For my trip to the Canadian Rockies, I decided to stay in Calgary for a few days to do a bit of food tripping! Calgary’s food scene is indeed growing with food trends and new restaurants increasing the diversity in cuisines. In fact, 16 restaurants in Calgary were listed in Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants.
I liked the fact that most of the restaurants are local to Calgary which makes it extra special since you can’t find them in other places. I can’t wait to see how the food scene continues to grow in the years to come! Did you know? Alberta only has 5% sales tax from GST instead of the 13% HST.
When I come to a new destination as a Travelling Foodie, I try to get a gauge of the overall food scene by trying a range of cuisines in different areas and price points. In this food guide are 15 places I enjoyed which include some of the best restaurants, cafes and breweries in Calgary.
Travelling Foodie Tip: If you only have a short time in the city and want to food trip, the best area to visit is 17th Avenue in downtown which is the street for foodies. It has the most restaurants and bars along one street in Calgary.
- Related: 8 Must-See Sights in the Canadian Rockies
- Read Also: Toronto, Ontario: 60 Food and Drinks To Try
15 Places To Eat and Drink in Calgary, Alberta:
- The Lake House
- Broken Plate
- Bill’s Peking House
- Sushi Bar Zipang
- Shiki Menya
- Bike and Brew
- Calcutta Cricket Club
- Bridgette Bar
- Made By Marcus
- Una Pizza + Wine
- Native Tongues Taqueria
- Alforno Bakery & Cafe
- Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters
- Cold Garden Beverage Company
The Lake House
Website / Address: 747 Lake Bonavista Dr SE, Calgary, AB T2J 2M2
Accolades: Narcity’s 8 Calgary Restaurants With Breathtaking Views by Narcity, OpenTable’s 20 best neighbourhood gems in Calgary, Culinaire Magazine’s Alberta’s Finest Drinks List Awards, OpenTable’s 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in Canada 2017
Perched directly above Lake Bonavista with large glass windows overlooking the lake, The Lake House offers great food with awesome views! Chef Thomas Neukom and Chef Gareth Colville offer a locally inspired menu with what they call “Rocky Mountain Cuisine”,
The rustic interior is very nice as well. It’s intimately illuminated with ornate elk antler chandeliers and accessorized with a grand stone fireplace, a 130 square foot glass encased wine cellar, and a refurbished 21 foot bar from the 1800’s, previously housed in a mercantile shop in Montana.
I pretty much enjoyed everything we ordered here with
For desserts, the Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar is a must try, especially if you love peanut butter. It has a nice mix of salty, bitter, and sweet! I’m honestly not a fan of peanut butter in general, but I loved it!
If you’re looking for a more innovative dessert, go with the Lemon Sugar Churro Cake.
Website / Address: 10816 Macleod Trail SE #590, Calgary, AB T2J 5N8
Located in Willow Park Village for 15 years, Broken Plate Kitchen and Bar serves some legit Greek food by Chef Ervin Bushi who lived in Greece for 5 years to understand Greek culture, language
What are your go-to dishes for Greek food? My typical go-to dishes for Greek food are saganaki, lamb souvlaki, lamb rack and calamari, and they all delivered here. The lamb rack is good to share as it is a big rack and very tender. The calamari had the strong squid taste and a light crunch that I love.
A definite must-order here is the saganaki which was highly addicting. You’ll notice almost everyone in the restaurant ordering one. I could’ve eaten one by myself!
Keep a look out for their off-menu specials. We had the certified Angus striploin special which was so good – perfectly cooked, consistently tender and flavourful!
They also have Daily Happy Hour from 3-6PM with drink and appetizer specials.
Bill’s Peking House
Website / Address: 380 Canyon Meadows Dr SE, Calgary, AB T2J 7C3
Accolades: Daily Hive’s 9 must-try Chinese restaurants in Calgary
Another hidden gem in the burbs for Chinese food is Bill’s Peking House, serving Chinese food since 1988! When I told my friends I had so-so dim sum at the popular Silver Dragon, they took me to Bill’s Peking House and it was definitely much better.
