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Nov 11, 2009 07:05 AM

breakfast in Calgary

okay, I know the usuals, but I am looking for something new??

area: mid southwest (not further south than Southland) or just outside (south of) downtown or downtown with easy parking (LOL).

We usually go to Belmont, Galaxy or Pannakoek house, or if in a hurry then Good Earth Cafe.

Don't say Nellies.

Anything new that I am unaware of? thanks!!

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  1. Avenue Diner? I like this place.
    There is also EAT in Inglewood, although I have never been there.

    13 Replies
    1. re: shopwinedinefine

      I have eaten at avenue diner, it was good, but I don't think that the parking will be easy being right downtown. Inglewood might be getting too far east, I don't want to have to cross through downtown in rush hour.

      1. re: cleopatra999

        I like brunch at Big Fish on Sat/Sun. especially the Soft Shell Crab Sandwich. Slightly north of downtown on Edmonton Trial, but there is parking around there. But it sounds like you are here during the week.
        Right beside it is Diner Deluxe if you want real brekkie. Easy to get to, but busy. Going north through downtown at rush hour usually isn't bad.

        You could sit down at Manuel Latruwe for waffles or pastries (albeit a tad expensive). Easy parking there.

        1886 in Eau Claire is good, but parking can be a pain (and so can rush hour).

        And thanks for your Edmonton recs!

        1. re: ybnormal

          thanks for the help, but due to time constraints we really need to stay south of downtown. I love Big Fish and Diner Delux, but not this time :(

          Where is Manuel Latruwe?

          Ideally if there is anything in Marda Loop, west 17th ave area, or even 4th street. Or anything around Glenmore Trail/elbow drive.

          1. re: cleopatra999

            Manuel Latruwe is in the Bernard Callebaut building on 1st St SE at 13th Ave. I would go visit the French deli next door instead--it's called L'Épicérie and its paté, macarons, and other deli items are excellent. (But no breakfast as far as I know.)

            For a similar breakfast to Manuel Latruwe (waffles and crêpes), there is A Ladybug Café: one location is a stall in the CFM, the other is an actual café but is located far out west in the "suburbs" (Aspen Woods).

            I'll third the recco's for Avenue Diner. Went there for the first time in years last Sunday and found their Avenue Florentine eggs benedict perfect. Bread wasn't too chewy, eggs were poached just right, the toppings were cooked soft enough to break apart when cutting through them, and the sauce on top? So delicious! Zippy? Tangy? I don't know--it was good. It is a bit pricier, however.

            Dairy Lane Café is just barely over the north-south divide, in West Hillhurst, on 19th St. Another of my favourites.

            1. re: aktivistin

              Are there many choices in the farmer's market? I actually wanted to go there anyway. The location is perfect too.

              nevermind, they are not open on Thursdays :(

              1. re: aktivistin

                I also LOVE LOVE LOVE both Manuel Latruwe and Lady Bug (who also has a locaiton at the Garrison farmers market). If you've not been - worth the drive!

                1. re: jsfoodchat

                  I love the waffles at Lady Bug Cafe. I'm not a morning person but I'll definitely wake up for some of their waffles. I've seen people eat them for dessert too.

              2. re: cleopatra999

                unfortunately Calgary doesn't have much of a breakfast scene, and you time/space limitations, and "no-nellies" constraint make the options a bit meager. good luck. i've been looking for good breakfast in the south as well, and more often than not find myself driving to Eat Eat because there just isn't anything in the south :(

                did anyone mention Dairy Lane? or is that too far north for you?

                1. re: nonlinear

                  Dairy Lane might be an option we are staying just off Crowchild so access is pretty easy.

                  1. re: cleopatra999

                    If you're staying just off Crowchild, access to the aforementioned Pfanntistic Pannenkoek house is easy, too. I like that style of crêpe/pancake (it's kind of in-between), both savoury and sweet.


                    1. re: aktivistin

                      yes, we often go there (see OP), love it! but want something different.

                      1. re: cleopatra999

                        Ha, sorry, I did read that earlier but promptly forgot!

                        For something a little different, you could try Calgary Court's Hong Kong-style breakfast--there's a daily special along with the regular combos. Very good value.

                2. re: cleopatra999

                  Belmont Diner is in Marda Loop (right across from Nellie's).

          2. Avenue diner is good, but it's downtown. Parking isn't that bad, if you know where you're going, but you still have to get in and out of downtown, and with the construction these days, that's a bit of a gamble.

            EAT EAT in inglewood is decent, but if you're in a hurry, it might not be the best choice. Jacqueline Suzanne's in inglewood also do a decent brunch. If you're coming from the south, you don't need to drive through downtown to get there.

            in bridgeland, there's artisan bistro. parking is easy. I realize it's a bit out of your location criteria, but they're excellent.

            or you could just get montreal bagels (elbow and heritage) and eat them in your car (or the small tables in the shop, but there's really zero atmosphere there). those things are heaven fresh out of the oven.

            1. Does anyone go to the DT hotels for breakfast? Before moving back here, I stayed and had breakfast at Palliser, Hyatt and Hotel Arts. All of them were great.

              11 Replies
              1. re: worldwidestuff

                We used to go for brunch at Thomsons at the Hyatt fairly regularly, other than lineups on the odd occasion (when we neglected to phone ahead for a reservation) we haven't had issues. Staff there is good with kids, and the buffet has a wide enough variety to suit everyone. I like that they comp parking for restaurant patrons too. In the 8+ years I've been a Mum I've tried quite a few of Calgary's Mother's Day Brunches and Thomsons is at the top of my list of favorites.

