If great food is an art, then the crepe is the ultimate blank canvas. The thin pancake, often associated with Brittany in the northwest of France, can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. It can be topped with ham and cheese or filled with fruit and whipped cream. No matter how you stack it, you shouldn’t need an excuse to indulge in this French mainstay. But if you did need that little push, then it’s time to celebrate, because February 2 is National Crepe Day. To help you experience this versatile food for every meal, we’ve tracked down five crepe hotspots in the city.
This little slice of Paris in Mission has more than 20 crepes to choose from. If you want to start National Crepe Day right, owner Shosh Cohen says La Boulangerie’s breakfast crepe is the way to go. Filled with fresh egg, ham, tomato and cheese, this savoury crepe will give you the fuel to hit the other four spots on our list. Be sure to pair it with a cup of Illy coffee for the full caf experience.
2435 4 St. S.W., 403-984-9294
After a trip to Paris, owner Brian Browning made it his mission to bring the traditional open-air crperies of France to Calgary. Realizing an open-air concept might not do so well in the winter, Browning opened Crpes & Cravings in a much more weather friendly location in 2009. Crpes & Cravings has a large selection of both savoury and sweet crepes, but Browning says crowd favourites include ham, egg, and cheese and strawberry and banana with Nutella.
1013 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-6523, crepesandcravings.com
Looking for something a little more savoury? The Grab-A-Lox crepe comes highly recommended from Sweet Life’s owner, Nataliya. Made fresh with each order, this crepe is topped with smoked salmon and fresh dill and is sure to be crowd-pleaser. Don’t be surprised if you get caught up in the passion that this Lakeview restaurant has for its offerings while you’re there. Nataliya loves what she does.
6449 Crowchild Trail S.W., 403-685-5774, sweetlifecalgary.com
You’d be hard pressed to find a more authentic crepe in Calgary than you’ll find at Suzette. Executive chef Dominique Moussu brings the flavours of Brittany to the city. The crepes Suzette are the obvious choice-a crepe soaked in a sugar and orange zest syrup, heated Grand Marnier is poured on top and lit on fire – but there’s no going wrong with the bistro’s other crepe offerings.
2210 4 St. S.W., 403-802-0036, bistrosuzette.ca
Make National Crepe Day an international affair and try a pannenkoek-the Dutch crepe. Savoury ingredients are cooked right into the batter while sweeter ones are piled on top so that the crepe can absorb their flavours. The Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus has more than 40 suggested combinations of pannenkoek but gives you even more choice with their build-your-own option.
2439 54 Ave. S.W., 403-243-7757, dutchpancakes.ca