Eat + Drink

Arrive Hungry and Take a Whirlwind Tour of Calgary’s Most Innovative Eateries

Calgary’s food scene is constantly growing, regularly becoming more diverse as more ethnicities are represented and restaurants approach the idea of dining out in new ways.

This city’s chefs are known for a willingness to take risks on new concepts, and foodies are hungry to experience all that’s up their sleeves as they decide where to eat in Calgary.

Here are 10 sweethearts of the Calgary food scene to check out.

Ten Foot Henry

With a plant-forward menu and a plant-filled interior, Ten Foot Henry is a welcome addition to the Victoria Park neighborhood. Named after an iconic Calgary underground nightclub from the 1980s, Ten Foot Henry brings all of the charm and cheekiness of Henry — a famed 1930s comic-strip character featured through the eatery’s branding — to the dinner table.

Dishes like tomatoes served up with fresh herbs, whipped feta and sourdough toast, or spaghetti pomodoro keep regulars returning. Little Henry, the all-day café in the front of the restaurant, serves up to-go coffees and treats like their famous Coconut Cake.

Ox Bar de Tapas

where to eat in Calgary
Fill up on paella at Ox. (Photo: Courtesy of Ox Bar de Tapas)

Formerly known as Ox and Angela, Ox Bar de Tapas serves up authentic Spanish cuisine on 17th Avenue SW. The focus is on small plates that emphasize the Spanish dining experience, like the fragrant and flavorful seafood paella. Known for great cocktails and an excellent wine list, the real showstopper is the Ox gin and tonic, served up with house-made tonic and Tanqueray gin with orange and mint.

Native Tongues Taqueria

Hello, Taco Tuesday! For an authentic Mexican experience, look no further than Native Tongues in the Beltline area. This taqueria is one of a kind in Calgary; it’s the only eatery in the city serving up fresh corn tortillas made from scratch in house daily.

Taco favorites include the hongos, featuring locally cultivated mushroom and kale, or classic carnitas with confit pork, white onion and cilantro. Belly up to the bar to enjoy one of their inventive cocktails, or keep things simple and enjoy one of their famous mezcal margaritas. Bottoms up!

Foreign Concept

where to eat in Calgary
Share a charcuterie board with friends at Foreign Concept. (Photo: Courtesy of Foreign Concept)

Calgary has a strong Vietnamese food presence, but Foreign Concept is the first restaurant to present it in an upscale way. Opened by Duncan and Wanda Ly, the restaurant has a Pan-Asian menu influenced by Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese cuisines, among other culinary inspirations. Order standout dishes like the charsiu pork and foie gras steamed buns.

An ideal spot to meet friends for cocktails and share plates, the space is elegantly decorated with traditional Asian elements mixed with a contemporary vibe. Wall-to-wall windows add plenty of light to the stylish space, making it even more fun to experience the restaurant as day turns to night.

Pigeonhole

The elegant European-inspired Pigeonhole on 17th Avenue SW has quickly become a mainstay for food and wine lovers alike thanks to its eclectic menu, beautiful interior and impeccable service.

Focused on small plates, with an emphasis on sharing, favorite dishes include the charred cabbage, the Russian caviar service served with traditional garnishes, and wagyu beef tartare. The wine list features labels from across Europe and the United States while the cocktail selection is fresh and inspiring with beverages like Planters Punch and Bourbon Buck.

Model Milk

Next to Pigeonhole in the original historic Model Milk Dairy building, Model Milk will keep you returning for its memorable meals. Dishes like the Pine Haven grass-fed beef with creamed kale showcase the refined talent that exists in their kitchens.

Known for weekly Sunday Suppers, the restaurant lets diners take part in a family-style dinner featuring the chef’s latest inspiration for a wholesome meal. After your meal, pop upstairs to Model Citizen, the late-night bar within a restaurant, for fabulous bar snacks, cocktails and vinyl records.

Bar Von der Fels Wine Bar

Entering Bar Von der Fels Wine Bar, you’ll pass through a nondescript shopfront and enter a low-key atmosphere. With more than 250 wines available and expert sommeliers pouring each glass, this little culinary haunt is a destination for wine lovers.

The menu is crafted by noted chef Eric Hendry and changes regularly to feature seasonally fresh ingredients. The maitake mushrooms with black garlic and maple syrup speaks to the level of creativity that goes into every dish at Von der Fels.

Shokunin

where to eat in Calgary
Don’t miss the enormous scallops at Shokunin. (Photo: Courtesy of Shokunin)

Helmed by Chef Darren MacLean, Shokunin has quickly become a hot spot for enjoying contemporary Japanese fare such as yakitori, sashimi and ramen — with a uniquely Canadian twist. The space is dark and moody, with a beautiful custom mural that fills an entire wall in the dining room.

While the 4th Street location is a hot spot for lunchtime ramen-lovers from neighboring offices, the space transforms into a bar vibe at night with creative cocktails like the Drunken Hello Kitty or Ume Negroni and tasty bar snacks like Chicken Skin Chips.

Anju

If Korean small plates are your thing, Anju is the spot to hit up for an amazing take on upscale Korean cuisine. Having developed a bit of a cult following, the eatery recommends ordering small plates — and lots of them.

Anju translates to “food you drink with alcohol” and features dishes like oxtail tortellini in soy sauce and truffle oil topped with grana padano. The open kitchen provides endless entertainment as the chefs prepare your meal.

Una Pizza + Wine

A mainstay of Calgary’s restaurant community, Una Pizza + Wine has a reputation for delicious pizza and fantastic customer service. The long, narrow restaurant features an open kitchen complete with a bar where restaurant-goers can munch on bar snacks and watch as their cocktails and pizzas are handcrafted.

The owners are dedicated to supporting local artists and host rotating exhibitions in the restaurant. The menu is filled with local cult favorites like the 4-Maggi Pizza, with provolone piccante, friulano, fior di latte mozzarella and grana padano cheeses topped with fresh arugula and truffle oil.