Pigeonhole | Calgary's 25 Best Restaurants

With executive chef-owner Justin Leboe at the helm, Pigeonhole continues to inspire with its globally-influenced small plates served on mismatched china.

Chef-owner Justin Leboe presides over the bar, restaurant and open kitchen at Pigeonhole.

Photograph by Jared Sych


FOOD | Inventive small plates with international flavours.
VIBE | Sociable, buzzy and welcoming.
DECOR | Modern comfort meets Parisian bar.
DISH | Ricotta dumplings with black truffle.
TIP | On Mondays, caviar and a bottle of bubbles is $100 with the money going to Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids.


The mismatched, vintage china plates at Pigeonhole could serve as a metaphor for the delicious food served atop them as well as the restaurant they’re used in. After all, they are beautiful, carefully crafted and, while similar in style and shape, they are not a matched set. 

Eclectic is the running theme of this highly acclaimed dining destination that shares a building with Model Milk, also run by executive chef-owner Justin Leboe. At Pigeonhole, Leboe and chef de cuisine Douglas King create food that defies categorization, melding Asian and European cuisines into singular dishes designed for sharing. This dishes-without-borders approach visits Russia with a full-meal-deal caviar service, stops by Asia with octopus and XO sauce and nods to Canada with walleye and kohlrabi on a menu that changes regularly, offering something new to try with every visit.

An unconventional wine list focusing on unexpected regions or particular styles echoes the cosmopolitan theme, reflecting the restaurant’s name — nothing here can be pigeonholed. 

Settle into one of the seats along the long marble bar or on the benches backed with leather cushions and feast your way around the world while discovering why Pigeonhole was named EnRoute magazine’s best new restaurant in 2015. 

306 17 Ave. S.W., 403-452-4694, pigeonholeyyc.ca


This article appears in the March 2018 issue of Avenue Calgary. Subscribe here.


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