Staff Picks: Great Takeout in Calgary

Fondue and fried chicken sandwiches are some of our favourite takeout options right now.

The fried chicken sandwich from Donna Mac. Photograph by Jared Sych.

Like many Calgarians during this pandemic, the staff at Avenue have been ordering takeout from local restaurants in an effort to support the Calgary food scene. Here are a few of the memorable takeout experiences we’ve enjoyed over the last few weeks.

 

Charcut’s Multi-Concept Curbside Pickup Service

I’ve ordered a lot of takeout during this pandemic, and for me the MVP is Charcut’s multi-concept curbside pickup service. Its concepts — Alley Burger, Charbar, Charcut and Chix Egg Shop — have price points and flavours for pretty much any mood or craving I have, and there’s just something magical about ordering a fancy charcuterie plate and a “Whole Truck burger” at the same time. There’s also beer and wine, plus an entire menu of freshly butchered meats if you’re planning to grill. You can also order the same menu for delivery through DoorDash, but if you buy direct for pickup and use the code “CURB15” (first order only), you’ll save 15 per cent on your bill. — Colin Gallant, assistant editor

 

Donna Mac

There are few things I love more than a great chicken sandwich. So when three different people recommended Donna Mac’s fried chicken sandwich to me, I simply had to order it for takeout. Turns out, it was love at first bite. The soft bun gives way to a wonderfully crunchy piece of fried chicken complemented by gochujang sauce, mayo, pickles and iceberg lettuce. The spice level isn’t overwhelming. It brings just enough heat and flavour while the pickles add a refreshing, acidic kick. Your order won’t be complete without adding one of Donna Mac’s doughnuts as well. The restaurant uses its own sourdough starter to make the doughnuts before filling them with tangy lemon curd. I’m already counting down the days until I can order this combo again. — Alana Willerton, digital editor

 

Moonlight & Eli

In my opinion the best date nights and dinner parties are interactive and that continues to hold true during the pandemic. So, treat yourself and someone you love to a fondue night with Moonlight & Eli’s take out kits. Better yet, get a group on Zoom to join in the fun — after all, who doesn’t love melted cheese?

Prepped fresh each day by the team in this tiny Bridgeland restaurant, the kits include the wine, cheese and all the dipping options you need for $35 per person (two-person minimum order). Choose your cheese — there are six options including my favourite the five-year-old cheddar and black truffle — choose either meat or vegetarian sides and then figure out if you have the willpower to not order the chocolate fondue for dessert. Gluten-free options are available, and the classic Swiss fondue is lactose-free. If you don’t have your own fondue set up you can rent a pot, fuel and forks for $10.

The wine list focuses on sparkling but still options are available and the entire wine list is 20 per cent off the in-room price. A new “cheerful” wine selection focuses on value-priced offerings including a Cava for just $25. My pick is the Anno Domini prosecco — this is the exception to the rule that a weird bottle is probably hiding a terrible wine. — Kathe Lemon, editor-in-chief

 

Raw Eatery and Market

Being vegetarian or vegan in Calgary has become way easier and much more exciting over the past few years. There are tons of unique places that really lean into the plant-based community they are building, which makes it easy to want to support them. Of all the great options though, Raw Eatery and Market in Kensington is easily at the top of my list. The fact that the restaurant now offers delivery and its vegan sushi, pad Thai, tacos and more are available to enjoy at home is a game changer. Plus, it’s healthy, which really helps balance out the amount of Zero Issue pilsners I have been drinking during isolation. Raw Eatery is now selling an e-book of all its recipes so people can try making everything at home too. — Travis Klemp, editorial intern

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