YXEats is back in Saskatoon’s Riversdale neighbourhood for a second year. Since Wednesday, food lovers have been able to sample different feature items at various restaurants in the area for a special discounted price.
“It’s really meant to encourage people to come to Riversdale and try out the many restaurants. There were 18 restaurants participating in YXEats this year,” explained organizer Barbie Petersen.
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Riversdale and 20th Street have been a commercial corridor in the city for more than 100 years, but the area has recently seen a transformation.
“It’s really becoming known for the individual local flavors. Most of the restaurant and businesses are stand-alone businesses, they aren’t chains. It’s a really interesting, vibrant, eclectic mix of businesses, restaurants, and bars. It’s a really happening little neighborhood for sure,” Petersen said.
From local breweries and coffee shops to the farmers’ market and every style of food in between, Riversdale is quickly becoming a diverse and quirky area.
“People come here all the time and say five years ago I wouldn’t have been in the neighborhood,” said Collective Coffee barista Kelsey Philipchuk.
But now the neighborhood hosts Saskatoon staples like Collective Coffee and Drift Cafe, which draw people from around the city.
“They feel like we offer a big city product while still having small town community feel,” Philipchuk said.
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Drift Cafe general manager Amy Holowach said the young foodie population is growing in the city and more people are looking to buy local.
“I think it’s an art form, a way to express ourselves and a way to bring people together. I really love that,” Holowach said.
The event certainly appears to bring people in, as the Long Table Brunch hosted on Sunday morning sold out with 94 people in attendance.