs.
9. Tau Bay – Dac Biet (Special Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)
Location: 10660 98 St.
Tau Bay is also one of Edmonton’s longest-running Vietnamese restaurants, with a no-fuss, straight-forward Vietnamese soup menu that is beloved by many. Known for being open until they run out of soup (which does happen often), like my parents’, Tau Bay knows that it does something really well so it sticks to doing just that. Choose from an assortment of pho soup combinations, including their Special Dac Biet (which comes with a bit of all the different beef cuts), or perhaps just straight up Steak (Tai), or the Pho Bo Vien (Beef Balls pho).
This restaurant does close for some periods of time as the family goes on holiday—or when they’ve run out of soup—so much so that a loyal patron created an ‘Is Tau Bay Open‘ website to track its opening hours.
10. Xu Hue – Bun Rieu (Vietnamese Crab, Pork, Tomato Soup)
Location: 10548 97 St.
If you’re looking for Vietnamese dishes that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in Edmonton, head to Chinatown and stop into Xu Hue. This is a favourite spot for my family. We love ordering dishes like Bot Chien (a fried rice flour and egg cake), Bun Hen (a baby clams vermicelli bowl), or the comforting soup I’m recommending today:
Xu Hue’s Bun Rieu (a traditional Vietnamese Crab, Pork and Tomato soup). Rieu means crab paste, and alludes to the crab that’s packed into this dish. It’s sort of a sweet, salty, sour soup, with big chunks of tomato too. I absolutely love it.
Note: Xu Hue is closed for holidays until Dec. 11, 2022.
So those are just a few of the most comforting soups you should try in Chinatown this winter if you’re looking for a dish to warm you up. Try some, try all! Do as I love to do—go on a food (soup) crawl! Asian soups are one of the very best cuisines that exist, if you ask me, and luckily, there are so many types and places to get them in Edmonton’s Chinatown.
As mentioned, while I have formally partnered with the City of Edmonton to share inspiration to encourage you to visit Edmonton’s Chinatown (#YEGChinatown_Partner), this is an area I’m always in + around + eating at + ordering from + supporting year-round anyway.
I love Chinatown and I hope you will come to love it—its businesses, its families, too!
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Disclaimer: This blog post was published in partnership with the City of Edmonton, however all recommendations, opinions, etc. are my own. I have been a longtime supporter of Chinatown and have always encouraged visitors!