Discover Calgary’s Diverse Culinary Scene: Best Places to Eat in Calgary, Canada (2023)
The vibrant city of Calgary boasts a diverse culinary scene. It is one of the best cities in Canada for a culinary trip, and thus, food lovers often add it to their wish list. The restaurants in Calgary have it, be it traditional Canadian dishes or global cuisines. The culinary scenes here have gone through significant transformation in the past decade. A few years and the growth of new and innovative restaurants are popping up across Calgary. However, with so many options to choose available, choosing the best places to eat in Calgary can be challenging.
Join us in this article as we discover the ultimate food scene in Calgary. We will cover Calgary’s diverse culinary landscape, from street food vendors to high-end fine dining restaurants and many more. We will also discover Calgary’s most iconic dishes, especially the famous Alberta beef. Calgary has a taste of exotic flavors from around the world, and the food scenes here aren’t meant to be missed. Whether you’re a foodie or not, this article will make you want to try some or the other delicacy in the city.
Most Popular Restaurants To Eat In Calgary, Canada
So come along and learn about the diverse food scene and uncover the restaurant gems that make Calgary one of Canada’s top culinary destinations. Let’s get started:
1. Model Milk
Model Milk is one of the most popular restaurants in Calgary, and a food enthusiast cannot dare to miss it. This local restaurant is popular for its reputation for serving innovative and creative cuisine. Its farm-to-table concept focuses on using fresh and locally sourced ingredients only. The restaurant’s menu changes frequently depending on whatever growth the season has to offer. Due to that, Model Milk always offers a unique dining experience on every single visit. The restaurant has everything from large meals to small plates, expertly crafted and beautifully presented. To pair along with food, they also have an extensive wine list. The restaurant boasts a contemporary and stylish decor that complements its modern cuisine. In addition, its knowledgeable staff makes Model Milk the perfect spot for any kind of get-together.
2. Calcutta Cricket Club (Indian Restaurant)
If you are looking for a unique and immersive dining experience in Calgary, then visit the Calcutta Cricket Club. This Indian restaurant transports its guest back to the vibrant streets of India by introducing them to some of the most flavourful dishes. The menu here offers traditional Indian dishes with a modern twist, each of which is an excellent exception by the talented chefs. Their curry (gravy) dishes, along with Indian bread, are a must-try. What makes dining at Calcutta Cricket Club even more exciting is its decor and ambiance. The indoors of this restaurant are inspired by Calcutta’s (Indian States Kolkata) culture and heritage of Calcutta. In addition, the vintage cricket memorabilia adorning the walls give it a more Indian vibe. The staff at Calcutta Cricket Club guides its guests through the menu, offering the best recommendations to enhance the overall experience. Whether you’re a seasoned Indian food lover or someone who wants to give it a try, do visit Calcutta Cricket Club for an uncomfortable culinary adventure.
3. Pio Peruvian (Latin American Restaurant)
Pioperu is a unique Latin American restaurant in Calgary that serves the best Peruvian cuisine. The restaurant sits in the trendy neighborhood of Kensington and is a popular choice amongst locals and tourists alike. It offers a diverse range of dishes highlighting the flavors and cuisine of Peru. The restaurant focuses on using only local and sustainable ingredients yet making the best out of it. The fusion of traditional and modern Peruvian dishes here will surely excite your taste buds. Pioperu not only aims to promote the culinary scene but introduce its visitors to Calgarians and the richness of Peruvian culture. Whether you’re a foodie or a curious traveler, do check out Pioperu in Calgary.
4. Bolsa Restaurant (Vietnamese Restaurant)
Bolsa Restaurant is amongst the many Vietnamese restaurants in Calgary that can be classified as a must-visit culinary gem. This upscale restaurant is popular for its modern take on traditional Vietnamese cuisine. They use fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and the chef’s magic together to create an unforgettable dining experience. Their menu features everything Vietnamese ranging from pho, banh mi, crispy imperial rolls, etc. However, dishes here are made with a contemporary twist. The restaurant has a chic, minimalist décor that adds to the overall dining experience. It is an ideal place to gather for a romantic evening or a night out with friends.
5. Eastern Fortune Restaurant (Chinese restaurant)
Eastern Fortune is a popular Chinese restaurant serving the best Chinese food in Calgary. It offers a wide range of authentic Chinese cuisine, from dim sum, seafood, and noodles to rice dishes. The restaurant serves absolutely delicious and fresh food. It is also a popular option amongst vegetarian and gluten-intolerant people since their menu has a range of suitable options for them. Maintains its reputation for quality food and service, and thus, it is a staple in Calgary’s food scene.
