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Once predominantly hailed as a city of hearty steak dinners and standout burgers, Calgary has transformed its culinary landscape over the years. Today, a wave of smaller eateries, helmed by innovative local chefs, have emerged, offering some of the most exceptional dining experiences in the country. To truly capture the essence of Calgary’s culinary scene, one must explore both its venerable institutions and its newer gems. Here are some of the top restaurants in Calgary that have earned accolades from locals.
Calgary’s dining scene is a vibrant mix of tradition and innovation, with each restaurant offering its own unique contribution. From upscale dining to casual eateries, these establishments showcase the best of Calgary’s culinary diversity, making the city a true gastronomic destination.
This intimate wine bar, known for its exquisite small plates, is one of Justin Leboe’s culinary ventures that has garnered significant praise, including being named the best new restaurant of the year by Enroute magazine. As a sibling establishment to the nearby Model Milk, Pigeon Hole offers a distinct atmosphere while maintaining equally outstanding culinary standards.
306 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0A8
Charcut Roast House
Charcut has become a cornerstone for meat enthusiasts in Calgary, credited with inspiring a new generation of chefs to focus on locally sourced cuisine in more intimate dining settings. Despite its established reputation, it continues to rank as one of Calgary’s finest, particularly for those seeking impeccably prepared Alberta beef.
899 Centre Street SW #101, Calgary, AB T2G 1B8
Sidewalk Citizen Bakery
While boasting multiple locations, the Sidewalk Citizen Bakery within the historic Simmons Building, a rejuvenated mattress factory, is a must-visit. Famous for its lunchtime sandwiches and salad bowls, the bakery also offers a delightful breakfast menu featuring dishes like the mezze plate with charred avocado and labneh cheese.
618 Confluence Way SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0G1
Situated along Calgary’s scenic riverwalk, Charbar resides in the Simmons Building, marking itself as Charcut’s Argentinean-influenced sister restaurant. While meat dishes are a highlight, Chef Jessica Pelland ensures the menu is balanced with a variety of lighter vegetable options. The restaurant boasts an open kitchen and a rooftop patio offering spectacular views of the East Village.
Simmons Building, 618 Confluence Way SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0G1
An iconic name in both Calgary and Canada’s culinary circles, The River Cafe is renowned for its commitment to sustainability. The restaurant’s local, seasonal, and sustainable Canadian cuisine is served in an elegantly rustic setting reminiscent of a forest cabin, complete with a wood-burning oven.
25 Prince’s Island, Calgary, AB T2P 0R1
For a unique dining experience, venture to the Kensington neighborhood to find Container Bar, an establishment offering oysters and cava in an open-air setting. Known for its excellent food and vibrant atmosphere, the bar becomes a hub for special events as the seasons change.
1131 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB T2N 3P4
Redefining perceptions of Korean cuisine, Anju offers a contemporary dining experience with a menu perfectly suited for accompanying alcohol. Open until 1am seven nights a week, this upscale restaurant invites diners to explore beyond traditional dishes like bulgogi and bibimbap.
344 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0A5
At Whitehall, modern British cuisine is served in a relaxed yet sophisticated setting. Chef Neil McCue has created an environment where fine dining is enjoyed without the formality of white linens, offering guests the choice of small plates, individual entrees, or a chef’s five-course tasting menu.
24 4 St NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3R7