Edmonton has a vigorous dining scene, with hip new eateries joining traditional steak and seafood restaurants. In general, fine dining is found downtown and on High Street, close to the centers of politics and business. Over in Old Strathcona, south of the river, are trendy -- and less expensive -- cafes and bistros. For lighter meals or coffee breaks, try the very chic new Holt's Café downtown (10180 101st St.; tel. 780/425-5300) or Leva Cafe (11053 86th Ave.; tel. 780/479-5362) near the University of Alberta, which has the best espresso in Edmonton. For pastries and café au lait in the High Street area, you can't miss La Favorite (12431 102nd Ave.; tel. 780/482-7024).

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