Quick ’n’ delicious lunches in downtown Calgary

Hungry workers need a quick place to eat, drink and be merry on their hour-long lunch break. Downtown Calgary’s army of office employees is always on the lookout for new or undiscovered lunch spots. The following restaurants serve midday meals that are both speedy and satisfyingly delectable.

CHARCUT Roast House

101-303 Centre St SW, Calgary, AB T2G 2B9

CHARCUT’s’s lunch menu promises a great dining experience in only 45 minutes. With “lunch all at once,” the chic ’n’ meaty restaurant serves your choice of soup and sandwich, or a green salad topped with the daily rotisserie selection. Both options come with Parmesan fries and a to-go bag of fresh-baked cookies. Lunch is available from 11 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday.

Holy Grill

827 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0B4

“Both life and lunch are way too short for fast food,” the Holy Grill brags. The eatery’s two downtown locations have mastered quick lunch service, with quality food. There’s a reason this eatery was featured on Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here! Breakfast is served until 11 am, while lunch is available until 3 pm. Paninis, salads and rave-worthy burgers will fill you up on the fly.

Goro & Gun

245-225 7th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2W3

Located on the second level of Scotia Centre, Goro & Gun isn’t your regular soup-and-sandwich lunch spot. Head to this uniquely delicious Japanese eatery for some of the city’s best ramen bowls as well as inventive sushi. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available. For dessert, the green-tea ice cream, mango rice pudding or green-tea white-chocolate brownie will send you back to your office thoroughly satisfied. Reservations are recommended.

Falafel King

A-225 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1B7

Falafel King on Stephen Avenue Walk serves healthy Middle Eastern dishes at a fast pace. Entrees include falafel, shawarma-chicken, shawarma-beef and mixed-meat platters as well as sandwich versions of the above. Don’t forget your baklava square for dessert!

Cactus Club

176-317 7th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2Y9

Stephen Avenue Walk’s new kid on the block features an open-concept kitchen and bar, and is the perfect place to lunch with coworkers and friends, or meet for a chic lunch date. The affordable menu caters to many dietary restrictions, and the wine list is nicely varied. Despite Cactus Club’s spaciousness, reservations are recommended.

Local Public Eatery

310 8 Ave Sw, Calgary, AB T2P 1C1

Local is a great place to chill out on your lunch break. It’s almost as comfortable as home, but you don’t have to cook for yourself! The place serves classic pub grub hot, quick and satisfying. Shareable appetizers include wings, fish tacos, pulled-pork poutine and Szechuan edamame. Mains include burgers, salads and sandwiches as well as fish and chips and huevos rancheros. The eatery’s craft beer list is updated regularly. Local doesn’t take reservations, so arrive early!

National On 8th

335-225 7th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2W3

Situated on the upper level of Scotia Centre, National on 8th exudes plenty of relaxed, craft-beer-hall charm and serves contemporary pub food with its pints. Notable lunch dishes include the Clive Burger, chilaquiles (from the all-day breakfast selection) and crispy chicken sandwich. Come for the food and drinks, and stay for the games. Ping-pong, anyone? In the summer months, enjoy your lunch break on the establishment’s roomy outdoor patio.

Mango Shiva

218 8th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1B5

Located on Stephen Avenue Walk, this family-owned, Indo-fusion kitchen and bar serves deliciously addictive food, with lunch available from 11 am to 2 pm. Choose buffet dining or opt for à la carte. Bestselling entrees include the lamb burger, butter chicken and coconut kaffir prawns. Also consider the restaurant’s tiffin walla home-and-office lunchbox delivery service. Order and pay for your three-container meal on the Mango Shiva website.

The Palomino Smokehouse

109 7 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0W5

Impress your coworkers by booking your next lunch meeting at this downtown smokehouse. Lunch specials are offered Monday to Friday and feature barbecued meats cooked low and slow. Midday meals include beef brisket, chilli, the smoked chicken and ribs combo, as well as mac and cheese and chilli. For those with dietary restrictions, ask about gluten-free sauces.

Want to impress your vegetarian beau? Or maybe you’re tired of the same old watering holes serving the same old meals. Veg up your next date night in, out, or brunch the morning after at one of these mostly vegetarian Calgary restaurants. [Image credit: iStock.com/Alexandra Iakovleva]
Pizza or sandwich? No need to decide when you can have the indulgent food-child of our favourite comforting classics. Some are stacked sky-high with irresistible toppings, while others serve as savory snacks before your main meal. Either way, we can’t get enough of these delicious hybrids and this is where you can find them in Calgary. [Image credit: iStock.com/DGLowrie]
Whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan or dieting, no one should have to sacrifice ice cream. And so, we all scream for (dairy-free) ice cream! Fortunately, city ice cream shops are better than ever at giving customers milk-free options. While all of these ice cream parlours feature deliciously creamy frozen treats, they also pack dairy-free options with just as much punch. Image credit: iStock.com/bhofack2.
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