Make a dinner date with your dumpling in Calgary Chinatown

Ordering takeout Chinese food is convenient, but not a top date strategy. Calgary has no greater concentration of date-night-worthy Asian restaurants than in Chinatown. These eateries combine attractive atmosphere with varied menus that feature Chinese-Western faves (ginger beef, salt-and-pepper squid), stellar Old-Country cuisine (mapo tufu, Peking duck) as well as Japanese and Korean spots.

Cultural Centre Restaurant

197 1 Street SW, Calgary, AB T2P 4M4

The city’s most architecturally unique community centre, the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre is open to the public seven days a week. Visitors attend its many language, martial arts and other courses or simply admire the golden dragons adorning its grand interior, but they also pop downstairs to the Cultural Centre Restaurant. This pleasant spot serves a crowd-pleasing mix of Chinese-Western, regional-Chinese and Asian dishes seven days a week. Also try its daily lunchtime dim sum service.

Regency Palace Restaurant

328 Centre St SW, Calgary, AB T2G 4X6

A busy, third-floor dim-sum hall by day, Regency Palace in Dragon City Mall serves a steamy array of dinner dishes, specializing in Cantonese seafood including fresh lobster and crab straight from the seafood tank. Cross the bridge over its colourful front-entrance koi pond, and from here you’ll be escorted to your seat with an after-dark view of downtown lights. Order à la carte, or choose the dinner buffet. Open seven days a week.

Silver Dragon Restaurant

106 3 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B6

Well marked by its warm persimmon-and-white neon sign, Silver Dragon is one of Calgary’s oldest and best-known Chinese restaurants. A comfortable Cantonese-style dining hall, this second-floor restaurant serves Cantonese and Szechuan dishes as well as Chinese-Western standards that are a cut above. Open all week, the restaurant also offers dim sum lunch service.

Delicious Country Ltd

104-303 Centre St SW, Calgary, AB T2G 2B9

A steamy little Szechuan restaurant with a big reputation for spicy and authentic Northern-Chinese dishes, Delicious Country is located in Chinatown’s City Plaza. Suggested dishes include the hand-made-noodle stir-fry, minced pork with green beans, mapo tofu and chili-pepper fish soup. Also delectable, try the seafood fried-rice cake and spicy shredded beef.

Calgary Court Restaurant Ltd

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

A casual dinner-date spot, this Hong Kong-style diner serves a huge variety of appetizers such as crepe-wrapped dough sticks and shrimp toast, plus shareable mains like Shanghai noodles, chicken-fried noodles in black pepper sauce and fried rice dishes. Also recommended, try any of the various single-serving soups and congee bowls (savoury rice porridge) as well as Hong Kong café specialties such as baked spaghetti.

Kam Golden Inn

107A 2nd Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B2

A great dinner spot, especially if you’re on a late date, Golden Inn serves some of the city’s absolute best Cantonese food, and service is consistently speedy. Seafood is the specialty here, including fresh-from-the-tank crab and lobster. The menu also features hot pots, steamy noodle soups, braised beef and duck dishes and addictively delicious Westernized standards such as sweet-and-sour pork and ginger beef.

Ho Won Restaurant

115 2 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B2

This spacious, Cantonese-style dining hall is handsomely adorned with golden columns and an ornate dragon and phoenix. Bird is the recommended word on the restaurant’s menu. Share half or whole Ho Won house special crispy chicken or crispy duck. Or treat you and your date to well-priced Peking duck in one, two or three courses. Further mains include noodle dishes, sizzling-rice hotplates and stir-fry dishes. Open late seven nights a week.

Sakana Grill

MN-116 2 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0B9

One of Chinatown’s few Japanese restaurants, Sakana Grill is built for date-nights. The romantically lit room features an array of seating from tables to private booths. Choose from à la carte entrees such as grilled steak and salmon as well as sushi and sashimi dinners. Or set sail on a love boat, a tray of bamboo topped with sushi for two. The restaurant’s sister location can be found at Crowfoot Circle Northwest.

Wow Chicken

113-128 2 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 5J5

For a stylish fast-food dinner out that involves some indulgently crispy and delicious fried chicken as well as an up-to-the-minute K-pop soundtrack, try Wow Chicken on the north side of Second Avenue Southeast. Combo chicken meals are served with fountain pop, salad and fries, or tuck into a multi-piece plate made for sharing. If you’re new to KFC (Korean fried chicken), try the original assortment with your choice of sweet, spicy and soy-garlic dipping sauce.

Kingfisher Seafood

203-328 Centre St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4X6

This second-floor hideaway in Dragon City Mall serves a unique mix of Asian and Western seafood dishes. For instance, you might start your meal with calamari, tempura prawns or Manhattan clam chowder. Western entrees include prawns and scallops prepared in wine, tomato or spicy sauce, as well as Alaskan pollock and chips, while Asian mains include a sashimi rice bowl, a full-to-bursting bento box and several udon soups.

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:
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:
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