73 Meats You Must Eat

Shield your eyes vegetarians, because what we have here is a vast collection of the city’s best beef, chicken, pork and other meaty meats to order, takeout or prepare for yourself at home.

Bistecca at Mercato shown with mushrooms and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.


Rib-eye at Vintage Chophouse

Marbled steaks with rich, beefy flavour, aged well and cooked perfectly every time. Who needs side dishes?

320 11 Ave. S.W., 403-262-7262, vintagechophouse.com, @vintagechop

Elk Rib-eye at Second to None Meats

Locally raised, naturally and sustainably, this cut is leaner than beef with more protein and plenty of flavour.

2100 4 St. S.W., 403-245-6662, secondtononemeats.com, @second2nonemeat

Porterhouse Steak at Open Range

One cow, two porterhouses. A limited number of this cut is available from every animal, so don’t pass up the opportunity to order one at an iconic steak house.

1114 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-277-3408, open-range.ca

Bone-In Beef Tenderloin at Le Villa

The big bone attached to the signature beef tenderloin at Le Villa adds nuttiness and a Fred Flintstone zip to the beef – 12 ounces of pure decadence.

1851 Sirocco Dr. S.W., 403-217-9699, 1800 4 St. S.W., 403-453-3670, levilla.ca

Bistecca at Mercato shown with mushrooms and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.

Bistecca at Mercato

A substantial steak in the style of Fiorentina, traditionally topped with arugula, lemon and olive oil, this one has to be shared

2224 4 St. S.W., 403-263-5535; and 873 85 St. S.W., 403-263-6996; mercatogourmet.com

Chateaubriand at Hy’s

Hy’s chateaubriand for two is old-school done right, with the perfectly grilled, tender filet mignon carved tableside and served with Barnaise sauce and red wine jus.

751 3 St. S.W., 403-663-3363, hyssteakhouse.com, @hys_steakhouse

Steak Frites at Cassis Bistro

A timeless combination executed well.

2505 17 Ave. S.W., 403-262-0036, thecassisbistro.ca, @cassisbistro


Schnitzel Sandwich at Margarita’s Dishes

Lightly crusted and fried, slathered with mustard and topped with Margarita’s own sauerkraut on a baguette, the chicken breast schnitzel sandwich is a must-try for a quick and satisfying lunch.

Calgary Farmers’ Market, 403-244-4548

Fried Chicken and Waffles at Model Milk

This dish keeps evolving, but the base remains the same: crisp and juicy fried chicken, with a side of waffles (or, in one iteration, waffle-like doughnuts) for soaking up gravy and syrup.

308 17 Ave. S.W., 403-265-7343, modelmilk.ca, @modelmilkbistro

Fresh Chicken at Bowden Farm

The naturally raised chicken from Bowden actually tastes like chicken. Available fresh at Spragg’s Meat Shop outlets in farmers’ markets, it’s perfect for the rotisserie, the oven or the frying pan.


Fried Chicken at Olive Chicken

In Korea, fried chicken and beer restaurants dot the landscape – it’s a perfect pairing of crispy and refreshing.

1324 10 Ave. S.W., 403-457-0649; 2807 17 Ave. S.W., 587-351-1111; olivechicken.ca

Chicken and Cashews at Silver Inn

Known for its ginger beef, Silver Inn also does a killer chicken and cashews in yellow bean sauce – lightly sweet, savoury, loads of cashews and tender chicken.

2702 Centre St. N., 403-276-6711, silverinnrestaurant.com

Smoked Chicken Wings at Symons Roadhouse

14555 Symons Valley Rd. N.W., 587-296-4986, symonsroadhouse.com

Tandoori Chicken at Namskar

Rolled in yogurt and spices and roasted in the tandoor oven, Namskar’s tandoori chicken is succulent and deeply spiced. If you like a saucier version, the butter chicken is worthy.

202 16 Ave. N.E., 403-230-4447, namskar.com

Jerk Chicken at The Spicy Jamakin

Buy it hot for a snack at the market or frozen to prepare at home.

Market on Macleod, 403-714-0305, thespicyjamakin.ca

Crispy Chicken at Szechuan Restaurant

The mild version of Szechuan Restaurant’s crispy chicken consists of half chicken and half chilis. Bracingly hot, the chicken is tender and outstandingly flavourful, if you can handle the burn.

320 16 Ave. N.W., 403-276-8876, szechuanrestaurant.ca

Bavarian Chicken Wings at Wurst

Wings are the ultimate bar food and sausage is a natural pairing for beer. Imagine the magic when these two are combined in this sausage-stuffed wing.

2437 4 St. S.W., 403-245-2345, wurst.ca, @wurstcalgary

Rotisserie Chickens to Go at Boxwood

The trick when ordering one of these juicy chickens is to make it home before tearing into it.

