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Alberta Food road trip!!!! :)))) Edmonton, Jasper, Banff and Calgary.

Hello everyone... I am going to do a road trip in Alberta and the Canada Rockies and I need some advice about where to eat...in this cities:

"Edmonton 4 days, Calgary 4 days, Jasper 1 day and banff 2 days".

Per city:
I need One fancy and several casual restaurants.
(I like the Italian restaurant, french, steak house, seafood, Chinese, Fast food like gyros, shwarma, etc. I am open to suggestions.)

Inexpensive breakfast...Maybe a good public market!!!

Afternoon Tea...

A good Bar with good apetizers and inexpensive drinks "Happy hour"

Also cheap good food for the hurry days.

Please let me know your opinions.

Thanks :)


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  1. Hey Josephml1,

    Calgary has a lot of really great restaurants but I'll leave that to others to answer as I've been out of the loop for the last while. I can tell you without hesitation though that the best shwarma you'll find in the city is Falafal King on 8th ave (downtown). There is one on 17th ave as well but different owners and it doesnt compare. Id also suggest Thi Thi for some amazing Vietnamese subs. You can google it and for addresses (I think there's 3 in the city).
    As far as markets go I really would have to suggest Millarville Market - its just south of Calgary (I may be a little bias because I am a casual vendor out of there) but truely, as far as markets go this one is my favorite. Its authentic and the vendors and people that are down there are just loving life. Enjoy your tour!

    12 Replies
    1. re: tmanna

      I will go to the falafel King I think that is very close to my hotel I will be staying in the Marriot Calgary...
      Thank you for your advice...

      Do you remember the hours of the Millarville Market?

      1. re: josephml1

        The Market is open from 830 - 12 every Saturday until October 10th. This weekend its open till 4 (there's a fair going on at the same time).

        Try some of Falafal King's baklava too. Really good!

        1. re: tmanna

          I will thank you very much for the info, very useful.

          1. re: josephml1

            I heard something about a restaurant named la shish any coments?

            1. re: josephml1

              I think there may be a few outlets (could be totally wrong though). I've stopped in at the spot just north of Jasper Ave (117th/118thish) quite a few times, and I've never been let down by the food.

              1. re: raidar

                i think la shish is a one of a kind...been there a few times, never disappointed.

                1. re: Dan G

                  Thanks for the comments and the advice...:),

      2. re: tmanna

        I'm sorry but falafel king isn't even the best falafel never mind the best shawarma- there is MUCH better shawarma out there and not on pita that is so stale that it's the consistency of cardboard.

        1. re: John Manzo

          Ok, we are open to suggestions...


          1. re: josephml1

            Downtown? I'd go to Pita Express on Stephen Ave, the east end of it in the Epcor Performing Arts Centre. Or Jimmy's A and A in Rocky Mountain Court, 6th Ave and Macleod.

            1. re: John Manzo

              I definitely second the shawarma at Jimmy's A and A. I love the garlicky sauce.

              1. re: miss.foodie

                Well I am a huge fan of the shawarma I will let you know my favorite...

                Thanks Again..

      3. here are some ideas for Calgary:

        Breakfast - Diner Deluxe on Edmonton Tr. for good quality breakfast items (price range around $10-$15); Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus on 54St SW just off Crowchild Tr for dutch pancakes (again around $10-$15).

        Brazilian BBQ - Gaucho for their all-u-can-eat rodizio... it's about $35 a person.. they'll come to the table and carve off different kinds of meat... Gaucho is more authentic than
        Bolero. www.brazilianbbq.ca

        Bolero is around $40 a person, again all-u-can-eat rodizio. Their sides are not as authentic as Gaucho.
        6920 Macleod Trail Se
        Calgary, AB T2H 0L3
        (403) 259-3119

        French deli - L'Epicerie in the same complex as Bernard callebaut on 1St and 13Ave SE - while it is not a cheap place, they have very high quality food; they have a variety of sandwiches which they make fresh; my favourite is the sud-ouest (foie gras slices on a baguette). Definitely no a cheap place... more like a place to splurge...

