There’s never a bad time for fondue, but the cold winter months are particularly perfect for this Swiss dish. In its most classic form, cheese is melted in a fondue pot and long forks are used to spear and dip small pieces of food like bread, covering it in a glorious coating of warm cheese. Nowadays, fondue comes in many forms — hot cheese, chocolate, oil and broth can all be used.
Here are eight Calgary restaurants that offer their own take on classic cheese or chocolate fondue.
Montreal-based chain Cacao 70 offers not one, not two, but seven different kinds of chocolate fondue. Choose from peanut butter chocolate, coffee chocolate, Earl Grey chocolate, black and white, triple chocolate, matcha chocolate or classic (white, milk or dark chocolate). No matter which one you go with, they all come with waffle bites, pieces of chocolate brownie and fruit for dipping.
Unit 136, 30 Springborough Blvd. S.W., 587-774-7070, cacao70.com
If you’re not a huge chocolate fan, Cleaver offers a great alternative to the typical dessert fondue. Instead of melted chocolate, you can dip marshmallows and doughnuts into melted salted caramel.
102, 524 17 Ave. S.W., 403-452-1211, cleavercalgary.com
Frenchie Wine Bar
Tucked away behind Bread & Circus and Una Takeaway, this tiny wine bar is worth seeking out — and not just because they serve three different kinds of cheese fondue. Frenchie Wine Bar’s fondue options include one served with cheese, black pepper, honey and truffle oil, another served with pecorino romano cheese and black pepper, and a third served with crumbled blue cheese and red wine macerated figs. You can choose between pieces of gluten-free brioche or a classic baguette for dipping. If possible, try to stop by on a Wednesday or Sunday night to get your fondue for half price.
618 17 Ave. S.W., 403-453-1183, frenchieyyc.com
The Living Room
On cold nights, The Living Room offers a cozy spot to hunker down with a pot of warm, melted cheese. Bring a friend or your significant other to share the cheese fondue here, which features aged white cheddar cheese and truffle oil. Carrots, cauliflower and baguette come with it for dipping. If you want to make this dish a bit more substantial with more dipping options, you can also also add beef, game hen breast or prawns for an additional $12.
514 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-9830, livingroomrestaurant.ca
This may be a steakhouse, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start your meaty meal off with some melted cheese. Modern Steak’s cheese fondue features three kinds of cheese (emmental, manchego and gruyere), as well as white wine and a brandy flambe. Dip your baguette into the cheesy goodness for the perfect start to your dinner at this Kensington restaurant.
107 10A St. N.W., 403-670-6873 and 100 8 Ave. S.E., 403-244-3600, modernsteak.ca
Chocolate fondue isn’t just for dessert — at Monki Bistro, you can order it during brunch. Choose from four chocolate flavours — dark, Earl Grey, matcha or white chocolate — to dip waffle crisps and fruit into. If you can’t choose between the various chocolate dips, don’t worry — the fondue sampler platter let you try three of the dips at once.
1301 10 Ave. S.W., 587-352-7131, monkibistro.ca
Located below Brasserie Kensington, Winebar Kensington keeps things simple yet delicious with a truffle cheese fondue served with toasted baguette. Ask your server to recommend a bottle from the restaurant’s impressive wine selection to accompany it. When you’ve polished off the fondue, you can enjoy some more cheese in another form by creating your cheese and charcuterie board (there are nearly two dozen cheese and meat options to choose from).
1131 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-457-1144, winebarkensington.com
This Bavarian restaurant and bar in Mission has impressive specials nearly every day of the week. But if it’s fondue you’re craving, Thursdays are your night to visit. Wurst serves cheese and chocolate fondue starting at 5 p.m. on Thursdays. On the savoury side, you can order a three-cheese fondue that comes with sourdough bread, apples, asparagus spears, confit fingerling potatoes, cauliflower and Peppadew sweet piquanté peppers for dipping. The sweet fondue features Belgian chocolate and comes with fruits like strawberries, pineapple, blackberries and dried apricots, banana bread and marshmallows. If those six dipping options aren’t enough, you can add additional foods such as pretzels, salami or almond biscotti for an additional cost. Bottles of wine are also available for half price on Thursdays.
2437 4 St. S.W., 403-245-2345, wurst.ca