30 Best Things to Eat and Drink in Calgary 2024

Calgary is bursting with delightful foods and beverages that will leave you craving more! Food writers Chanry Thach and Carmen Cheng are back this year with a new list of the coolest and tastiest treats to try.

Join us for Avenue‘s 2024 Best Things to Eat and Drink Market on July 20th at Rangeview! 

 

Mochi Doughnuts from Sweet Rice

Photo by Jared Sych.

There’s something magical about these gluten-free doughnuts — they never fail to put a smile on my face! Husband-and-wife team Michael and Naomi Nar started Sweet Rice as a pop-up during COVID-19 and opened a storefront in 2023. Mochi doughnuts are iconic for their daisy-like shape and chewy texture. Sweet Rice’s flavours change regularly — think peach lemonade, black sesame or original glaze. The mochi bites are a crowd-pleaser, too! —C.T.

4204 12 St. N.E., sweetrice.ca, @sweetriceyyc

 

Beef Afro Caribbean Patties from Yenny Delights

Photo by Jared Sych.

Each time I walk by the Yenny Delights pastry case at Crossroads Market, I feel an urge to stop. Yenny’s made-from-scratch beef Afro Caribbean patties are my favourite! The flaky pastry crust is stuffed with ground beef, vegetables and spices that give these patties a warm and robust flavour. —C.C.

81, 3131 27 St. N.E., and Crossroads Market, 1235 26 Ave. S.E.; yennydelights.com; @yennydelights1

 

Taquera Green Salsa from Ruben’s Salsas

Photo by Jared Sych.

Made with tomatillos, serrano peppers, zucchini and a secret seasoning blend, Ruben’s Taquera Green Salsa is bright and addictive. Owner Ruben Garcia also makes and sells totopos (tortilla chips) and it requires a ton of willpower not to finish an entire jar of Taquera Green Salsa with the crispy totopos. But, if you can hold off, try cooking the chips in the salsa for a few minutes, then topping with chopped cilantro, onion, a fried egg and queso fresco for a delicious plate of chilaquiles. —C.C.

12445 Lake Fraser Dr. S.E., @rubens_salsas

 

Popcorn Seasonings from Hanks

Photo by Jared Sych.

Shake up your snacking game with Hanks’ all-natural popcorn seasonings. This Okotoks company makes a wide range of lip-smacking flavours like Canadian Caramel, Coconut Curr-eh, Irritable Onion and my favourite, What’s The Dill? I’ll sprinkle it on just about anything. Fries? You betcha. Fried chicken? Oh, absolutely. Popcorn? Well, duh! It’s a match made in flavour heaven. —C.T.

Multiple retailers, including select Safeway and Sobeys, hanksoriginal.ca, @hanks.original

 

Honey-Kissed Soda from Fallentimber Meadery

Photo by Jared Sych.

Fallentimber’s new Honey-Kissed Soda is like sipping on sunshine. The lightly carbonated beverage is infused with natural juices and a touch of honey. The blueberry-and-raspberry flavour is a juicy, crisp concoction — imagine a burst of ripe blueberries and tangy raspberries, perfectly balanced with just a hint of honey sweetness. The sodas also come in two other tasty flavours: grapefruit and lemon or lemon and lime. —C.T.

Calgary Farmers’ Market South, 510 77 Ave. S.E., and Calgary Farmers’ Market West, 25 Greenbriar Dr. N.W.; fallentimbermeadery.ca; @ftmeadery

 

Bébé Lune Brie from Old School Cheesery

Photo by Jared Sych.

Hands up if you love cheese, specifically Vermilion Old School Cheesery’s Canadian-style brie, affectionately named “Bébé Lune” after the owner’s youngest sister. Me. My hand is up. This brie is so soft, so creamy and just mild enough to be the kind of cheese that converts even the staunchest “I don’t like brie” folks into believers. —C.T.

