This year, there was no shortage of new restaurants, cafes, bakeries and bars to check out in Calgary. At least 70 new eateries opened across the city in 2017, offering their takes on barbecue, poke, Italian cuisine, ice cream and much more. While most of these are brand new restaurants, several local favourites were also able to expand their reach by opening a second or third location this year. Either way, there’s something delicious for everyone on this list.
1918 Tap & Table officially opened its doors for business on June 23. The Royal Canadian Legion owns and runs the 140-seat restaurant, which is located on the main level of the new Kensington Legion building in West Hillhurst. Executive chef Chris Murphy heads up the kitchen here, which focuses on seasonal and local fare as much as possible. Current dishes on the menu include brined wings, a steak sandwich, confit pork chop, pan seared arctic char, chicken and dumplings, pappardelle and more. There’s also a 56-seat patio to enjoy in the summer. Click here to read more about 1918 Tap & Table.
1918 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-209-1918, 1918tapandtable.com
Satisfy your sweet tooth at this new dessert shop in Marda Loop. The nearly 600-square-foot shop offers small batches of French and North American desserts like cupcakes, macarons and beautifully decorated cakes in flavours like black forest or banana. Order a cup of organic tea or fair trade coffee to go with your favourite treat.
109, 3411 20 St. S.W., 403-455-2253, 8cakes.com
Bar Annabelle opened next door to its sister restaurant, Blink Restaurant, on Stephen Avenue in early December. With only 22 seats, Bar Annabelle is definitely the littler sister of the two eateries, but its size helps create an extremely cozy, intimate bar experience. Order a glass of wine to enjoy with some tapas while listening to records.
109A 8 Ave. S.W., 403-457-9884, barannabelle.com
Around two years ago, The Mission restaurant opened in Candela’s former space in Mission. On December 1, the space underwent another big change as it officially re-opened as the new Belle Southern Kitchen + Bar. The new restaurant is still part of Anejo Group (who also run nearby restaurants Anejo, Blanco Cantina and The Living Room), but has a new look and menu concept that focuses on barbecue. Korr Design transformed The Mission’s darker, contemporary space into a bright, more casual space complete with white barn board and vintage decor elements. The menu now features dishes like sweet potato chowder, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, fried shrimp po’boys and meaty mains like smoked brisket, smoked turkey leg, St. Louis ribs and more. A good time to stop by and check out this new 80-seat restaurant? Try the daily happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m.
1919 4 St. S.W., 403-455-5775, bellebbq.com
Downtown workers can grab breakfast or lunch at this new cafe, which opened in November. Open on weekdays, Ben’s Cafe offers a menu of breakfast dishes, sandwiches and wraps, salads, sweet treats and coffee. Middle Eastern dishes are also featured as chef specials.
105, 919 11 Ave. S.W., @benscafecalgary
It’s been around a year since Parc Brasserie in Mount Royal Village closed. Now, the space belongs to a new local smokehouse called Big Starr, which is a sister restaurant to Lot 102. With a focus on southern barbecue, there are plenty of meaty meal options here. The restaurant smokes its meat in-house and serves Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, smoked turkey legs, Alabama chicken wings, pork ribs and brisket that can be topped with sauces like peach vinegar, Carolina mustard, Texas pepper and Memphis bourbon. There are also sides and bar snacks like mac ‘n’ cheese, corn fritters, bacon corn dogs, baked beans, deep fried pickles and pretzel peanut butter pie for dessert.
818 16 Ave. S.W., 403-452-5925, bigstarr.ca
Considering it’s named after two Halifax streets that are well known for their street food offerings, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Blowers & Grafton specializes in — yup, you guessed it — Halifax street food. The Crescent Heights restaurant offers a food menu filled with Maritimes-inspired dishes like donair nachos, mini lobster rolls, pizza and fish tacos. Meanwhile, the drink offerings include cleverly-named cocktails like Peggy’s Coke and the Maritime Mule, plus a range of beers largely hailing from Halifax or Saint John.
709 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-276-1770, blowersgrafton.com
A beloved staple of Calgary’s dining scene since 1969, Boogie’s Burgers has expanded with a second location in Marda Loop. The retro burger shop opened its new space on June 29, and like its Renfrew location, this new one is bursting with personality and zany colours. Expect bright orange walls, blue vinyl booth seating, a pink countertop and tables the colour of Cheez Whiz. The walls are decorated with burger-inspired artwork and there are several arcade games that guests can play. But of course, the main attraction is the food. There are burgers named after current and former employees, fun sides like tator tots and mini corn dogs, and more than 30 milkshake flavours that range from creamsicle to the “Fat Elvis,” which is made with peanut butter, banana and bacon.
2129 33 Ave. S.W., 403-454-2902, boogiesburgers.com
Bread & Circus is the newest restaurant from BMeX Restaurant Group, who are also behind local eateries Una Pizza + Wine, Una Takeaway, Frenchie Wine Bar and Ox Bar de Tapas. The 38-seat Roman trattoria is located next door to Una Pizza + Wine in a 900-square-foot space between the Una Takeaway counter up front and Frenchie Wine Bar in the back. Despite its small size, Bread & Circus feels surprisingly spacious. The bar counter is where all the action is, offering an excellent view of chef Kayle Burns and his team whipping up dishes. The small menu features a few antipasti dishes and salads, but the main focus here is the restaurant’s made-in-house pasta. Try the spaghetti alla bottarga, oxtail rigatoni and the cacio e pepe. Reservations are available at certain times or you can try to snag one of the 20 walk-in seats.