        If you like raw oysters, Big Fish on Edmonton Trail (sister restaurant of Diner Deluxe) has $30 for 2 dozen raw oysters every Monday night. I'd say they are very good quality for what you can get in Calgary. You always get 6 different types to choose from - 3 from the east coast; 3 from the west.

        Palomino's for BBQ - this place is across from the Hyatt... but do be careful of the neighborhood, esp. late at night. My favorite is the garlic fries and the smoked 1/2 chicken.

        Coffee - Caffe Artigiano (3rd St and 6 Ave SW) and they also have a new location in the Shell building.

        Tea - Steeps on 17th Ave SW. Note this place is a tea shop (ie. equivalent to a coffee shop)... but not the type that serves cucumber sandwiches etc.

        1 Reply
        1. re: miss.foodie

          Great list, the French Deli sounds great...just to think about the sud-ouest makes me whant to go there ........ :)

          Very good choices I am making a list.

          Thank you for your advice and for taking the time to post in this thread.


        2. Here are some Edmonton suggestions...

          Breakfast: High Level Diner, Blue Plate Diner, Haps Hungry House (old school breakfast joint)

          Italian: Picco Linos or Ragazzi Bistro

          Shwarma: La Shish or Sunbake Pita

          Pizza: Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria is a good place for a pizza and a beer on their patio.

          Chinese: Century Palace in chinatown is my favorite. It's inexpensive and has great seafood.

          If you are in Edmonton on a Saturday, hit the Downtown 104 St market or the Old Strathcona market.

          Personal Favorite: Dadeo Diner for cajun on Whyte Ave.

          8 Replies
          1. re: S_B_Russell

            more for Edmonton: (none of these are area specific, but very few are far from the core). If you want more specific location let us know where you will be staying....

            fancy: Red Ox Inn (a must/reservations needed), The Blue Pear, Culina, Sage, Wildwood
            Breakfast: Culina (a must, not inexpensive, but worth every penny, best breakfast in the city), Urban Diner (inexpensive), on weekends would be (more expensive) Cafe de Ville, Manor Cafe, Wildwood
            Italian: agree with above....add Pazzo Pazzo for family style
            Pizza: agree with above add Tesoro Cafe
            Quick Grabs: Soul Soup, Da Capo for coffee & panini, Tesoro for Panini, Mongoli Express, Oodle Noodle, Bangkok Express
            Bar: Suede or The Hat
            Afternoon Tea: I believe the Hotel MacDonald is the only option, also check Fort Edmonton Park
            Asian: Ban Thai, Nink Kieu (Vietnamese), Cha 4 Tea (Chinese)

            1. re: cleopatra999

              ^Oh yeah, Nink Kieu is pretty rad and inexpensive. I second that suggestion.

              1. re: cleopatra999

                Do you mean Wildflower (wildwood)?

                Hardware Grill is good for fancy too.

                1. re: rob1234

                  yes, Wildflower, thank you for the correction.

                2. re: cleopatra999

                  Excellent choices cleopatra and Rusell, Im making a great list... :)

                  I will be staying in the downtown in the Coast house hotel... but I will have a car and I don´t mind to drive to find a good place for food...

                  1. re: josephml1

                    If you have a car, then in my opinion Sage is worth the drive. It is at the River Cree Resort. They have fantastic steak and truffled mac & cheese. But if you are only doing one 'fancy' place/city, I would recommend Red Ox Inn.

                    1. re: cleopatra999

                      does any one really find sage to be good anymore?? I have been there since the last great chef was there and its very bad now? I used to recomend it, now i dont even go:(

                3. re: S_B_Russell

                  Also Dadeo Diner menu looks great... Cajun food Mhh a good Po boy... and also jambalaya rice...I will be there...Thanks for sharing.
                  That menu remind me a small great joint in New Orleans...


