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In Calgary for two days... can you recommend something?

Hey all this is my first post here.

I'm flying in from New York City to Calgary for two and a half days and wonder what are some of the meals I must try while I'm in the city.

I prefer less touristy meals. For example, whenever someone comes to NYC, I make them avoid the flashy and overpriced restaurants at Times Square/Midtown and bring them to hole-in-the-walls in Brooklyn/Queens/SoHo (attached photo is sushi gorging in Brooklyn).

Things I like:
- NYC Pizza (Could be interesting to compare Calgary pizza to New York pizza)
- Burgers (ESPECIALLY BURGERS)
- Italian
- Asian food
- Pastries

Not a huge fan of:
- Greek food
- Asian fusion

Any recommendations would be great. I'm looking forward to going about and sampling some of the eateries that the city has to offer.

 
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  1. Best burger thread:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/565908

    Asian? Try Han’s in Chinatown for Taiwanese hole in the wall.

    Calgary has some really good Indian food. There isn't one thread that sums it all up but you'll find more of the hole-in-the-wall places in the Northeast but you'll need a car.

    Dim sum will be no better than what I had in Manhattan and worse than what I hear about Flushing.

    Vietnamese is good here.
    Pho thread:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/325435

    Pizza? We come to blows here about pizza. Some like thick crust some like thin. UNO is winning fans with a thin crust. The Co-op on 11th ave has pizza by the slice, unusual in Calgary. Vogglio is mentioned often.
    Pizza thread:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/308053

    I wouldn’t eat Italian if I was from NYC but someone will jump on me for that.

    Try some steak if you haven’t been to Canada. Our beef is grain fed. I never order steak when I am in the US so I can’t speak to the difference but might be worth it for the experience.

    Someone is sure to ask you where you are staying and if you have a car. Calgary is very spread out and public transportation can take a fair bit of time when you only have a couple of days.

    Manuel Latruwe for pastry.

    3 Replies
    1. re: sharonanne

      links to Hans Restaurant, Una Pizza, Vogglio D'Pizza, Manuel Latruwe

      -----
      UNO
      , New York, AB , USA

      Han's Restaurant
      303 Centre St S #116, Calgary, AB T2P 2B9, CA

      Manuel Latruwe Belgian Patisserie & Bread Shop
      1313 1 St SE #1333, Calgary, AB T2G 5L1, CA

      Vogglio D' Pizza
      1514 14 St SW, Calgary, AB T3C, CA

      1. re: sharonanne

        Awesome stuff, thank you so much.

        I'm originally from Toronto but am itching for some Albertan steak.

        1. re: lifeinthewoods

          My recommendation for steak is Chicago Chophouse.

          -----
          Chicago Chophouse
          604 8th Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1G5, CA

      2. I assume you're going to be around downtown.

        I think you'd enjoy or at least find Pizza at 'Vogglio D'pizza' interesting. And also Manuel Latruwe for pastries. Hans for hole in the wall Asian.

        If you want higher end, try CAPO for great gourmet Italian.

        1. lifeinthewoods,
          If you could tell us the area you are staying in, if you have a car, or whether you are relying on transit/taxi we could give you more precise suggestions.I doubt you want to spend your entire 2 days running all around the city? This might sound stupid, but I have no idea what NYC pizza is? I have seen pieces folded in half when eating (on tv!), so I assume not too thick, heavy layer of toppings? Don't judge me Chow Friends! I really don't know for sure.

          2 Replies
          1. re: TSAW

            Some might say that NYC style is the ONLY style! I don't buy into this at all, but hey, some New Yorkers think they got the bagel and pastrami down better than anyone, too! Some folks have never been to Mile End.

            Hey the Big Apple rocks, but there are all sorts of great pies out there.

            Great guide from the pizza blog. Pretty comprehensive;

            http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

            1. re: TSAW

              Probably around downtown, but I'm renting a car so I'll be able to go almost anywhere... I'm here for some business but I might be moving here so food is going to be a big issue!

            2. Expect Calgary pizza in general to be either thick or crunchy.

              One place I know of to get thin, soft pizza is Pulcinella, which serves Neapolitan style. Pulcinella is a bit expensive, and sometimes the pizza is soggy in the middle (maybe the crushed tomatoes are too watery?), but overall I like it.

              You can also get Chicago thin crust here, at Gondola Pizza, but it's delivery/pickup-only.

              If you want a representative Calgary pizza (IMHO!), go to a pub like the Belfry, or Watchman's. Have a big rock beer with it (again, not the best, but still tasty, and representative). These are pan pizzas.

              Vogglio d'Pizza is a unique style that I love mostly for the creative toppings: steak and eggs, prune and bacon, avocado and corn, etc. You can get the crust thin (cracker-like), or thick (bready). They're delivery/pickup-only, and the pizzas take at least 60 minutes.