616 17 Ave. S.W., 403-476-3615, breadandcircusyyc.com
The owners of the now-closed Black Pig Bistro have opened a pub called Bridges on First in the restaurant’s former space in Bridgeland. Embracing a casual vibe and a menu of elevated pub fare, Bridges on First is a great space for both relaxed meals with family or a night of cheering on your favourite sports team with friends thanks to a handful of televisions in the pub. Click here to read more about Bridges on First.
825 1 Ave. N.E., 403-460-0350, bridgesonfirst.com
There’s a new spot to grab a burger in Inglewood. Burger 320, which also has locations in Bridgeland and Kensington, opened its third burger shop location in the space that used to house The Eatery by Capinas. Like its other locations, this one offers Burger 320’s signature burgers, sides like parmigiano garlic fries, milkshakes and more.
1314 9 Ave. S.E., 403-515-0035, burger320.com
Montreal-based chain Cacao70 opened its first Calgary eatery on November 12. It’s basically a brunch and chocolate lover’s dream. The brunch menu features a range of savoury and sweet options, including American-style frittatas, a smoked salmon scramble, waffles and more. But it’s the chocolatey creations that really steal the limelight here — think chocolate marshmallow pizzas, grill-your-own-s’mores and seven different fondue options ranging from Earl Grey chocolate to matcha chocolate. Wash it all down with a hot chocolate, iced strawberry chocolate shake or a coffee.
136, 30 Springborough Blvd. S.W., cacao70.com
Grab some friends and head to Cafe 16 in Tuxedo Park. The cafe, which celebrated its grand opening on April 16, offers a sleek, casual space with plenty of seating. If you’re in the mood for something savoury, try some Asian street food-inspired fare such as pork belly buns, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, ramen, rice dishes and more. Those hoping for dessert won’t be disappointed either, with options like bubble waffles and flavoured shaved ice topped with tapioca pearls and grass jelly. Wash it all down with a fresh milk tea made with real milk, a smoothie or a slush, all available in a range of flavours.
Bar C’s former space on 17 Ave. S.W. has been transformed into a new Indian restaurant called Calcutta Cricket Club. A sister restaurant to Native Tongues Taqueria, CCC offers a flavourful menu of Bengali cuisine that includes dishes like paneer and honey, lamb ribs, kati rolls, chilli chicken, boti kebabs, tandoor roasted fish and a few curries. Local artist Maya Gohill took on CCC as her first restaurant design project, transforming the formerly neutral space into one with green and pink walls, a black and white checkered floor and a leopard carousel animal above the bar. There’s even two patios: a 10-seat front patio that overlooks 17th Avenue S.W. and a more secluded 50-seat patio along the east side of the restaurant, which features floral table cloths, colourful blankets on the bench seating and lots of plants. Click here to read more about Calcutta Cricket Club.
340 17 Ave. S.W., 403-719-1555, calcuttacricketclub.com
Grab some friends and head to to Canyon Public House, which opened in November. The menu features a mix of classic and elevated pub staples, including wings, tacos, macaroni and cheese, lobster risotto, burgers, pizza, steak and frites, ribs and more. Canyon Public House also offers dishes like banana bread French toast, breakfast tacos and triple bacon eggs Benedict during its weekend brunch.
13200 Macleod Tr. S.W., canyonpublichouse.com
When the lease recently came up for Victoria Park’s La Vita é Bella, the restaurant owners knew they wanted a change but didn’t want to leave their space inside of the historic Defoe Building. They decided to overhaul the restaurant, and the result is Cardinale. The team showcased the building’s more than 100 years of history by exposing the brick behind the walls, then added green velvet booths, white oak chairs and a larger bar to the front room. A sister restaurant to Kensington’s Hayden Block, Cardinale has 85 seats inside and another 60 out on the patio. Steven Dowdell, Le Vita é Bella’s former head chef, has stayed on as the chef of Cardinale and created an entirely new menu. The restaurant uses traditional Italian cooking methods and local produce and meats to create its menu of brisket and shortrib meatballs, salt baked prawns, gnocchi, pappardelle and large plates of veal ribeye and seared halibut. The restaurant makes its pasta in-house daily, and each pasta dish is available in two sizes to make sharing easier. There’s also a sweet deal where you can get half price pasta every night (except Sundays) after 9 p.m. The drink menu features a selection of wine and 12 cocktails featuring Italian spirits.
401 12 Ave. S.E., 403-264-6046, cardinale.ca
Located in the Grain Exchange Building in downtown Calgary, Confederation Cafe and Cocktail Bar is one of the last eateries to open in Calgary in 2017. There’s a 35-seat cafe on the main level and a larger downstairs cocktail bar. Expect dishes like salmon tartar, braised lamb shank and duck breast with purple yam gnocchi, plus a bar program created by Nathan Head.
811 1 St. S.W., 403-452-5958, confederationyyc.ca
There’s a new spot in Kensington to get a hearty Italian meal. Located in Pie Cloud’s former space, Cotto (which means “cooked” in Italian) offers a small menu of elevated, classic Italian fare in a cozy, rustic environment. Look for starters like arancini, pastas like the spaghetti carbonara and pappardelle ragu, and meaty entrees like breaded pork chop cutlets and lamb sausage. Click here to read more about Cotto.
