Fall finds: New and notable restaurants in Calgary

Calgary’s red-hot food scene continues to surprise with upstart additions to its restaurant roster. These often fashionable and innovative eateries serve everything from belly-busting buttermilk waffles and richly rewarding pie to dreamy ’n’ steamy ramen and wood-fire-grilled tacos. Do yourself a flavourful favour and sample the fare at the following food stops asap.

Pie Cloud Inc

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

Located in that 10th Street Northwest brick courtyard two doors down from The Roasterie, Pie Cloud is a cool, cafeteria-style spot that serves both sweet and savoury slices that are two sides of heaven. Open for lunch and dinner, its hot pies include steak and ale, roasted vegetable and mac and cheese. A selection of non-pie mains such as chicken and waffles and quiche is also available. Cloud-nine-worthy dessert pies include banana cream, pecan and the aptly named Sweet Addiction Pie.

Ikemen Ramen Bar

217 10 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1V5

Ramen is the most popular fast food in Japan, but the steamy noodle-bowl phenomenon is just taking off in Calgary. Ikemen Ramen Bar is a deliciously welcome addition to the very short list of dedicated city ramen rooms. Located in Kensington, its concise menu features a handful of appetizers and sushi servings as well as main-event bowls that include miso, shio and roasted seafood ramen in long-simmered chicken broth.

Native Tongues Taqueria

This contemporary Mexican taqueria has recently opened in a cheerfully lavish spot just northeast of Central Memorial Park. Featuring a central bar, shared tables and stool seating, it serves tacos el carbon (wood-fire grilled) lovingly incorporating house-made tortillas. Enjoy fish, roast lamb and rib eye versions with a mile-long mescal- and tequila-based drinks menu. The happy hour and late-night menus (the place has its own takeout window) feature Mexican street food such as hamburguesa, tacos and burritos.


304 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0A8

Plated and decorated like a mid-century Russian tearoom, Pigeon Hole is the next-door neighbour of critically acclaimed sister restaurant Model Milk. Chef Justin Leboe serves wine and small-plate fare – much of it cooked on a Japanese charcoal grill – that combines Asian and European cooking techniques and ingredients. Making superb use of the old Victoria’s space, the Pigeon Hole menu features dishes such as charred cabbage (highly recommended!), ricotta dumplings and spaghetti squash with mussels. For those in a celebratory mood, try the Russian caviar service.

Buttermilk Fine Waffles

“We serve all-day waffles.” It may be the most perfect sentence in the English language, but these words also describe the mouth-watering mandate of Buttermilk Fine Waffles located just east of the intersection of 17th Avenue and Fourth Street Southwest. Including waffles with lemon curd and crumbled goat cheese as well as blueberry with crème fraiche, these buttermilk babies are mostly sweet, but select savoury plates include ham with cheeses and chives.

One 18 Empire

110 9th Ave Se, Calgary, AB T2G 5A6

Gorgeously appointed, this approachably upscale restaurant and whiskey-themed lounge (the drink menu features 100-plus whiskies, bourbons, scotches and ryes) features a versatile array of bar, banquet and table seating. Serving three squares plus brunch, ONE18’s satisfying fare is best described as uptown-rustic Canadian cuisine. Dinner includes shareables such as bourbon short ribs and Dungeness crab dip as well as mains like cedar plank Skuna Bay salmon and Brant Farms grass-fed beef rib.

The Beltliner

239 12 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1H6

The Beltliner is a Beltline diner. Say that 10 times fast, and then pop in for lightly upscaled comfort dishes that draw a steady crowd. Located just east of Central Memorial Park on 12th Avenue Southwest, this cheery spot is glassed top to bottom on two sides. Naturally lit by day, it’s backdropped by the twinkle of Beltline lights by night. Dishes available all day include fried chicken and waffles, steak and eggs, and mac and cheese. Pair the fare with draft beer or Fratello coffee.


813 1 Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T2E 0C2

Bridgeland just got a whole lot swankier with the opening of Cannibale, the city’s one and only bar and barbershop. Both comfortably complementary ends of the operation are styled in smart tile, antique brick and warm wood. Cocktails are historic, the wine refined and the beer crafty, while the food menu features snacks such as charcuterie and foie gras parfait plus sandwiches such as a Cubano topped with smoked ham, pork shoulder and Gruyere. And you must try the bourbon pecan pie!

Barcelona Tavern

501 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1G1

As its name suggests, this sociable downtown destination serves Spanish and Mediterranean food. Barcelona Tavern dishes up Latin-accented breakfast (patatas bravas, Spanish omelet), brunch (huevos rancheros), lunch (tapas, paella, pizza) and dinner (ditto). The tapas menu features snacks such as Greek lamb ribs, mussels, chorizo, lobster ravioli and the requisite Iberico ham is an add-on to tomatoes Barcelona with Manchego cheese.

Tuk Tuk Thai

636 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B4

A sparse, shared-table Thai spot on 17th Avenue Southwest opposite Western Canada High School, the à la carte options at Tuk Tuk Thai are succulent and priced to move. Try pad Thai served with chicken, prawn or veg and dishes such as beef masman curry with slow-cooked potatoes and onions as well as swimming rama made with tofu or chicken, served with spinach and peanut sauce. Also try the Tukky Sticks with pineapple plum sauce.

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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