Where to Eat Before Going to a Theatre Show Downtown

These six restaurants cater to the theatre crowd.

Teatro’s modern Italian cuisine is the perfect accompaniment to an evening at the theatre.

Photo by Jared Sych.

The theatre season is amping up this month, with the 30th High Performance Rodeo in full swing, Theatre Calgary‘s widely anticipated premiere of The Little Prince musical set to open on January 19 and Vertigo Theatre‘s world premiere of Calamity Town kicking off on January 23. With that in mind, here are a handful of downtown restaurants that cater to the theatre crowd looking to grab a meal or a quick bite before the curtain rises.


Sitting kitty-corner from Arts Commons, this fine-dining Italian restaurant draws healthy numbers of theatre and CPO folk, which means the staff are used to getting their show-going clientele ordered, fed and out the door on time. Centini’s prime location is bolstered by easy access to the Telus Convention Centre underground parkade (entrance at 727 1 St. S.E.), where the rates are an affordable $4 if you enter after 4 p.m.

160 8 Ave. S.E., 403-269-1600, centini.com, @centinicalgary

Divino Wine and Cheese Bistro

As a popular spot for theatre-goers to meet up before shows, Divino is another place that’s going to be sympathetic if you tell them you’ve got to make a 7:30 curtain time. If you want a bite before your show, but not necessarily a full meal, Divino also offers a more refined take on happy hour, featuring selections of wines paired with two small plate specials (check in on Twitter to find out what’s on the menu that week).

113 8 Ave. S.W., 403-410-5555, divinobistro.com, @divino_bistro


The doors to the Jack Singer Concert Hall are directly across from the entrance to this elegant restaurant just off Olympic Plaza, making Teatro a popular choice for theatre and orchestra patrons. The dinner menu features several pasta entrees for an easy, pre-performance meal. There’s also a daily happy hour, offering 50 per cent off the bar menu, as well as $7 glasses of wine, and highballs and bottles of Peroni for $5.

200 8 Ave. S.E., 403-290-1012, teatro.ca, @teatrocalgary


The classic restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Hotel offers a unique, three-course menu for ticket holders to shows at Arts Commons. The menu changes monthly, with January’s lineup featuring an opener of roasted carrot salad with spiced pumpkin seeds and goat cheese cream, a “feature performance” of chicken parmesan and penne or maple and dijon baked salmon and a “standing ovation” of yuzu lemon tart with spiced streusel for $36 (plus tax and gratuity). In addition to that applause-worthy price, they’ll also validate parking for theatre-goers at the Hyatt, which is connected to Arts Commons via the Plus 15 system.

112 8 Ave. S.E., 403-537-4449, thomsonsrestaurant.com, @thomsonscalgary

Workshop Kitchen + Culture

Since Workshop Kitchen + Culture is located within the lobby of the Grand theatre, Theatre Junction patrons can have their dinner and their show within the same building. Make a reservation if you plan to do dinner before Isolde, running Feb. 10 to 13 (the play is performed by the New York City Players under the direction of the acclaimed Richard Maxwell). If you’re feeling adventurous, order the “Workshop Improv” – a three- or five-course tasting menu created at the whim of the kitchen.

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


Yellow Door Bistro

If you prefer the Shakespearean spectacle of grown men in protective gear struggling to put a puck in a net, the Yellow Door Bistro at the Hotel Arts offers a “Hockey Night In Yellow Door” special menu before Calgary Flames home games, featuring two courses and a beverage for $29. The menu is available up to one hour prior to puck drop and includes complementary parking at the hotel until the end of the game.

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

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