Model Milk | Calgary’s Best Restaurants 2024

Occupying a former circa-1930s dairy, Model Milk has garnered a loyal following since its doors opened in 2011.

(Clockwise from left) Charred shishito peppers with tofu and miso cream, savoury fry bread with salted honey custard and cheese dust, potato buns with whipped butter, beef tartare, and a Fela Turmi cocktail. Photo by Jared Sych.


Who’s Behind It?
Concorde Entertainment Group, Regional Chef Garrett Rotel, District Chef Merritt Gordon.

What’s on the Menu
Comfort food through a contemporary lens.

Why We Love This Place
Occupying a former circa-1930s dairy (Model Dairies), and sporting a modernized-industrial look designed by Frank Architecture, Model Milk has garnered a loyal following since its doors opened in 2011. Over the past decade, the restaurant has gone through different phases, each influenced by a succession of chefs; however, one thing remained constant — the push to redefine comfort food.

The technique-driven menu at Model Milk is ever-evolving and, consequently, there are very few menu items that have withstood the test of time. The calamari fricassee and apple pie with a cheddar crust are the only two dishes that have survived unchanged through numerous menu iterations, though recent standouts include a savoury French toast with salted-honey custard and pimento cheese powder.

The current team, led by chefs Garrett Rotel and Merritt Gordon, regional manager Joseph Dort, and general manager Reshma Mir, has brought new and exciting energy into the former dairy. The members of this team are at the top of their games in delivering an elevated dining experience with intentionality that includes consistently well-executed food, top-notch service and a thoughtfully curated beverage list. Their creativity is exemplified in the series of “Rough Drafts and Movie Night” pop-ups over the past year, which serve as a platform for the chefs to play and test out exciting new dishes and concepts.

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


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This article appears in the March 2024 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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