Discover these hidden-gem restaurants in Calgary

There’s nothing like retreating to a cozy neighbourhood eatery when you don’t feel like cooking. Calgary’s suburban cafés and restaurants are a rare breed, and it’s no wonder locals would rather keep their existence secret. Revealed below are some of the city’s best.

Vendome Cafe

1
940 2 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 0E6

The café pride of Sunnyside, Vendome’s coffee may be the hook that gets neighbourhood patrons in the door, but its three-squares menu of sophisticated comfort food keeps ‘em coming back. Its menu features paninis, melts, salads and sharable snacks including cheese and charcuterie plates.

Angel's Drive In

2
8603 47 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T3B 2A1

Its parking lot is the location of a park-and-peek hotrod show each Wednesday evening in warm weather and this pint-sized diner located near Bowness Park is a real neighbourhood hangout. Its classic diner menu features, breakfasts, burgers, fried chicken and sandwiches from Denver to donair.

Wiener Schnitzel Haus

AB

As unlikely as the existence of an upscale suburban schnitzel house may seem, reservations are a must at this Austrian restaurant on Bowness Road. Open Tuesday to Saturday, it serves a variety of breaded and grilled schnitzel as well as a few other select European entrees. Try the Parisian veal schnitzel, a crowd favourite filled with pear and brie.

Lotus Indian Cusine & Bar Ltd

3
3843 19 St NW, Calgary, AB T2L 2B3

Another small restaurant that’s rarely less than fully booked, Blue House serves an excellent mix of fine Latin dishes in a casual setting and often features live Latin guitar performers. Entrees include tiger prawns with beef strip loin, Columbian lamb casserole and oven-baked halibut.

Jerusalem Shawarma & Bakery

4
204-30 Country Hills Landng NW, Calgary, AB T3K 5P4

Serving Mediterranean food in Country Hills Landing, a deliciously diverse complex of restaurants and shops, this small spot is a real hidden gem. Order falafel, chicken-shawarma and beef-shawarma sandwiches and platters at the central counter, and settle into a cozy booth (or order your food to go). Also available: shish tawouk, beef donair and beef kabob platters, and more.

Smooth Curry Thai Cuisine

5
1301-9650 Harvest Hills Blvd NE, Calgary, AB T3K 0B3

A choice Harvest Hills Crossing eatery, Smooth Curry Thai Cuisine is operated by husband and wife Thai chefs Sam Sanongphan and Anna Yooyen. Featuring dishes prepared as they are in Thailand, the menu is topped by savoury and aromatic, green-curry chicken – the house specialty. Also recommended, try the massaman curry, deep-fried tilapia with green-mango salad and the pineapple fried rice, which is served in a hollowed pineapple half.

Keiths Deli

6
206-6100 MacLeod Trail SW, Calgary, AB T2H 0K5

With a loyal following for its simple and oh-so-satisfying sandwiches, when you just need a deliciously quick ‘n’ meaty meal right now, visit Keith’s in Chinook Plaza at the corner of Macleod and 61st. This deli-style eatery features counter service. Highly recommended, the house-special sandwich features a house-made sausage on a white or whole-wheat bun. Also try the corned beef, Reuben (corned beef and sauerkraut) and Rachel (ham and sauerkraut).

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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