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Cora's opening in Northland Mall (Calgary)

For those who love Cora's Breakfast & Lunch but don't like making the drive to the deep south - good news - there's a new one moving in to Northland Mall. It looks like they're months away from opening but eventually it'll mean I can get my Cora's fix a lot closer to home :)

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  1. Good to hear something good about Northland!

    1. You just made my day. This morning I was driving up Crowchild wishing there was a decent place to go for breakfast in this part of town.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sharonanne

        Phil's on 16th is probably the best place. It's all downhill from there.

      2. Heya ms,

        Just wondering, i've heard you espousing Cora's breakfast for a while, but it really is a long way to drive for someone who isnt the biggest breakfast fan (except for Egg's Benny!). Can you explain to what what is so great about their breakfasts? I might have to make the drive... though Northland sounds a lot more convenient!


        8 Replies
        1. re: yen

          Hi yen, (ltns it seems, glad to see you back) I tried replying once before and I dunno what happened so here we go again:

          I first started going to Cora's yeeears ago in Montreal(aka Chez Cora Dejeuner) so I've been a fan for 10+years, (3 kids and 2 houses ago...) It's not that Cora's is the be all end all of breakfast but the quality is better and more consistent than Nellies imho (never had past-due fruit at Cora's). The menu is huge, literally something for everyone... there's lunch food too for those who aren't as enthused about breakfast... I can't help you with the Eggs Bennie I'm afraid since that's the one dish I don't order - not just at Cora's - I just like my eggs either fried, scrambled, in an omlet or a quiche ...but not Bennied(not that there is such a verb) I love Cora's omlettes(dinner plate sized and perfectly done), waffles and DH loves that they serve cretons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretons and other Quebecois "delicacies." If memory serves Cora's is also a less expensive outing than a lot of the downtown breakfast hotspots(even after factoring in the gas).

          It's been awhile since we've gone since the younger two kids don't have the attention span required for dining out especially when there's a lineup. I still have vivid memories of DS's meltdown waiting for food at Diner Deluxe about a month ago...We'll probably go to Cora's at Northland once it opens (and before locals discover it and it gets uber busy).

          If that doesn't totally answer your questions about the place feel free to email/facebook me ericaannebell (at) shaw (dot) ca :)

          1. re: maplesugar

            Ahhh... i didnt realize this was related to the Quebec chain - that explains so much! I've never actually tried their food, but you make it sound pretty appetizing. Maybe a long drive and a long wait in line is in order.

            Hmm, on second thought, when i word it that way, that sounds really unappetizing. I think i'll just wait for the Northland location!

            Thanks for all the info though.Much appreciated!

            1. re: yen

              Like marcopolo said, the lines move fairly quick - I think the most we've waited is 15 min...no big deal for adults but with litttle ones that can feel like an eternity. On a typical Saturday morning I've waited longer for a table, and for food at Diner Deluxe than at Cora's..1/2 the drive to DD but twice the seating and faster turnover at Cora's... for me it's a tie...til Cora's opens at Northland then that'll probably become a regular weekend spot for us - maybe we'll see you there ;)

            2. re: maplesugar

              "It's not that Cora's is the be all end all of breakfast but the quality is better and more consistent than Nellies imho"

              i totally agree. There are certain things that Cora's does really well and others i don't care for at all. I've made the drive from downtown to mackenzie town a couple of times, and eaten at a location in ottawa as well. There's usually a long line, but it moves pretty quick.

              If you're a fan of eggs benny, i'd look elsewhere. their hollandaise is dreadful, and tastes likes it comes from a powder. Having said that, their fruit is always excellent, and it's nice to get a pile of fruit on your breakfast plate. They're really good at combo plates, which is great if you like having a bit savoury as well as sweet. I like their crepes and omelettes; they're good but not ridiculously good. bottom line: if you live downtown, i don't think it's necessarily worth the drive -- you're still better off going to diner deluxe. but it you live in the far south or near northland, then it's a good option.

              1. re: marcopolo

                I usually order either Cora's crepes or omelettes when I go, no they're not world class but still very good... that's ok since world class takes longer than I can reasonably expect my kids to sit still - love the pile of fresh fruit too - no whimpy garnish here - a good size serving of melon and pineapple and berries(when in season).