340 13 Ave. S.W., 403-265-4006, boxwoodcafe.ca, @boxwoodcalgary


Burger at Dairy Lane Cafe

The grass-fed, dry-aged beef makes for a juicy patty. Adding some local bacon makes us feel like the 100-mile diet never tasted so good.

319 19 St. N.W., 403-283-2497, dairylanecafe.ca, @dairylane

Stuffed Burgers at Naina’s Kitchen

Alone, the patties that make up the burgers at this hidden gem would be enough of a draw, but when owner Erin Mueller stuffs them with anything from macaroni and cheese to poutine, the burgers become everything a burger dreams it could be.

2808 Ogden Rd. S.E., 403-263-6355, nainaskitchen.com, @nainaskitchen

House Burger at Chuckwagon Cafe & Cattle Co.

Juicy, well-spiced and topped with a tangy relish, marbled cheese, fried onions and mushrooms, the quaint barn-shaped caf’s burgers are well worth the drive to Turner Valley.

105 Sunset Blvd., Turner Valley, 403-933-0003, chuckwagoncafe.ca

Teriyaki Burger With Rice at Carino

The house-ground Wagyu beef patty makes this burger extra special, served with rice shaped into patties, forming a slightly crisp and chewy “bun.”

709 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-984-7534, carinobistro.ca, @carinobistro

Burger at Briggs Kitchen and Bar

Two beefy patties with classic toppings and a secret aioli for the sauce, this is what happens when a classic French chef takes on a classic American dish.

317 10 Ave. S.W., 587-350-5015, briggskandb.com, @briggskandb

Burger at Buchanan’s Chophouse & Whisky Bar

A proper, freshly ground burger at Buchanan’s should be ordered at medium temperature. To ask for it warmer could be classified as meat abuse.

738 3 Ave. S.W., 403-261-4646, buchanans.ca

The Wickens at Burger 320

A classic, big, messy burger. A house-ground brisket patty topped with thick slices of bacon, cheddar, rhubarb and onion chutney, aioli and arugula, sandwiched between a fluffy, house-made bun.

814 1 Ave. N.E., 403-515-0035, newfoodorder.com, @burger320

Burger at Rocky’s Burgers

Parked outside Crossroads Market is an old Calgary Transit bus, where the staff at Rocky’s grill thick, juicy burgers. Warning to first-timers: Order a “single.” You need to work up to a double here.

1235 26 Ave. S.E., 403-336-0405, rockysburgers.com

Everything Else

Everything on one plate at Gaucho

Huge skewers of sizzling meat – variations of pork, beef and chicken – are brought to your table and sliced onto your plate. Seasoned simply, they keep coming until you toss in the towel.

5920 Macleod Tr. S. 403-454-9119, 629 Main St., Canmore, 403-678-9886, brazilianbbq.ca

Beef Wellington at Wellington’s of Calgary

Trust that a restaurant named after a dish knows how to do that dish well. The classic Beef Wellington is a filet assembled with pt and duxelles and then wrapped in puff pastry and baked until golden.

10325 Bonaventure Dr. S.E., 403-278-5250, wellingtonsofcalgary.com

Ginger Beef at Silver Inn

A Calgary culinary claim to fame, this sweet and spicy dish is a piece of the city’s edible history.

2702 Centre St. N., 403-276-6711, silverinnrestaurant.com

Beef Carpaccio at Raw Bar by Duncan Ly

An otherwise traditional dish of paper-thin slices of beef gets a Vietnamese makeover with the addition of herbs, red onion and spicy peanuts drizzled with a citrus-based nouc cham.

119 12 Ave. S.W., 403-206-9565, rawbaryyc.ca, @rawbaryyc

Char Siu Tacos at Shiki Menya

Yes, yes, get the ramen too. But don’t overlook this little spot’s pork tacos with pineapple salsa.

827 1 Ave. N.E., 403-454-2722, shikimenya.ca, @shikimenya

Bo Ssm at Anju

Pork shoulder so tender it falls apart just by looking at it. The only downside is waiting the 48 hours that are required notice to order it.

344 17 Ave. S.W., 403-460-3341, anju.ca, @anjurestaurant

Beef Rendang at Kaffir Lime

Bits of beef simmered until tender in coconut milk with fragrant galangal and cinnamon and a little hint of spice, you can almost imagine you’re eating in a far more exotic locale than a farmers’ market food court.

Market on Macleod, kaffirlimeindonesiagrill.com

Pan-Fried, Thick-Cut Pork Chop at Crazyweed

Thick, succulent pork paired with seasonal sauces. Need we say more? Okay, the pickled fennel and green apple slaw on top is a perfect match for the meaty chop.

1600 Railway Ave., Canmore, 403-609-2530, crazyweed.ca

Beef Bulgalbi at Bow Bulgogi House

Two words: meat butter.

