New restaurants in Calgary: Fall 2017

October 25, 2017

By Sarah Sussman

Calgary’s dining scene has seen some exciting new openings this fall, including a wild west smokehouse at Symons Valley Ranch, a pork-centric neighbourhood bar and a handful of gut-busting new pasta places. We also (finally) have more dessert spots popping up around town. Here are the new restaurants that should be on your radar this fall. [Photo credit: Sarah Sussman]

New restaurants in Calgary: Fall 2017

Meat your needs

Meat is one staple dish that never seems to go out of style – and thankfully, several new meat-centric eateries have popped up in Calgary this fall. If protein is your favourite macronutrient, here’s where you should go.

If you’re on 17th Avenue and are craving some pork, Run Pig Run has a menu chock full of mouth-watering piggy dishes like pulled pork, pork chops, cracklings and plenty of bacon. The restaurant/bar is the brainchild and first solo venture of James Hughes, former regional director for Earls in southern Alberta. Try the house bacon poutine and the caramelized onion and bacon dip!

On the other end of the city, Django Smokehouse just opened its doors at the historic Symons Valley Ranch. In 2016, the site was devastated by a fire that burnt down everything except the former Symons Roadhouse restaurant. Restauranteur Witold Twardowski and chef Michael Scarcelli decided to take the space over with a wild west smokehouse concept. The menu features gut-busting barbecue, all-day breakfast and pizzas made from Michael’s mom’s secret dough recipe.

Oodles of noodles

Calgarians really love their Italian food, and this fall saw the opening of several exciting new casual-upscale pasta places.

In September, UNA Pizza proprietors Jayme MacFayden and Kelly Black opened Bread & Circus in the space behind their UNA Takeaway counter. Bread & Circus is a Roman trattoria specializing in northern Italian pasta dishes made with sustainable ingredients and traditional recipes. Six pasta options are available, ranging from a simple cacio e pepe to the very popular oxtail rigatoni.

After operating La Vita e Bella for 10 years, partners Jared Kichula and Graham Teare (along with chef Steven Dowdell) decided it was time for an overhaul. They closed down the spot, gave it a facelift and reopened as Cardinale. The menu stars fresh handmade pastas like the gnocchi with spicy fennel chicken sausage and the mezze maniche with smoked bacon, courtesy of Cardinale’s sister restaurant Hayden Block. Make sure you order one of Graham’s cocktails too – the Suspiria will change your life.

Sweet talk

Calgary is notorious for its lack of dessert spots, but this fall saw some sweet new additions to the dining scene.

For Instagram-worthy desserts, 8 Cakes is a bakery and cake shop in Marda Loop specializing in custom cakes, macarons and grab-and-go baked goods. 8 Cakes is known for its girly-girl aesthetic that often sees cakes decked out in glitter, frills and plenty of flowers – perfect for weddings, birthdays, celebrations or shamelessly eating all by yourself.

And for those curious about the popular “bingsu” food trend, head on over to JusFruit (now with four locations in Calgary) to try the traditional Korean shaved ice dessert. The dish consists of creamy shaved ice loaded up with toppings like fresh fruit, syrups, traditional red bean paste and other treats. Add a scoop of locally made Fiasco gelato on top for just $1 extra.


The best of Calgary neighbourhoods:


Something is brewing

Thanks to the recent change in legislation, it’s a lot easier for microbreweries to open up around town. As a result, Calgary has seen a huge surge in new craft beer spots.

If you’re a comic book lover with a passion for beer, Zero Issue is the place to be. The comic-themed brewery and taproom is the labour of love for brothers Mark and Kirk MacDonald. The duo initially started home brewing as a way to spend more time together and finally decided to open up their own venture. Bring the whole family (the brewery is kid-friendly) and drop in for a pint of Nemesis IPA or Multiverse Pale Ale. Keep your eyes open for the Donkey Kong shelf behind the bar – the shelf was handmade by the brothers’ father.

Also located in the city’s northeast, the intimate 50-seat Citizen Brewing Company is a destination gathering spot for enjoying a pint along with some local bar bites. The brewery makes preservative-free, unfiltered and unpasteurized beers with an exciting lineup of ales including the hop-forward Batch 2 Northwest Pale Ale and the bold tropical Highjacked IPA.

Whether you have a sweet tooth or whether you're a craft beer connoisseur, Calgary is quickly becoming a foodie destination. With so many exciting new restaurants on the menu, get out and try something new this fall!

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