Although they’re definitely Chinese in origin, green onion cakes have been an Edmonton staple since a man named Siu To introduced them to the city decades ago. Today they’re omnipresent: you can find them at farmers’ markets, festivals, food trucks and restaurants like Cô Dô Hue and Blue Plate Diner. Residents are passionate about the savory pastries; a woman named Salma Kaida even petitioned to have them declared the city’s official dish (a campaign which was supported wholeheartedly by Mayor Don Iveson).
Siu To recently renewed his commitment to the flaky treats when he opened Green Onion Cake Man at 118 Ave. and 91 st. As you might expect from the name, you won’t find much more than G.O.C.s on the menu; when your craft is as honed as To’s, though, sheer quality makes up for a lack of variety—at the time of writing, Green Onion Cake Man has a perfect 5.0 review score on Google. The recipe for To’s famous cakes can be found easily online.
No one knows exactly how a simple Chinese street food became so inextricably linked with Edmonton culture, but probably it doesn’t matter. It’s just proof that the city is a melting pot of countless vibrant cultures. No matter how they got their start, green onion cakes are here to stay, because the cravings aren’t fading anytime soon.