This weekend, Mike and I spent a couple days in YYC to map out a Guide to the Most Instagrammable Walls of Calgary (check it out!). In between wall scouting, we obviously had to fuel up with good eats!
I love making trips down to Calgary whenever I can because there’s always so much to do and there’s always so much great food to eat. Calgary eats never fail me!
Below is a recap of Where We Ate on our recent trip to Calgary.
Thanks to Tourism Calgary for setting up our itinerary and feel free to copy this for your own trip!
Where to Eat in Calgary, Alberta
528 17 Ave SW
Formerly Ox & Angela, this Spanish tapas bar is ridiculously good. For it being tapas (small plates), some of the dishes at Ox Bar de Tapas came in really decently-sized portions – especially their Patatas Bravas, crispy fried baby potatoes with OX bravas sauce and aioli ($9). I haven’t yet tried a Patatas Bravas I didn’t love and this was nooo exception. It was so, so good!
You’ve also got to try Ox Bar de Tapas’ Bomba Paella – a potato, prawn, chorizo, rice, saffron and aioli risotto ball ($6), Albondigas (beef and chorizo meatballs with spicy tomato sauce and manchego cheese ($12), Hongos mixed mushrooms with garlic sherry cream ($12) and Pan Con Tamate, like a crostini but on a flatter bread, with Serrano ham and manchego cheese ($8).
Their take on a mojito, a Hermana Inocente manzanilla sherry, citrus, mint ($12) was perfect and Mike also loved their Dingle Gin from Ireland ($14) he got three – a must try if you’re into Gin & Tonic.
In addition to the great food, I really appreciated Ox Bar de Tapas’ single bright light at its tables. Too often, trendy restaurants are too dark. Ya, ya, it makes for a great ambience I get it.. but it really doesn’t let me see or photograph my food… and you know half the food fun is in eating with your eyes! So their light was very much appreciated.
Simmons Building, 618 Confluence Way SE
Mike and I have had lovely rooftop patio lunches at charbar over the last few summers, but had never tried their brunch menu or eaten inside / on the main floor of the beautiful Simmons building until this trip. We were definitely missing out!
If you’re on the rooftop patio in the summer, you have to get the Grilled Crab Legs with Lemon and Chile Butter. When you’re having a charbar brunch inside, you HAVE to get their Deep Fried French Toast Bites with Dulce de Leche ($12) and deep dish Beef Chorizo Pizza with pickled chiles, oregano, and chimmichuri ($20).
Both are made using Sidewalk Citizen Bakery dough, in obviously very different ways, but with the same unbelievably good result. Like the, omgthisissoooogood kind of good exclamation you get when you eat really good food. Round this out with a bowl of Fried Yucca ($8), a delicious root vegetable (similar to fries).
Their Baked Eggs, stewed tomatoes, olive oil and vegetable escebeche ($14) is also just divine, and Chef Jessica Pelland’s favourite on the menu. charbar is in the lovely Simmons Building in East Village, Calgary and it’s just such a cool space to be in – and cool to see the different businesses use food/ingredients from one another!
1209 1 St SW
Mike’s favourite restaurant of the weekend was Ten Foot Henry, a hip, vegetable -focused restaurant, making it all the more impressive that Mike loved it so much since he is generally not partial to vegetables lol. Their best seller – the Tomatoes with fresh herbs, whipped feta, and Sidewalk Citizen sourdough toast ($14) is a delight (you can understand why it’s the best seller, a must order!).
The Pan Roasted Gai Lan with tahini, miso, ginger and super crispy, fried shiitake mushrooms ($12) was another great dish. Mike loved the Chargrilled Hanger Steak (they don’t *just* serve vegetables here!) This steak came with truffle and Dijon, and mustard greens ($22). I was also a fan of their homemade Bucatini cacio e pepe black pepper pasta ($16) – homemade pasta is the fricken greatest.
Here, Mike tried their Negroni (which we’re told that apparently no one likes a Negroni the first time you have it but after a few times your palate gets adjusted to the bitterness and then it’ll become your favourite drink). And I enjoyed their housemade lemonade!
Great service, great vibe and great food at Ten Foot Henry!
1301 10 Ave SW
This adorable, teeny little breakfast spot (800-some square feet and 20 ish seats) has super cute floor art as you enter (#BrunchSoHard, it says, and in case you didn’t know, you’re “In Calgary.”)
Monki’s game changing, crispy hashbrowns are coated in cinnamon and brown sugar (and some other delicious, secret ingredients!) They have a great selection of eggs benedicts (I got the brisket, mushrooms and truffle one $18) are all served with Monki’s signature prosecco hollandaise, and if you’re a Hangry Monki like Mike, the brisket & valbella pork sausage hash with fried egg & hollandaise ($18) was also wicked.
Orange juice is a bit pricy here (almost $6 lol) but everything else was 100%.
119 12 Ave SW
The Hotel Arts is easily one of our favourite hotels in Calgary! We love all the art pieces in this beautifully designed space. We also love their dining options! During our weekend, we had breakfast at the Yellow Door Bistro (it included a really tasty kale, melon and apple smoothie shot to start our day off just right, along with crispy potatoes, yogurt parfait, and a mushroom omelette), and drinks and snacks at the Raw Bar.
I actually want to make sure we are able to try Raw Bar’s full/regular menu on our next trip to Calgary because it sounds sooo good. If this contemporary Vietnamese restaurant’s delicious deep fried oyster baos (on Friday night special for $2 a bao!!) that I had were any indication, the rest of the food at Raw Bar should be excellent.
1131 Kensington Rd NW
The Kensington neighbourhood in Calgary has some pretty awesome Instagrammable Walls (watch for that upcoming blog post!!) but it’s also got some great shops (including Calgary’s first cat cafe, the Regal Cat Cafe, which we will have to visit on a return trip), and some awesome restaurants. Brasserie Kensington (and its sister restaurant, Winebar Kensington, and its quirky patio ‘Container Bar,’ are some of them.
We stopped in for lunch at Brasserie (initially Container Bar, but it was too cold for patio weather so we went up into the actual restaurant). I was a fan of this casual restaurant’s housemade chips (I’m a serious sucker for chips), crispy, fried chicken skins, and super crispy fries (part of Mike’s poutine). Their Breakfast Poutine is pretty famous (we’re told), and we can tell why – based on how quickly we scarfed through their regular poutine.
In case you didn’t know (because I didn’t until now!) a brasserie is an “informal restaurant”, often in France or modelled after French restaurants with a large selection of drinks.
Be sure to check out some of my past round-ups about Calgary food (I love Calgary food!) including:
And let me know if you agree with my omgtheseplacesaresogood reactions to these Calgary restaurants!
Disclaimer: I will always provide my 100% honest opinion on this blog. Our meals during this Calgary trip were complimentary on behalf of Tourism Calgary. This does not impact the opinions stated in this post (the food was amazing!!!!)