The must-order here is the steamed shrimp and scallop dumpling, which is rare to find even in Toronto. It’s like an open sleeved har gaw topped with scallop and roe. Four pockets of heaven! Their e-fu noodles (Yi Mein) are simple but so delicious as well.
One thing about Calgary’s dim sum scene is it’s super pricey! Dim sum prices tend to start at $4 and goes as high as $7. My cousin and I spent a total of $60+ for two people. They don’t really have the Dim Sum Happy Hour that Torontonians are used to that offers dim sum at around $2.50-$3.50 before 11am.
Sushi Bar Zipang
Website / Address: 1010 1 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 4K1
Accolades: Foursquare’s 15 Best Places for Sushi in Calgary, Culture Trip’s Best Sushi Spots In Calgary, Avenue Magazine’s Best Sushi Restaurants
Opened since 2004, Sushi Bar Zipang offers an extensive selection of sushi and sashimi with fish from Japan, East Coast
Be sure to sit at the sushi bar where you can watch the sushi chefs, including Chef Naoya himself, in action. Chef Naoya is very friendly and, on my visit, I noticed most customers are regulars who had built a rapport with the chefs already.
You can’t go wrong with their seasonal fishes for something interesting and guaranteed fresh including Kinmedai/Alfonsino, Isaki/Grunt
It’s a great place to get your sushi fix. Pricing is reasonable and the fishes are sliced bigger than normal so you are getting more.
For hot food, the grilled black cod is a must! It’s grilled to perfection that the cod is flavourful and tender, not mushy nor falling apart.
Website / Address: 827 1 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 0C3
Accolades: FLARE’s Best Ramen Restaurants in Calgary, Foursquare’s 15 Best Places for Noodle Soup in Calgary, Narcity’s Best Of YYC: This Is The Noodle Spot You Need To Try In Calgary If You Freaking Love Ramen, Daily Hive’s 14 slurp-worthy Calgary ramen bowls on Instagram
Calgary is known for being cold so a nice bowl of ramen really hits the spot. Highly recommend Shiki Menya which serves fresh in-house noodles and soups made from scratch using pork from local farms. Did you know Shiki Menya means “four seasons noodle house” in Japanese.
This small ramen joint run by father-son team of Tsukasa and Koki Aihara is only open for lunch and serves only 150 bowls of ramen per day so make sure you come early to beat the line! When you arrive, put your name down on the waitlist pad on top of the chair outside the door right away. Since it’s ramen, turnover is quite fast but I still had to wait 30 minutes to get a seat.
Bike and Brew
Website / Address: 921 1 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 2L3
A unique concept created by two local bike guys, Bike and Brew is Calgary’s original caffeinated Bicycle and Repair shop to bring the communities of cycling and coffee together. I randomly stumbled upon this gem when I was walking from Sushi Bar Zipang to Shiki Menya, and thought it was too cool not to check out.
I love businesses that strive to support local. At Bike and Brew, their offerings are all from locally owned and operated businesses: roasted beans from Fratello Coffee Roasters, freshly baked pastries from Corbeaux Bakehouse and sandwiches from Peppino Gourmet Foods.
Calcutta Cricket Club
Website / Address: 340 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0A8
Accolades: No. 70 in Canada’s Best 100 Restaurants 2018, Avenue Magazine’s 25 Best Restaurants in Calgary, CBC’s best 20 new restaurants in and around Calgary, Avenue Magazine’s Best Indian Restaurants in Calgary, Best of Calgary’s Best New Restaurant 2018
My most memorable meal during the trip was at Calcutta Cricket Club. Since I’m generally not into brunch, it says a lot when a restaurant gets me excited about it. Calcutta Cricket Club and Chef Rene Bhullar definitely did just that!
The interior is very unique too compared to traditional Indian restaurants. The design is described as “1960’s Indian social club meets The Golden Girls”.
