9 Restaurants That Offer Express Lunches

It’s not always possible to take a leisurely lunch. At these six restaurants, you’ll be in and out in under one hour.

Workshop Kitchen.
Workshop Kitchen. Photograph by Jared Sych.

Blanco Cantina

This Mexican cantina’s speedy lunch deal is well-worth checking out if you’re on 17 Ave. S.W. around lunchtime. Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., your order of a burrito or two tacos comes with a soft drink and guacamole. The best part? It’s all only $14 and you’ll be in and out in less than an hour.

723 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-1854, blancocantina.ca


Charcut’s 45-minute in-and-out guarantee for its lunch-all-at-once deal is a great concept. Guests can choose between options like the daily sandwich, pasta or some rotisserie meat with sides ranging from parmesan fries to soup. We especially love the warm cookies to go after a hearty, meat-centric lunch.

101, 899 Centre St. S.W., 403-984-2180, charcut.com


Donna Mac

Donna Mac’s express lunch deal gives you a great taste of what this Beltline restaurant has to offer (but in a quick timeframe). The menu changes regularly, but you can expect soup, a sandwich and a dessert, all for the reasonable price of $20.

1002 9 St. S.W., 403-719-3622, donnamacyyc.ca


​Q Haute Cuisine

For a quiet meal in an elegant setting, Q Haute Cuisine is just the place. The Eau Claire restaurant offers two and three course lunch menus. Express lunch dishes include warm smoked salmon salad or beef ribeye served with a roasted vegetable fricassee, all beautifully and efficiently prepared in one hour.

100 La Caille Pl. S.W., 403-262-5554, qhautecuisine.com


Sidewalk Citizen

During the week, Sidewalk Citizen’s Simmons Building location gives you the option to pre-order your lunch for takeaway or to dine-in, letting you save time by avoiding the usual lines and cook time. You simply order and pay online before 10 a.m., then show up to grab your lunch. Pre-order lunch options include snacks like scones and loaves, the bureka plate, shaved roast beef sourdough sandwiches, salads, brownies and more.

Simmons Building, 618 Confluence Way S.E., 403-457-2245, sidewalkcitizenbakery.com


Sky 360

Set atop the Calgary Tower, Sky 360 is an obvious place to take out-of-town clients for the view, as well as the express menu that features local, seasonal ingredients and only takes 45 minutes in total. The three-course express lunch menu features coffee, tea, salad, gelato for dessert and your choice of four entrees ranging from carbonara to a Beretta Farms beef burger.

Calgary Tower, 101 9 Ave. S.W., 403-532-7966, sky360.ca


Workshop Kitchen

This downtown spot in The Grand building is definitely worth the little bit of effort it takes to find it. Chef Kenny Kaechele’s innovative menu is a great conversation-starter and the $25 three-course lunch will have you in and out in one hour. Options like the daily braise and caramel chocolate pot de creme will make you happy you stopped by.

608 1 St. S.W., 403-266-7062, workshopcalgary.com


Yellow Door Bistro

If you only have 45 minutes for lunch, swing by Yellow Door Bistro at the Hotel Arts. Not only can restaurant guests save themselves some hassle by parking at the hotel for free, but Yellow Door also offers a three-course express lunch that changes weekly. One thing you can expect for sure is a takeaway dessert to bring back to work with you afterwards.

119 12 Ave. S.W., 403-206-9585, yellowdoorbistro.ca


[This story was updated on January 21, 2019]

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