            3. re: yen

              I don't know what part of town you're in, yen, but if you're looking to try Cora's, heading south is also a possibility. There is a Cora's in McKenzie Towne, and there is one soon to open out here in Okotoks as well. I love the Eggs Benedict and my wife swears by the crepes, with many variations available.

              1. re: GaryR

                Thanks for the extra info Gary! I was aware of the McKenzie towne location, but not the Okotoks one. South is a long way for me :) But if you love the eggs benedict, it may be well worth the trip. I'll consider it next time. Thanks!

                1. re: yen

                  Glad to be of help! We are apparently getting 13 new restaurants in Okotoks in a matter of less than 6 months, Cora's being one of them. It seems most will be chain restaurants but we're looking forward to whatever new dining experiences we can get out here. The only one we've heard about that sounds like something new and exciting is one that is advertising itself as authentic New Orleans style. Could be interesting! As an aside, welcome back from wherever you've been. We've missed your voice on the boards of late!

            4. Where exactly in Northland Mall is it going to be? We were there on the weekend and didn't see anything - may have just been having a blind moment.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Zydeco_Mama

                If I hadn't seen the promo signs at the entrance I would have missed it too. Cora's is going in across the hall from Best Buy - went there in search of a Wii Fit or I would have never found it. Handy link to Northland's map: http://www.northlandvillagemall.ca/Co... scroll your mouse over the spot between Best Buy and Home Outfitters ...voila Cora's :)

                1. re: maplesugar

                  Of course, that's the one hallway we didn't go down. Thanks!

              2. The Coras down here in the south has been very, very inconsistent. One day great service and nice fruit...next day horrible service and fruit that looks like it's been sitting around for days. We've given it several chances but with so many great breakfast options in Calgary, Coras is very low on my list...hopefully the Northland Mall one will be better.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Major_9000

                  Really?? Sorry to hear that Major. I guess I've been lucky then. Your experiences sound like mine at Nellies.

                  1. re: maplesugar

                    First time we went we didn't get served for like1 1/2 hours, lol the poor waitress was almost in tears (she kept going to the kitchen and begging for our order and nothing came out - we tipped her anyway) and we had to go because we had business meetings...the next time it was great, fabulous fruit eggs, bacon, service, etc...then we went back and had some very brown bananas...next time it was great again...then we went back and got brown fruit again and coffee that tasted like they forgot to change the filter with fresh grounds...

                    It became a running joke...but Ill give it another try, it's been about a year. So lots of time to iron out the kinks.

                  2. re: Major_9000

                    you sound cursed ;) i've never had a bad experience there in my 6 or so visits.

                    if not for the long lineups stretching onto the sidewalk outside on weekends, i'd be there even more often.

                  3. Bump this up. Looks like it's opening December 8.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: MeXx

                      I was by this week and they were at the 'installing cabinets' stage so hopefully they'll make the 8th.

                      1. re: sharonanne

                        Funny, I was by there on Thurs and took a quick peek too - lots of work going on, banquets (sp?) were being installed - looks like it won't be too long now :)

                        1. re: sharonanne

                          Confirmed for the 8th... Was passing through Northland today and this weekend is friends and family opening. Looks about the right size compared to other Cora's I've been to...

                      2. My parents and I visited this Cora's location for the first time today. The food is decent, almost even very good (the waffles were perfectly done, but there was too much custard), but they really need to work out their timing, logistics, and management/customer service escalation.

                        After waiting half an hour for a table (from what I understand this is actually a short wait for Cora's), we were seated in a 2/3-full restaurant. Obviously, the kitchen's capacity has yet to meet the seating capacity.

                        We ordered (2 eggs benny with ham, 1 waffles with fruit) and then waited for an hour and fifteen minutes for our food. Despite enquiring about our order and whether it was coming from the kitchen about 40 minutes into our wait, it was not discovered until 30 minutes later that the kitchen had missed our bill. Were it not a holiday breakfast, we would not have waited.

                        We asked our server if there was anything he could do about it and he offered a discount. However, this discount turned into gift certificates (I suspect the server was told by the shift supervisor that a discount was not possible) until we followed up with the manager(?) who was taking payment. I must say, however, that the manager handled it beautifully but we would have appreciated the effort much sooner.

