Crusty comfort food: Superb savoury pies in Calgary

Savoury pies are the best kind of comfort food. There’s something so deeply satisfying about noshing out on a hot and fluffy meat-and-veggie-stuffed pastry. These include European classics such as creamy chicken pot pie and golden mashed-potato-topped shepherd’s pie as well as Mediterranean fatayers, doughy Latin American empanadas and golden stuffed Jamaican patties. Here are the places to get your fix.

Briggs Kitchen & Bar

100-317 10 Ave Sw, Calgary, AB T2R 0A5

This stylish, casual-contemporary restaurant bakes one of the best chicken and vegetable pot pies in the city. But the menu item is only available on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. These pies feature a perfectly golden crust filled with a heaping portion of vegetables and creamy, piping-hot chicken.

The James Joyce Irish Pub & Restaurant

114 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1B3

This popular and authentic Irish pub in downtown Calgary is a go-to spot to grab a pint of Guinness, and its Irish food menu is similarly reliable, full of hearty and delicious selections. The steak-and-Guinness pie is loaded with beef sirloin tips, Guinness gravy and root vegetables. A classic shepherd’s pie is also offered, and features ground beef, carrots and gravy topped with a mound of garlic-mashed potatoes.

Grumans Catering & Delicatessen

A Jewish-style deli boasting a menu of house-made comfort dishes, Grumans serves several options for those looking to fix a savoury pie hankering. The chicken pot pie with white wine gravy is a bestseller, while the smoked-meat shepherd’s pie is a must-try for adventurous noshers. It features a mix of juicy Montreal smoked meat and sautéed vegetables baked into a fluffy mashed-potato crust.

Pie Cloud Inc

314D 10 Street NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1V8

Serving both sweet and savoury pies, this Kensington diner boasts nine savoury selections including classic steak ‘n’ ale and chicken pot pie as well as more adventurous offerings such as the turkey-dinner pie. One of the most popular menu items, the mac and cheese pie, features gooey macaroni and cheese baked in a flaky pastry base and topped with a crisp bacon lattice. Make sure you grab a slice of sweet pie a la mode for dessert.

British Chippy The

2335 162 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2Y 4S6

Open Wednesday through Sunday, this hidden-gem fish-and-chip restaurant, also boasts some deliciously hearty British meat pies. Serving two varieties, its steak and chicken pies are locally made using non-GMO vegetable oil with no added artificial colours or flavours. Order the pie as a meal, and receive a side of decadent hand-cut crispy fries.

Aida's Mediterranean Bistro

2208 4 St SW, Calgary, AB T2S 1W9

This long-established Mediterranean restaurant features the best spinach fatayers in the city. A staple dish in Arab cuisine, Aida’s fatayers are perfect little equilateral pastry triangles filled with savoury, cooked-spinach filling. Enjoy them on their own or order the vegetarian-delight platter, which includes fatayer, rice and veggie-stuffed grape leaves as well as seasoned falafel patties.

Empanada Queen

4-4412 Manilla Rd SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4B7

Located in a small strip mall in Marlborough, Empanada Queen is a Chilean eatery that serves up the city’s best empanadas. A popular Latin American meat pie, at only $4 per empanada, you can treat yourself to multiple varieties in one sitting. Opt for a classic sliced beef, chicken or cheese, or take things up a notch with the spicy chicken or beef options. The empanadas are all served with aji, a dipping sauce made of cilantro, red peppers, spicy red pepper juice, lemon, onions and chopped tomatoes. Eat in or order your empanadas to go.

Vendome Cafe

940 2 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 0E6

This cozy Kensington café recently underwent some major renovations before reopening its doors to the public. While Vendome boasts a sumptuous breakfast and brunch menu, its dinner menu features a handful of savoury fusion comfort foods. An alternative to the classic chicken pot pie, its turkey pot pie packs turkey, hearty root vegetables and peas into a puff-pastry shell. Also try the vegetarian shepherd’s pie made with mushrooms, lentils and mashed potatoes.

Simply Irie Cafe Ltd

1510 6 St Sw, Calgary, AB T2R 0Z8

This 17th Avenue Southwest restaurant serves up house-made Caribbean cuisine including Jamaican patties – fragrant, savoury pastry pies filled with spiced meats and vegetables. The addition of turmeric gives them their distinctive orange-yellow colouration. Simply Irie’s serves beef, veggie, goat and chicken pies.

Fionn MacCool's Irish Pub

255 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary, AB T2P 5C2

This Canadian pub chain dedicates an entire section of its menu to savoury pies. Choose from five options including a massive lamb pie with sautéed spinach and mushrooms, a Guinness steak and mushroom pie filled with beef, Guinness-braised mushrooms and gravy as well as fluffy buttermilk-mashed potatoes. If you’re a fan of seafood, the salmon leek pie is a must. The pie features wine-simmered Atlantic salmon and leeks topped with creamy mashed potatoes.

One of the most festive Calgary events of the summer, Marda Gras is a New Orleans-themed street festival that runs August 13, 2017, in the heart of the Marda Loop community. Since Marda Loop is one of the best dining communities in the city, make sure to stop in to one of these eateries while you’re in the area.
With Calgary’s warm weather (hopefully) here to stay, the city’s food truck scene is entering its busiest time of year. Since there are so many delicious mobile eateries to choose from, YYC Food Trucks has organized Picnic in the Park, a two-day food frenzy that takes place May 27 and 28 in Murdock Park in Bridgeland. Here are six food trucks you need to check out while you’re there. [Photo credit: YYC Food Trucks]
Let Mom take a break this Mother's Day and treat her to a gourmet brunch experience. Whether your mom is into gourmet gastronomy, runway fashion or local history, you’re sure to find a brunch destination that’ll really hit the spot (and possibly even allow you to reclaim your title as Mom’s favourite child). Image credit:
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