6 Calgary food trends taking the city by storm

By Giselle Wedemire

Though Calgary has never been traditionally known as a national food hub, it may come as a surprise to the uninitiated that the local culinary scene is constantly evolving. A quick look at some of the city’s latest restaurant openings and offerings indicate some very specific and en vogue food trends taking root at this very moment. Whether you're an adventurous foodie or a diehard traditionalist looking to change things up a bit, here are a few of Calgary's hottest food trends and where you can find them. [Photo credit: istockphoto.com/ca/portfolio/tbralnina]

6 Calgary food trends taking the city by storm

Plant-based meal delivery services

Plant-based eating has become more than a buzzword – it’s become a bona fide movement, with many Calgarians eagerly removing animal products from their diets. However, with busy schedules, cooking balanced plant-based meals at home can sometimes be easier said than done, hence the arrival of Calgary's latest food trend: plant-based meal delivery services.

Based in the Bankview, Roni's Kitchen provides Calgarians with a wide variety of seasonal fresh and frozen meals – as well as delicious miscellaneous items such as cookies, salad dressings and sauces that are delivered to customers’ doorsteps every Wednesday.

Similarly, Canmore-based meal delivery service The Kind Kitchen crafts nutritious plant-based meals that are completely nut-free and delivers orders to Calgary and the surrounding area by no later than 9 p.m. every Monday.

Gourmet ice cream worth the wait

Truth be told, ice cream never really went out of style. But with the perennial popularity of a few local gourmet ice creameries that incorporate unique flavours into everyone's favourite dessert, this revamped version of the cold treat is as hot as trends get.

With a rotating selection of handmade classic and seasonal flavours to choose from, the velvety smooth scoops at all three locations of Village Ice Cream can’t be beaten. To get the full Village experience, grab a double scoop of the malt banana Oreo flavour to stay and take a pint of the dairy-free coco-cocoa cluster to go.

Looking for a more artisanal approach to your ice cream? Look no further than the innovative and ever-popular Made by Marcus. With eclectic flavours like sweet potato burnt marshmallow and pumpkin cashew coconut and a selection of toppings that include whiskey caramel and fried sage, this 17 Ave gem is a foodie’s dream come true.

Tumeric as a superfood

Instagram has been taken storm by turmeric milk, a steamed milk concoction spiked with spices and golden in hue. In homeopathic and holistic circles, turmeric has been touted for its alleged anti-inflammatory properties, making this beverage a hot commodity.

Proving that turmeric can be used in much more than just curries, Kensington-based Wild & Raw Superfood + Juice Bar’s Golden Guru elixir combines honey, turmeric, spices and almond milk for an invigorating take on the trendy drink that is reminiscent of chai tea.

Offering their own spin on traditional turmeric milk, The Light Cellar’s Turmeric Tune Up swaps heated milk for a mixture of reishi tea and coconut butter. The base is then infused with turmeric extract, ginger, cinnamon, salt and lemon essential oil for a hot beverage intended to improve joint health.

Poke bowls

Arguably one of the hottest food trends of the year, poke bowls have made their way to Calgary all the way from their indigenous land of Hawaii. Traditional flavours of poke bowls include rice topped with raw fish, scallions, soy sauce and a drizzle of sesame oil, but with the surge of poke bowl eateries popping up around Calgary, there are sure to be myriad flavour combinations and topping variations to choose from.

Downtown, Ola Poke offers up customizable Japanese-inspired versions of traditional poke bowls. With toppings ranging from spicy salmon and unagi to wasabi mayo, Ola Poke provides the perfect blend of Hawaiian-Japanese fusion food that will please any sushi fan.

For a more authentically Hawaiian poke bowl, check out the Traditional Bowl at Po-ke in Crescent Heights. Filled with ahi tuna, seaweed salad, sesame seeds, avocado, green onions and nori, the Traditional Bowl is a tropical vacation for the taste buds.

Thai iced tea

Expertly crafted with Ceylon tea, sugar, and condensed milk (or any variation thereof), the humble Thai iced tea made a splash this past summer when it appeared at several outdoor events and night markets across the city. While summer has faded away, you can bring back a bit of that sunny cheer with Thai iced teas available around the city.

White Elephant Thai Cuisine does Thai classics right, and its Thai iced tea does not disappoint. Served in large glasses that boldly display the distinct layers of tea at the bottom and lush, sugary milk at the top, it’s a visual delight.

And for a quick treat on the go, head to Tuk Tuk Thai on 17 Ave SW, where you can get a classic version of  this iconic and refreshing drink to go, making window shopping in the area that much sweeter.

Ramen

Calgary’s ramen scene has exploded within the last year, and dedicated fans of ramen know that there's much more to this humble dish than just broth and noodles. The magic of this dish lies in the alchemy of spices in the broth, the variety of toppings added and the method of slurping it all down.
For an intriguing and modern interpretation of traditional ramen, Jinya Ramen has something for everyone – including tasty vegan and vegetarian options that’ll leave you full and satisfied.

And if you enjoy both exclusivity and delicious ramen, look no further than Shiki Menya. Its menu offers up perfectly balanced traditional and new-school bowls, each of which are in short supply, so buyer beware. Follow Shiki Menya on social media (@shikimenya) to receive updates on its current stock levels.

From poke to ramen, Calgary's culinary scene has added these and other trends to its growing repertoire as the city continues to develop into a national food destination. What trend will you indulge in first?

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