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Dec 19, 2009 10:50 AM

In Calgary over the holidays. What's vegetarian friendly and worth eating?

I'm coming in from Toronto to see my family, and I'll have 2 weeks to eat.

I was thinking of going to:
-Kim Anh
-The Coup
-Dairy Lane

I've heard some people aren't crazy about Peppino, and that Cafe Mauro is superior. Do they have good vegetarian sandwiches? Or anything vegetarian at all?

Is there anything else I shouldn't miss?


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  1. Mauro had veggie sandwiches when I last went to it, but if it's still open I think it would have had to move. I think that building kicked out all the shops. Maybe someone else can help out? Cafe Koi is good veggie friendly food. If you've got a bit of money to spend you could go to Catch- the chef there just won best chef in Canada, and previously won best dish in Alberta with a vegetarian dish. I bet they'll serve it to you- but call ahead to ask.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Mawson Plan

      Mawson, Mauro's has been back open on 8th St SW near MEC for months now.

      Not sure why you're wanting Wa's- do you eat fish? If not, try a sushi place that's known for good veggie options. I have to recommend (again) El's in Marda Loop- one avocado roll and one yam tempura will fill you to bursting; their avocado maki has an ENTIRE avocado. Amazing. There are many other vegetarian choices on their menu. 33rd Ave in Marda Loop, next to the Belmont.

      The Coup is magnificent. There's also the new Gratitude Cafe in Kensington, a very veg-friendly and inexpensive menu at Cafe Koi on 1st St SW, lots of veggie options for pizza (if you eat cheese, which you must since you're intending to try Peppino's, which puts disgusting fake white cheese on everything) at, say, Giuseppe's on 1st SW (a strip you HAVE to visit while you're here, it's amazing how much that area has improved) and at Pulcinella in Kensington; and of course any higher-end place will be happy to accommodate you if you're vegetarian. What they do with vegetarians at, say, Capo or River Cafe or Chef's Table or the aformentioned Catch, or Blink which always has a couple of veg options, is lovely.

      A couple more pure veg places: Buddha's Veggie, chinese near chinook centre, and White Oak, veggie Vietnamese in Chinatown.

      Despite ignorant stereotypes, it's not harder to eat out veg here than anywhere. We don't have as many dedicated pure-veg places but we have hundreds of options. You can even get veggie hot dogs at Tubby Dog and Chien Chaud!

        1. re: Mawson Plan

          Mawson, I too am vegetarian and am visiting Calgary for the holidays. I am a big fan of Thai Tai's Buddha sandwhich (i think better than Kim Anh's), the Coup, and Buddha's Veggie (awesome fake meat chinese food).

          1. re: rajbbhatt

            I've been disappointed by Peppino's lately (what's with all the lettuce filler in veg sandwiches, sigh..).. but Pulcinella's margarita pizza makes me very happy.

            Someone just told me they had a great experience at The Casbah, and that they noticed lots of veggie options available -- any foodie thoughts on that place? I find Sultan's Tent has gone down in quality over the years and the veggie dish feels like a bit of a rip off.

            1. re: ilovealbertabeets

              I haven't been to Sultan's tent in eons, but we were just at the casbah a month or so ago. Yep, lots of vegetarian options. The food was pretty good and I really like the space. The service was really slow though. Well, I should say it started out really great when we arrived around 9pm, but as the night wore on, I think our servers' shifts ended, and the only server (owner maybe?) left pretty much completely forgot about us. It took a really long time to get our bill, and we weren't even asked if we wanted dessert.

              1. re: ilovealbertabeets

                Yeah, that shredded lettuce and processed cheese makes Peppino's sandwiches taste a lot like Mr. Sub.

      1. Cafe Koi, Buddha veggie, tubby dog -- all great suggestions. My partner always gets the vege sumo dog but I'm more of an cap'n crunch dog man myself. anywho-

        aida's is fantastic with a lot of vegetarian options. The vege platter at shawarma knight is good value, although their falafel balls can be a bit dry sometimes.

        I didn't love Peppino's. Cafe Mauro was better, as they used a nice baguette as their bread, but I didn't love my sandwich from mauro either. Then again, my point of reference is a chicken parmigiana sandwich, so I can't really comment on the vegetarian options available. However, I do know that the Holy Grill (kitty-corner to mauro, and across the street from MEC) does a great vegetarian panini.

        1. Just had a dinner meal from Samosa Grill up in the NE and was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of their food. They have a large vegetarian selection and their veggie samosas were incredible, hands down better than any meat samosas I've ever had (and I've eaten a lot in the UK).

          They have a pretty interesting menu as it's not a standard Indian but a East African and East indian.

          1. Calgary is a great spot for vegetarians, despite it's cowtown beef ranching thing. I lived there as a vegetarian for 5 years and didn't have a single issue. Even the steakhouses will be accomodating and make you something.. I had an amazing Mushroom Risotto at Vintage Chophouse once.

            People have already said lots of these, but here are my recommendations.

            The Coup
            Budda's veggie
            Dairy Lane for Brunch/lunch
            Open Sesame (fantastic pan asian Cuisine)
            Alloy for something a little more upscale
            The Casbah has been a great experience the few times I've been.

            and there are plenty of Indian places that have tons of vegetarian food.

            1. Oh and one more cool option. Joeys Tomatoes can substitute some of their chicken and beef dishes with a soy based protein, and it works very well with the butter chicken!