Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Prairie Provinces >
Jul 11, 2009 01:26 PM

Calgary/Emerald Lake Lodge

My husband and I will be spending a night in Calgary before venturing on to the Emerald Lake Lodge. 1) suggestions on a fun, laid-back dining experience in Calgary that is open on sunday? 2) any insight into dining options at Emerald Lake Lodge? Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I can help to answer your first question. Some venues for you to try out:

    for lunch & dinner on Sunday - Chinatown is always open. It's fun and inexpensive. There are several restaurants in Chinatown you could try like Silver Dragon, Regency, Royal India, Sushi Tokyo, Thai Tai, to name a few.

    11 Replies
    1. re: makan2

      Also in Chinatown and well-loved: Calgary Court for a pure HK diner experience, Harbour City for dim sum, Thai Bistro for excellent northern-style Thai, Han's and Delicious Country for Taiwanese... everything in Chinatown is laid back...

      Other more relaxed places: The Coup for epic vegetarian on 17th Ave SW with a vibe that is more Euro than granola; JaroBlue for tapas and shared plates with excellent service and one of the best resto soundtracks you'll ever hear; Brava Bistro for more of the same with more traditional plates; Wildwood for an upscale microbrewery experience; El's Japanese Fusion for the most amazing creative sushi rolls this side of Vancouver; Anju for Korean "tapas" in a comfy old house in the west end of downtown... do you have cuisine or location preferences? I'm sure we can provide lots more tips.

      1. re: John Manzo

        Thanks for the ideas. We'll be staying at the marriott downtown, without a car. Any of these walkable?

        1. re: atofte

          Yes! But you have a ton of places virtually outside your front door too, in all directions. There is a very nice new sushi place on 9th Ave SW just to the east of your hotel called Sukiyaki House (it's actually the rebirth of an institution that was torn down for condos) as well...

          1. re: atofte

            i will second (or third...) recommendations for anju (which is easily walkable, though even easier would be to hop on the c-train for 2 stops within the free fare zone) and divino as fun and laid-back options that are walkable from the marriott. You could easily add a great number of restos off stephen avenue like the trib, blink, and pik-niq.

            if you're in the mood for indian, you could try glory of india (pretty standard indian fare, but decent) or mango shiva which is a bit more contemporary indian/upscale and was recently updated much like sukiyaki house (which john manzo mentioned above).

            1. re: atofte

              I'd recommend calling ahead, or making a reservation - a few of the places suggested aren't open on Sundays.

              1. re: hsk

                Which ones? I think most are open at least for dinner sundays.

                Also not to insult makan2 but I also think that Sushi Tokyo is just horrible.

                1. re: John Manzo

                  Agreed. Also, Thai Tai is really a fast food place with vietnamese subs and spring rolls, not a "dining experience".

                  1. re: 23skidoo

                    And really terrible, even evaluated as fast food.

                  2. re: John Manzo

                    Sukiyaki House, Anju and Glory of India are closed on Sundays. I'm just suggesting calling ahead because Sundays are spotty for finding a favourite or recommended place open (unless it's in Chinatown, places there are always open).

                      1. re: hsk

                        thanks for the heads up hsk. I know how frustrating it can be to arrive at a restaurant only to find it closed. I've done that at least 3 times with Aida's on a sunday night... but the most recent time, we ended up eating at Mercato instead so it wasn't a total write off... with a quick perusal of the web, looks like pik-niq, blink, divino, and the trib are also closed on sunday (ie, everything i suggested, save mango shiva... grrr.). I would've never guessed Stephen ave would be so shuttered on Sundays...

            2. I haven't been to the lodge for a couple of years, but it was (I am sure it still is) a lovely place. The lodge is run by the same group as Divino and The Ranche restaurants, so the food is pricey (because of the remote location and quality) but creative and well prepared. When we went we took a cooler with picnic goodies, ate in the dining room once and the lounge once, both were good, the rest of the time we picnicked by the fire in our charming room (it was winter). We didn't try Cilantro on the Lake (not open in the winter).

