Dining on a dime: Where to eat well for less in Calgary

Dining cheaply yet deliciously is not easy in Calgary, but it can be done. The following eateries score big both for their low price points as well as their tasty food and charm. Spend a little, got a lot.

1263915 Alberta Inc

209 1 St Se, Calgary, AB T2G 2G3

The size of most restaurant entryways, tiny Thi Thi Vietnamese Submarine is tucked in beside Pho Pasteur Saigon on First Street Southeast on the eastern edge of Chinatown. Line-ups can be lengthy at lunch hour, but well worth the wait. These are some of the best Vietnamese subs you’ll find anywhere. Enjoy your takeout sandwich at the office or on a nearby riverbank bench.

T&T Supermarket

1000-9650 Harvest Hills Blvd NE, Calgary, AB T3K 4W9

Combine a discount dim sum meal with a grocery-shopping foray at T & T Supermarket. At Harvest Hills Boulevard and 96th Avenue Northeast, this Asian grocer features a dim sum counter with adjacent seating area. Mix and match a wide variety of dumplings, rice wraps and buns, which are served in takeout boxes.

The Big Cheese

738 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B7

This budget-priced poutinerie serves a lengthy menu of styles and claims to use locally grown ingredients. Its basic poutine is served with potato or yam fries and all the gravy and cheese curds you can digest. Also walk on the poutine wild side with styles that include Scottish curry, chicken peppercorn and smoked meat, as well as an Indian version topped with butter chicken, peas and caramelized onion.


101-1240 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB T2N 3P7

The best little sandwich shop in Kensington Village, Peppino serves a gigantic roster of Italian subs. Great prices and deliciousness make for a sandwich queue that’s long at lunchtime, but service is speedy. Options include the Calabrese Delight with spicy salami, the cheesy, saucy hot Italian meatball sandwich and the prosciutto bocconcini, a cured-ham-and-mozzarella masterpiece.

The quintessential Mexican meal, tacos are also a relatively scarce commodity in Calgary. However, we’ve done some digging and unearthed the select few restaurants that make truly marvelous versions of these hand-held snacks.
The city’s summer season features a delicious dance card of culinary festivals and events. Many, such as Stampede-time pancake breakfasts, are easy to access the day of, but the various tasting and tippling shindigs listed here can fill up quickly, so purchasing tickets sooner than later for these foodie festivities is recommended. Image credit: iStock.com/kasto80.
The city’s pathway system is one of the longest in North America. Given its lengthy stretches, the occasional rest and snack stop, though few and far between, are a welcome sight when walking, biking and inline skating. Here are a few restaurants, cafés and snack shacks located on or near our scenic cycling system. Image credit: iStock.com/mihailomilovanovic.
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