314D 10 St. N.W., 587-356-4088, cottoyyc.com
Craft Beer Market’s long-awaited second Calgary location has opened at Southcentre Mall. Like its other locations, this new one offers an impressive selection of drinks — there are 132 taps, and more than 100 of them feature craft beers. Meanwhile, the menu is full of New North American cuisine such as Big Rock beer can chicken, grilled West Coast salmon, Baja fish tacos and more. During the summer months, you’ll be able to enjoy them all on the restaurant’s main level patio.
Southcentre Mall, 100 Anderson Rd. S.E., craftbeermarket.ca
Dark Table restaurant, which already has a location in Vancouver, has brought an entirely new sensory dining experience to Calgary. At the newly opened eatery, diners eat in complete darkness (which heightens your sense of taste, hearing and smell) while being served by visually impaired servers. The multi-course menu, which you’ll decide on before heading into the dark, includes a surprise starter and dessert. You’ll also choose from several dishes like AAA Canadian steak, chicken kafta, mushroom and herb risotto, braised lamb ragu rigatoni or a daily surprise for the main course.
731 6 Ave. S.W., 403-287-1427, darktable.ca
Dellor Ice Cream made its debut at the Stephen Avenue Farmers’ Market last year and was the first to offer rolled ice cream in Calgary. A little more than a year later, they opened their own brick and mortar shop in northeast Calgary. Dellor offers regular and seasonal flavours, including the mango monsoon (with mango ice cream, fresh mangoes, whipped cream, a waffle chip and lychee jelly) and S’mores Dellor (with hot chocolate ice cream, toasted marshmallow, graham crackers, whipped cream and chocolate drizzle). You can also add toppings like Pocky sticks, lychee jelly, Oreo cookies and more for an extra cost.
1309 Edmonton Tr. N.E., delloricecream.com
Donna Mac gets its name from the grandmother of co-owner Amy Turner, and offers what the restaurant has dubbed “new neighbourhood cuisine.” Chef Justin Longpre heads up the kitchen of the Beltline restaurant, which serves seasonal, shareable dishes on locally made dishware for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The approachable menu features dishes like pistachio-crusted carrots with molasses and lemon mascarpone, pork salad, beef cheeks with jalapeno and cheddar potatoes and pork belly with sake steamed clams. Be sure to order a one-bite s’more (only $2) for dessert. Unsurprisingly, the drink menu is impressive as well (Vine Arts Wine & Spirits and Proof co-owners Jeff Jamieson and Jesse Willis are also co-owners of Donna Mac, and Proof’s Nathan Head manages the cocktail offerings here). Try the Doctor B (it comes with an apple cider ice cube that melts into your drink) or the DMGT (think a gin and tonic with a refreshing hint of fennel). The 68-seat restaurant was designed by Sarah Ward Interiors and features a Brutalist architecture-inspired look that feels bright and airy during the day and cozy at night.
1002 9 St. S.W., 403-719-3622, donnamacyyc.ca
Stop in for some Mediterranean fare from Doughlicious in northeast Calgary. The eatery has a small amount of bar and table seating if you want to eat in, or you can grab some of the packaged snacks and treats to go. The menu includes meat fatayer (meat pies), a selection of fresh olives and dips, manaqish, Mediterranean pizza bites and desserts like ma’amoul cookies and baklava. Be sure to buy at least one package of the freshly baked pitas for home as well.
4140 6 St. N.E., 403-230-5160, facebook.com
Elbow Room opened in mid-August in the brand new Britannia Block building. Designed by Sarah Ward Interiors, the restaurant features an open concept kitchen, a second floor bar and a beautiful 700-square-foot upstairs patio that overlooks the Plaza. Executive chef and co-owner Ryan Blackwell offers a menu of modern Canadian cuisine that includes flatbreads, potato crusted cod cheek, Carmen Creek bison short rib, beef tenderloin, seared steelhead and more. Word is spreading fast about Elbow Room’s brunch menu too, with offerings like crab or bacon Benedict, croque madame, bison short rib hash, chia seed parfaits and liege waffles with topping options like maple syrup, white chocolate rose water, salted caramel, orange marmalade and more.
802 49 Ave. S.W., 403-460-8128, elbowroom.ca
Empire Provisions is moving up — literally. Previously working out of a lower level commissary kitchen on 17 Ave. S.W., the local charcuterie and butchery shop has moved into Cured Delicatessen’s former storefront space. Whether you’re looking for a charcuterie board for a night of entertaining, some cured meats for dinner or some fresh sausage, this Haysboro spot is the place to get it. There’s also a 25-seat cafe where you can grab breakfast or sandwiches featuring smoked beef brisket, breaded pork cutlet, esposito pork meatballs and smoked turkey. Click here to find out more about what you should buy at Empire Provisions.
8409 Elbow Dr. S.W., 403-244-0570, empireprovisions.com
After nearly a decade of serving Calgarians at its West Springs restaurant, Fergus & Bix has opened another location in McKenzie Towne. Expect a casual food menu that features many locally sourced ingredients and a focus on Canadian craft beers from breweries such as Fernie Brewing Co., Village Brewery and Big Rock Brewery. During the summer, this new location also has a 25-seat, south-facing patio.
