Eat your way around the world in Calgary

While international flourishes are the norm on the city’s casual-contemporary menus, new restaurants are specializing in global food and fusion mash-ups not previously available here. From African and Asian to European and South American, the flavours of world’s far-flung corners are yours for the feasting. This list features some of Calgary's top global-cuisine stops.

Mamak Dang Fusion Malaysian Cuisine

1
4604 12 St NE, Calgary, AB T2E 4R4

You’ll find one of the city’s most unique Asian eateries in a strip mall just southeast of the intersection of Deerfoot Trail and McKnight Boulevard. Mamak Dang serves Malaysian street food that features elements of Thai, Indian, Chinese and Indonesian cooking. Dishes include satay skewers, roti with various sauces, and laksa, a coconut-noodle soup prepared with seafood, beef or pork. The spicy beef rendang is also highly recommended.

Whitehall

2
24 4 Street NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3R7

The culinary project of English-expat chef Neil McCue, Whitehall in Bridgeland features a redbrick interior handsomely done up in white with a little industrial-chic trim. The casual-upscale spot serves contemporary British cuisine that’s winning raves from diners and food commentators. Mains include Berkshire pork belly, poached cod and chestnut honey-glazed duck. The chef’s tasting menu with optional wine pairings is recommended.

Jonas Restaurant & Bar

3
937 6 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0V7

Expect hearty, home-style meals prepared by husband and wife Janos and Rosza Jonas at the city’s one and only Hungarian restaurant. Open for lunch and dinner, it’s located downtown, next to Kay’s Food Mart on Sixth Street Southwest. Dishes are large, well priced and return-trip delicious. Choose from bestsellers such as beef-and-bean goulash soup, Hungarian-style cabbage rolls and chicken paprikash with house-made dumplings. Reservations recommended.

Marathon Ethiopian Restaurant

4
130 10 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1V3

A longtime fixture in Kensington, Marathon Ethiopian serves traditional wat – a variety of beef, lamb, chicken and vegetable stews – paired with soft and airy injera bread, which is used as an edible utensil. Also try tibs, a spiced beef dish as well as marinated and vegetarian dishes such as spinach and potatoes and inguday tibs, a mushroom, onion and jalapeno-pepper dish. These are served with either injera or salad.

Mimo Restaurant & Lounge

5
203-4909 17 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2A 0V5

Hidden away in Forest Lawn, Mimo is Calgary’s lone Portuguese place, which makes it just that much more special. Loyal clientele return for the Da Costa family’s friendly service and gorgeous, fresh-grilled plates of quail, squid, cod and Portuguese steak as well as steaming paella pans and massive seafood-and-veggie platters.

Bolero

6
6920 MacLeod Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2H 0L3

This Brazilian restaurant in the Smuggler’s Inn complex is warmly elegant, like a ranch house with a brick hearth and a well-stocked bar. Help yourself to side dishes at the buffet while the churrasco chefs visit your table to carve slabs of beautifully slow-roasted chicken, pork, lamb, beef and more. Your colour-coded cue card lets them know when you want more meat, and when you’ve finally had enough.

The Himalayan Ltd

7
2-3218 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3E 0B3

You may not be familiar with home-style Nepali cuisine, but you ought to be. At Himalayan, Sanjay and Soniya Rajbhandari serve hearty noodle plates, dumplings and spiced meat dishes. These dishes were born in the Himalayan Mountains and are lightly influenced by the food of China and India. Notably, half the restaurant’s mains are vegetarian dishes.

Cardinale

8
1-1204 3 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2S9

Located in the stately brick and sandstone building in Victoria Park next to Cowboy’s Casino, La Vita é Bella is just a spaghetti-noodle’s length east of downtown. Suitable for casual occasions as well as business meals, the draw here is lovingly prepared, upscale Italian standards. Entrees include linguini with veal meatballs, Arctic char with rapini and fingerling potatoes and gnocchi with enoki mushrooms and wine-pickled onion. A full gluten-free menu is available.

Barcelona Tavern

9
501 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1G1

As its name suggests, Barcelona Tavern is a Latin-inspired eatery serving tapas dishes. Within its lengthy Spanish-accented small-plate selection find short rib empanadas, Canadian oyster and mussel dishes, poached halibut cheeks and much more. Larger shareable dishes include charcuterie and paella. Located in the CORE Shopping Centre, this big and boisterous room features two open-air dining levels.

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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