A bloody good drink: Quintessential Caesar spots in Calgary

The Caesar was invented in 1969 by bar manager Walter Chell as a signature cocktail for an Italian restaurant in the Calgary Inn, now The Westin Calgary. Any city bar worth its salt features this concoction of vodka, Clamato, Worcestershire sauce and spices with celery salt-and-peppered rim. Here are some great places to hit to quaff this quintessential Calgary cocktail. [Image credit: iStock.com/Lauri Patterson.

Caesar's Steak House

A very Calgary restaurant, Caesar’s is the epitome of what a great steakhouse oughta be: deep wood accents and leather seating, slabs of tasty, aged Alberta beef, tableside service and a list of classic cocktails, including a Bloody Caesar cocktail worthy of an emperor. This one features three ounces of spirits and a big, bold flavour profile.

Añejo Restaurant

2116 4th Street SW #2, Calgary, AB T2S 1W7

Known for its loco list of more than 100 tequilas and creative margaritas, Añejo is no slouch when it comes to cocktails, including the Caesar – theirs features tequila blanco in place of vodka. As you’d expect, the Mexican restaurant brands its drink with a fiery flare, serving up the Caesar Diablo with habanero, lime and a pickled jalapeno.

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar

320 4th Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2S6

Along with its classic menu featuring steak and seafood goodness, the Keg’s Caesar is a classic. It’s a tasty, full-bodied punch of deliciousness. The Keg having been around nearly as long as the Caesar, they’ve been doing it long enough to have gotten it just right. The Keg even markets its own brand of bottled Caesar mix.

Smuggler's Inn

6920 MacLeod Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2H 0L3

Are we sensing a theme? Alberta beef is beautifully complemented by a bold Caesar, so the drink is a mainstay of steakhouses around the city. A beloved grilled meat landmark on Macleod Trail, Smuggler’s kicks its Caesar up a notch by adding horseradish (by request) and tossing in a pickled asparagus spear.

Elbow River Casino

218 18 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 1L1

How do you make almost anything better? Just add bacon, if recent foodie trends are any indication. And naturally, the savoury, sassy tones of a Caesar lend well to dipping a strip or two of the crispy cured meat into the mix. Bacon Caesars are on the menu at Elbow River Casino, just across Macleod Trail from Stampede Park.

The Westin Calgary

320 4th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2S6

The Westin Calgary is the locale where the Caesar got its start, and that’s where you’ll find Liquid Lounge. The bar of the day where Walter Chell worked was called the Owl’s Nest when he created the drink. Try the cocktail at its very birthplace, served tangy and true, classic-style – vodka, Clamato, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, celery and a wedge of lime.


180 Stewart Green SW, Calgary, AB T3H 3C8

Why have your Caesar with a meal when it can BE your meal? National’s hearty take on the cocktail includes a skewered pickle, chorizo sausage and a chunk of cheddar. The beer hall kicks up the flavour with horseradish and a splash of IPA. Its multiple locations include Westhills Shopping Centre.

Notable The Restaurant

133-4611 Bowness Rd NW, Calgary, AB T3B 0B2

Chef Michael Noble’s menu of upscale comfort food demands the same of its drinks, and so the restaurant’s Showstopper Caesar combines premium vodka (Ketel One), all-natural Walter Caesar Mix (yes, named for Chell, the Caesar’s inventor) and a dash of Showstopper Hot Sauce, a house-made blend.

Cibo Urbano Cucina

1012 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0A5

Rustic Italian street food pairs beautifully with Cibo’s tangy Caesar, which features a splash of pickled asparagus juice. Things get even better on Tuesdays, when signature cocktails can be sipped for a special price. Find this two-level, redbrick Italian eatery on the 17th Avenue Southwest strip.

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