                4. This is my location for the Alberta food trip:
                  1) Edmonton: Coast Edmonton House. Downtown.
                  2) Calgary: Marriot Downtown
                  3) Banff: the Juniper.
                  4) Jasper not sure yet...but I will be in town or near and with a car.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: josephml1

                    No one has tackled Banff yet, so I will recommend both Fuze and Bison for dinners, Bison (weekend only) and Coyote for breakfast. Search recent threads on Banff for details...I think I posted on them recently.

                    And avoid sushi in Banff at all costs - I'd rather starve than eat at any of the sushi places there again - all are horrible.

                    1. re: Dan G

                      If you are driving through Canmore from Calgary stop in for some great eats there. Better than Banff IMO. Especially great are The Trough and Crazyweed. Also great is my favorite casual breakfast joint called The Summit Cafe, mainly a local hangout, plus they have a fabulous view of the mountains from their patio....oh and their magic bars are to die for. Worth the 20min drive from Banff back to Canmore, plus the shops are more interesting there too (less touristy kitch)

                      1. re: cleopatra999

                        Best restaurant I've found in the Calgary area is The Trough in Canmore. Most consistent is Murrietta's in Canmore or Calgary. Other favorites at the higher end of the price range are River Cafe in Calgary and Big Fish in Calgary (haven't heard anything from Big Fish in a while, hopefully it's still good.) The Catch in Calgary still gets fantastic reviews from my out-of-town visitors, sadly I've never been.

                        A cheaper option is Han's in downtown Calgary (Tiawanese).

                        Cheaper options in Canmore include the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company. Or Luna Blue Pasta. In Banff go to Coyotes Southwestern Grill, it's fantastic, but I think overall the Canmore restaurants are better than the Banff ones. If you must eat in Banff more than once, there are some places with good food but where the ambiance is really what draws: having cheese fondue in Grapes Wine Bar, a 1926 reading room in the Banff Springs Hotel, The Grizzly House fondue place on Banff Avenue (authentic 70's decor!), or the sushi-train (Sushi House Banff) restaurant.

                      2. re: Dan G

                        I am going from Edmonton to Jasper to to Banff and finally to Calgary...

                        Do you have any experience at the Juniper Restaurant??? Muk something...

                        If it worth the trip for food I don´t mind to drive 20 Min to Canmore...

                        Thanks Again.

                        Thanks for the info and also for the restaurants advice...

                        1. re: josephml1

                          I really like Juniper, the patio is nice, with a really great view although the traffic noise is quite loud from the Trans-Canada below. The food is well executed, upmarket pub grub. We live in Canmore & often stop at the Juniper for apres-ski drinks nibbles when we venture through or to Banff - last went about 2 weeks ago on a scorching hot evening & enjoyed calamari, wings & other appetizers washed down with Grasshoppers & wine - just an allround pleasant place to while away a few hours.

                        2. re: Dan G

                          I have said it many times before - our favourite Sushi in the Bow Valley is at the Wild Orchid Bistro here in Canmore.


                          1. re: Dan G

                            My other Banff suggestion would be Wild Flour Bakery for a coffee/casual breakfast.

                        3. Calgary: Phil & Sebastian Coffee Co., located in the Calgary Farmer's Market (which you should also spend an afternoon / lunch there).

                          1. The Banff Golf Course clubhouse is good for lunch. You don't have to be a member. The food is decent but the location is amazing and it is often very quiet compared to the downtown places.

                            I'm also a fan of the Rimrock dining room in Banff, expensive, excellent food and a stunning location.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: sharonanne

                              Rimrock...excellent, but I really think it is way overpriced. My recent visit was almost $600 for 2 people (one pre-dinner glass of wine, 4 courses with wine pairing, coffee). As a concrete example, one of the wines - $80 for four 3-4 oz pours) was Fireblock Grenache Rose, which is extremely good but Blue Pear has had it on their basic $45 pairing... it's only about $20 a bottle retail... At Rimrock, you pay dearly for the location and the service, and though I appreciate that, it isn't worth the $$$ compared with many of the other fine restaurants in Banff where you can have great food and wine for half the price.

