We’re back with Restaurant Roundup for 2015! This year’s theme: Where To Eat This Weekend. Every other week we’ll be profiling a different city in Canada with a list of great dining recommendations for you to check out – from fancy to hole in the wall and everything in between! Today food blogger Bernice Hill take us on a tour of Calgary restaurants to check out this weekend in Canada's west!
The food scene in Calgary has grown leaps and bounds in recent years. It seems like every other week a new restaurant is opening, while many others have run their course. It’s a very dynamic food city and there are no shortages of great places to eat, from upscale empty-your-wallet restaurants to the neighbourhood Vietnamese café. There’s literally a price point and cuisine for everyone.
Calgary Brunch and Lunch Stops
The lunch and dinner options at Anju draw lots of attention from locals and visitors, but the Sunday brunch menu is relatively new and definitely falls into the ‘something different for brunch’ category. Roy Oh’s Korean influenced cuisine translates well into brunch items such as Pork Belly Eggs Benedict and Omu-Rice (kimchi fried rice under an egg omelet).
The Lake House
The Lake House may be located in the deep South but there are no lineups or parking difficulties and the view over Lake Bonavista is spectacular. Enjoy great coffee and a small starter item, like fresh baked cinnamon knots or apple fritters, while you’re watching the falcons catch their breakfast from the lake. If you have a sweet tooth don’t miss the Banana Bread French Toast. Or if you need a filling protein-rich start to the day, the Bison Brisket and Game Meat Hash comes complete with a perfectly poached egg and buttery rich Hollandaise. Speaking of Hollandaise, the Classic Eggs Benedict at The Lake House is one of the best in our city.
If you’re downtown and want to escape the lunchtime hustle and bustle, walk south to Boxwood Café located on lovely Central Memorial Park. Explore the ever-changing seasonal menu and enjoy the house baked breads and locally raised Spragg Farm porchetta or Bowden Farms chicken. If you have a vegetarian in the group, Boxwood Café is the perfect ‘happy medium’ as their menu is 30 percent vegetarian, including fresh organic veggies and salads, red lentil hummus, and not to be missed pakoras. What I love about Boxwood Café is their commitment to sustainable purchasing, energy efficiency, and near-zero waste practices.
Calgary Dinner Spots
As a sister restaurant to award winning, meat-centric Charcut, Charbar is run by the same group, including chefs Connie DeSousa and John Jackson, but with the addition of Jessica Pelland as executive chef. Expect some great meat dishes prepared on their traditional Argentinian, wood burning parilla and be pleasantly surprised by the delicious vegetarian options available on the menu. For a family style dinner enjoy a fire grilled asador platter up on the rooftop patio with gorgeous city and Bow River views.
Workshop Kitchen + Culture
If anyone ever asks me what my favourite restaurant in the city is, my response is always Workshop Kitchen + Culture. I love the energy and creativity that flows through chef Kenny Kaechele into the open kitchen and throughout the restaurant located within Calgary’s oldest theatre -- it’s almost like theatre on its own! Pick and choose your own dinner adventure from the menu or, if you like surprises, order the three- or five-course chef’s ‘improv.’ Everything is made in house, including a selection of artisanal sodas.
Big Fish is a great place to enjoy fish and seafood. It’s small and very unpretentious but the fish is always cooked perfectly and served with a smile. Enjoy fresh or smoked oysters, a bucket of peel-and-eat shrimp, or delicious crab and bay shrimp cakes while you listen to rocking blues tunes and enjoy a superb wine or local brew. Hanging around Calgary on a Sunday night? Their family style seafood paella is not to be missed!
Bonus Eats In Calgary
Italian Centre Shop
When you walk in to this recently opened Italian/European market it feels like you’re stepping into Italy. Work up an appetite perusing the aisles filled with many interesting and difficult to find items (such as Amarena cherries and quince paste), then afterwards gather a selection of ingredients for a delicious picnic in a nearby park. Choose a perfectly chewy, crispy pizza or Italian style sandwich for your picnic basket or pick up reasonably priced deli ingredients and make your own. Don’t forget to grab a cannoli from the bakery and a cappuccino to go!
While you could pigeonhole this lovely French crêperie as a breakfast spot, crêpes are delicious any time of the day. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a Bretonne or Normande Crêpe (salted butter caramel and caramelized apple with Calvados, respectively) or enjoy a traditional savoury galette (made from buckwheat flour and gluten free) with fillings such as bacon, smoked salmon, goat cheese and sautéed wild mushrooms. Don’t miss the delicious imported Normandy Cider and, if you still have room, finish off your meal with a traditional Ile Flottante.
Happy Fish Food Truck and Eats of Asia
Calgary’s food truck scene has exploded since the project was first piloted by city council in 2010. Today there are around 40 trucks serving almost every cuisine imaginable. Go for some satisfying Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa from the Happy Fish Truck or visit Eats of Asia and try Bibimbap, Korean Fried Chicken and waffles, spicy laksa, or the ever popular pork belly stuffed baos. Use the very handy Street Food App to find out where the trucks are located.
More Great Places To Eat This Weekend
If you're in Calgary, you'll also want to check out Bonnie Huang's 9 places to eat in Calgary.
Not in Calgary? Have no fear... we've still got lots of great places for you to eat!
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Vancouver Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Edmonton Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Toronto Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Montreal Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Winnipeg Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Quebec City Edition
As a former farm girl trapped in the big city, Bernice Hill tries to stay true to her roots through her community garden and seasonal foraging. There’s nothing more that she likes than creating or eating delicious food and sharing her experience with others at the table or on her blog Dish ‘n’ The Kitchen. She loves the challenges of writing ‘food stories’ about local Calgary events and is always ready to learn new photography tips to improve her skills. She has been a guest blogger for Gustotv and is inspired both through travel and the world around her. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and especially Instagram.