26, 500 McKenzie Towne Gate S.E., fergusandbix.com
It’s not hard to spot this Bridgeland eatery — just look for the bright pink building off Edmonton Trail. There, you’ll Grate & Barrel, which specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches along with fun sides like tator tats, bugle chips or tomato soup. Wash your meal down with wine, beer or a pieshake made with cherry, apple or blueberry pie.
627 1 Ave. N.E., facebook.com
Calgarians have been visiting Grumans Catering and Delicatessen in Victoria Park for more than a decade. And as of September, they can now also visit the traditional deli’s second location in Britannia. The new eatery and deli offers breakfast and lunch for those looking to dine-in, as well as several takeaway meal/deli meat options. Stop by to try a smoked meat sandwich or the smoked and poached breakfast poutine, or pick up takeaway items like cabbage rolls, soups, bagels, fish and deli meats.
Higher Ground Cafe’s Kensington location is a popular local hangout, seemingly always full of studying students and friends visiting over a cup of coffee and slice of cake. So the opening of a second location along Crowchild Tr. N.W. in March was great news. Like it’s first location, this new one also serves organic fair trade coffee, drinks like wine and beer and a mix of breakfast, lunch and dessert food options.
2502 Capitol Hill Cres. N.W., 403-668-1175, highergroundcafe.ca
Intenso opened earlier this year in the space formerly occupied by Abruzzo Ristorante in downtown Calgary. It offers Italian fare such as linguine alle vongole, spaghetti alla carbonara, pan-seared veal, rib eye steak, scampi with garlic and butter sauce, tiramisu for dessert and more. Intenso is open for lunch and dinner.
402 8 St. S.W., 403-452-8595, intensorestaurant.com
Los Angeles-based Jinya Ramen Bar opened its first Calgary location on January 12 in Mission. Order a hot bowl of chicken, tonkotsu or vegetable ramen, or create your own ramen bowl by choosing from the long list of toppings. The eatery also serves pork steamed buns, crispy kale lollipops, Brussels sprouts tempura, rice bowls, mini tacos and mochi ice cream for dessert.
Suite 180, 1800 4 St. S.W., 587-356-0721, jinya-ramenbar.com
If you’ve been searching for Cru Juice but haven’t been able to find it, don’t worry. You’re not going crazy. The Calgary juice company was acquired (along with Vancouver-based Krokodile Pear) by Jusu Bar, a Victoria-based organic health bar. As a result, all of the Calgary Cru Juice locations were turned into Jusu Bar locations earlier this year. But you can still get your cold-pressed juice fix here. Jusu Bar offers 10 different kinds of juice, which range from the Hawkeye juice (made with apple, orange, lemon, carrot and tumeric) to the Emerald City juice (made with veggies like bell pepper, celery, cucumber, spinach and more). There’s also a food menu that’s full of organic eats, including smoothie bowls, salads, sandwiches, toasts, baked goods and more.
Kona Poke, a build-your-own poke bowl shop, opened two Calgary locations in 2017. One location is in a +15 in downtown Calgary, and the other is in the Beltline. This was one of Calgary’s first shops dedicated to poke, a Hawaiian dish that commonly features raw fish, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions and other toppings on rice. At Kona Poke, you can choose your base (rice, field greens or tortilla chips), sides (like cucumber, red cabbage or jalapenos), proteins (like tuna, salmon and octopus) and finish it off with your choice of sauce and additional toppings.
+15, 520 5 Ave. S.W. and 939 10 Ave. S.W., konapoke.com
With locations in Regina and Saskatoon already, Leopold’s Tavern opened its first Alberta location in Calgary’s Victoria Park area in late October. A casual neighbourhood hangout, Leopold’s Tavern has pub staples like fried pickles, perogies, burgers, smoked meat sandwiches and seven different kinds of poutine (including an ever-changing poutine of the week). Happy hour runs from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, and all day on Mondays.
1201 1 St. S.W., 587-350-5367, leopoldstavern.com
After more than a year of anticipation, craft nacho and salad restaurant Madison’s 12|12 opened in Inglewood this past summer. The community-funded restaurant takes a bar staple like nachos to the next level with offerings like poke nachos, wild mushroom and truffle nachos, Korean nachos and more. You can even finish your meal off with some apple pie or strawberry shortbread nachos for dessert. If it’s breakfast or brunch that you’re craving, swing by for some huevos rancheros or chicken and waffle nachos. During the warmer months, you can grab seat on the south-facing patio and dig right in. Click here to read more about Madison’s 12|12.
1212 9 Ave. S.E., 403-629-7417, madisons1212.com
Doug Gregory and Lauren Ahn have brought their baking and pastry expertise to Calgary with the opening of Mari Bakeshop in East Village. Designed by Bioi, the modern, 22-seat bakeshop specializes in light, airy roll cakes (in flavours like raspberry, chocolate and blueberry), choux pastries (in flavours like raspberry, hazelnut and lemon), sandwiches and more. The bread, which is baked fresh throughout the day, is another highlight here. While you can pick up a whole baguette or loaf of pain rustique, the latter can also be cut into half or quarter sizes for you.
529 Riverfront Ave. S.E., maribakeshop.ca
Max’s Restaurant has nearly 150 locations spread out across the world, and this year, it opened its fifth Canadian location in Calgary’s Sunridge area. The Philippines-based chain showcases a wide range of Filipino cuisine, including braised pork adobo, egg rolls and noodle dishes. But it’s best known for its fried chicken, which is available in whole and half sizes.