                              1. re: Dan G

                                Whoa, that is bad.

                                I didn't mention the scotch selection because it often isn't a factor though it is for me. The bar is ok but has no view.

                                1. re: Dan G

                                  Dan, with all due respect, I have do disagree. The Eden is the ONLY 5 diamond restaurant in all of western Canada. The five diamonds are WELL earned and the food competes on a world stage for similar level dining experiences. If you had the same meal in Vegas (Alex - 2 michelin stars was $1000 USD or the Mansion - 3 michelin starss is $1500+ USD) or Rome (Le Pergola 3 michelin starss was $700 Euro) you would pay two to three times as much as this.

                                  1. re: jsfoodchat

                                    Um what? I don't know which of Dan's 11mo old posts you're disagreeing with since I don't see where he mentions Eden?? I only see two mentions of Eden, yours and C2Ls

                                    1. re: jsfoodchat

                                      Yes, it was Eden that I ate in. And I did say it was excellent, but it was extremely overpriced (did you notice that I actually cited an example of a wine that was outrageously marked up?).

                                      I don't have a clue what the diamonds mean, and I don't care. I've eaten at many Michelin starred restaurants in Europe and some of the best restaurants in major cities all over the place (some ranked by someone, many not...these ratings aren't that important to me...) some more expensive than Eden, some less. But value-wise, Eden just didn't make it in my book. Glad you like it, but I won't be going back and won't be recommending it.

                                2. If you are doing Jasper- Banff via the Icefield Park Road you will be passing very close to Field and Emerald Lake, as well as the Takakkaw Falls. ( about 15 minutes west of the junction on Highway 1) . I suggest you consider making the detour for memorable views and food. Field has the affordable must try "Trufle Pigs" and an even less expensive "Cherchez La Vache" restaurant. . Cilantro's outdoor seating by the lake at the Emerald Lake Lodge is a difficult to beat combination of good food and surroundings.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: felix the hound

                                    An interesting idea, if you are into hiking at all, is to hike to one of the tea houses at lake louise. they are a relatively easy hike (about 5.5 kms each way, can be done in runners), with a delightful tea house at the end. they make all of their own food up there. the menu is very basic but the views are great. bring cash only! expect homemade soup and apple pie, home baked whole wheat bread sandwiches, coffee and tea. my favorite is the PB&J, nothing fancy, but the fresh bread and the effort to get up there makes it a great experience!

                                    1. re: cleopatra999

                                      Sounds totally a good experience...besides I am a huge fan of the afternoon tea...I like to hike but I am an amateur but that sounds easy...well I hope so...


                                      1. re: josephml1

                                        here are a couple of interesting articles on the Plain of Six Glaciers tea house hike. it is my favorite of the 2 because of the better views on the way up. this hike truly is accessible to most. just bring water, cash and of course a camera. many complain about the number of tourists, my belief is that there is a reason they want to go there! Do enjoy :)


                                        1. re: cleopatra999

                                          Thank you very much...I know the tea will taste better after the effort...

                                          Well and the pie too :)

                                          1. re: josephml1

                                            I did this hike with my mom & MIL a few years ago. It is definitely doable by most people. I even saw a few girls do it in flip flop (thong) sandles though I wouldn't advise it. It is a must do! The teahouse makes it extra special b/c you have a place to stop and enjoy before heading back down again.

                                            1. re: Merry113

                                              Sounds great...thanks for sharing your experience...

                                              I will be there...


                                    2. re: felix the hound

                                      Truly that is what I am looking for...A great place with a good view and with good food...
                                      Do you need anything else... Thank you very much for a very good advice and recommendations...

                                    3. What about a good afternoon Tea, with scones and canapes...

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: josephml1

                                        The Fairmont Banff Springs in Banff serves afternoon tea although they don't mention scones.

                                        Lougheed House in Calgary did have afternoon tea and it is even on the webpage below but there is nothing on their restaurant page.

