If you're looking for a quick, simple, straightforward and inexpensive Japanese restaurant in Calgary, Kinjo Sushi & Grill is the place for you. With 3 family-friendly locations in Calgary (Dalhousie, Macleod and Millrise), Kinjo offers a variety of sushi in the form of both rolls and sashimi, sushi cones, salads, tempura, typical teppanyaki dishes, and lots of other options. There are spaces for large parties, as well as smaller booths and tables for families and couples. Friendly, attentive and quick service paired with consistently good food at the right price are the things that keep me coming back to Kinjo. That, and the complementary box of pocky they give you after your meal! ;)
Mina's is one of my favorite spots for a quick lunch or dinner that is consistently delicious. Fresh, tasty food, a wide variety of menu items, friendly staff, good service, plenty of parking and a clean environment are just a few reasons why you should visit this South Calgary gem and avoid the insanity of downtown. The spring rolls on vermicelli and the shrimp salad rolls are my go-to menu items, but I've never had anything less than fantastic at this restaurant. It's a bonus that the prices are also extremely reasonable as well!
The Cheesecake Cafe is conveniently located right on Macleod Trail across from the Chinook Shopping Centre, and is home to dozens of different types of house-made cheesecakes, from flavors like Oreo to Triple Berry to Double Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Or, if you're more of a classic type, you can get the plain New York Style Cheesecake with the topping of your choice. It is the perfect place to stop in for dessert, but they also have a full lunch and dinner menu as well. The Cheesecake Cafe also has full-size cheesecakes available for purchase to bring home with you when you leave!
Located in the South Calgary Suburb of Shawnessy, Shawnessy Vietnamese is a decent option when you don't feel like venturing inner-city. The atmosphere is pretty standard for a Vietnamese Restaurant, the service was basic, although not overly friendly, but the food was really good. They have daily lunch and dinner specials that are really great value...I chose the BBQ Pork and Spring Roll Vermicelli which came with two shrimp and pork salad rolls. Next time I will try the Brisket Pho Noodle Soup...lots of people were eating it and it looked fantastic! Take out is also available.
This place is unbelievable. Don't let the semi-pretentious feeling get to you...it gets better. It is true what they say about Shiki Menya...you have to get there right at 11:00am...they only serve 150 bowls of Ramen per day, and it's usually lined up out the door by 11:30. My personal favourite item is the Chili Goma Ramen...it's a spicy, peanutty broth with ground pork, a boiled egg, and lots of veggies and noodles. We also ordered the Gyoza dumplings to start which were great. Come hungry. This place is a gem. There is also a location in Vancouver!
I had lived in Calgary for almost 15 years before I discovered Calgary's Best Breakfast. Enter OEB (Over Easy Breakfast), a Breakfast experience like no other. This funky little restaurant is usually lined up out the door during prime breakfast hours no matter what day it is, but I promise you that it is worth the wait. With an extensive menu featuring egg creations like omelettes, bennies and classic breakfasts to crepes, pancakes, wraps, smoothies and specialty coffees, OEB is your one stop breakfast shop for guaranteed satisfaction. My personal favorite is the famous "Soul In A Bowl" boxed breakfast poutine which features herb potato wedges (fried in duck fat no less), bacon lardons, poached eggs, cheese curds and brown butter hollandaise sauce. Grab a latte and make a morning of it. You'll leave stuffed, satisfied, and so, so happy.
Nestled on central 4th street in the heart of Mission, Añejo provides a unique, classy and authentic ambiance paired with incredible food and drink right in the middle of the bustle of one of Calgary's trendiest neighborhoods. With a selection of over 150 tequilas, unique margarita creations, and a myriad of Mexican dishes crafted from fresh, local ingredients, Añejo is a step above any other Mexican restaurant I've ever been to in the city. It is a lively restaurant and typically very busy on the weekend, so be prepared for a (worthwhile) wait. The service is fabulous and very interactive. The guacamole is a must…they prepare it fresh right in front of you in a lava rock mortar bowl. If you like spice, give the Chili Coconut margarita a try for something entirely unique and delicious. Everything I've ever had on the menu has been exquisite. Arriba!
I first heard about Dairy Lane from a coworker ve also worked part-time at this popular West Hillhurst Breakfast hot-spot. Dairy Lane is a small, independent business that has been established since 1950. They provide fresh, delicious meals featuring local ingredients and they are also committed to minimizing their environmental footprint and giving back to the community. Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner every day, Dairy lane has an enticing menu featuring many different flavors - from simplistic North American dishes to Mexican Infusions. The restaurant itself is quite intimate with just a few tables and a small patio - expect a bit of a wait on busy weekends. Ample free street parking is available nearby.
Famoso is one of my favorite restaurants in all of Calgary. It is consistently delicious and close to home, although it currently has four locations in the city, and countless others across Canada. Don't let this restaurant's franchise status scare you off, though - it is truly one of the most wonderful, family-friendly dining experiences I have found. Famoso serves traditional Neapolitan pizza - meaning that the crust is soft and moist, and each piece is meant to be folded in half when eaten. They also have a wide variety of sandwiches, appetizers (the Tomato Basil Bisque is amazing) and delectable desserts. You can NOT leave without trying a scoop of their Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Gelato. My personal favorite pizza at Famoso is The Abruzzo. If you have a smaller appetite or are visiting with children, every pizza is also offered in a smaller, individual-sized "Pizetta".