3515 17 Ave. S.W., 403-686-6826

Duck Wings at Corbeaux Bakehouse

Meatier and duck-ier – unexpected lunchtime wing delight.

730 17 Ave. S.W., 403-474-9214, corbeaux.com, @corbeauxbake

Sherm’s Ultimate Gripper at Tubby Dog

A deep-fried, bacon-wrapped dog topped with ham, chili, cheese, more bacon and a fried egg.

1022 17 Ave. S.W., 403-244-0694, tubbydog.com, @tubbydoghotdogs

Jamon Iberico at Black Pig Bistro

Special black pigs fed only grain and acorns and aged for at least 24 months produce the world’s best cured ham.

825 1 Ave. N.E., 403-460-0350, blackpigbistro.com, @blackpigbistro

Linguica at Spragg’s Meats

It’s Portuguese smoked pork sausage with garlic and paprika.

Symons Valley Ranch Farmer’s Market, 14555 Symons Valley Rd. N.W., 403-378-3800, spraggsmeatshop.blogspot.com

Jger Schnitzel at The Wiener Schnitzel Haus

German food is often derided, but this dish is a perception-changer.

4703 Bowness Rd. N.W., 403-288-2230, wienerschnitzel.ca

Beef at The Better Butcher

A good cook needs a great butcher and Randy Hnatuk, owner of The Better Butcher fits the bill with his well-raised, perfectly aged and precisely cut meats.

377 Heritage Dr. S.E., 403-252-7171

Rosemary Port-Braised Lamb Shank at Sage Bistro & Wine Lounge

1712 Bow Valley Tr., Canmore, 403-678-4878, sagebistro.ca

Old-Fashioned Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich at Grumans Catering and Delicatessen

230 11 Ave. S.E., 403-261-9003, grumans.ca

Beef and Veal Meatballs at Bocce

Like mama would make, if your mama was Italian. And liked things a little bit spicy.

2207 4 St. S.W., 403-516-6162, eatbocce.ca, @eatbocce

Elk Osso Bucco at The Nash

Braised in red wine, The Nash’s elk osso bucco is rich, flavourful and fall-off-the-bone tender. That’s not all – the elk is served with fatty marrow bones, meaty grilled king oyster mushrooms and a creamy risotto infused with the perfume of kalamata olives.

925 11 St. S.E., 403-984-3365, thenashyyc.com, @thenashyyc

Roast Duck on Rice at Vic’s Hong Kong Style BBQ & Cafe

100 3 Ave. S.E., 403-237-7321

Veal Cheeks at Vero Bistro Moderne

Pure decadence is plated up as chef Jenny braises supple veal cheeks in rich Barolo wine.

209 10 St. N.W., 403-283-8988, verobistro.ca, @verobistro

St. Louis Ribs at Booker’s BBQ Grill and Crab Shack

316 3 St. S.E., 403-264-6419, bookersbbq.com, @bookersbbq

Boerewors Sausage at PaSu Farm

Located just outside Carstairs, PaSu Farm hosts a South African barbecue (braai) every Saturday evening during the short Alberta summer. The standout dish in the plentiful, meaty spread is the boerewors sausage – house-made with a mixture of pork, elk and lamb.

403-337-2800, pasu.com

Lamb Kleftiko at Calypso’s Taverna

A generous portion of moist, fall-off-the-bone braised leg of lamb with those lemony Greek potatoes that seem impossible to make at home.

2101 Centre St. N.W., 403-250-5533, calypsostaverna.com

Perfect Meats at Co-op

Eating local doesn’t have to be pricey or pretentious. Co-op offers locally raised beef, chicken, pork and even goat at all of its locations.

Multiple locations, calgarycoop.com, @calgarycoop

Larb Nua at Thai Sa-On

For a blast of flavour-filled heat, the larb nua at Thai Sa-On can toast the tonsils. It’s sliced, spiced (as in heavy chilis) beef served room temperature with roasted rice and a mouth-puckering lime dressing.

351 10 Ave. S.W., 403-264-3526, thai-sa-on.com

Beef Seekh Kabab at Faisal Kabab Hut

Ground beef is mixed with onion, coriander and spices before being moulded onto a skewer and grilled until just tender. Served on a sizzling platter with a scatter of onions and a lemon wedge to squeeze on top.

5120 47 St. N.E., 403-590-7101

Biltong at SA Meats

It’s South Africa’s preferred snack: dried cured meat sliced into strips or thinly shaved.

2120 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-270-0739, sameatshops.ca

Chinese Barbeque Pork at Feng Kee Bbq House

30 Country Hills Landing N.W., 403-730-8333

Whole Roast Pig at The Libertine Public House

Gather up 20 of your closest friends for the whole roast pig at Libertine. Choose from fatty belly, crispy cracklin’ or lean loin, served with fresh slaw, warm buns and sauces.

