Go wild for bison dishes in Calgary

As Alberta’s other signature meat, bison is more popular than ever in grocery meat aisles, and city restaurants make beautiful use of this lean and delectable red meat. Take a walk on the wild side at these notable Calgary restaurants serving bison dishes from tartare to slow-braised short ribs and grilled striploin.

Selkirk Grille

1900 Heritage Dr SW, Calgary, AB T2V 2X3

After taking in the incredible historic village at Heritage Park, there is no better way to finish your day than with a meal at Selkirk Grille. Named after the steam engine that greets you on your way into the park, the restaurant is located just outside its main gate. The Selkirk Grille menu offerings reflect both seasonal and local ingredients, including a grilled bison striploin with farro succotash, chimichurri and Big Rock wheat ale jus.

Lake House

747 Lake Bonavista Dr SE, Calgary, AB T2J 0N2

As part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts group, The Lake House offers a menu that showcases the flavours of Western Canada. In addition to the brunch menu’s hearty bison brisket and game meat chorizo hash, this cottage-chic hideaway offers a mouth-watering grilled bison ribeye with a provolone and caramelized onion tart accompanied by peas and fava beans and grainy mustard jus. In the summer, enjoy your meal on the patio overlooking Lake Bonavista or take in the serene view year round from the dining room. The Lake House also offers a beautiful setting for weddings, anniversaries and corporate events.

Bonterra Restaurant Ltd

1016 8 St SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1K2

Located on the west side of Calgary’s Beltline district, Bonterra Trattoria offers a uniquely contemporary spin on Italian cuisine including a prosciutto-wrapped bison striploin entree. Also recommended is bison carpaccio served with fingerling potatoes. Enjoy your bisonte (who knew there was an Italian word for bison?) in the casual but elegantly styled dining room or out on the Tuscan terrace – weather permitting.

Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant

15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2J 7A7

Tucked down in the southeast corner of Calgary in beautiful Fish Creek Park, Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy an elegant dinner date. The beauty of this 90-year-old ranch house conveys the quiet elegance of a bygone era and the quality of the food speaks for itself. The restaurant serves Carmen Creek bison tenderloin exclusively. Paired with potato yam mille feuille, rainbow carrots, red cabbage marmalade and fig bacon jus, it's wildly delicious.

Murrieta's Inc

200-808 1 St Sw, Calgary, AB T2P 1M9

Murrieta’s is a perennial Stephen Avenue Walk favourite for business lunches, but if you’re working late or have an after-work client to wine and dine, you can’t go wrong at this casually elegant spot in the historic Alberta Hotel Building. Score big bison brownie points by treating your client or date to a succulent marinated Alberta bison sirloin served with roasted fingerling potatoes, apple and herb emulsion, arugula and a shaved-Parmesan salad.

Buchanan's Chop House & Whiskey Bar

738-3rd Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0G7

This New York-style chop house and whisky bar just a hop south of the Peace Bridge features white table linens and an extensive steak menu featuring (but not limited to) top-quality cuts of Alberta beef. Seafood, pasta dishes and a wicked Scotch whisky menu are also featured. This fixture of the inner-city food scene also serves a skilfully grilled bison short rib entree with braised vegetables and a bone marrow bordelaise.

Starbelly Restaurant

220-19489 Seton Cres SE, Calgary, AB T3M 1T4

When you enter bright and airy Starbelly, you know you’ve hit upon something good. Take a seat at the large table in the private dining room or at the large bar area surrounding the wood-fired grill and order dishes to share, or enjoy all by yourself. The house-made pappardelle pasta with slowly simmered bison and tomato ragu is comfort in a bowl. Don’t forget to end your evening with Starbelly’s famous root beer doughnut with bourbon vanilla gelato.

Summertime, and the living is easy… especially when you’re situated on a west-facing patio with a cool mojito in your hand. Traditionally, the classic mojito consists of only five ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint, but the Calgary cocktail scene has never been one to keep to tradition. Here are some of Calgary’s best twists on this classic Cuban cocktail. Image credit: iStock.com/id-art.
In many cultures, people fill flattened dough with delicious fillings. In Asia, there are dumplings. Italians love tortellini, ravioli and agnolotti. In Russia, there are pelmeni and in Georgia, khinkali. The most popular form on the Canadian Prairies is the perogy (pierogi, pirogi, varenyky), which came to Canada from Eastern Europe. If you don’t have a baba to make them for you, here are a few places you can find perogies.
While the bacon phenomenon is still going strong (long live bacon!), the other parts of the pig are best utilized when cooked low and slow, with some kind of sauce to hold everything together. The second that tender meat hits the plate and falls apart, mouths start watering and a fork frenzy follows. Here is a list of some of the best places in Calgary that serve this slow-cooked wonder on a bun, in breakfast hash and beyond.
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