                                        1. re: cancowboy

                                          There are scones at Banff Springs' Tea, and if you ask nicely they'll give you their recipe. :)

                                          1. re: maplesugar

                                            there is high tea (I believe) at any of the Fairmont hotels. this includes Palliser (Calgary), Hotel MacDonald (Edmonton), Jasper Park Lodge, Hotel Lake Louise, Banff Springs.

                                            1. re: cleopatra999

                                              Yes, I am truly looking for the experience of an afternoon tea with a view...I will keep in mind the Fairmont mention above and the lake louise chateau...

                                      2. Calgary:
                                        Fancy: Teatro http://www.teatro.ca/
                                        This place is FANTASTIC, but truly upscale. If you do the Chef's tasting menu, take it with the paired wine - they are both generous and extremely well paired.

                                        Tubby Dog http://www.tubbydog.net/
                                        It doesn't get any more casual than this - but their hot dogs are an experience, as is the atmosphere. If you're up to it, grab a Gripper. It's cheap, it's good and it's totally unique.

                                        Calgary's Farmers Market @ the Currie Barracks http://www.calgaryfarmersmarket.ca/
                                        Bit of a drive, but an amazing place to pick up great food, fresh and prepped.

                                        Nectar Desserts does a fancy Sunday Tea, but I've never been so I can't vouch.

                                        There's tons of great inexpensive breakfast places. If you can get to a Nellie's, it's typical and good. That said, I'd recommend you hit Diner Deluxe - the food is unapologetic, delicious and the atmosphere is just fab.

                                        As far as Edmonton goes, I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend Dadeo. Their cajun casual food is just SOOOO good.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: ThatTeriGirl

                                          In Calgary I have to add Galaxy and Belmont diners, they are my favorite breakfast place when in town, or I second the person who mentioned the Pannakoek house, sooooo good (and something totally different). I personally cannot stand Nellies. Bad food and service....BUT many other people still swear by them and I have not been for years.

                                          1. re: cleopatra999

                                            Thanks Cleopatra, I google several of the Breakfast restaurants you mention, and looks great.

                                            Thank you very much for the info, I am making a huge list of good places to visit.

                                          2. re: ThatTeriGirl

                                            Teatro looks preatty good...thank for the advice...I will come back with my comments...

                                            Thanks for sharing.

                                          3. Forgot to ask... a good steak house to try the Alberta beef...

                                            And also where to buy gourmet food to go, ex. wine, cheese, etc.

                                            1. I really like Farm on 17th Ave Sw in Calgary.

                                              For casual food, try a sandwich At the Italian Centre in Edmonton!

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: bigfellow

                                                For gourmet food in Edmonton hit Paddy's Cheese 12509-102 Avenue, also the Italian Centre mentioned above is a good option. Also downtown is the Sobey's Urban Fresh market, they have upped the anti for grocery stores significantly, these 3 are probably the best out there for cheese, the Italian Centre is the best for deli meats

                                                Sunterra Market is probably the most upscale 'grocery' store in Edmonton, there are also locations in Calgary. Same with Planet Organic, great organic and unique options in both cities

                                                For Wine in Edmonton there are many many options. My favorites are: Crestwood Fine Wine, Devine Wines & Fine Wine by Liquor Select. There is also the Wine Cellar right near Paddy's Cheese. I find them pretentious, but they are a good option for proximity.

                                                Another option in the west end is Ocean Oddessy, they are a great source for all things fish, they carry (I think ONLY) wild fish. They also have things like duck, chicken etc. If I remember correctly, everything is frozen.

                                                Also Buffalo Valley Variety meats has everything exotic for meat from Bison to Llama and MuskOx (we were there today and they even had Camel!)

                                                The downtown or Strathcona Farmers market would have lots of gourmet options for you too.