Multiple Calgary retailers including Amaranth Whole Foods Markets and Calgary Co-op grocery stores, oldschoolcheesery.com, @oldschoolcheesery_vermilionab

 

Vadouvan from The Silk Road Spice Merchant

Photo by Jared Sych.

Vadouvan originates from Puducherry, a French-colonized region of India. The Silk Road’s version of this French-Indian curry spice blend has a long list of aromatics and spices, including shallots, onions, garlic, mustard seed, fenugreek and curry leaves. I love it with potatoes or cauliflower, but it’s also delicious added to yogurt, then rubbed onto chicken as a marinade before hitting the grill. —C.C.

Three Calgary locations, silkroadspices.ca, @silkroadspices

 

Mango Mille Crepe Cake from 33 Mille Crepe Cakes

Photo by Jared Sych.

Every celebration in my circle now includes a 33 Mille Crepe Cakes masterpiece. Personally, I’ve formed a deep bond with the mango mille crepe cake with its 16 delicate crepes, each one meticulously layered between clouds of whipped cream, and three layers of fresh mango. Not a fan of mango? There are 15 other crepe cake flavours, from classic tiramisu, to blueberry cream cheese, to durian. —C.T.

@33millecrepescake

 

Highlight Passion Fruit Cocktail from byHendo The Cocktail Company

Photo by Jared Sych.

Made in Alberta, byHendo’s Highlight Passion Fruit Cocktail is a vodka-based canned cocktail made with real juice. Because of the low carbonation, customers are encouraged to give their chilled cans a shake to properly mix the cocktail. I love anything passion-fruit-flavoured, but, if you don’t, Highlight cocktails also come in a pineapple flavour. —C.C.

Available at liquor stores across Alberta, byhendo.com, 403-431-4535, @byhendo

 

Pierogies from The Tisto Factory

Photo by Jared Sych.

When I first laid eyes on these beauties, I had to do a double-take. The Tisto Factory crafts these striped pierogies that are not only drool-worthy, but Instagram-worthy, too. With fillings like caramelized pear with mascarpone and cottage cheese, or smoked brisket with baked potatoes and pickles, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill pierogies — they’re culinary works of art. Behind these mouthwatering creations is the Posikera family, who fled the horrors of war in Ukraine to find refuge in Calgary. So, every bite of these pierogies isn’t just about the flavour; it’s also a testament to resilience, love and the power of good food to spread joy, even in the toughest times. —C.T.

Available at Calgary Co-op locations, the-tisto-factory.com, @the_tisto_factory

 

Chanry Thach (left) and Carmen Cheng. Photo by Jared Sych.

 

Yame Stem Houjicha – Mare from Matsu Kaze Tea

Photo by Jared Sych.

You may know Matsu Kaze Tea as a popular supplier providing high-grade and quality tea and teaware to local Japanese restaurants. The Yame Stem Houjicha – Mare is one of its bestsellers, with a roasted barley aroma and subtle sweetness. This tea can be prepared cold or hot, but I love savouring it as a hot tea on lazy weekend mornings. —C.C.

Order online or available at cafés and shops across Calgary, matsukazetea.com, @matsukazetea

 

Vegan Dumplings from Deng’s Dumplings

Photo by Jared Sych.

Packed with mushrooms, ginger, cabbage, carrots, Chinese black fungus and rice noodles, these little pockets of joy will win over any dedicated meat enthusiast. At this mom-and-pop operation, you can watch your dumplings steam to perfection before your eyes or snag them frozen to-go. We buy them frozen by the bag to keep on hand as an emergency happiness stash. Whether you fry ’em up or toss ’em in a soup, they never disappoint. And don’t leave without a side of the house chili oil — it’s like liquid gold with a kick. —C.T.

1000 Centre St. N., and 6208 Rundlehorn Dr. N.E.; dengsdumplings.com

 

Italian Job Sandwich from Lil’ Black Rooster

Photo by Jared Sych.

