Calgary's Best Restaurants

I'll be the first to say BEST restaurant is subjective.  More accurately, I'd say some restaurants are better suited for certain occasions than others.  There is good food everywhere, it's just a matter of choosing what food and atmosphere best fits the vibe you wanna set for the evening.  That said, I get asked for restaurant recommendations Every. Single. Day.  So here you go!

Best Hot Spots Everyone Goes to

These hot spots always have a wait list.  They aren't just the cool place to be seen though, the food is actually amazing.  Worth the wait!

Una Pizza & Wine

Una Pizza & Wine

Una Pizza & Wine

image35

Smack dab in the middle of 17th ave, Una is Calgary's hottest pizza spot.  They serve up thin crust pizzas that will make even deep dish fans weak in the knees. Try their mushroom pizza with truffle oil! Yummm. Note this place is always crowded and always has a line up and prices are not cheap for a thin crust pizza.

Shiki Menya

Una Pizza & Wine

Una Pizza & Wine

image36

Mention "ramen" in Calgary and Shiki Menya will 100% enter the conversation. This hip place in Bridgeland is known for limiting the number of ramen bowls released daily and the long waitlist that results. Whenever I go I can't NOT get the Chili Goma. The broth, the noodles, the spicy level, everything is perfection! 

Native TONGUES

Una Pizza & Wine

Native TONGUES

image37

Native tongues is known for it's small, juicy and flavourful soft tacos and delicious margaritas.  I'd recommend going on a Tuesday for $2.50 tacos or to their late night happy hour (after 10pm) for $3 tacos.  As with others on this list, the usual warning applies - expect a waitlist for a table.  However, there are often a few spots available at the bar.

Best for a Romantic Anniversary Dinner

Top service, outstanding decor, luxury food. These aren't for everyday. I mean, unless you are rich cuz then I'd say yes, DO eat here everyday. 

TEatro

Chairmans

TEatro

image38

I'll start off by admitting I've never been to Teatro and that's how I know it's good. The fact that regular poor folk like myself don't go there must mean it's elite.  Also, it's on every recommended restaurant list in town so they must be doing something right.  My friend told me he went there for a date and a plate of 5 tortellini was $28. For that reason, I feel like this restaurant is best for only the most special of occasions.  

alloy

Chairmans

TEatro

image39

I haven't been to Alloy either so these reviews are pretty useless aren't they? I put it on the list though because it's on every other list. So I have to go with what the people say. Also the pics look beautiful. Have you been? Would you recommend it? Is it romantic? Is it special? As soon as I get there myself I'll let cha know.

Chairmans

Chairmans

Chairmans

image40

Ah ha! Finally a fancy place that I have been to.  Personally Chairman's is too good for me.  But you're better than me so you should go. I joke. Chairman's is amazzzzing though. It's stunning gold decor and big room, elegant atmosphere makes you feel you've left Calgary and been transported to LA, or I donno, somewhere that's not here.  I would definitely return and would highly recommend for a fancy night out or to make a special occasion extra special.

Best for a Birthday Dinner with Friends

These popular spots serve up family style dining or dishes that work best for sharing. (As in, you wouldn't order $17 worth of Brussels spouts just for yourself but when split with a big group, it just makes sense.)  Plan your birthday, bar mitzvah, or divorce party here. 

Lulu Bar

ten foot henry

model milk

image41

If you want new and popular Lulu Bar is your place. Located on 17th Ave it is always bumping and has a wicked patio. They also have an awesome cocktail menu. Shout out to the Lamborghini Mercy - best drink on it. 

model milk

ten foot henry

model milk

image42

Model Milk is also on 17 ave and it's been around for a decent amount of time. I think the reason it's survived the last 2 or so local recessions is because of it's amazing food. Really quality ingredients and great flavour combinations.

ten foot henry

ten foot henry

ten foot henry

image43

When you ask people about their favorite restaurants in Calgary it's only a matter of time before Ten Foot Henry comes up. Note that this restaurant is "vegetable forward" meaning that while they serve meat, vegetables are the main focus behind their menu offerings.

Best Casual Eats

Sometimes less is best.  These casual joints are a great place to chill with friends, take your parents or just have a low key but extremely tasty meal. 

Bookers

alumni sandwich

alumni sandwich

image44

I love Bookers! I feel like their BBQ is a staple in my diet. Every time I go I get a hurricane and the burnt rib ends. They are so good it's hard to order anything else, but their tacos, nachos, ribs, sides, everything is amazing. You can't go wrong here.

alumni sandwich

alumni sandwich

alumni sandwich

image45

I am a person who is always down for a good sandwich. Alumni focuses in on what makes them the greatest!  These aren't "light" sandwiches if that's what you're expecting, these are hearty, meal-sized sandwiches.  And any sandwich shop that serves draft beer is A-okay in my books.

Comery Block

alumni sandwich

Comery Block

image46

There are so many good BBQ places but I especially like Comery Block because not only do they have amazing BBQ, they are located on 17th ave, have a sweet patio and have a solid cocktail menu. Yes, please.  I'll see you there Monday for pork rib night!

Want More?

If this list was helpful for you, you should look into YYC Sociables.  It's a weekly newsletter I send out with fun local events and restaurant news.