Calgary Dining -

Calgary offers a wide variety of dining options. While Calgary doesn't have a single signature dish, residents are very proud of Alberta Beef, and Calgarians are discerning clients of steakhouses. Speaking of beef, the popular Chinese-Canadian dish of ginger beef was invented in Calgary in the 1970s. Calgary is also home to a very culturally diverse population, with a very wide selection of international restaurants, especially from East and Southeast Asia, and the Mediterranean from Italy through Lebanon. Calgary is, however, generally lacking in decent Mexican food, and the inland location means that a good meal of seafood is sometimes hard to find.

Restaurants in the downtown area are very busy between noon and 1 PM on weekdays due to the lunch crowd of office workers; if you can, try to stagger your lunch to start around 11:15 or 1:30. You'll face much shorter lineups. Buffets are often only prepared once for lunchtime, and visiting a buffet after 12:15 or so will typically be a depressing dining experience.

Budget
  Chicken On The Way, 1443 Kensington Road NW, 283-5545. One of the longest-running fast food institutions in Calgary (open 1958), Chicken On The Way delivers wonderful deep-fried chicken, french fries and corn fritters, at a fair price. This is an old-school joint; no frills, nothing fancy, and none of that new-fangled low-fat junk. The dining space is two picnic tables next to busy 14th St. But it's still hands-down the best fried chicken in the city. A meal runs in the $30-40 range.
  Falafel King, 803 1 St SW, 269-5464. The friendly service and top-quality Middle Eastern food means that there's a lineup out the door every lunch hour. Falafel, chicken and beef shawarma on the menu, with a free piece of baklava with every order and fresh-squeezed juice on tap. Hail to the King, baby. $6-7.
  Peter's Drive-in, 219 16 Ave NE, 277-2747. Peter's Drive-In is a classic drive-through burger joint. Great fries, burgers and milkshakes at slightly high prices, but higher quality (and large portions -- watch out for the large shoebox of fries). Well known throughout Alberta. Rather than waiting in the drive-through line, park in the adjacent lot and walk up to the front windows; you'll get faster service, and you can eat on one of the picnic tables. Burger, shake and onion rings will cost about $8. They serve the finest milkshake in the city; thick and made with real fruit (over 20 flavours!).
  Pho Pasteur Saigon, 207 1st SE, 233-0477. Pho Pasteur Saigon is a favourite Vietnamese noodle joint. Filling and tasty and all for around $6. If they're busy, try Little Vietnamese Village, at the south entrance to the mall (half a block south), or Pho Hoai, located inside the mall.
  Spolumbo's, 1308 9 Ave SE, 264-6452. Owned by former Calgary Stampeders players, Spolumbo's offers delicious Italian style deli foods; sandwiches, soups and salads. An in-house sausage plant makes some of Calgary's finest sausage. Try the Spolumbo's Special, a panini sandwich featuring mortadella, capicolla and genoa salami. Fresh and delicious, but a little pricey; $7-8 for a typical sandwich.
  Super Donair Kabab Restaurant, 1018 9 Ave SE, 262-2930. This is a restaurant even Calgarians don't really know about; located in a grimy hole-in-the-wall next to a bottle depot in an out-of-the-way part of Inglewood, billed as "a touch of excellence for classy people" (the excellence part is true) and decorated with a kitschy style all it's own. Kim, the charismatic owner/cook, makes some of the finest Donairs in the city, with wonderful beef and magnificent sauce; a donair and drink can be had for just $5.
  Wicked Wedge, 618 17th Ave SW, 228-1024. The Wedge offers pizza-by-the-slice, but a cut above all other such joints. Innovative pizzas, lots of toppings and hand made crusts have made the Wicked Wedge a local landmark. Located on 17th Avenue, they draw a heavy after-bar crowd, and are busiest at 2 AM on a Friday night! One of the best places to go for late-night food. $3.50 a slice.

Mid-range
  Earls, 315 8th Ave SW, 265-3275. One of many Earls in the Calgary area this is part of the North American chain offering good wholesome meals. A good menu range from steaks and chops to pizza, salads and fish dishes. Good quality at a moderate price.
  The Keg, 1101 5th Street SW, 266-1036. Just one of a national chain of steak houses, The Keg in Calgary is not much different to the rest. The menu mainly consists of steak with some chicken and fish. Great steaks, just what you expect from them. Good prices as well.
  Nick's Steakhouse, 2430 Crowchild Trail NW , 282-9278. If you are looking for great Alberta steaks or some tasty pizzas, this is one of Calgary's best. Prices are generally between $15 to $20 for an entree. This is a short walk from the Banff Trail Train Station, across from McMahon Stadium in the North West. Close to Motel Village, where many of the hotel chains can be found.
  Marathon Ethiopian Restaurant, 130 10 St NW, 283-6796. Marathon is Calgary's oldest and finest Ethiopian restaurant. They offer a lunch buffet on weekdays, but otherwise, often have slow service. The food makes up for it; it's very tasty and filling. Vegetarian options available; roughly $12-15 per person.

Splurge
  Saltlik, 101 8 Ave SW, 537-1160. Billing itself as a "rare steakhouse", Saltlik offers a funky, contemporary twist on the traditional steakhouse. The menu emphasizes beef, but also features a variety of chicken and seafood. Entrees $15-20.

Drink

  Ship and Anchor Pub, 534 17th Ave SW, 245-3333, An excellent place for live music, a lively young crowd, and cheap eats.
  Melrose Cafe and Bar, 730 17th Ave SW, 228 3566, A place to sit in the sun on the patio and people watch, and a great bar to watch hookers.
  The Back Alley, 4630 Macleod Trail South, 287-2500, Upbeat nightclub featuring rock and hip-hop music, must do for a partier.
  Coyotes, 1088 Olympic Way SE, 770-2200, Typical nightclub which features all current music. Notable locally for having girls that are 'easy'
  Outlaws, #24 7400 Mcleod Trail, 255-4646, Western themed club which plays a variety of music, usually different every night. Upbeat atmosphere but mostly full of drunk cowboys.
  Cowboys, 826 5th Street SW, 265-0699, Typical nightclub. "The most fun you can have with your boots on!"
  Brewbrothers , 607 11th Ave SW 258.2739, Good live tunes!
  HiFi Club for those who aren't cowboys/cowgirls and want some different, alternative music.

Calgary features other bars and clubs such as Tequila Nightclub, Tantra, Ranchman's and much more.

Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License


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