The complete culinary traveller’s guide for where to eat, shop, take a cooking class and enjoy the local food and drink in Calgary.
KENSINGTON One of Calgary’s most beloved neighbourhoods also offers up an impressive assortment of culinary gems. Pop by the Oak Tree Tavern’s patio for a pint and some grub, or grab a seat at Containe Bar and indulge in some Steak Tenderloin Tartare or Crispy Pigs Ears — at the city’s most gourmet alleyway getup.
Want takeout? Grab a box of fried chicken, chips, and corn fritters at Chicken on the Way, a city favourite since 1958. If Naples-style pizza is your thing, make sure to stop by Pulcinella for a quick pie, and follow it up with a scoop of frozen goodness at Amato Gelato, just down the street.
DOWNTOWN There’s no shortage of restaurants, cafés and shops in Calgary’s downtown, and it’s always growing. Grab a bottle of wine or craft beer at Vine Styles (in the design district, with a second location in Kensington), or stop by Last Best Brewing & Distilling for a house-made brew and a bite to eat. Top Chef alum, Nicole Gomes, recently opened Cluck N Cleaver, a fried chicken joint that brings the southern staple to a whole new level, or you can check out The Palomino, if you are looking for smokier, barbecued bites from down south.
If craft beer is your thing, be sure to visit one of the four National locations, or Proof, if you’re in the mood for some serious cocktails. The nearby Native Tongues offers up an incredible tequila selection (along with drool-worthy Mexican cuisine), and Thai Sa-on (on 10th Avenue) has some of the best Thai food in the city. Want to go gourmet? Make a reservation at Pigeonhole, touted as Canada’s best restaurant, or grab some goodies to go at Eau Claire’s Alforno Bakery & Cafe.
INGLEWOOD One can spend hours upon hours just strolling around Inglewood, without any concern about whether or not they’ll go hungry. Keep caffeinated at Gravity, grab a bottle or two of wine at Brick’s Wine Co., or pick up some spices to complement dinner at the Silk Road Spice Merchant. Have a grumbling belly? Satisfy that hunger at some of the city’s favourite restaurants: Rouge, The Nash, or (slightly west, in the East Village), Charbar.
4TH STREET Head to Mission for an incredible cultural mish-mash of culinary gems, like Anejo (tequila and Mexican food), Wurst (beer hall and German grub), Bocce (Italian at its finest), Shokunin (to-die-for Japanese), Anju (Korean fusion), and La Boulangerie (French pastries and more). You simply can’t go wrong.
THE ‘BURBS The trip to the far south’s Starbelly is totally worth it, and it’s family-friendly, seven days a week. For a killer menu and a restaurant with a view, be sure to dine at Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts’ Lakehouse Lake Bonavista. While you’re in the area, stop by Willow Park Village for some deliciousness at Crave Cupcakes. Oil and Vinegar, North Sea Fish Market, Second to None Meats, Willow Park and Spirits, and Springbank Cheese. What else could you ask for?
If you’re on the west side of the city, check out the Indian food at Nawab Restaurant, grab some tapas at Vin Room West, and pick up a bottle of wine at Merlo Vinoteca.
CALGARY FARMERS’ MARKET Open year round, Thursday to Sunday, 9 am-5 pm. 510-77 Ave SE. www.calgaryfarmersmarket.ca
KINGSLAND FARMERS’ MARKET Open year round, Thursday to Sunday, 9 am-5 pm. 7711 Macleod Trail SW. www.kfmcalgary.com
CROSSROADS MARKET Open year round, Friday to Sunday, 9 am-5 pm (farmer’s market open Friday to Sunday, full market open Saturday and Sunday). 1235-26 Ave SE. www.crossroadsmarket.ca
For a full list of Calgary area farmers’ markets, visit www.calgaryarea.com and search “Farmers Markets”.
Inglewood is easily one of the city’s most culinary-focused neughbourhoods, so it’s no surprise that two of the best kitchen shops are located there. Check out Savour Fine Foods & Kitchenware for everything cooking related, or Knifewear for the finest selection of Japanese knives.
If you’re in the downtown area, the Cookbook Co. is your best bet for specialty foods, kitchenware, cookbooks, and so much more.
THE COOKBOOK CO. COOKS Weeknight and weekend classes. 722 11 Ave SW. www.cookbookcooks.com
CULINARY CAMPUS Themed classes taught by professional chef instructors. 226, 230-8 Ave SW. www.culinarycampus.ca
CUISINE ET CHATEAU Hands-on classes, demonstrations, and tastings. 103, 227-10 St NW. www.cuisineandchateau.com
Calgary’s great tastes
- Honey, mead, and candles from Fallentimber Meadery
- Pierogies from Heritage Deli
- Sausages from Spolumbos
- Sourdough bread from Sidewalk Citizen
- Cheese from Janice Beaton
Calgary’s great drinks