              Sunday the River Cafe is open. One of the best restaurants in the city, not much of a walk for you, beautiful setting.

              1. Your other option while at Emerald Lake, if you want to leave the resort for a bit, is to head to Field and hit Truffle Pigs. I honestly prefer Truffle Pigs and generally eat there more when at ELL instead of the "house" restaurant -

                Other than Truffle Pigs you'll have to head to Lake Louise if you want to try places outside ELL.

                Enjoy, it's beautiful up there and if you want to have a fire in your in room fireplace I recommend taking some form of fire starter (zip blocks or similar). The wood there is notoriously hard to light and they never give you enough kindling.

                2 Replies
                1. re: vanderb

                  We are staying two nights at the ELL, and plan to eat dinner at Truffle Pigs one night.

                  Which of the two restaurants at the lodge would you recommend for dinner for our second night - Cilantro or the Mount Burgess dining room? How does the latter compare to the Edith Cavell at the JPL?

                  1. re: felix the hound

                    I've only stayed up at ELL in the dead of winter and Cilantros on the Lake is only open in the summer season and for special events (ie: weddings) in the winter. I think the Mount Burgess dinning room is very good but not as "picturesque" as sitting on the patio at Cilantros. If you've been to any of the other RMR hotels (Buffalo Mountain or Deer) you will find the menu at ELL very familiar and very well executed at ELL.

                2. wow! thanks for all of your helpful suggestions!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: atofte

                    The BEST, MOST FUN dinner you can have if you are looking for a theme is at Casbah. A beautiful den of hedonism with authentic Moroccan food. Have your hands washed in rose water and enjoy a very fun yet romantic dinner as you nestle into your private curtained booth with tons of colorful throw pillows. if you are lucky, the belly dancer will arrive. Oh, and the food is superb too! (a short cab ride from your hotel). Prices - moderate.

                    If you want the trendiest hot spot for foodies that Calgary currently has to offer, go to Rush - be prepared as it is EXPENSIVE but worth every penny (also a short cab ride).

                    For a most elegant experience of Alberta Beef (very sleek and fancy though) try Vintage Chophouse and take in the live entertainment in the lounge after dinner. (also a short cab ride).

                    OR, within walking distance of your hotel, a lovely, rustic experience in a beautiful setting walk across the bridge to Princess Island Park and follow the path to the River Cafe. (hardly a Cafe more like the most chic version of rustic you can imagine).

                    And at EMERALD LAKE isn't the dining there all done by Cilantro's? You can't go wrong there. The setting on the lake, the food, just go with it. No need to leave the property. You will be very happy. The whole evening is just an experience of which the food is a small but wonderful part. For a late night or afternoon snack, I recall the chesse platter in the main lodge was also outstanding.

                    And a little tip about Emerald Lake for FOODIES - if you order the night before, the kitchen will prepare you the most beautiful (and rather pricy) gourmet picnic basket for lunch the next day. Put on your hiking boots and drive to the foot of the water falls where you can enjoy your picnic in the most beautiful setting imaginable in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and then go for a short hike to see the rest of the view. Also, you will get lots of attention as the other hikers oooh and ahhh at your white linnen and silverware and gourmet spread as they pass by. We did this for our first wedding anniversary and have had very fond memories of it!

                    1. re: jsfoodchat

                      I can't imagine anybody paying for a cab to Vintage from the Marriott- Marriot is 9th and Centre, Vintage is at 11th and 2nd- at most a 10 minute walk.

                      1. re: jsfoodchat

                        Rush is only a block from the Marriott, much easier to walk than cab it, fabulous and expensive but worth it, unfortunately closed on Sundays. I'd second your recommendation of River Cafe (a little farther, but still walking distance IMO). Vintage Chophouse is OK, not great, but not open on Sundays.

                        1. re: jsfoodchat

                          Casbah also seems to be closed on Sundays

                          1. re: cancowboy

                            You 3 are all right - I was thinking she was Sheraton Eau Claire for some reason. These places are all right near the Mariott.