Eat it all: Discover Calgary’s best nose-to-tail dining

The idea of nose-to-tail butchery – cooking and eating as many parts of an animal as possible rather than just the traditional prize cuts – is increasingly popular, especially among those concerned with reducing food waste. But have you had a chance to try cheeks, intestines or marrow? Here are a few Calgary restaurants that offer dishes that go beyond your typical chops and loins. [Image credit: iStock.com/Bocky Tandiono] 

The Guild

1
200 8 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1B5

Specializing in “Canadiana,” the Guild puts a focus on meat, and by “meat,” they mean as many parts of the animal as possible. The restaurant literally serves nose in the form of a slow-roasted pig’s head, as well as dishes such as bison short rib on the bone and blood pudding.

The Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar

2
925 11 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0R4

Off Cut Bar, the lounge at The Nash, features an ever-changing menu of bar snacks and meals that incorporate the “off cuts” of ingredients used in the main dining room. Cheeks, bellies, tails and offal make it into various creative dishes, and the bar also serves house-made charcuterie and burgers.

CHARCUT Roast House

3
101-303 Centre St SW, Calgary, AB T2G 2B9

Charcut co-chefs John Jackson and Connie DeSousa are known for their expert butchery and they really do make the most of the proteins they serve. The restaurant was one of the first to popularize house-made charcuterie in Calgary with its pig’s head mortadella and additional sausages and pates and also makes good use of bone marrow and other tasty bits.

Shokunin

4
2016 4 Street SW, Calgary, AB T2S 1W3

Shokunin serves up a number of innovative takes on traditional Japanese dishes, but the restaurant really makes full use of the humble chicken. The restaurant’s yakitori menu includes chicken hearts, chicken necks, chicken skin and, most surprisingly and deliciously, crispy chicken butts.

Calgary Court Restaurant Ltd

5
A-119 2 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B2

The best Chinese restaurants aren’t shy about using parts of animals that aren’t commonly used in Western cuisine, and Calgary Court is no exception. Deep-fried pig intestine, pork skin, pig jelly congee and beef tripe with noodles are all on offer at this classic Hong Kong-style café.

Brasserie Kensington

6
100-1131 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB T2N 3P4

Contain Bar, seasonal sister establishment to Brasserie Kensington, is all about salty bar snacks – the more obscure and surprising the better. The outdoor alley bar’s crispy pigs’ ears and chicken skin with house-made hot sauce are particularly good with a cold drink.

Cleaver

AB

Cleaver offers a varied menu of small plates that are great for sharing, but its signature dish is probably The Cock, a whole chicken, head included, served with stuffing bread sauce and fries. The menu also includes chef-driven takes on nose-to-tail items like black pudding, beef cheeks and bone marrow.

1 Pot

7
123 3 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B7

This all-you-can-eat Chinese hot pot restaurant lets customers build their own individual hot pot bowls by choosing the broths, meats, veggies and sauces. Any combination of animal parts can be thrown into the pot, including delicacies like beef tripe and pig intestines for those who like a little culinary adventure.

Anju

8
344 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0A8

Fish, chicken, pork, seafood: chef Roy Oh works with a wide array of ingredients to create his delicious Korean tapas plates. Nose-to-tail eaters can enjoy treats such as salty oxtail tortellini, braised beef cheeks and some of the best chicken wings in town.

Pho Dau Bo

9
110-4909 17 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2A 0V5

Most Vietnamese restaurants will throw some less-used parts of the cow into their soups, and as one of Calgary’s best places for pho, Pho Dau Bo is no exception. Tripe is the star of many Pho Dau Bo dishes, including pho tai sach, which is served with tripe and rare beef (let it cook in the broth).

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