                        My parents were definitely not impressed and will not be back. I'm not sure what to make of Cora's. This was my first experience with the chain. I'll give them some grace as it's only three weeks from the opening, but also think I'll wait a while for them to work out the kinks.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: aktivistin

                          That's really sad. The food should be flying out - it's eggs and waffles with chopped up fruit.

                          Maybe they have a 1 sq ft griddle, and one waffle maker for the whole restaurant?

                          1. re: aktivistin

                            Thanks aktivistin and I feel bad your experience was so awful! An hour plus is unacceptable wait time. I can't believe the kitchen could lose a check like that. I have to wonder how many tables the server had that he wasn't more on top of it. I've been a fan of Cora's since my days BC <before children> in Montreal and while we've waited 20 or so minutes on a busy day, we've never waited 60+...my kids would have been so far past their limit we wouldn't last that long.

                            I'm hopeful they'll work out their kinks as well - which should have been done before opening but I've seen it before. I waited (with all three kids) an hour + for Flight Deck to bring out our dinner order once. Ended up sending DH home with the kids and waiting for takeout. I've heard things have gotten better there but their newer ads "101 beers 101 wines" and a recent report from a friend with kids make me think they're not family friendly so I might go back one of these days with DH and leave the kids with a sitter.

                            1. re: aktivistin

                              From my experiences with Cora's, I'll say my first trip to the Northland location was pretty spot on. Went the weekend after they opened. Good service, food coming out at a reasonable time, tastes the same as the ones out east.

                              The long wait is normal, and 30 minutes is definitely average to fast. It's not uncommon to wait upto an hour at a Cora's in the bigger cities. However, 75 minutes for food I think is just poor management, that's seen everywhere in Calgary. Unfortunately, it's soured your first experience and we all know that first impressions are everything. I say give it another go, and if the same thing happens, then there's TONS of places around town that are just as packed, but offer reasonable time from order to delivery (Diner Deluxe comes to mind).

                            2. I went to Cora's this morning with a friend. She got there at 11:25 and the wait was an hour. It was no big deal, we browsed around the mall and stuff for a while, popped over to Dalbrent Spice Rack, etc. Once we were seated the wait for our food was about thirty-five minutes (from seating, or twenty-five from when we ordered). Again, pretty reasonable. I had a mango-banana milkshake which was great, and the "Seventh of July" plate which was french toast and a crepe topped with lots of fresh fruit. All of the fruit was fresh and in good shape. My friend had the cinnamon-raison brioche french toast, which comes with an egg and, again, is topped with lots of fruit. She said hers was really good too. It was definitely one of the best breakfasts I've had in Calgary and it's nice to be shop and stay inside where it's warm while you wait. Also, the price was right. Our two smoothies and breakfasts came in at $32 (before tip).

                              1 Reply
                              1. Went yesterday at 8:30am in the morning. It was fairly quiet. Got seated within a couple of minutes.

                                Ordered the "1990's harvest", which is lots of fruit, a cinnamon "brioche", and some bacon and egg. The fruit was fine, the "brioche" seemed to be a premade cinnamon roll cut in half that was... okay, I guess. Bacon was insubstanial and the egg (yes, one egg) that I ordered poached was fine.

                                My friend ordered a standard breakfast with potatoes, eggs, toast, etc. Everything looked fine except for the potatoes, which were cut in wedges and were mostly still white, with little browning.

                                Overall, it was okay. The service was fine, food came out quickly, but then again the restaurant was only about 1/2 full, tops.

                                Prices were good. Hardly anything was above $10.

                                Coffee was a bit weird. Not the best tasting stuff.

                                I think Phil's has this place beat.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Shazam

                                  Cora's specialty are things with fruit on them (crepes, waffles, etc). You can't get that at Phil's. That's why I like Cora's better. I think it just depends on what you're looking for.

                                  1. re: Merry113

                                    True that. I'll try a crepe next time. I just saw the word "brioche" and well, I was expecting a brioche.

