Sky 360
By Bob Keelaghan

Quite Literally Elevated Cuisine

For decades, dining at the top of the Calgary Tower has been on the to-do list for tourists and Calgarians alike. The restaurant slowly revolves, giving an impressive 360 degree view of the city from above. When the Concorde Group (owners of such celebrated venues as Anju and the National beer halls) bought the restaurant in 2008, and rechristened it Sky 360, they aimed to shake the restaurant's reputation for formality while still serving top-notch Canadian cuisine.

“We want people to understand it’s not just for fine dining anymore,” says general manager Nasser Awada. “We want people to be able to come up and enjoy a burger and a beer at lunch. It’s a casual atmosphere.” The crowds that come for the spectacular views and the food can range from tourists taking a trip to the Calgary Tower’s observation deck and families out for a special occasion to couples on a romantic date.

Sky 360 covers the price of the ticket to the Calgary Tower’s observation deck with the order of any entree, making a trip to the top a good value when paired with a meal. From the deck, visitors can gaze across the city, get a tour or have their perceptions altered by looking down on to the street below from the special vantage point of a glass floor.

Even when the weather is bad, it’s still a great view up here. - Nasser Awada, general manager
Sky 360 serves up locally sourced meat and ingredients, such as bison and beef, whenever possible
The rotating restaurant at the top of the Calgary Tower offers some of the best views in the city.

Showcasing the Best of Albertan Food and Drinks

Along with making a trip to the top of Calgary a down-to-earth experience, Sky 360 wants to give customers (especially tourists) a uniquely Albertan culinary experience. With locally produced beef and bison steaks, pork tenderloin and chicken alongside seafood and pastas on the dinner menu, the kitchen prepares Canadian cuisine with French and Asian twists.

As much as possible, the ingredients for the menu are sourced from local producers like Canadian Rocky Mountain Ranch, Broxburn Vegetables and White Gold Cheese. “I can stand here and point in the general direction of 4K Farms, where all our pork comes from,” says Nasser, as he looks out the huge glass windows as the restaurant slowly rotates by the north, giving a heightened perspective on the downtown, river valley and points beyond. “On a clear day, you can see exactly where that farm is. When we turn around to the other side, I can point out the brewery and say the beer comes from there to here.”

The beer to which Nasser refers comes from local breweries like Village Brewery and Wild Rose, while the wine list, though stocking labels from all over the world and winning accolades from Wine Spectator magazine, is geared to feature the best of western Canadian wines. “B.C. has some phenomenal white wines and their reds are really coming into the peak market,” says Nasser.

Sky 360 serves locally sourced lamb from a farm within viewing distance of the Calgary Tower
The Sky 360 dinner menu offers Canadian cuisine made with meats raised right outside Calgary like the lamb shank from Sun Gold Farms.

A 360 Degree Perspective of Calgary … And the Globe

Open for lunch and dinner, Sky 360 seats 168 people in its circular dining room. Though reservations are recommended for early evening dining, they usually have enough room to accommodate walk-ins at other times.

For Nasser, a veteran of the restaurant industry, coming to work everyday to the best views in the city and meeting the eclectic clientele make running a landmark restaurant like Sky 360 that much more special.

“Even when the weather is bad, it’s still a great view up here,” he says. “The big, big plus is you meet people from all over the world. Just being able to sit and chat with them for five or 10 minutes (about Carnival in Brazil, the running of the bulls in Spain or Oktoberfest in Germany), it’s the epitome of something different every day.”

Sky 360 also serves locally sourced craft beers and wines from British Columbia
Sky 360 serves lunch every day and covers the elevation fee to the Calgary Tower observation deck with the purchase of an entree.
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