Staff Picks: Our Favourite Things We Ate This Year

From multi-layered crepe cakes to wagyu beef, these are a few of the most memorable Calgary bites Avenue’s staff had in 2023.

Lady M Mille Crepe Cakes from The 6


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I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but since trying the Lady M mille crepe cakes at The 6, a new lounge downtown, I’ve longed to go back for more. The 6 is the first place in Canada to carry these famous cakes, which combine French and Japanese pastry techniques and flavours and are crafted with what seems like endless alternating layers of crepe upon cream. On The 6’s menu, there are eight flavours: signature, green tea, passion fruit, pistachio, tiramisu, Amadei chocolate, jasmine calamansi and purple yam. The slices are sky high but the texture means it instantly melts in your mouth and it would pair well with either a hot or cold beverage (the best part, in my humble opinion). You can order by the slice or get a nine-inch round cake, and while it’s a bit of a splurge, it’s well worth it. —Tsering Asha, Senior Editor, Avenue


Chausson aux Pommes from Black Sheep

It’s a rare day that I don’t end my visit to Calgary Farmers’ Market West (CFM West) by buying a pastry or four from Black Sheep. My husband knows that “I’m buying some carrots” is code for “I’m buying a bag of pastries.” If you haven’t tried Black Sheep, I’m so sorry. First opened in 2019, Black Sheep is a French-run pastry shop with two locations: a brick-and-mortar shop in the Beltline and a stand at CFM West. These pastries are known as “the shortest way to Paris.” They’re light, buttery and filled with seasonal fillings like raspberry, pear and more. My current favourite is the chausson aux pommes, a half-moon-shaped puff pastry filled with fresh apple compote. It’s buttery and delicate, not too sweet and completely addictive. I’d tell you more, but I have to go buy some carrots. —Meredith Bailey, Director of Strategy and Content


Winnipeg Fat Boy Burger from Class Clown Hamburgers

Local burger joint Class Clown has quickly become one of my favourite places to dine since it opened its ‘80s-inspired space in Mission this past summer. While I’m slowly working my way through the menu of fried chicken sandwiches and smash burgers made with ground-in-house Alberta beef and brisket, the one burger I keep coming back to is the Winnipeg Fat Boy. Along with a patty, cheddar cheese and the usual toppings like mayo, mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato and onion, this particular burger is topped with Class Clown’s must-try Coney Sauce, a meat sauce the restaurant describes as “a tangy, semi-sweet beanless chili.” The sauce brings an additional texture and layer of flavour to an already delicious burger. Add an order of Coney fries — crinkle cut fries topped with smashed Hawkins cheezies, chives and that irresistible Coney Sauce — and you’ve got one of the best burger experiences in town. —Alana Willerton, Managing Digital Editor, Avenue


Dole Whip from Inglewood Drive In

Despite Dole Whip’s debut in Disneyland, the delectable frozen dessert always transports me to Hawaii, where I first enjoyed the pineapple delight. So I was thrilled when it became available, a few years back, at the Inglewood Drive In. I’ve sampled many a Dole Whip, and Inglewood Drive In’s tasty rendition is the closest to the real deal I experienced in Hawaii. Loved by many, this soft-serve cup (or cone) of joy is delicious any time of year, flooding your taste buds with fruity flavours. Its creamy texture tricks you into thinking you’re enjoying a rich indulgence, but in fact, it’s lower in calories than ice cream, and gluten- and dairy-free. Perfect with a side of fries, this sweet treat has earned its cult following. —Colleen Seto, Managing Editor, Content Studio


Funghi Pizza from Lina’s

It’s hard to pick just one thing, but if I have to choose, I’m going with the one thing I keep going back for: the “Funghi Pizza” from the pizzeria at Lina’s in Inglewood. If you love mushrooms as much as I do, then this is basically pizza heaven: a thin-but-not-too-thin crust with the perfect amount of saltiness, crisp and chew; an almost imperceptible skim of alfredo sauce; then, on top of that, pecorino cheese, a medley of large, earthy mushrooms and a drizzle of truffle honey for the perfect savoury-sweet finish. Go for the happy hour special where you can get a hot slice and an ice-cold bottle of Peroni for $10 and enjoy it amongst the towering stacks of pannettone. —Shelley Arnusch, Editor in Chief, Avenue


Beeswax Aged Japanese Wagyu Beef from Shokunin


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One of the best things I ate this year was wagyu beef — specifically, the wagyu beef from Shokunin. This Japanese-imported A5 wagyu would already be delicious to begin with, but the folks at Shokunin take it to the next level by dry-aging it for 30 days in Alberta-sourced beeswax, further enhancing the beefy, fatty flavours Japanese A5 is known for. It’s also cold-smoked for an added bit of flavour and umami, cooked and served on a miniature yakitori grill filled with smoking binchotan charcoal. The result is practically beef butter; there is nothing better, in my opinion, than meat you don’t have to chew. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly version, the Brant Lake pastrami wagyu is almost equally as delicious, brined and braised with pastrami spices and finished on the grill. —Chris Landry, Assistant Editor, Avenue

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