Elbow Room | Calgary’s 25 Best Restaurants 2018

Elbow Room’s contemporary Canadian cuisine finds a home (with a second-floor deck) in Britannia.

The restaurant, designed by Sarah Ward Interiors, has a comfy, stylish vibe. Photograph by Jared Sych.

FOOD | Contemporary Canadian with robust flavours.
VIBE | Leisurely lunches in an upscale-neighbourhood.
DECOR | Cool and stylish, but comfy, too.
DISH | Roasted lamb sirloin with wild mushroom-and-honey baklava, lemon-thyme carrots and olive tapenade.
TIP | Hit the deck on a sunny day.


Britannia has become a hot new dining destination, and Elbow Room is one of the key players elevating this area’s culinary appeal. The two-storey, Sarah Ward-designed restaurant sits in a new building on the site of a former gas station, and it’s packed daily with Britannians and other Calgarians looking for a taste of chef Ryan Blackwell’s food.

Blackwell, a young chef originally from Cochrane, studied at SAIT and then worked in Vancouver’s restaurant scene before returning to Calgary to open up his own place. Working with business partner Josh Brennand, formerly of The Nash and Notable, Blackwell launched Elbow Room last summer and it became instantly popular, especially the second-floor deck that looks over Elbow Drive.

The menu ranges from a corn-and-crab bisque with queso fresco and tiger prawns with gochujang mayo to Icelandic cod with apple pure and bison short rib with candied cipollinis. The menu is bolstered with many gluten-free and vegetarian options. It’s richly flavoured, skillfully prepared food that jumps off the plate, well served from an open, main-floor kitchen in a comforting, sunny blue-green setting.

Elbow Room is a marker that suburban restaurants are no longer second-rate. Add on free parking and easy access and they can be very attractive destinations for the dining crowd.

802 49 Ave. S.W., 403-460-8128, elbowroombritannia.ca

The forest mushroom fricassee at Elbow Room. Photograph by Jared Sych.


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