3575 20 Ave. N.E., 403-453-2111, maxsrestaurantcanada.com
Vancouver-based Meat & Bread opened its fourth sandwich shop location (and the first one in Alberta) in Calgary in June. Located downtown in the Grain Exchange Building, the 1,100-square-foot eatery was designed by Nam Dang-Mitchell Design. Meat & Bread offers a porchetta, chicken, meatball and Alberta beef and daily special sandwich, which are served up on wooden serving boards with dollops of hot sauce or mustard. Add a side of soup or salad and a bottle of beer to complete your lunch.
821 1 St. S.W., meatandbread.com
The team behind Our Daily Brett in Bankview opened this new grab-and-go cafe in Altadore. The new 500-square-foot eatery, called Neighbour, offers breakfast and lunch fare such as avocado toast, grapefruit , baked goods, sandwiches, smoothies and more. There’s also a coffee bar serving Nova Scotia-based Anchored Coffee (they were the first in Calgary to offer it).
4038 16 St. S.W., @nhbrcoffee
One of Calgary’s favourite breakfast and brunch spots has expanded again. After opening a second location downtown last year, OEB now has a third location in Mission. It’s located in the space that used to house the now-closed Bocce. The Mission restaurant features the same egg-centric menu as OEB’s other locations.
110, 2207 4 St. S.W., 587-356-6323, eatoeb.com
If you’re in the downtown area and craving poke, stop by Ola Poke. You can create your own poke bowl or choose from one of the three bowl options on the menu: the Ola Special Bowl, Ola Super Bowl or Ola Green Bowl. The eatery also offers three kinds of poke burritos and a coffee menu.
120, 633 6 Ave. S.W., 587-480-8988, olapoke.ca
For almost six years, Spanish tapas restaurant Ox & Angela was a popular dining destination on 17 Ave. S.W. But in mid-March, the restaurant announced that it was closing its doors, and a little more than a month later, the space was re-opened as Ox Bar de Tapas. Capturing a more casual Spanish vibe, Ox Bar de Tapas has a bright, refreshed interior thanks to its new design by FRANK Architecture and Interiors. The wall that once separated the “Ox”-themed side from the “Angela”-themed side of the restaurant is now gone, leaving a much more open space that lets in natural light. While some popular Ox & Angela dishes like the patatas bravas remain on the menu, the restaurant also introduced several more traditional Spanish dishes to the menu. A great way to try several dishes is by trying the Spanish Table tasting menu, which is available on Thursday and Sunday nights for only $35. Click here to read more about Ox Bar de Tapas.
528 17 Ave. S.W., 403-457-1433, oxtapas.com
To find the latest restaurant from Hotel Arts Group, simply step inside the Kensington Riverside Inn and head to the dining space formerly occupied by Chef’s Table restaurant. Now, the space belongs to Oxbow, a new restaurant designed to offer a more casual and welcoming dining experience. The menu features dishes like pumpkin spice cinnamon buns at breakfast and brunch, Alberta beef hanger steak frites at lunch, and honey garlic duck wings and Driview lamb pot roast at dinner. The restaurant space inside the hotel also has a new look, courtesy of Sarah Ward Interiors.
1126 Memorial Dr. N.W., 403-228-4442, oxbowyyc.ca
Paddy’s Barbecue & Brewery makes sure you can satisfy your hunger and your thirst when you visit. The brewery and eatery just recently opened its doors on December 8, making it the newest addition to Calgary’s dining and beer scene. Paddy’s has its own on-site brewery where it makes an IPA, multigrain pale ale, pilsner, black lager, Vienna lager and more. There are also guest taps, kombucha and root beer from Annex Ale Project. Food-wise, you’ll find a lot more than just the usual bar snacks — the barbecue menu includes smoked meats like beef brisket, turkey breast and smoked chicken wings paired with sides of baked beans, coleslaw or kale Caesar salads.
3610 Burnsland Rd. S.E., 403-651-7150, paddysbrewbecue.com
If you’re looking for Parm, just look for the bright yellow building (in the space that used to be Amantea Italian Restaurant and Market) in Victoria Park. The new restaurant, which opened in late May with around 50 seats and an upstairs event space, offers many Italian favourites. There are six different kinds of wood-fired pizza made in a 800-degree forno pizza oven, plus dishes like lasagna bolognese, spaghetti carbonara, veal parm sandwiches and more. The restaurant also has an Italian market. Click here to read more about Parm.
1207 1 St. S.W., 403-232-6230, parmyyc.ca
Pie Cloud may have closed its shop in early 2017, but now, you can once again get your pie fix in Kensington. Pie Junkie recently opened its second location in Kensington along the north side of the new Lido by Battistella building. The bakery makes a range of seasonal sweet and savoury pies, including sour cherry, blueberry cranberry, apple with salted caramel, chicken pot, butter chicken and more. The bakery, which was called The Pie Hole until it changed its name this past March, also has a location in Spruce Cliff.
