Best Chain Restaurants in Calgary

These popular chains offer tried-and-true dining experiences that showcase their popular drink and food menus.

A sunny day at Cactus Club Cafe. Photograph courtesy of Cactus Club Cafe.

Winner (tie) – Cactus Club Cafe

Iron Chef America winner, chef Rob Feenie, and world-class sommelier, Sebastien Le Goff, continue to bring an inspired melange of flavour to the modern and stylish Cactus Club Cafe. The eponymous Feenie burger, with smashed certified-Angus beef, sautéed mushrooms, aged cheddar, smoked bacon, red relish, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and a side of sea-salted fries, is the perfect patio accompaniment at any time of day.

Three Calgary locations, cactusclubcafe.com, @cactusclubcafe

 

Winner (tie) – Earls Kitchen + Bar

With sleek decor, a cosmopolitan energy and an extensive drink menu, it’s no surprise that Earls is the go-to gathering place for any occasion from business lunches to happy hours to family dinners. Vegans, take note: there’s a significant plant-based section on the menu, including dishes made with Impossible Foods.

Eight Calgary locations, earls.ca, @earlsrestaurant

 

2nd – National

Synonymous with beer, bustle and casual bites, this local chain brings a modern beerhall atmosphere to every one of its locations — but each has its own unique perks. 10th Ave. S.W. has bowling, Stephen Avenue has a rooftop patio, 17th Ave. S.W. is perfect for people watching and West Hills’ proximity to Cineplex makes dinner-and-a-movie dates a breeze.

Four Calgary locations, ntnl.ca, @ntnl17, @ntnl10, @ntnl8, @ntnlwesthills

 

3rd – Joey Restaurants

Joey’s globally inspired menu features tasty favourites from around the world, ranging from bright and fresh (the ahi tuna poke cone) to fragrant and indulgent (the Bombay butter chicken). Pair a meal with a bottle from the extensive wine list that includes favourites from B.C., California, France and beyond. Each location has a great happy hour, and we especially like the one at Eau Claire before or after a walk around Prince’s Island Park.

Four Calgary locations, joeyrestaurants.com, @joeyrestaurants

 

[This story has been updated to correct the winner and runners-up rankings. The story previously stated that Earls Kitchen + Bar had tied for second place, when they actually tied for first place. We regret the error.]

 

More Best Restaurants 2021

This article appears in the March 2021 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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