223 8 Ave. S.W., 403-265-3665, thelibertine.ca, @libertinepublic

Meatball Sandwich at Spolumbo’s

Among the many meaty delights of Spolumbo’s, the meatball sandwich stands large – both physically and metaphorically. Huge meatballs, tangy tomato sauce, crusty roll … drippy, messy and gorgeous.

1308 9 Ave. S.E., 403-264-6452, spolumbos.com

Grilled Pork Belly at Ogam Chicken

The grilled pork belly at Ogam Chicken is moist and tender, simmering in a flavourful, sweet and savoury sauce. Always served with a rotating selection of kimchi and other pickled Korean goodies.

6008 Macleod Tr. S., 403-454-6101, ogamchicken.com

Ham at Spragg’s Meat Shop

Specializing in pork, Spragg’s Meat Shop has a tantalizing range of chops, roasts and sausages. But it’s the ham that calls out as a premium product – dense and smoky and not overly salty.

Calgary Farmers’ Market, Kingsland Farmers’ Market and Symons Valley Ranch, spraggsmeatshop.blogspot.ca

Kebabs at Atlas

Chunks of beef or chicken are skewered on long metal rods and flame-broiled at Atlas (ground beef is pressed onto the skewers and cooked the same way) and served over saffron rice with fine Persian flavours.

1000 9 Ave. S.W., 403-230-0990, atlascalgary.com

Teriyaki Pork Ribs at Daruma

Japanese cuisine is not just sushi and ramen. The sweet and sticky teriyaki pork ribs at Daruma will definitely stick to your ribs.

630 1 Ave. N.E., 587-352-7568, darumacalgary.com

Turducken at Second to None Meats

Whether celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just trying to re-enact the latest episode of Epic Meal Time on YouTube, serving a turducken will definitely be a conversation starter.

2100 4 St. S.W., 403-245-6662, plus two other locations; secondtononemeats.com

Beef Brisket at Palomino Smokehouse

109 7 Ave. S.W., 403-532-1911, thepalomino.ca

Cassoulet at Fleur de Sel

Few places do the French classics like Fleur de Sel. The deeply baked cassoulet of white beans with smoked ham, sausage and duck confit is a trifecta of great French meats.

2015 4 St. S.W., 403-228-9764, fleurdeselbrasserie.com

Lamb Leg Roast at Lambtastic Farms via Spud

Rub this bad boy with a mixture of garlic and rosemary, then brown it before sticking it in the slow cooker for the day. Before you know it, dinner is ready.

Order at spud.ca

Presunto at Mimo

Many are the meaty treats at Mimo, Calgary’s only Portuguese restaurant. But the house-cured presunto, similar to prosciutto, is a salty-savoury delight.

4909 17 Ave. S.E., 403-235-3377

Yebeg Wat at Marathon

Lamb marinated in Ethiopian spices and cooked in a buttery, chili-infused berbere sauce scooped up by hand in the soft, crepey injera bread is a staple at every visit to Marathon.

130 10 St. N.W., 403-283-6796, marathonethiopian.com

Lamb Shoulder at Ewe-Nique Farms

Lushly pastured lamb is raised near Champion and is available in many shops around Calgary. Braise a shoulder or grill some chops and enjoy sublime Alberta lamb.

403-897-3737, eweniquefarms.com

Arni Kleftiko at Santorini Greek Taverna

Slow-roasted lamb shoulder, a simple spritz of lemon, some roasted potatoes, and you have a sublime Greek dish that hasn’t changed for centuries. Santorini’s is the best in town.

1502 Centre St. N., 403-276-8363, santorinirestaurant.com

Prime Rib Sandwich at Charcut Roast House

It’s all meat, all the time at Charcut – house-made sausages, pig-head mortadella and boards of fresh-cured charcuterie. But the prime rib sandwich is definitive of the genre. Period.

899 Centre St. S., 403-984-2180, charcut.com

Pho at Pho Binh Minh

There’s pho and then there’s pho at Pho Binh Minh – rich beef broth, fresh greens and herbs, slices of rare cooked beef, lime, chilis, vermicelli in 16 versions. This is pho at its best.

4710 17 Ave. S.E., 403-235-2521

Honey Garlic Pepperoni at Longview Jerky Shop

Come for the jerky, stay for the pepperoni. Longview’s honey garlic pepperoni is a perfect mix of sweet and savoury.

148 Morrison Rd., Longview, 403-558-3960, longviewjerkyshop.com

Wild Rose Beef Pie at Simple Simon Pies

Inside the flaky pastry of these beefy pies is a rich stew of cubed sirloin, highlighted with the flavour of Wild Rose Brown Ale. But don’t be tempted to microwave them – they’re much better cooked in the oven.

Available at several farmers’ markets, at all Calgary Co-op stores or online for delivery at simplesimonpies.com

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