1081 2 Ave. N.W., 403-287-8544, piejunkie.ca
Po-ke celebrated its grand opening in Crescent Heights on April 1. This is one of Calgary’s first shops dedicated to poke, a Hawaiian dish that commonly features raw fish, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions and other toppings on rice. The nearly 800-square-foot eatery serves four signature poke bowls, which range from the Po-ke Special Bowl (with ahi tuna, salmon, seaweed salad, mandarins, masago, avocado, sesame seeds, shredded nori and unagi sauce) to the Salmon Bowl (with salmon, cucumber, crab salad, corn, green and sweet onion, seaweed salad and sriracha aioli). There are also four kinds of sushi burritos, two po-ke dogs (think poke on a hot dog) and musubi. You can also customize your own bowl of poke by choosing a base, protein, mixer, sauces, toppings and finishes. Get your food to go or grab a seat at Po-ké’s communal table to satisfy your seafood cravings. Click here to read more about Po-ke.
908A Centre St. N.E., 403-455-6507, po-ke.ca
There’s a new spot to quench your thirst on 17 Avenue S.W. Taiwan-based Presotea is a chain of cafes that specializes in tea drinks. The chain currently has more than 30 locations across Canada, but this is the first one in Alberta. What makes Presotea different is that it brews its tea in an espresso machine (using tea leaves instead of ground coffee). Some of the most popular tea and juice drinks include Sky (blueberry tea, aloe vera and basil seeds), Summer Fruit Tea (fruit tea, coconut jelly and basil seeds) and the Passionfruit Kick (passionfruit juice, lime juice, aloe vera and basil seeds). In addition to several teas and fruit juices, you can order tea lattes, milk tea and coffee. You can also add toppings like pearls, coconut jelly, red bean or basil seeds for an additional cost, then choose how much sugar you want and your preferred drink temperature.
614 17 Ave. S.W., 403-890-7298, presotea-ab.ca
Located in the space formerly occupied by Molly Malone’s in Kensington, Prohibition Freehouse’s main focus is on meatballs. There are four different kinds of meatballs to choose from (classic, chicken and apple, pork or veggie), which can be served with your choice of “bedding” (spaghetti, mashed potatos, polenta or portobello mushrooms) and sauce (tomato, pesto, gorgonzola cream or mushroom). You’ll also find meatballs incorporated into many of the sandwiches, flatbreads and entrees on the menu. Visit during the weekend to hear live music performances and be sure to check out the fantastic rooftop patio in the summer.
1153 Kensington Cres. N.W., 403-453-8549, prohobar.com
Red’s Diner already has a location on 4th Street and in Ramsay, and on January 23, it opened its third location at the base of the new Lido by Battistella building in Kensington. The menu is full of favourites like Red’s Big Breakfast plate, omelettes and blueberry pancakes, while the space features red brick, a glass fireplace and table and bar seating.
286 10 St. N.W., 587-356-1808, redsdiner.com
Cat lovers rejoiced at the opening of Calgary’s first cat cafe in Kensington on June 24. Designed by Mattson & Company, Regal Cat Cafe’s approximately 3,000-square-foot space is split into a two main areas: a cafe on one side and an enclosed play room (called the “Kitty Kingdom”) for cats on the other. Guests can grab a seat in the cafe for a cup of coffee or tea, plus treats such as cupcakes, brownies, tarts and cookies. There are even cat-shaped macarons from Ollia Macarons & Tea. Only a glass window separates the cafe side from the Kitty Kingdom, so you can watch the cats play while you’re eating. But if you want to play with the cats yourself, you can book a 45-minute time slot for $10 through the cafe’s website (a few walk-in spots are available as well). During your time slot, you can play with the cats in the Kitty Kingdom as they explore the cat perches, climbing walls, kitty bridges, beds and toys. Click here to read more about Regal Cat Cafe.
303 10 St. N.W., 403-455-2287, regalcatcafe.com
Ruca’s, a new bakery in the Acadia Shopping Centre, celebrated its grand opening on April 29. Quality is a priority at Ruca’s, where they make baked goods such as ham, bacon and cheese rolls, cinnamon rolls, bread and seasonal offerings like Italian panettone and Venezuelan ham bread. While you’re there, you can also grab a cup of coffee.
381 Heritage Dr. S.E., 403-255-5924, rucas.ca
On September 9, Run Pig Run opened its doors in the space formerly occupied by the Mirakuru restaurant on 17 Avenue S.W. A self-proclaimed “Alberta bistro,” the 4,000-square-foot, 110-seat restaurant offers a local and seasonal dining experience within a modern space. Given the restaurant’s name, it’s not surprising that there’s a fair amount of pork on the menu; expect charcuterie, gnocchi mac and cheese, avocado pork belly toast, Hill View Berkshire pork chop, fried chicken and more. Stop by during one of its two happy hours: from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and again at 9 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday. Run Pig Run also serves weekend brunch.
529 17 Ave. S.W., 403-719-0079, runpigrun.ca
If you can’t get enough of rolled ice cream, a Thai treat that sees liquid cream poured onto a cold plate then scraped into rolls of solid ice cream, then you’re in luck. On April 28, Scrollio Rolled Ice Cream, the city’s second eatery to specialize in rolled ice ream, officially opened its doors in Lower Mount Royal. The approximately 1,000-square-foot shop has a dozen flavours like “Coffee Cup” (with coffee ice cream, chocolate chips and chocolate sauce), “Pychee” (with pear, lychee and lychee jelly) and “Make-My-Day-Mia” (with caramel ice cream, salted caramel and macadamia nuts). Scrollioalso offers sweet and savoury crepes.