                                2. Has anyone done a comparison of Cora's across the country? I've only been the the ones in Winnipeg, and they're pretty bad. I would never make the choice to eat there, and only end up there when invited (which means I'm not paying). I'm wondering if the Cora's elsewhere are just better than the Winnipeg ones.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: prasantrin

                                    as i've said in my last post, the ones i've frequented in the GTA vs. the northland location is pretty spot-on in term of quality and service... maybe the winnipeg ones are bad?

                                  2. We wlaked by on Saturday but the line-up was too long. We'll try again.

                                    The last time I was at Phil's the eggs and bacon were greasy and none too warm. The fruit topping seemed like it came out of a pie filling can.

                                    It's like anything else, I guess, if you have something you really like at Phil's then you really like Phil's. I'm thinking the fresh fruit in Jetgirly's pics looks good but then I haven't made it to Cora's yet. I just have hope!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: sharonanne

                                      Tells you what I thought about Cora's egg and bacon...

                                      1. re: Shazam

                                        That bad? I'll keep that in mind.

                                    2. Met a friend at Cora's Northlandon Friday at 8:45. Very quiet. Lovely breakfast - she had eggs benny and I had an omelet. Abundance of beautiful, fresh fruit. When we left at 10 am there was a short line. Service was great.

                                      1. I've been a huge fan of Cora's since I went to their restaurants in Ottawa ten years or so ago. Breakfast there, especially on weekends is always well attended. It was definitely one of the things I missed when I moved out west.

                                        Took my family to the one in the SW when I heard it opened - still the same high quality food, particularly the fruit and pancakes/crepes but long lines. Looking forward to driving closer (I'm in the NE) for my next trip.

                                        If your main complaint is the lines, give it time. It's not only true that many food places have a hard time hiring people but the newness of a place is going to attract new people.

                                        Ottawa has at least 10 or so Cora's and I think and hope that as more Cora's open up in Calgary, the waiting times won't be as bad.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Canbuhay

                                          Makes no difference in my opinion. All the Cora's I've been to have lineups.

                                        2. We went on a weekday so no lines. The french toast was above average. I like having the fresh fruit. Beats the usual sides.
                                          Was nice to have a decent breakfast before going to the airport.

                                          1. tried out new Edmonton location and it was terrible. i don't know what made us think it would be any better than the richmond hill, Toronto location we went to a few times. terrible wait times, very expensive although that's pretty much the case for any restaruant in edmonton, and lousy service. someone needs to open a decent breakfast restaurant here!

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: foodie monkey

                                              Raved in YUL/YYZ, tried and IMO was just a breakfast! And people wait to eat here....why!?!? Second the lousy service in YEG - its hit and miss, even at some of the more favorable places. Though being new to YEG, people will try or have some nostagia about their other Cora experiences and want to go back.

                                              1. re: too_hungry

                                                I've only been to the ones in Winnipg, and I agree--they suck! I can't understand why they're so popular. I'd rather go to Salisbury House or even Perkins (although i don't know if Perkins still exists in Winnipeg).

                                                1. re: too_hungry

                                                  I agree - I don't get the hype around Cora's or Nellie's,

                                                  I find both to be overrated plain greasy breakfasts that you have to wait a long time for. If I'm going to wait I'd rather wait at Diner's Deluxe in Calgary or Culina's (or Blue Plate Diner) in Edmonton. I've yet to try The Ranche brunch in Calgary but looking forward to it. One of the more underrated places in Calgary IMHO is Phannfastic Pannekoek. It's very homey and I haven't waited more than 10 mins. I love the variety of savoury or sweet pannekoeks.

                                                  Blue Plate Diner
                                                  10145 - 104 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 0Z9, CA

                                                  1. re: foodkarma

                                                    If you go on Saturday or Sunday from 9:30 until 12:30 you will most likely have to wait more than 10 minutes. We were there on Sunday at 11:45 and waited ~35 minutes before getting a table. Having said that, we gladly wait because we love the food. Just making sure people don't think that they'll never have to wait more than 10 minutes!

                                              2. There's a new Cora's open in Bow Valley Square downtown (5th Avenue side of the building).

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: 23skidoo

                                                  Went last weekend (downtown location). Used to go in Ontario years ago and loved it, this - not so much. Food was tasteless, crepes were rubbery and coffee tasted like hot water. Next time will gladly wait in line at Diner Delux, Over Easy, Dairy Lane or Galaxie - there's a reson for the queues.