New restaurants in Calgary: Winter 2016

A raft of new restaurants opened their doors late in 2015, and those listed here are hitting their stride. Among the food trends represented in this batch of notable eateries are tacos, fried chicken and bigger, better burgers, while craft beer and crafted cocktails top drink menus. Another trend that’s here to stay is carefully considered interior design that amps up that all-important eatery atmosphere.

Last Best Brewing & Distilling Brewpub Inc

1
607 11th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0E1

A gorgeously designed, multi-room beer hall and restaurant, Last Best’s hot-yellow door makes the 11th Avenue Southwest spot easy to locate. Divided by a room-length central bar, it features exposed brick, old-growth beams and warm, contemporary lighting. Its menu of gourmet comfort foods features both shareable, small plates (elk-and-pork meatballs, beer-braised clams) and entrees (vegetable sandwich, tourtiere, bison gruyere patty melt). Try its house-brand beers on tap.

Village Ice Cream

2
820 49 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2S 1G9

Calgary’s benevolent artisan ice cream king, Billy Friley, has opened a second royally delicious Village Ice Cream location in Britannia Plaza. Friley’s 10 top flavours, from cardamom and Phil & Sebastian coffee to salted caramel and vanilla bean, have proven a year-round draw. Ask the shop’s personable cone jockeys about non-dairy seasonal treats and ice cream sandwiches.

Blanco Cantina

3
723 17 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B6

Sister Mexican restaurant to Añejo, Blanco Cantina exudes Mexican rec-room chic with a garage door wall that opens to the sun in summer, turning the whole place into an indoor patio. For snacking or starters, begin with spicy wings, house-made guacamole and quesadillas. The tacos are tops, but the burritos are big: the beef brisket-filled El Demonio weighs a pound. Pair with any of 50 tequilas, Latin cocktails and beach-party-apropos beer cocktails.

Eighth Ave Trattoria Ltd Partnership

4
15E-525 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1G1

Serving breakfast and lunch, this eatery on the second level of Eighth Avenue Place also serves bakery-fresh pastries and desserts warmly suitable for coffee-time sit-downs. A bright and spacious room with multiple seating options, its breakfasts include a Nutella-banana crepe, eggy wraps and a bacon-and-egg English-muffin sandwich. Lunch options include paninis, bratwurst and chorizo hotdogs and daily-special entrees that include Monday butter chicken and Friday turkey with stuffing and gravy.

Burger 320

5
126 10 Street NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1V3

This tiny spot in Inglewood has received beefy acclaim for burgers as bold as its red-and-white paint job, and it has now opened a second location in Kensington on 10th Street Northwest. Constructed of house-ground, beef-brisket patties and an array of top toppings, each sky-scraping burger receives a hot brand upon its puffy bun, livestock style.

The Derrick Gin Mill & Kitchen

6
103-620 8th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1G4

A brick-and-smoky-wood lounge on Eighth Avenue Southwest, The Derrick Gin Mill & Kitchen may just become your new favourite downtown getaway spot. Featuring a buffalo-headed, central back bar, the oilpatch-themed place serves plenty of gin cocktails, shareable plates such as mushrooms on toast and mussels with clams in wine and garlic sauce as well as fried chicken with grits and lamb pot au feu.

Burger 320

7
814 1 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 0C1

This tiny spot in Inglewood has received beefy acclaim for burgers as bold as its red-and-white paint job, and it has now opened a second location in Kensington on 10th Street Northwest. Constructed of house-ground, beef-brisket patties and an array of top toppings, each sky-scraping burger receives a hot brand upon its puffy bun, livestock style.

Azzurri Pizzeria

8
B-2404 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3M8

Never mind the trendy toppings and deep-dish sloppings that define today’s pizza universe. Sister restaurant to La Luna Rossa, Azzurri Pizzeria on Edmonton Trail opposite Uni Market goes back to the basics with precisely crafted, traditional Napoletana pizza. Baked in a brick oven imported from Naples, pizza such as the margherita and Mediterraneo are served slightly charred. Accompany with a fruit, veg or cheese appetizer and vino.

Home & Away

9
1331 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0C4

A sports-themed bar and restaurant, Home and Away is an appropriately playful room best described as gymnasium meets cafeteria. Decorative flourishes include a museum-worthy display of vintage skateboard decks and customized ball-toss arcade games. The food is upscale sports-stadium fare the likes of chorizo corn fritters, pulled chicken sandwiches and Brandt Lake Wagyu beef hotdogs. Thursday is taco night, brunch is served on weekends and kids have their own menu.

Browns Socialhouse

10
140-880 16 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1J9

Following the successful launch of a Brown’s Social House location in Britannia in early 2015, the growing Western-Canadian bar-and-restaurant franchise has launched a second in Mount Royal Village. Built for socializing, the room balances casual elegance with feel-good, uptown pub food that includes tacos, burgers with gourmet flair, health-conscious salads and Asian-style veggie bowls as well as pizza and steak sandwiches. The drink menu features craft beer, martinis and more.

Lot 102

11
102 10 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1V3

Burgers, beer and bourbon are the triple-threat theme and take the monster share of the menu glory at Lot 102. At the intersection of Memorial Drive and 10th Street Northwest, the bar and restaurant serves a lot of burger options including a double-patty Angus burger, a bison burger topped with fried egg and a Reuben-themed beef burger. Choose your bun, and add optional toppings as you see fit. Also one the menu: tacos, vegetarian salads and sandwiches as well as fish and chips and fried chicken.

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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