                1. re: maplesugar

                  Pretty much my point.....I'd rather pay a bit more, but have a decent selection.

                  1. re: maplesugar

                    Roughly how much are the brunches at Thomsons and the Palliser?

                    1. re: can_i_try_some

                      IIRC Thomsons charges $18 per person and runs their brunch Sat & Sun, here's the link to their current brunch menu:
                      Not sure about the Palliser, their website says they run brunch Sundays 11:30-1:30pm

                      1. re: maplesugar

                        Only $18?!? I had been there before, but someone else picked up the tab, so I wasn't sure how much it came to. I've paid much more and gotten much less. I guess I know where I'm going next Sunday.

                        1. re: can_i_try_some

                          DH usually picks up the tab so I just called to be sure and I'm sorry to report - their weekday Breakfast Buffet is $18, the Weekend Brunch is $28.

                        2. re: maplesugar

                          Palliser said dec brunch is $ this for real?

                          1. re: mimiglee

                            I don't know, others have said they thought the Palliser was about $35 per person. $60 seems steep for brunch even for the Palliser but maybe they're doing a special christmas event?

                            1. re: maplesugar

                              whoever answered their nmbr said dec was $60 nov it was 45... so just wondering if this is regular price

                              i even asked a second time... six zero and they said yes six zero

                              1. re: mimiglee

                                Then they must have some kind of special holiday bunch going? I know Thomsons raises their price for the Mothers Day brunch vs their usual Sunday brunch but that's because they pull out all the stops - several food stations.

                    2. re: worldwidestuff

                      I quite enjoyed Palliser's Sunday brunch. Not as large a selection as the Banff Springs but still yummy.

                    3. How about Raw Bar at Hotel Arts? I've only been for breakfast once but I thought it was pretty good. They have a parking lot but I park on the street (but I think weekdays you can't park on 12 Ave during rush hour) And they take reservations.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: hsk

                        River Cafe breakfast is great - priced only marginally higher then belmont etc (if at all) and you can make reservations. Parking off Memorial drive west of the centre street bridge on the weekend is easy.

                        1. re: Gobstopper

                          I went to River Cafe for Sunday brunch with three others earlier this year. Between us we had three different dishes and nobody was impressed. We all said we'd rather have eaten at Diner Deluxe!

                          1. re: Jetgirly

                            I have to say I Loooved their pastry basket. That croissant oooooo—

                            1. re: Jasz

                              Some suggestions....Smugglers has a good (i.e., hearty) Sunday brunch, as does the Delta (can be spotty) at Southland & Macleod. Further south than your demarcation line of course is Cora's - great if you like waiting in line.

                              1. re: Conrad

                                hrm, people occasionally suggest smugglers, but we went once and it was among the worst food/dining experiences we've ever had. Here's the (long) that my friend wrote up about it:

                                My friends and I just got back from Sunday Brunch at Smugglers Inn. We were really disappointed, you might even say disgusted.

                                Upon arrival, there was a 20 minute wait for a table. We thought this would indicate that the place was pretty good. The place has a 70s steakhouse decor, very dark and heavy. Although it appeared extremely dated, it had a lot of character to it. It was clean and not too shabby (e.g. the chairs did not have cushioning spilling out, the walls were freshly painted, etc.).

                                The brunch buffet is $15.95 per adult (cheaper for kids and seniors). On Sundays the brunch buffet is your only option, you cannot order individual entrees.

                                Buffet items include your standard breakfast dishes such as eggs, bacon, hash browns. They also have salads, prime rib, a couple of casseroles, and a fairly extensive dessert selection. There is a station where they make omelettes to order. There is a selection of juices available.

                                Unfortunately, the food itself is pretty low quality and questionable. It's reminiscent of crappy cafeteria food. The ingredients used are cheap and not very fresh, and the presentation of most of the dishes is not very appetizing either (even if you take into account that it's a buffet). The eggs are pale in colour and the meat is greasy. Much of the dishes are smothered in vegetable oil and taste like it. My friends ordered the omelettes, which were cooked in a pool of oil. The salads were kinda dry and old, and the fruit was canned rather than fresh. The hash browns were extremely overdone and dry. There was a tray of fish, and I couldn't even tell what it was until I took some on my plate and braved myself to take a bite. The casseroles and lasagna were big bowls of slop which you just scoop up with large spoons (rather than pre-served into more appetizing-looking individual portions).

                                I am a big dessert fan, but the desserts they had were also pretty gross. There was a bunch of dry-looking pastries and some pudding in little cups with whipped cream on top. The pudding was clearly old because the cream was losing its shape and spreading over the surface of the pudding.

                                We ordered coffee, and the cream which was sitting on our table was curdled. We accidentally put some in our coffee and got grossed out. We requested fresh coffees and cream, and had no problem getting it, but it was just one more thing that added to the grossness of the whole experience.

                                I thought the cost of the buffet was way overpriced. I walked out somewhat hungry because I just could not bring myself to eat that much. Much of the clientele was rather obese, and it's probably a decent bargain if you're a big eater and not picky about food. However, I can't say I would recommend this place.

                      2. have you tried Vendome Cafe (the old heartland cafe in sunnyside), its owned by teatro and makes amazing breakfast and pretty reasonable too, the priciest thing was $12, but watch out they sell teatros desserts and so many baked goods to go with the exspresso - your eyes start to wander!

                        Also on the weekends FARM on 17th has breakfast on their chalkboard menu (its always changing - so you will never get the same thing twice). Try the cinnamon buns - and the Croque madame!!

                        2 other alternatives to the norm if ou have never tried them are the whitespot and milestones (sounds like crap - but actually they make a better breaky then the usual and are very reasonable!!)