Lil’ Black Rooster opened in December 2023 in the Calgary Farmers’ Market West location. The menu features a plethora of delicious sandwiches by chef and owner Andrea Harling. It’s hard for me to pick a favourite, but the Italian Job is bursting with flavour and textures. This sandwich is Harling’s take on an Italian hoagie and features a fresh, crusty baguette filled with layers of mortadella, genoa salami, capicola, lettuce, tomatoes, red pepper spread, garlic aioli, provolone and hot peppers. —C.C.

Calgary Farmers’ Market West, 25 Greenbriar Dr. N.W., 403-589-4961, @lilblackroostereats

 

Triple Chocolate Mousse Pyramid from Patisserie Du Soleil

Photo by Jared Sych.

I swooned the first time I dug into the Triple Chocolate Mousse Pyramid from Patisserie Du Soleil. It’s as delectable as it sounds: three layers of chocolate mousse — dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate — sit atop a thin, gluten-friendly Swiss roll with a chocolate truffle centre. You can also order this specific flavour in a non-pyramid-shaped cake format. —C.C.

The Bow tower, 500 Centre St. S., Level 205, 403-718-0399; and 2525 Woodview Dr. S.W., 403-452-8833; patisseriedusoleil.com; @patisserieyyc

 

Pretzels from Good Bread

Photo by Jared Sych.

Good Bread makes Bavarian-style pretzels in different forms, such as traditional pretzels, pretzel sticks and pretzel dogs. They’re made with few ingredients, but have all the makings of a great pretzel — a rich buttery taste, rock salt topping and incredible chewy texture. —C.C.

8303 Fairmount Dr. S.E., 587-295-0887, goodbread.com, @goodbreadyyc

 

Riverside Carrot Cake from Bridgeland Market

Photo by Jared Sych.

Bridgeland Market’s Riverside Carrot Cake is a slice of heaven. The cake is packed with carrots, pineapple and walnuts, and topped with a decadent cream cheese icing. (Seriously, that icing!) It also supports a great local cause, as Bridgeland Market donates $1 to Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids with every purchase of its $13.99 portion. —C.C.

1104 1 Ave. N.E., 403-269-2381, bridgelandmarket.com, @bridgelandmarket

 

Jonny’s World Famous Rayu from Respect The Technique

Photo by Jared Sych.

This chili crisp has lots of umami and a little bit of heat, but finishes sweet. It’s the perfect condiment for providing an extra punch of flavour to everything. Adding lashings of Jonny’s Rayu is like giving your taste buds a high five. From stir-fries to sandwiches, you name it, I’m probably dousing it in Jonny’s World Famous Rayu. —C.T.

Pick up from Kaladi Collective Kitchens, 140, 7920 42 St. S.E., respectthetechnique.com, @respectthetechniqueyyc

 

Montreal Bagels from Montreal Bagels

Photo by Jared Sych.

Sorry, New York, but Montreal bagels have stolen my heart! Montreal Bagels (the shop’s name and what it sells) makes its bagels in varieties like plain, poppyseed, sesame and multigrain, among others, that are available individually and in half-dozen or full-dozen orders. The bagels are cash-only and worth every penny for their slightly sweet, dense and chewy texture that’s been kissed by a wood-fired oven. —C.T.

8408 Elbow Dr. S.W., 403-212-4060

 

Tiger’s Tea from Tiger’s Collective Bev Co.

Photo by Jared Sych.

My first sip of Tiger’s Tea took me back to merry memories of group singing sessions, as this elegant drink takes root from the cognac green tea drinks that are popular in karaoke bars. The jasmine green tea brings a subtle floral note that balances well with the cognac, while honey adds a touch of sweetness. It’s a Calgary-based canned cocktail that’s non-carbonated, refreshing and totally crushable. —C.C.

Available at liquor stores across Alberta, tigerstea.ca, @tigersteacognac

 

Triple Chocolate Brownie from Crave Cupcakes

Photo by Jared Sych.