                                                For steak if you are willing to make the trip then Sage is the best steakhouse (IMO) in the city. My other favorite that some on here disagree with is Von's. Good quality, by far a step up from the Keg, but without as hefty a price tag as Sage. Many have good experiences at Lux. Also we have a Ruth'sChris here, someone might be able to tell you more about that (I seem to recall that they don't serve Alberta Beef??) Whatever you do stay away from the Sawmill and Moose Factory chain for their beef (or anything else really).

                                                In Calgary I really like the Bear's Den for steak, but I have not really compared a lot of the high end places in that city.

                                                In Banff, I really enjoyed the steak at Maple Leaf (as well as everything else we had). That was 3 yrs ago, not sure what it is like now.

                                                1. re: cleopatra999

                                                  Special thanks Cleopatra...

                                                  I truly appreciate this choices...the Italian Market looks great... and several good choices for my comfort wine and cheese choices...Mhhhhh I need a good relax time asap...

                                                  Definitive I will try a steak house with AAA Alberta beef, Sage menu looks great and sound good because my last night after I come back from Calgary I will spend it in the Marriot River Cree, so definitive I will be there...

                                                  Thanks for your time and advice.

                                                2. re: bigfellow

                                                  Looks great I think I will be like a child in a Chocolate store...Don´t know when to stop...


                                                  1. re: josephml1

                                                    speaking of chocolate stores...make room in your schedule to check out Kerstin's in Edmonton: http://www.kerstinschocolates.com/ :)

                                                    1. re: maplesugar

                                                      You should check out Choklat in Calgary as well in the Inglewood area. They have really good quality dark chocolate bars which they make on-site.


                                                      1. re: miss.foodie

                                                        Mhhh chocoholic...yes I am..

                                                        Thanks for the advice...

                                                      2. re: maplesugar

                                                        Kerstin's is closed in Aug, by the way. So it depends on the timing of your trip.

                                                  2. What about a good French Restaurant to have the foie gras and good escargots.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: josephml1

                                                      The only place that I can think of that consistently has foie gras on their menu is the Blue Pear.
                                                      you can add foie gras to their any of their menu items http://www.thebluepear.com
                                                      not sure about escargot though. we used to have a great french restaurant that recently closed down, the only other one I can think of is Cafe De Ville, which does have escargot on their menu. I really enjoy it here, but it would not be on my list for best in the city, unless we are talking brunch, then they really shine. http://www.cafedeville.com

                                                      1. re: cleopatra999

                                                        While Blue Pear is one of our favourite places I would not recommend the foie gras "addition" based on our experience... It is not up to the quality of the rest of the ingredients, to put it mildly.

                                                        1. re: cleopatra999

                                                          I heard something about a small french place but I am not sure if it is good:
                                                          The creperie...in Edmonton...

                                                          1. re: josephml1

                                                            I have not been there myself but a quick search of this board and it popped up numerous times, I would check these out:

                                                            1. re: cleopatra999

                                                              I'm pretty sure I didn't see foie gras on the Creperie's menu. I think they do have escargot, though you're better off calling them to check.

                                                              If you want foie gras maybe get it from Sage?

                                                              1. re: anonymoose

                                                                Well just to see the Sage menu and make me Hungry..I will be in the rivercree Marriott, so definitive I will be there.

                                                                Thanks Again...

                                                              2. re: cleopatra999

                                                                Very useful, links...thanks for sharing..

                                                                As always cleopatra you are very helpful...

                                                                Thanks Again:)

                                                        2. Just wanted to add that for traditional High Tea in Edmonton, I would recommend the Arbour Restaurant at the Rutherford House (on Campus).

                                                          1. Have you been on your tour? Any reports back? I hope it was wonderful!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: cleopatra999

                                                              When I have more time I will come back with a full review...in a new thread...but for the Restaurants you mention we had a great experience at the Blue pearl, Sage, also breakfast in the Pannakoek house, also a nice place in Banff something with M but I dont remember the name, Afternoon tea at the Fairmont in Edmonton and also in Banff and also we had Tea in Lake agnes Tea house (so so to be honest9) but great expirience...

                                                              It was an amazing trip full of great experiences I truly appreciated the help and advice...