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dining for single in Calgary?

I'm going to be in Calgary the last week of November. This time, I'm travelling solo. I'm staying out by the COP for some races, but I'll have a car. Could my Calgarian Hounds recommend some places for early dinner that would be comfortable for a woman travelling alone? Usually, I'm with a group, poor athletes, and we tend to stay close to Hotel Village for meals. I'm open to any kind of food.

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  1. Just so i understand clearly, are you looking for inexpensive food, or does price matter? As an athlete, do you have any dietary restrictions? Or would chowing on deep fried goodness still meet your needs?

    Let me know and we'll see what we can dig up!

    1 Reply
    1. re: yen

      I guess I'm looking for fairly inexpensive food - I'll spend up to $25 for my entire meal (w/beverage). No dietary restrictions, per se, but I'm not really a red meat eater unless it's the only thing available. "Deep fried" is ok, as long it is really "goodness".
      Since we're up at the track by about 7am, we get to bed early, thus the need for early dining.

    2. Not too far from COP is a great little Mexican restaurant "Salt & Pepper". Go down Bowfort Road from 16th Avenue. At the four way stop at the bottom of the hill turn right on Bowness Road. Follow Bowness Road into "downtown Bowness" the restaurant is on the right hand side.

      1. I was interviewed for an article in city palate on "solo dining" (addressing both its sociological relevance as well as suggesting some places I like to eat solo), unfortunately it's not available online. Basically any place that has a diner-style "kitchen theatre" counter is not only good for dining solo, but in the case of sushi, eating alone at the counter marks you as a connoisseur and gets you better service, whether you're a man or woman makes no difference.

        Restos that are owned and/or managed by women would seem to be very welcoming for women dining alone (right?) and for that I'd suggest Artisan Bistro in Bridgeland and The Coup on 17th SW.

        1 Reply
        1. re: John Manzo

          Yes, I'm a women who will be dining alone.
          Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, I am not adverse to eating at the counter of "kitchen theatre" restaurants - actually I enjoy it.

        2. Great - that info helps a lot.

          For more casual places (these are not fine dining experiences, just good food), i'd suggest the following - all are within a 10-15 minute drive from the Village (except the Coup), without traffic. If you're leaving early on a weeknight (ie 5:00-5:30 sort of range), be prepared for much longer drive times. 16th Ave is a gong show with all the construction.

          1. Shikiji - Japanese Noodle House. The Sushi is good, the Noodles even better. Large servings for a decent price, this place is well divided to suit smaller parties, and there are many solo diners who eat here. It's on Center Street, between 15th and 16th Avenue.

          2. Tazza - Lebanese Deli - With only four tables, and a very long counter top, this deli is populated with a lot of Bridgeland locals, and quite a few solo diners as well. From the fast-foodish Shwarma and Shish Tawouk, to large and varied platters, it has a wide variety of food at cheap prices in a comfortable atmosphere.

          3. Any Vietnamese restaurant. Male, female, as long as you have $$, it's all the same to them :) Saigon Y2K is nearby, and it has large servings at cheap prices. (Crowchild, across from McMahon, East side, between 16th Avenue and 20th Avenue).

          4. Big T's BBQ - just off Crowchild and 20th Avenue, same stripmall as Saigon Y2K, across from McMahon, this is Calgary's version of Southern BBQ. It isnt authentic, but it's still decent. Large servings of meat and southern delicacies.

          5. I second the Coup as a solo dining place as well (between 9th and 8th Street, North side of 17th Avenue SW).

          6. If you want Chinese, Peking Garden (Shaganappi and Varsity Dr) is excellent and near by (just past Market Mall, east side of Shaganappi). I've never dined solo in a Chinese restaurant before, so i can't comment on that aspect. But the food is good.

          7. Memorial Dr, between 16th Ave and Crowchild, are a couple places. There's a Heartland Cafe, and there's Extreme Bean. Both serve tasty, hearty, home-cooked meals. Nothing exotic, but fresh organic ingredients, really comfortable and cozy.

          Hope that helps.

          1. Thanks, yen!
            I've eaten at Big T's - it is decent, like you said. I've seen the Saigon Y2K place, but I never ventured in. When I was in Calgary this summer, 16th Ave was a mess, with the widening and all. I figured it would still be going on.

            3 Replies
            1. re: scabbardgirl

              It's better than it was this summer, as two lanes are open heading east, but rush hour in Calgary, construction or no, is quite busy.

              As for Saigon Y2K, i love their Sate soup. It's thick, and rich in flavour, unlike most places in town that serve it watery, with some chili sauce and chopped peanuts tossed on top.

              Based on what you've said, i gather you're a sledder or a luger. Shikiji would probably be the best place to 1. gorge yourself 2. healthy tasty food 3. in your price range, while Tazza and Extreme Bean come a close 2nd.

              1. re: yen

                I help with the sledders - too old to slide , moving those sleds around takes some strength and energy :-) But, we're all on a tight budget and are always looking for good places to eat. In Europe, it's a little easier, since the places we stay have breakfast and dinner included in the rate.
                Everywhere you all have mentioned sound good to me - I like anything Asian, and if there is a place with good entree-sized salads, I'm in. That's probably why I liked Joey Tomato's in Calgary (a group of us were taken there) - good, big salad and those wonderful Belinis :-)

                1. re: scabbardgirl

                  Go to Extreme Bean. Their salads are amazing. I usually get the sandwich and salad combo (8.95), and i can't finish it (im a big guy too... that says a lot). The organic greens salad comes with organic greens, a nice dressing of your choice, cranberries, 2 or 3 kinds of nuts, seeds, and other various toppings. For sandwich, tried roasted pork. Yum!

                  Tazza has a great entree sized salad - chicken shwarama (or beef or falafel) salad, loaded with grilled chicken, greens, tomatos, peppers, etc.. and a great garlic sauce. Cheap at the size for roughly 9 bucks. The platter (salad, meat, pita, dip) is a good deal too if you want a bit more variety.

                  If you're in on a weekday (M-Thu), Tropika is a Malaysia place half a block down from Shikiji. They have half price satay on those days (75 cents a skewer). Their Roti is good too. It turns out to be a good, tasty, good value Asian meal.