I was impressed with their Indian take on traditional brunch bringing amazing Indian
Their Chips & Curry was an exciting take on poutine, using curry instead of gravy, and a poached egg instead of curds to denote brunch. You can’t help but keep smothering the fries with the fenogreek curry. It’s great for sharing too.
You must ask about their Featured Benny. I had their pork keema benedict with coconut-based malai curry on naan with peas and side salad. It had a bit of spice and a lot of deliciousness. A must-try if you see it on the menu again!
Even their cocktails are Indian fusion! The brunch pineapple mimosa had star anise and cardamom to give that spicy kick.
Website / Address: 739 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0B3
Accolades: No. 71 in Canada’s Best 100 Restaurants 2018, OpenTable’s 100 Best Restaurants in Canada, Avenue Magazine’s 25 Best Restaurants in Calgary, Eater’s The 18 Essential Calgary Restaurants, Where.ca’s Calgary’s Best Restaurants 2017
Bridgette Bar is a chef-driven bar located in a 1922 brick building in Calgary’s Design District. Did you know? Bridgette Bar draws inspiration from French model and actress, Bridgette Bardot.
Chef JP Pedhirney menu specializing on wood-fired cuisine as seen from the open kitchen showing wood-burning grill and a wood-and-gas pizza oven. Therefore, you’ll definitely want to try their wood-fired dishes.
But first, make sure to start with some delicious french fries with garlic aioli. It was so good even my friend’s 3 year old wanted seconds!
Top picks were the Grilled Octopus, Lamb Sausage, Wood Roasted Half Duck and Pici All’Amatriciana! The duck was perfectly cooked medium
It was actually my first time trying Pici All’Amatriciana, which is a thick hand rolled pasta like a fat spaghetti with udon bite. Noodle lovers would love this!
To end on a sweet note, be sure to get the Banana Fosters Cream Pie which has a mix of sweet, salty, creamy and crunchy all-in-one. Yum!
Made By Marcus
Website / Address: 1013 17 Ave SW #121, Calgary, AB T2T 0A7
Accolades: Avenue Magazine’s 12 Ice Cream Shops in Calgary, FLARE’s Coolest Ice Cream Shops in Calgary, Narcity’s Best Ice Cream Spots In Calgary, Chatelaine’s Best Ice Cream Shops Across Canada, Gusto TV’s The best places in Canada to get the ultimate
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! In Calgary, one of the best places for ice cream is Made By Marcus literally by Marcus Purtzki who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food science and nutrition.
This small batch handcrafted ice creamery offers ice cream, sundaes, soft serve, ice cream cakes. They are very known for having some of the most interesting
Aside from the classic flavours, about a half dozen seasonally changing flavours makes people line up to try them because once they run out, they’re out. Pro Tip: You can actually get two flavours in their single scoop!
Una Pizza + Wine
Website / Address: 618 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B4
Accolades: Avenue Magazine’s 25 Best Restaurants in Calgary, Narcity’s 43 Bucket List Restaurants Every True Calgarian Needs To Try, Avenue Magazine’s Best Pizza in Calgary, Best Of Calgary’s Best Pizza 2018
Opened by husband and wife Kelly Black and Jayme MacFayden after their pizza experiences from trips to San Francisco, UNA Pizza + Wine serves Californian inspired, thin crust pizza on stone deck ovens.
I really enjoyed their thin crust pizza which was crispy on the bottom and chewy in the middle. I tried the Beltline Pizza because I found the use of maple syrup as sauce was quite interesting. Travelling Foodie Tip: If you find the pizza sweet, I found adding chili oil helped neutralize it.
Native Tongues Taqueria
Website / Address: 235 12 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1H7
Accolades: Avenue Magazine’s 25 Best Restaurants in Calgary, Eater’s The 18 Essential Calgary Restaurants, Narcity’s 43 Bucket List Restaurants Every True Calgarian Needs To Try, Avenue Magazine’s Best Mexican Restaurants in Calgary, Best of Calgary’s Best of Mexican 2018
Perhaps the most popular Mexican restaurant in Calgary and No. 1 in TripAdvisor for it is Native Tongues Taqueria. This rustic cantina taqueria offers a fun casual dining atmosphere with a bar program centered around Mezcal, a Mexican spirit made from agave.