Crave may be known for classic cupcakes that could make angels sing, but there’s a hidden gem in its repertoire that steals the show for me: the Triple Chocolate Brownie, featuring layers of brownie, dark chocolate mousse and ganache. And let me spill the cocoa beans here — the bakeshop also offers a bake-at-home brownie mix that makes perfectly chewy, fudgey brownies. Between you and me, I might just prefer Crave’s brownies over its cupcakes, but let’s keep that between us, okay? —C.T.

Multiple Calgary locations, cravecupcakes.ca, @cravecupcakes

 

Chanry Thach (left) and Carmen Cheng. Photo by Jared Sych.

 

Seoul-style Kimchi from Hanbo Korean Noodle

Photo by Jared Sych.

There’s almost always a jar of kimchi in our fridge, and our favourite is the Seoul-style kimchi handcrafted by Hanbo Korean Noodle. I first tried Hanbo’s kimchi at the restaurant as a side dish to the kalguksu (hand-pulled noodles). The fermentation process lends itself to a depth of flavour that goes so well with the rich noodles. Thankfully, Hanbo sells its kimchi packaged in 1.5-pound portions, so you can enjoy it at home, too. —C.C.

4340 Macleod Tr. S.W., @hanbo.yyc

 

Apple Turnovers from Primary Colours

Photo by Jared Sych.

Opened by the team behind Monogram Coffee, Primary Colours restaurant serves daily brunch and dinner. But don’t overlook its take-home pastry program. The butter croissant is wonderful, and the apple turnover is especially loved. Filled with Granny Smith apples and caramel, the hand-laminated, all-butter pastry gives this apple turnover its divine flaky layers. —C.C.

802 49 Ave. S.W., primarycolours.cafe, @primarycoloursyyc

 

Biscuits from Cluck N Cleaver

Photo by Jared Sych.

It goes without saying that Cluck N Cleaver makes incredible chicken and sandwiches. But it’s CNC’s buttermilk biscuits that always have me in a state of total bliss. Sold individually or in packs of six (pro tip: freeze the extras!), these buttery biscuits are handmade in Cluck N Cleaver’s shops and go perfectly with its house-made gravy. The biscuits also make amazing sandwiches when filled with Cluck N Cleaver’s chicken salad. —C.C.

1511 14 St. S.W., and 210, 151 Walden Gate S.E.; cluckncleaver.com; @cluckncleaver

 

Cream Puffs from Crème Cream Puffs

Photo by Jared Sych.

Nothing hits the spot like one of Carly Kubinec’s heavenly cream puff creations featuring choux pastry filled with handmade pastry creams and other delicious ingredients. What really sets Crème apart is the ingenious craquelin tops, cookie-like crusts that add a wonderfully crunchy texture on top of every cream puff. Each month, Kubinec whips up new flavours (past offerings have included lemon meringue, raspberry hazelnut brownie and peanut butter marshmallow cheesecake), leaving her fans eagerly anticipating the next mouthwatering combination. —C.T.

2, 5524 1A St. S.W., cremecreampuffs.com, @cremecreampuffs

 

Authentic Thai Curry Sauce from Curry Co.

Photo by Jared Sych.

Have you ever tried making curry paste from scratch? It’s like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded while riding a unicycle. Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but trust me, it’s not easy. Then, in walks Curry Co. like the superhero it is, making it a breeze to whip up mouthwatering, aromatic dishes with its massaman, panang or green curry sauce packs. From there, it’s as easy as adding anything in your fridge. Whether you add tofu, leftover veggies or a can of chickpeas, it doesn’t take much to whip up an easy and delicious meal with these sauces. —C.T.

@curryco.yyc

 

Protein Banana Bread Mix from HelloAmino

Photo by Jared Sych.

Say hello to the snack that’s banana bread, but better, courtesy of HelloAmino. If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly trying to up your protein intake, and HelloAmino makes it easy to get those extra grams in with its Protein Banana Bread Mix. Just add milk, eggs, butter, vanilla extract and three overripe bananas. —C.T.

