Staff Picks: Great Takeout in Calgary

Skewer platters and steamed beef dumplings are some of our favourite takeout meals right now.

Skewer platter from Paros Real Greek. Photograph by Urba Group Inc.

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 recently.

 

Aida’s Bistro

During the dark days of winter the cuisine of the sunny Mediterranean is exactly what you need to lighten your mood and Aida’s Bistro has long been a go-to (now a get-from) spot for Calgarians to get their Lebanese food fix. There are a wide range of dishes beyond your classic shawarma and most of the menu items travel well, but especially the dips, which should be an add-on to any order. You can play the field and get a dip sampler, but if you have to choose just one, make it the mouhammara, a mildly spiced mix of walnuts and roasted red pepper with a lick of pomegranate molasses. Sub out the accompanying pita for fresh veggies — it’s a generous helping of cucumber and zucchini spears that are so impossibly crispy-crunchy, each bite makes you feel closer to spring. — Shelley Arnusch, contributing editor

2208 4 St. S.W., 403-541-1189, aidasbistro.ca

 

Ikusa Izakaya & Tokyo Market

Ikusa Izakaya has a massive menu consisting of several different types of Japanese cuisine, including sushi, ramen, different types of grilled meat and seafood. In my opinion, the best way to order is to grab a small-plate protein from each section of the menu; I almost always get a pork belly bun, plus chicken karaage and beef tataki. Combos, platters and chef’s choice sushi are available if you’re ordering for the whole family or feeling indecisive. Delivery is available through DoorDash and Skip The Dishes, but your best bet is to order directly for pickup because you’ll get 20 per cent off your total. — Colin Gallant, associate editor

903 General Ave. N.E., 587-352-3288, ikusaizakaya.com

 

Paros Real Greek

Being a Greek food lover isn’t always easy, especially when we live 12 hours away by plane from Greece. Finding a place that can capture the taste of authentic Greek food isn’t always easy either, but Paros Real Greek nails it every time. If you can’t decide what to pick, choose the skewer platter that comes with two sides so you can get a taste of everything the restaurant has to offer. Otherwise, the loaded gyro wraps come stuffed with spiced feta fries, your choice of beef, chicken or pork, and a healthy coating of tzatziki (how can you go wrong with that?). Insider tip: order extra tzatziki. I promise you won’t regret the extra servings. — Michaela Ream, editorial intern

8650 112 Ave. N.W., 403-547-7040 and 1436 8 St. S.W., 403-453-1039, parosrealgreek.com

 

Tibet Kitchen

I love food that gives me feelings of warmth and comfort during the winter months and that’s why I’ve been ordering my childhood favourites from Tibet Kitchen. Similar to other East Asian cuisines, Tibet Kitchen offers a variety of meat, seafood or vegetarian dinners from curries to dumplings to soups and more. My personal go-tos are the traditional steamed beef dumplings called momos (arguably Tibet’s most popular export), sha bhaley, a deep-fried patty stuffed with ground beef and onions or gyathuk, a Tibetan-style pasta soup similar to ramen. Even the veggie green momos with potatoes, spinach, peas and carrots fill me right up with a side salad or on a bed of rice and make a perfect afternoon snack, hot or cold. The best part though is that hot sauce is always included on the side, so I never have to worry about overestimating the spice level. – Tsering Asha, editorial assistant

318 10 St. N.W., 403-270-8828, facebook.com

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