Best Special Occasion Restaurants in Calgary

Each year, we ask our readers to vote for their favourite restaurants in Calgary. These are some of their favourite local restaurants to celebrate a special occasion with loved ones.

Major Tom. Photo by Jared Sych.

 

Winner

Major Tom

Major Tom’s spectacular view of Calgary from 40 floors up is just part of the reason to celebrate a special occasion here. The memorable menu includes dishes like crispy hen eggs with pepperoni jam, cavatelli with elm oyster mushrooms and a classic Alberta roasted prime rib. Don’t miss out on Major Tom’s original cocktails, such as the Mt. Milk Punch, a clarified milk cocktail made with bourbon, amaretto and flavoured with Honey Nut Cheerios.

700 2 St. S.W. (40th Floor), majortombar.ca, @themajortombar

 

Runners-up

River Café

The natural landscape of Prince’s Island Park makes this restaurant a special dining destination. Surrounded by picnic areas, flower gardens and trails, River Café has been a key player in Calgary’s dining scene since 1995. Enjoy dishes like hand-cut pappardelle with a lamb neck ragu or the hog wild boar belly with wines handpicked by the restaurant’s proprietor and sommelier.

25 Prince’s Island Park, 403-261-7670, river-cafe.com, @rivercafeyyc

 

Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant

Operating inside of a historic home in Fish Creek Provincial Park, Bow Valley Ranche is decorated in the style of an early 1900s Canadian ranch house, complete with a wrap-around veranda and picturesque view. Throw in a menu of impeccable Canadian cuisine made with the best local ingredients and you have one of the most unique dining experiences in Calgary.

15979 Bow Bottom Tr. S.E., 403-476-1310, bvrrestaurant.com, @bowvalleyrancherestaurant

 

D.O.P.

D.O.P serves classic Italian cuisine rooted in owner Tony Migliarese’s family recipes. This cozy Italian joint, squeezed into a tiny space in the Beltline, keeps it simple with recipes like pickled green tomatoes (one of the recipes handed down from Migliarese’s family), anchovies with pickled onions and “really good olive oil,” and pillowy-soft bread best enjoyed with whipped ricotta. The tiny space means excellent and attentive service, making you feel like family.

1005A 1 St. S.W., 587-349-2656, dopyyc.com, @dopyyc

 

Caesar’s Steak House

Caesar’s Steakhouse is a Calgary institution that’s been open since 1972, and the restaurant has created many memories for guests along the way. The menu features beloved steak house classics like Caesar salad, twice-baked stuffed potatoes and of course, Alberta beef that’s aged for at least 28 days. For an extra-special experience, order one of the many dishes that are prepared tableside. And don’t forget to try the famous Bloody Caesar, which has been on the menu since the restaurant’s inception.

512 4 Ave. S.W., 403-264-1222; and Willow Park Village, 403-278-3930, caesarssteakhouse.com, @caesarssteak

 

Chairman’s Steakhouse

Chairman’s Steakhouse offers a sophisticated setting for any special occasion. Steak options ranging from tenderloin to Brant Lake wagyu tomahawk can be taken to the next level with one of the “over the top” add-ons, which allow you to dress up your meal with garnishes like ruby port jus, seared scallops or cowboy steak butter. But while the signature cuts are hard to pass up, Chairman’s is also more than just a steakhouse with additional options like chicken supreme, black truffle gnocchi and baked lobster.

2251 Mahogany Blvd. S.E., 587-291-9898, chairmans.ca, @chairmansyyc

 

Deane House

Much like its sister restaurant River Café, this restaurant comes with a historic location and incredible views. Deane House’s menu is designed around the seasons, using locally sourced products from ecologically responsible producers. It even has its own garden, where it grows herbs, berries and flowers that are used in its dishes.

806 9 Ave. S.E., 403-264-0595, deanehouse.com, @deanehouseyyc

 

Teatro

Teatro is a Calgary staple known for its contemporary Mediterranean cuisine that’s built on Italian tradition. A big part of its success and popularity stems from the restaurant’s philosophy of sourcing local ingredients, hiring passionate chefs and providing attentive service that’s focused on the details. Of course, it could also be partially thanks to the restaurant’s award-winning wine cellar, which holds more than 10,000 bottles.

200 8 Ave. S.E., 403-290-1012, teatro.ca, @teatrorestaurant

 

The Wilde on 27

Located on the 27th floor of The Dorian hotel, The Wilde provides some of the best views in the city with your dining experience. Another notable feature of this spot is that like the hotel, the restaurant’s setting is lightly inspired by Oscar Wilde and the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The food is equally memorable, whether you opt for the chef’s tasting menu or the decadent Wildest Sunday Brunch featuring a seafood bar and dessert station.

525 5 Ave. S.W., 403-300-6633, thewilderooftop.com, @thewilderooftop

 

Eight

Eight offers a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience, serving an 18-course dinner of Canadian cuisine that’s only available for eight guests at a time on select nights. With seasonal bookings that fill up months in advance, this exclusive experience is a memorable night that explores the different cultures, ingredients and stories that have shaped Canada’s food scene.

631 Confluence Way S.E., 403-457-2153, eightcdn.ca, @eight_cdn

 

Alloy

With its “guest-centric philosophy,” Alloy is well-known for accommodating special occasions. As a result, you can feel confident that your special night out will be treated as such. Along with great service, memorable dishes like the moorish lamb chops, chicken roulade and surf and turf will leave a lasting impression.

220 42 Ave. S.E., 403-287-9255, alloydining.com, @alloydining

 

Fortuna’s Row

Fortuna’s Row is quickly making a name for itself as one of Calgary’s best contemporary Latin American restaurants. With a variety of share plates, exciting cocktails and a beautiful private dining room, it’s an easy choice for special occasions. Make your night extra memorable by arriving early to enjoy a drink at the Standing Room Only Bar before your Friday or Saturday night reservation.

421 Riverfront Ave. S.E., 403-243-0069, fortunasrow.com, @fortunas.row

 

Rouge

Located inside the A.E. Cross house, Rouge is a farm-to-table restaurant with an emphasis on using foraged Canadian ingredients to create a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Rouge also uses ingredients grown in the restaurant’s garden in its dishes, including the six-course tasting menu that changes regularly.

1240 8 Ave S.E., 403-531-2767, rougecalgary.com, @rougerestaurant

 

Flores & Pine

Located in Bearspaw, Flores & Pine is an elevated casual restaurant with locally sourced ingredients and seasonal dishes. The building is also an event space, making it the perfect venue for both casual get-togethers and more formal events like weddings and large gatherings. Fun fact: Flores & Pine’s name pays homage to Flores LaDue, a talented roper, performer and “First Lady of the Calgary Stampede” who was married to the event’s founder.

254028 Bearspaw Rd., 403-241-7611, floresandpine.com, @floresandpine

 

Orchard Restaurant

Orchard’s elegant setting filled with chandeliers and lush plants sets the restaurant apart as one of the most beautiful dining spots in Calgary. The lush and lavish dining experience is heightened even further by the Asian Mediterranean cuisine on the menu, which includes dishes like squid ink tagliatelle and cioppino.

620 10 Ave. S.W., orchardyyc.com, @orchard.yyc

 

Back to Calgary’s Best Restaurants 2024

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

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