HOME > Chowhound > Prairie Provinces >
What have you made lately? Tell us about it
TELL US

dining for single in Calgary?

s
scabbardgirl Nov 20, 2006 02:35 AM

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.

  1. s
    scabbardgirl Nov 22, 2006 12:11 AM

    Thanks all! You've saved me from boring dining alone. Plus, you've given me some inexpensive places to give the the new sliders so they aren't stuck at Wendy's and McD's for their food fixes :-)

    1. y
      yumyum76 Nov 21, 2006 04:41 PM

      Definitely hit up Tazza Deli in Bridgeland for an unreal meal. They're open for lunch til about 9pm. You'll have to use a napkin before even eating to wipe your mouth from salivating as you walk in the smell alone is amazing. Beef shawarma plate with some hummous for dipping the beef will drive your tastebuds wild.

      1. z
        Zydeco_Mama Nov 21, 2006 02:00 PM

        Thought of another great, but overlooked restaraunt in the area. Nasim's - east Indian, east African. The Nihari is very good. They are a mom and pop operation and are very friendly. Going east on 16th avenue they are just past Home Road on the left hand side. Bit of a "hole in the wall" but worth a visit!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Zydeco_Mama
          John Manzo Nov 21, 2006 03:42 PM

          Calgary is without a doubt the Ismaili food capital of North America- I wonder why nobody else seems to be aware of this, including Calgarians. I've never seem Mogo on the menu at indian restos in Toronto or Vancouver, or DC or NYC for that matter, but you see all sorts of Indian-East African hybrids here.

        2. sharonanne Nov 21, 2006 04:13 AM

          I only ever have calamari and a Greek salad at Opa now. I've paid a ton more and gotten a lot less crispy, tender squid elsewhere, actually in Greece now I think about it. LOL

          The rest of the family seems to like the skewers. I don't think any of us have tried the fries.

          1. John Manzo Nov 20, 2006 10:36 PM

            You guys like Opa? I like their fries, but the meagre meat portions and the fact that their toppings (incl tzatziki) are ice cold always ruin it for me. Not thrilled with the bread either. Actually I can't say I've ever had a really good gyro in Canada. That's GYRO, not donair!

            1 Reply
            1. re: John Manzo
              y
              yen Nov 20, 2006 10:57 PM

              There are no good Gyro's in Canada. Though i still have high hopes for finding one in TO.

              Opa is decent. To me, there, it's all about customizing it to fit my needs. I don't like their "pita", so i replace it with extra rice. I ask for the plumpest, juiciest skewer because they do often have meagre meat servings, and i get tzatziki and jalapenos scattered on my rice and potato. It comes out pretty tasty... but i only recommend the lamb and chicken.

              I actually dont like their fries... that lemon juice-rosemary sauce does not appeal to me.

            2. sharonanne Nov 20, 2006 08:49 PM

              I've eaten alone in Shikiji and felt comfortable.

              At Ginger Beef in Brentwood the ginger honey shrimp and Yang Chow fried rice are incredible but don't bother to take them out as the shrimp get soggy quickly.

              The Korean BBQ place in the North Hill mall as well as Opa in the Market Mall are other choices that are cheap yet good quality and you won't be the only woman alone. I've had better food at Opa than at sit down restaurants although their Greek salad is variable.

              I second Salt and Pepper in Bowness.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sharonanne
                y
                yen Nov 20, 2006 09:12 PM

                The Korean Place is Koryo - it's in the food court of North Hill mall (and quite close as well). Sharonanne is bang on in saying the food is good, and cheap. Same with Opa. We often forget the "fast foody" type options here, but a food court certainly does meet your criteria for dining alone, and these two establishments are good.

              2. s
                scabbardgirl Nov 20, 2006 07:15 PM

                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
                  y
                  yen Nov 20, 2006 07:21 PM

                  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
                    s
                    scabbardgirl Nov 20, 2006 10:24 PM

                    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
                      y
                      yen Nov 20, 2006 10:54 PM

                      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.

                2. y
                  yen Nov 20, 2006 06:19 PM

                  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. John Manzo Nov 20, 2006 03:48 PM

                    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
                      s
                      scabbardgirl Nov 20, 2006 05:16 PM

                      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. z
                      Zydeco_Mama Nov 20, 2006 03:22 PM

                      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. y
                        yen Nov 20, 2006 06:06 AM

                        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
                          s
                          scabbardgirl Nov 20, 2006 05:08 PM

                          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.

                        Show Hidden Posts