As the name implies, Native Tongues primarily focuses on tacos having street style versions of individual servings, but also Mercado style (family style) version called Tacos Al Carbon which are grilled over chacoal.
The tortillas are all homemade. Owner Chef Cody Willis uses a process called nixtamalization in the corn for their tortillas. In nixtamalization, the corn (white, heirloom Bolita corn from Mexico for Native Tongues Taqueria) is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution,
Website / Address: 632 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B4
Accolades: Narcity’s Best of YYC: 9 Cute Calgary Coffee Shops You Should Go To At Least Once In Your Life, Daily Hive’s 14 best coffee shops in Calgary for studying and working, FLARE’s Best Coffee Shops in Calgary
For a coffee break from food tripping along 17th Avenue, go to Philosafy. I love the name of the cafe, a play on words from philosophy, and philosophers who hand out in cafes to think. Even their locally roasted custom blend is called Socrates Espresso, which is a blend from Colombia, Costa Rica and Ethiopia.
The atmosphere is very cozy with wide open windows, gold accents and 100 year old reclaimed wood. It has perfect coffee shop vibes to coffice, which I did during my visit.
Alforno Bakery & Cafe
Website / Address: 222 7 St SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0E4
Accolades: Eater’s The 18 Essential Calgary Restaurants, Daily Hive’s 14 best coffee shops in Calgary for studying and working
Situated in the heart of Eau Claire, Alforno Bakery & Cafe is a hybrid cafe, bakery
The place is a perfect meeting spot as it has all kinds of seating from the restaurant dining, to cafe high chairs to a bar area, and a big outdoor patio seating.
I tried the mocha hazelnut cake, which was not overly sweet and had the stuff I like: dark chocolate, hazelnut and coffee.
Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters
Website / Address: 618 Confluence Way SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0G1
Accolades: Narcity’s Best of YYC: 9 Cute Calgary Coffee Shops You Should Go To At Least Once In Your Life, Daily Hive’s 14 best coffee shops in Calgary for studying and working, Foursquare’s 15 Best Places for Coffee in Calgary, FLARE’s Best Coffee Shops in Calgary
If you’re a coffeeholic in Canada, you’ve probably heard of Phil & Sebastian Coffee since it’s one of the most popular coffee beans in Canada. Even the coffee we had at The Restaurant at Pearl Morissette in Ontario was theirs.
Since it’s distinctly Alberta and Calgary, you’ll definitely want to check out Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters. I highly recommend going to the beautiful historic Simmons Building location, which is not only their headquarters but also a training lab, cafe and roasting facility where you can see their custom-built 45kg coffee roaster designed by Phil. The building overlooks the Bow River and is shared along with Charbar (and Alley Burger) and Sidewalk Citizen Bakery.
Cold Garden Beverage Company
Website / Address: 1100 11 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4T3
Accolades: Narcity’s Best of YYC: 17 Calgary Craft Breweries To Bring The Gang This Summer, Foursquare’s 15 Best Places for Beer and Craft Beer in Calgary, Avenue Magazine’s 2018 Alberta Beer Awards Winners for Canadian Cereal Ale, Farmhouse Ale, IPA and Stout
If you enjoy beer, and especially craft beer, check out Cold Garden Beverage Company. This microbrewery in
They offer about 10 beers on tap, and you can do 5oz samples for just $1.50! Be sure to try some of the eccentric flavours like The All-Nighter Vanilla Cappuccino Porter, I Believe In A Thing Called Lager, Easy Come Easy Gose, and Cakeface.
I Believe In A Thing Called Lager is a black tea lager that has a strong tea taste. And I was particularly mindblown by Cakeface because it really tasted like a birthday cake! If you’re feeling daring, try the Easy Come Easy Gose which is a mix of mango and green cardamom.
Hope this food guide gives you an idea on where to eat and drink in Calgary! Which places have you been or are most excited to try? Let me know below!