1107 17 Ave. S.W., 403-708-9487, letsgoscrollio.com
There’s a new healthy dining option in Mission. Seed N Salt, which opened in late June, offers healthy fare such as salads, smoothie bowls, breakfast items and smoothies. Guests can also create their own salad by choosing a leafy base, toppings and dressings. While you can get your food to go, try to dine in if you can. The eatery’s bright and surprisingly large space is extremely inviting with its white wall planks, live edge wood communal table, pendant lamps and cool concrete serving line. But if the outdoors beckon in the summer, Salt N Seed also has a patio.
2008 4 St. S.W., 403-460-9904, seednsalt.com
Located in the space that used to house Taste Restaurant, Shelter is an approximately 1,200-square-foot cocktail and wine bar with a moody, upscale vibe. The bar features some majorly eye-catching design features, such as a wall lined with gas masks, large chandeliers and a huge light fixture that has more than 5,000 individually hung light bulbs. The bar’s fallout shelter theme is continued with the food and drink menus, which are “inspired by the rations that might be stored in a fallout shelter.” The food menu has dishes like pancetta cups, spam sliders, a Shelter burger, chorizo flatbread, ichiban arancini and more. The drink menu features a selection of wines, bubbly, beer and cocktails with clever names like “Schrodingers Cat,” “The Bermuda Triangle” and “Rosemary’s Baby.”
1210 1 St. S.W., 403-233-7730, shelteryyc.com
Get your ramen fix in downtown Calgary at the new Shinjuku Ramen Noodle Bar, which opened on November 30. Expect bowls of ramen made with a chicken broth and dishes like Bang-Bang Chicken, korokke, takoyaki and chicken karrage curry don.
120, 639 5 Ave. S.W., 587-356-8881, facebook.com
Telus Spark guests have a new spot to grab a bite after exploring the Earth & Sky gallery or watching a science demonstration play out on stage. On March 16, Social Eatery by Roger Mooking opened inside the science centre with a family-friendly menu inspired by global flavours. There’s a mix of hot and cold dishes like cheese buns, vegetarian chili, crispy chicken sandwiches, salads, smoothies and more. While celebrity chef Roger Mooking is the culinary director, local chef Alison MacNeil has taken on the role of chef de cuisine here.
220 St. George’s Dr. N.E., 403-817-6800, sparkscience.ca
There’s a new spot to get your coffee fix in the Beltline. Société Coffee Lounge celebrated its grand opening on November 18, and is sure to become a fast neighbourhood favourite thanks to its cozy vibe, wide range of seating options and its unique approach to its coffee offerings. While you can always get Calgary’s Fratello coffee here, Société also offers a second feature roaster that will change every few months. That means you can opt for a local favourite, or try a different roastery that you won’t find anywhere else in Calgary. The coffee shop currently has coffee from Mississauga’s Pig Iron Coffee Roasters. Another great feature that Société offers is latte flights, where you can get one or two kinds of espresso made a few different ways. You can pair it all with baked goods and sandwiches from Corbeaux Bakery.
1223 11 Ave. S.W., 403-474-6055, societecoffee.ca
December 13 marked the soft opening of Sought x Found Coffee Roasters in Bridgeland. The locally owned coffee shop has a rustic, cozy feel thanks to the use of reclaimed wood in the decor, and offers baked goods made by Butter Block YYC.
916 Centre St. N.E., 403-606-6428, facebook.com
Suzette Bistro, a popular French eatery in Mission, recently opened a second location in Britannia. Both locations share the same menu, so stop by for the restaurant’s signature savoury galettes and sweet crepes, such as the Paysanne (with bacon, roasted potato and mushrooms) or the Gariguette (with berries, chantilly and strawberry jam). The restaurant also offers a few salads, pastas, grilled meats and fish.
829 49 Ave. S.W., 403-719-3343, bistrosuzette.ca
Tavernetta is located on the main level of a house in Renfrew. Inspired by Northern Italy, the neighbourhood tavern embraces a casual, comfortable vibe with its simple, rustic decor, backyard patio and bocce court. The 50-seat restaurant serves their take on Italian tavern food, which includes salumeria (sliced meats served on a board), pasta, gluten- and pork-free meatballs, paninis and more. The lovely 36-seat backyard patio is filled with shady trees, seating spread out over a mix of brickwork and grassy areas, strings of lights and a wooden fence that makes the space feel private and cozy. Click here to read more about Tavernetta.
1002 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-250-8894, tavernettayyc.ca
From the moment you walk into The Dumpling Lab, it’s clear what this Chinatown eatery specializes in: freshly made dumplings. Guests can watch the dumplings being made by hand through a window just inside the restaurant, then head over to the counter to order steamed/boiled dumplings and potstickers in meaty, vegetarian and dessert flavours. There are even extra large soup dumpling for only $5.50. The Dumpling Lab offers to-go packages of its dumplings that you can purchase to cook at home. The menu also features starters like teriyaki wraps, tuna poke, tako wasabi, miso braised pork belly and soy balsamic pork ribs.
103, 303 Centre St. S., 403-265-3794, dumplinglab.com
This Inglewood restaurant location has seen its fair share of changes lately. Home to The Carmichael Dining Lounge for years, the owners revamped the space into a new restaurant called 1912 Inglewood in early 2017, which closed a few months later. The restaurant space is now under new ownership, and on October 6, it became the home of a new 1,400-square-foot bistro called The Eden. The restaurant, which labels itself as a “blue collar bistro,” gets its name from owners (and husband and wife team) Rob and Nadine Eden. The Eden serves simple French fare such as a chicken cordon bleu sandwich, beef bourguignon, pork cassoulet, steak and more.
