Insider’s guide to Saskatoon: Where to find the best small-batch gelato, locally made gifts and incredible views
“People from Saskatchewan love all things Saskatchewan,” says food writer Naomi Hansen, which is exactly how she feels about her hometown of Saskatoon. Built around the South Saskatchewan River, the province’s largest city is known for its many water-spanning bridges, scenic walking paths and tight-knit community vibe.
“It feels like a big city, but you can drive across it in just 15 minutes — or you can head out of the city, and within 20 minutes you’re surrounded by this beautiful natural landscape,” says Hansen. “That feels really unique for a major Canadian city, and I’ve always loved that mix.”
Both in Saskatoon and beyond, there’s a blossoming local food scene, too, which Hansen highlights in her new book, “Only in Saskatchewan: Recipes & Stories from the Province’s Best-Loved Eateries” (out April 12). Organized by region, the cookbook features profiles of notable chefs and restaurants — like Moose Jaw’s Yvette Moore Gallery Café and Regina’s Italian Star Deli — alongside some of their signature dishes. Naturally, there’s an entire chapter dedicated to Saskatoon.
Here, Hansen shares five of her favourite places to eat, shop and explore in the city.
For a sweet treat: Beppi’s Gelato (616 10th St. E., Saskatoon)
“I’m obsessed with Beppi’s. In the summer, I’m probably there every week,” Hansen says. Open year-round, the spot specializes in handmade, small-batch gelato and sorbetto using a blend of Italian and local ingredients. Since opening in 2019, they’ve churned out more than 150 rotating flavours — including Prairie Lily, made with Saskatchewan honey and sea buckthorn. “Everything is so good, and I am always so happy there.”
For souvenir shopping: Hen & Chick Studios (129 2nd Ave. N., Saskatoon)
Launched in 2014, the shop carries a varied selection of unique local goods from more than 120 Canadian small businesses. Finds by Saskatchewan-based makers include handmade pottery by Sparrow Gardens, beeswax candles by Prairie Field Honey and statement accessories from Rogue Jewelry Designs. “It’s a really cute little shop downtown, and everything in there is so beautiful,” Hansen says. “This is where I always go whenever I don’t have a gift idea for someone.”
For homestyle fusion: Odd Couple (228 20th St. W., Saskatoon)
Odd Couple is a family-run restaurant with a “relaxed but very contemporary vibe,” says Hansen. The owners immigrated to the province from Hong Kong in 1996 and wanted to find a creative way to combine Asian and Canadian flavours, which is part of what makes the spot so special, she adds. “I recommend the vegan spring rolls — we always get multiple orders — and the bacon fried rice, which comes with maple-glazed bacon and a sunny-side fried egg on top.”
For inspiring views: Meewasin Trail
Whenever Hansen wants to spend time outside with her dog or just enjoy a leisurely stroll, she heads over to the Meewasin Trail by the South Saskatchewan River. There are more than 90 kilometres to explore, with bridges, parks and cultural sites — like Remai Modern, the contemporary and modern art museum, and the Marr Residence, the city’s oldest house — accessible along the way. Hansen likes doing the loop around either the Broadway Bridge or University Bridge, both boasting incredible views of the castlelike Delta Hotels Bessborough and other Saskatoon landmarks. “The river valley is absolutely stunning,” she says.
For homegrown drinks: Lucky Bastard Distillers (814 47th St. E., Saskatoon)
When husband-and-wife team Michael Goldney and Lacey Crocker won the lottery, Goldney stopped practicing family medicine, and the two joined up with a friend to establish Lucky Bastard — one of Saskatchewan’s first working distilleries to open since Prohibition. Now, their 15,000-square-foot facility makes 30 different liquors, including vodkas, rums and gins in offbeat flavours. “They’re known for dill pickle vodka, which is super good,” says Hansen. “But one of my favourite things they do yearly is haskap gin, made with a Saskatchewan berry that’s like a cross between a raspberry and blueberry.”