It’s easy to get into a lunching rut when there are grab-and-go places near our offices. But just because food is handy doesn’t make it good.
Here are eight places around town that you may have either forgotten about or have never heard of before that are always a great choice for a filling midday meal. They may not be as convenient as the sandwich kiosk in your building but they make up for it in quality and flavour.
This Persian eatery is just a couple blocks south of the 10th Street S.W. LRT station. From rich stews made of fried eggplant and sirloin to a pomegranate, walnut and chicken dish, Atlas is a refreshing alternative to the traditional shawarma spot. (1000 9 Ave. S.W., 403-230-0990, atlascalgary.com)
Who knew a little place on Memorial Drive would have such an extensive menu for a coffee shop? Vietnamese noodle bowls, pastas and quesadillas are just a few examples of what you’ll find to eat here. There’s definitely something for everyone. (3303 3 Ave. N.W., 403-283-6820)
This small deli is directly across the road from Chinook Centre. Here, you’ll find no-fuss sandwiches and salads at a great price. The Keith’s Special with homemade barbecued sausage, lettuce, mayo and mustard in a bun hits the spot every time. (6100 Macleod Tr. S.W., 403-252-5100)
Kettle has a classic “just like mom used to make” sort of menu. A slice of homemade lasagna or a bowl of chili will hit the spot perfectly on one of the last chilly days of winter. You can never go wrong with ending lunch with a slice of the freshly baked pie. (8 Parkdale Cres. N.W., 403-270-7810, lazyloafandkettle.com)
The Danish Canadian Club of Calgary dubs itself as “Calgary’s Best Kept Secret” when it comes to its menu at the attached restaurant, Mermaid Inn. Whether that’s true or not is up to you. What’s for sure, though, is that Danish meat cakes with braised cabbage or a Danish-style omelette will definitely make for a unique lunch experience. (727 11 Ave. S.W., 403-261-9774, danishclubcalgary.com)
Don’t let the dated decor scare you off. This long-time, fish-centric restaurant boasts wonderfully fresh haddock, cod or halibut in crispy batter with creamy coleslaw, fires and homemade tartar sauce. If you’re craving some fish ‘n’ chips for lunch, this is the place to go. (1515 14 St. S.W., 403-245-6311, trawlersseafood.com)
Definitely a hot spot for studying students and freelance creatives, but many people forget that this cafe (owned by Teatro) has a beautiful food menu. It’s also just far enough out of the main Kensington business area that there is almost always an empty table waiting for you. (940 2 Ave. N.W., 403-453-1140, vendomecafe.com, @VendomeCafe)
Many Calgary foodies agree, this is one of the best places to enjoy traditional Japanese in our city. Here, the ramen, amoung other things, is fantastic and the service is polite and quick. All right, sushi-lovers, let’s keep this little gem between us, ok? (1721 Centre St. N., 403-277-2077, wascalgary.exblog.jp)