1219 9 Ave. S.E., 403-266-1005, edenbistro.ca
Granary Road opened its Active Learning Park, complete with a chicken coop, wetlands aquarium and a giant ant-themed obstacle course, on July 7. Soon after, it also launched its public market, The Loft Bakery, The Loft Kitchen and The Loft Lounge. The public market features vendors like The Chocolate Lab, Gummi Boutique, Bin 905, Soffritto, Luc’s European Meats and more. You can also pick up baked goods and coffee at The Loft Bakery, grab some fast-casual fare at The Loft Kitchen or head to the upstairs Loft Lounge to enjoy some wine with a bison burger or vegetarian quiche. Click here to read more about the food offerings at Granary Road.
226034 112 St. W., MD of Foothills, 403-453-7623, theloftcalgary.ca
The downtown crowd has a new spot to grab a bite. In October, SAIT opened The Tastemarket, a new 9,000-square-foot culinary campus. It’s both a student learning facility for the one-year Culinary Entrepreneurship post-diploma program and a public eatery selling noodle bowls, salads, pastries and flatbread. There’s also charcuterie and a wine bar. The students make and serve the food and drink offerings, which include mango shrimp rice bowls and margarita flatbreads at lunch, prosciutto, prosciutto, asiago and fig chutney sandwiches to go and chocolate raspberry tarts from the patisserie. Click here to read more about The Tastemarket.
444 7 Ave. S.W., 403-284-8220, tastemarket.ca
The Wednesday Room is your new destination for after-work drinks or an evening out. Located on Stephen Avenue, the 5,600-square-foot lounge officially opened in mid-November and is a refreshing, unique addition to the area. McKinley Burkart designed the two-level space, which marries a ’60s vibe with decor elements inspired by various Stanley Kubrick movies like The Shining. The dinner menu is largely comprised of share plates like ribeye carpaccio, oysters, charred cauliflower and sopresatta crostinis, though there are also a few pasta dishes and larger share plates. Given that it’s a lounge, it’s not surprising that The Wednesday Room also has an intriguing drink list. In addition to a selection of wines and beers, the cocktails range from the All in Thyme (with Tanqueray gin, charred lemon, thyme, black walnut bitters, ginger and pear foam) to The Traveller (with Suntory whiskey, Jagermeister, Yellow Chartreuse, apple and maple). Click here to read more about The Wednesday Room.
100, 118 8 Ave. S.W., 403-452-5080, wednesdayroom.com
Two Penny Chinese officially opened its doors in the Beltline on October 27. This is the latest restaurant from Thank You Hospitality Mangement, who are also behind Calgary’s Native Tongues Taqueria and Calcutta Cricket Club. Two Penny’s kitchen is led by chef Scott Beaton and serves a menu of family-style Chinese dishes including Sichuan cold chicken, braised beef shin, steamed barbecue buns, Chinese cabbage potstickers, cumin lamb ribs, beef and broccoli and roast half-duck served with milk buns. The inventive drink menu, created by beverage director Stephen Phipps, complements the food menu well (try the ginger soy sour cocktail at the large bar). The restaurant’s decor, done by Sarah Ward Interiors, is just as notable as the food. Inspired by 1920s Shanghai, the space features a hand-built oak moongate at the entrance, art deco influences like the rose and teal colour scheme and eye-catching scrolls with Chinese opera mask images on the walls. Below the restaurant, there’s also a downstairs bar called the Tea House. This space offers a different drink and food menu than Two Penny, as well as dim sum cart service on Sundays. Click here to read more about Two Penny Chinese.
1213 1 St. S.W., 403-474-7766, twopenny.ca
The team behind The Derrick has opened an approximately 2,000-square-foot champagne lounge right next door to the downtown restaurant on Stephen Avenue. Along with more than 60 kinds of Champagne and sparkling wine, Untitled Champagne Lounge offers sparkling cocktails like the cotton candy-topped Aviation Cloud Spritz, Champagne Mai Tais and Sparkling Negronis. Chef Marc Bourgeois heads up the kitchen, which serves small plates like caviar, beef tataki, pan seared foie gras, roasted tomato arancini and sushi. For dessert, treat yourself to some macarons and truffles or tableside ice cream sundae bar service. Stop by on a Thursday night for the lounge’s weekly Jazz & Bubbles event, where you can listen to live music from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
104, 620 8 Ave. S.W., 403-475-7226, untitledyyc.com
Utca, which means “street” in Hungarian, is a new eatery in Victoria Park that makes chimney cakes and chimney cake cones. The Hungarian street food is made with dough that’s wrapped into a tubular, hollow shape and rotated in the oven until its cooked. The chimney cakes come with your choice of toppings like shredded coconut, sprinkles, almonds, walnuts or cinnamon sugar. When you order a chimney cake cone, the cake is also filled with your choice of vanilla, chocolate or swirl Fiasco Gelato soft serve. There are also savoury chimney cakes and breakfast chimney cake cones with eggs, sausage or bacon. Grab a chimney cake to go, or stick around to enjoy it with a cup of Rosso coffee in Utca’s 28-seat cafe. Click here to read more about Utca.
207 13 Ave. S.E., 403-819-1259, utca.ca