Multiple retailers, including Italian Centre Shop, 9919 Fairmount Dr. S.E., 403-238-4869; and Lakeview Bakery, 6449 Crowchild Tr. S.W., 403-246-6127; helloamino.com, @helloamino

 

Beef Shank Pie from Gemstone Grass Fed Beef

Photo by Jared Sych.

I’m always searching for easy, pre-made dishes for busy weeknight meals. That search led me to the beef shank pie from Gemstone Grass Fed Beef’s butcher shop in Calgary Farmers’ Market West. The pie is heavy from its generous amount of rich beef shank that’s braised overnight with carrots, celery and aromatics. Covered with gravy and mashed potatoes, this hearty, frozen pre-made pie (also available fresh) is the perfect comfort meal. —C.C.

Calgary Farmers’ Market West, 25 Greenbriar Dr. N.W., 403-420-5526, gemstonegrassfedbeef.com, @gemstonebeef

 

Ice Cream from Caribbean Taste

Photo by Jared Sych.

With roots in Colombia, sisters Tatiana and Ana Maria Navarro infuse their ice creams (which they also call “fluffs,” due to the light and creamy texture) with Latin flair that’s impossible to resist. From passion fruit to rich dulce de leche, each scoop celebrates their heritage. The moment I dipped my spoon into their guava cheesecake ice cream, I was hooked. It was like a slice of creamy heaven with a tropical twist, and I knew I had stumbled upon something truly special. —C.T.

Multiple retailers, including Norley’s Authentic Colombian Street Food, 1314B 9 Ave. S.E., 403-764-4000; Samba Brazilian Market, 1289 Highfield Cres. S.E., 587-839-6446; Latinos Bakery, 613 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-453-2247; and Latin Food Specialties Market & Kitchen, 6103 Centre St. S., 403-475-5020; caribbeantaste.ca, @caribbeantaste_ca

 

Za’atar Deluxe Pie from Shaganappi Mediterranean Market

Photo by Jared Sych.

Manakish are traditional flatbread pies native to the Eastern Mediterranean/West Asian region that includes Lebanon and the Levant region. At its Macleod Trail location, Shaganappi Mediterranean Market makes manakish from scratch with a variety of toppings and spices, then bakes them to order. The market’s most popular manakish are the Meat Pie and my personal favourite, the Za’atar Deluxe. Topped with olive oil and za’atar (a blend of wild Mediterranean thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and other spices), the dough is baked in the oven and then loaded with fresh vegetables, kalamata olives and creamy labneh. —C.C.

Available at Shaganappi Mediterranean Market Macleod Trail, 9950 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-457-3200, shaganappimarket.ca, @shaganappimarket

 

Smoked BBQ Pork Shank from Jubang

Photo by Jared Sych.

Last year, the masterminds behind one of my all-time favourite restaurants, JinBar, unveiled a ghost kitchen concept specializing in authentic Korean cuisine led by chefs Jinhee Lee, Hyungjae Lim and Seulchan Eom. My taste buds were doing a happy dance when I got my hands on the smoked barbecue jokbal (pork shank). We’re talking pork so succulent, it practically melts on your tongue in ribbons of juicy goodness. The dish comes with stir-fried sweet-potato noodles and assorted sauces. —C.T.

Pick up at 610 Meredith Rd. N.E., @jubangyyc

Get a weekly serving of suggestions for how to experience Calgary's restaurants, bars and markets by signing up for Avenue’s Food & Drink Newsletter.

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

Related posts

New Calgary Patios to Check Out This Summer

Chris Landry

Quiz: Which Upcoming Food Event Should You Check Out in Calgary?

Chris Landry

YYC Ice Cream Fest is Back with 30+ Sweet Treats

Alana Willerton

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Privacy Policy

Privacy & Cookies Policy
Avenue Calgary