6. NOtaBLE – The Restaurant (Canadian restaurant)
NOtaBLE is a contemporary Canadian nestled in the heart of Calgary. This popular restaurant known for its great food and exceptional service. Their menu highlights locally sourced ingredients, and thus it keeps on upgrading every few weeks. The food offered here usually reflects the diverse culinary traditions of Canada. Some of their popular offerings include perfectly cooked steak and succulent seafood, the must-try. The food here is delicious and beautifully presented, making NOtaBLE one of the most loved restaurants by locals. They also offer an extensive collection of Wine and cocktails to pair along. What keeps attracting people the most here is chic and modern, along with an open-concept kitchen and a beautiful patio. As per locals, it isn’t just the food but the vibe of this place that keeps bringing them back.
7. Native Tongues Taqueria (Mexican restaurant)
Native Tongues is a highly acclaimed Mexican restaurant nestled in downtown Calgary. The restaurant is popular for offering authentic Mexican flavors and exceptional cocktails. Along with that, their warm ambiance makes the dining experience here truly unique. Native Tongues Taqueria offers a variety of traditional Mexican dishes, and everything here is cooked using high-quality ingredients and traditional methods. The dishes here burst flavors and texture, be it the classic tacos and ceviche or exotic dishes like the octopus tostada. The restaurant also has an extensive selection of tequila and mezcal ideal to pair with every meal. For an unforgettable culinary experience or to celebrate a date night, do consider Native Tongues Taqueria in your list.
8. UNA Pizza + Wine
UNA Pizza + Wine is a neighborhood gem in Calgary. It is by far the best pizza spot in Calgary and even Alberta. The restaurant operates at three locations and has mastered the art of crafting thin-crust California artisan-style pies. The flavors here are inspired from around the world, and thus, you always get to try something new and unique. UNA Pizza + Wine bake to perfection on stone deck ovens. In fact, their dough and sauces are scratch-made. That is just not enough, and UNA even sources ingredients like pork from Bear and the Flower, honey from Chinook Honey, and chicken and eggs from Bowden Farms. Besides pizzas, they are also famous for a fantastic range of pasta, salads, and sharing plates. Some of the must-try here include brown butter roasted cauliflower, three cheese arancini, and braised pork meatballs. Do not forget the house-made whipped ricotta with truffle honey; a must-try.
9. Cravings Market Restaurant
Cravings Market Restaurant in Calgary isn’t just another regular restaurant but a food hall concept. This unique culinary destination offers a diverse range of global cuisines under one roof. It features multiple vendors offering everything Indian curries, Chinese noodles, Italian pizzas, Mexican tacos, and almost whatnot. The ambiance here is casual and lively, making it a family-friendly space. The restaurant also features a bar and a lounge area. Alcohol lovers here can enjoy a selection of craft beers, wines, and cocktails.
10. Calgary Farmers’ Market South
Calgary Farmers’ Market South is a food lover’s paradise. This marketplace is nestled in the neighborhood of Seton, an area that is quiet, happening, and bustling. It offers an extensive selection of fresh produce, meats, baked goods, and specialty food items. The market gathers more than 50 vendors who offer a variety of cuisines, the best of both local and international flavors. The market aims towards supporting local farmers and producers, thus allowing others to make a sustainable and ethical option for food shopping. Whether you’re looking for a delicious cooked treat or ingredients for a home-cooked meal, do give Calgary Farmers’ Market South in Calgary a try.
Food Items That Are Speciality of Calgary- Do Not Miss These
Calgary is renowned for its Alberta beef. This beef fish is known for its high quality and rich flavor. In fact, most of the restaurants in Calgary serve Alberta beef in many forms. Visitors can enjoy a variety of dishes made from locally-sourced, grass-fed beef. The steaks, burgers, and poutine are a must-try.
The Bloody Caesar is a popular cocktail, but it is lesser known that this drink was invented in Calgary in 1969. The drink is prepared by mixing vodka, Clamato juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Later a sprinkle of celery salt and garnishing of a stalk of celery and a lime wedge completed the glass. Bloody Caesar is a staple of Canadian cuisine. It is often enjoyed as a brunch or afternoon drink. Calgary is known for its love of Bloody Caesar, and you cannot miss trying it when in the city.
Banh Mi is a popular Vietnamese dish. What made it popular in Calgary was the large Vietnamese population in the town. A range of restaurants and street food vendors in Calgary offer this delicious sandwich on a crispy baguette with a variety of meats, vegetables, and herbs as its fillings. This flavorful dish is a must-try for foodies visiting Calgary. Consider trying Banh Mi either in an authentic Vietnamese restaurant or at a local street vendor.
Ginger Beef is a beloved Canadian Chinese that, thanks to its origin in Calgary. It is made from deep-fried strips of beef, which are coated in sweet ginger, garlic, and hot pepper sauce. What makes it a must-try is that Ginger Beef was a creation by chef George Wong at the Silver Inn in Calgary in the mid-1970s. Sadly the Silver Inn no longer operates, but ginger beef has become a staple dish in Canadian Chinese restaurants.