I was treated to a phenomenal meal at 7 Seas by my friend ve is actually from the Philippines, so I got to just sit back, relax, and let her choose the food. (She knows best!) The restaurant is small, quant and family-owned, and the quality of the food is second to none. Over the course of a few hours, I feasted on several different dishes that came to the table - lots of fresh grilled seafood, soups, noodles, pork, chicken…you name it. The menu is huge and can be a bit overwhelming if you're never eaten Filipino food before, so feel free to ask for guidance and recommendations. The desserts were also wonderful. Quite a bit different for a western palate, but I strongly suggest that you step outside of your comfort zone and give them a try! Or, if you'd like to play it safe, I can personally recommend the fried bananas.
Jelly Modern Doughnuts is Canada's Original Gourmet Doughnut Bakery Cafe and has multiple locations in both Calgary and Toronto. With tantalizing doughnuts flavours such as Lemon Curd, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Maple Bacon (my personal favourite), there is something for everyone at Jelly. They also have an assortment of doughnut options for those with gluten sensitivities. In Calgary, you can visit the main store on 8th Street, catch them at the Blackfoot Farmer's Market, or be on the lookout for the "Jelly Truck" cruising the streets of downtown.
Tango - located in the same building and owned by the same people as three other Calgary favorites (Bolero, Smuggler’s and Open Sesame) - is a tapas style restaurant featuring dozens of delectable selections that are meant to be shared. (They recommend about 2 dishes for every one person at your table.) We went for a celebratory dinner and ordered the Cheese Fondue, Boar-Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin, Italian Meatball Flatbread and the Duck Poutine. All were absolutely phenomenal, but the Duck Poutine was our favorite! For dessert, we ordered the maple caramel apple cheesecake shot glasses and the cappuccino sundae - both spectacular. Spot on service, romantic atmosphere, moderate prices and unbelievable food. I can’t wait to go back to this place.
I met another blogger at Higher Ground for a coffee one afternoon and I was immediately blown away that I'd never been here before. It's located in the busiest part of Kensington and is surrounded by other awesome little shops. Amazing coffees, tea lattes and other drinks and an impressive assortment of baked goods! The service is friendly and the shop itself is spacious, trendy, full of interesting people and a fantastic hub for those of us whose work requires a Wi-Fi connection. Higher Ground would serve as a great morning coffee stop or a longer evening work space. Check it out!
Located in the new Southwest community of Silverado, Kildares Ale House is a traditional Irish Gastro-Pub with a modern, Western flare. It is actually one of the classiest pubs I've ever been to - gorgeous atmosphere, big beautiful wooden doors, comfortable booths, and really nice bathrooms! An impressive list of beer on tap and in bottles complements a wine list and cocktail menu as well as an extensive food menu featuring traditional pub fare from burgers and fries to nachos to pies to yorkies. They have weekly food and drink specials and a weekend Brunch menu. I will definitely be back.
Waves Coffee House is a small franchise that originally began in Vancouver, BC, but has since made its way to Alberta and has several locations in Calgary. Unique beverages (such as the Lavender Latte) set this place apart for me, and my experience has always been pleasant.
Last week, on a hot summer day, I popped in to cool off with a refreshing Matcha Frappe - a blend of green tea, cream, and ice. It was delicious! The 17th Avenue location is really funky looking, too. I'd like to spend an afternoon here blogging, reading, or catching up with a friend.
They also have a variety of baked goods, sandwiches and wraps, teas and other specialty beverages.
A few weeks ago, a friend and I visited Julio's Barrio before catching a show at the Jubilee Auditorium here in Calgary. I was pleasantly surprised by this place! The prices are moderate, although not cheap, the service was perfect, and the food was very good.
We ordered a white and a red Sangria to drink (both highly recommended) and then I had the beef enchiladas, and my friend had the chicken tacos. Everything was delicious, and the perfect amount of food.
While this wasn't exactly the most authentic Mexican food I've ever had, I would still return simply because of the atmosphere. It's a big restaurant and definitely a gathering place for friends - it's got a good-time, party vibe to it that is infectious. Plus, it's located right on 10th street, which is already a happening little area.
I am not a committed vegetarian, although I do like to eat meatless meals most of the time. I first heard about The Coup from one of my beautiful vegan, yogi friends who swore that it was "the most magical place on earth". And while I can say that the statement may have been a bit optimistic, The Coup came pretty close. A beautiful, modern restaurant with fresh herbs growing from the walls, an open-air patio during the summer, and fresh, organic food that would leave even a meat lover begging for more. I ordered the vegetable panini with the daily soup (which was curried cauliflower) and my friend had the Lotus Root salad. We both had the lemon-limeade with muddled basil as well. Both meals were absolutely divine, and I will definitely be returning to The Coup for more!
I first fell in love with Heart's Choices (the name of the parents company that opened the Thai Vegan Cafe) at the Calgary Blackfoot Farmer's Market. If you've been in the last several years, you will probably recall walking past the Heart's Choices shop and having a smiling, happy Thai lady beckoning you over to try her soy chicken and Thai curries. This is Nan, and she is the co-owner, and the cook behind the company - which goes by many names - Nan's Vegan Thai, Heart's Choices, and now - Thai Vegan Cafe. Nan has been vegan for years and years, and she makes all of the food at the Cafe as well as at the market store, where you can pick up frozen curry sauces, salad dressings, vegan treats, baked goods, soy chicken, and so many other things. At the cafe, you can dine in or take out, although I recommend dining in. It is quite the experience! I myself am not a vegan, but Nan's food is just so crazy good that I can't keep going back for more!