              On the other hand, there's some great Vietnamese food in Calgary, and great Indian/Pakistani. It's hard to recommend one place in particular.

              -----
              Pulcinella
              1147 Kensington Crescent NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1X7, CA

              Gondola Pizza
              3315 26 Ave SW #4, Calgary, AB T3E, CA

              1. Check the "best burger in Calgary" thread for burger recommendations. I like the burgers at the Ship & Anchor pub, myself.

                1 Reply
                1. re: 23skidoo

                  I second the Ship and Anchor for burgers and local beer (and wings) and it's CHEAP. It is definately a hole-in-the-wall and is downtown! Rocky's Burger Bus is better but is only open Mon-Fri until 3pm.

                  Welcome to Calgary soon then!

                2. Please tell us where you're staying.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: John Manzo

                    Probably around downtown, but I'm renting a car so I'll be able to go almost anywhere?

                  2. best burger: Diner Deluxe

                    -----
                    Diner Deluxe
                    804 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3J6, CA

                    1. Repeat: Please tell us where you're staying. Calgary is a geographically large city (by Canadian standards- it's no Jacksonvillle or Phoenix, but it's light years from NYC) and we can help you better by knowing where you are if you'd like to limit your jaunts to foot or transit excursions, or if you're stuck at an airport hotel, etc.

                      All that said- you say "no Asian fusion" but your pic is clearly of a maki-based sushi feast and what appears moreover to be Korean-style "fusion" sushi. If this floats your boat I have to urgently recommend EL'S JAPANESE FUSION for sushi- it's in an up and coming neighbourhood called Marda Loop that also has the best coffeehouse you'll ever want to visit- Phil and Sebastian- across the street. It's a reasonably fast bus ride on the 7 to the SW from downtown or, hell, I'll take you there.

                      -----
                      El's Japanese Fusion
                      2008 33 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 1Z4, CA

                      Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters
                      2043 33 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T, CA

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: John Manzo

                        I should have caveat that I'm very particular about Asian fusion so I tend to only sample it when a friend really recommends the dish.

                        I'm renting a car so I'd love to check out this coffeehouse!

                        1. re: lifeinthewoods

                          Ah- well for Asian NON fusion I heartily recommend a visit to our compact but very comprehensive Chinatown, which is the SE part of downtown. As has been recommended, Han's is an absolutely fantastic Taiwanese resto and there's excellent Viet in the area too.

                          1. re: John Manzo

                            Sorry, it the NE corner of downtown. On every tourist map.

                            1. re: John Manzo

                              As far as Vietnamese in Chinatown, for Pho you should check out Pho Hoai, and Thi Thi for Banh Mi (there are two locations; one is in Chinatown).

                              -----
                              Pho Hoai Vietnamese Noodle House
                              132 3 Ave SE #16, Calgary, AB T2G 0B6, CA

                              Thi Thi Vietnamese Submarine
                              209 1 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2G3, CA

                              Thi Thi Vietnamese Submarine
                              630 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P, CA

                        2. Adding some links

                          -----
                          Ship and Anchor Pub
                          534 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R, CA

                          Belfry Gastro House
                          630 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P, CA

                          Watchman's Pub & Eatery
                          1109 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T, CA

                          1 Reply
                          1. I'm entertaining 4 sets of out of town friends this week. Here were some suggestions I'd throw out to them.

                            Burger & Fries - Rocky's Burger Bus or White Spot
                            Good ol' steak - Carver's
                            Really good Vegetarian food - The Coup
                            Pizza & Appy's - UNA
                            Comfort food - FARM (mmm cheesey goodness)
                            Vietnamese - most places in the hood (Forest Lawn)
                            Indian - Tiffin or Clay Oven or Surya
                            Mexican tamales or tacos - Las Tortillas
                            Korean - Seoul
                            Sushi (great and large variety of rolls) - El's Japanese Fusion (I agree with JM)
                            Sushi (traditional) - Wa's
                            Sushi (fusion & fresh sashimi) - Sushi Club
                            Nicer restaurant with west coast flavours - Divino's or Catch (upstairs)

                            You mention pastries - I've yet to try but have heard amazing things on this board about Yann Patisserie http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/675651

                            Also Bliss & Co for cupcakes.

                            -----
                            Clay Oven Restaurant
                            3132 26 St NE, Calgary, AB T1Y, CA

                            Las Tortillas
                            4100 Marlborough Dr NE #2, Calgary, AB T2A 2Z5, CA

                            El's Japanese Fusion
                            2008 33 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 1Z4, CA

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: foodkarma

                              Seconding Bliss & Co. for cupcakes and for little pies, and Yann Haute Patisserie or Manuel Latruwe for pastries.

                              Phil & Sebastian (noted above) is my favourite coffee purveyor in the city--must-visit.

                              Vogglio d'Pizza: my favourites are the Mexicana or any one of the seafood pizzas. The wait times have shortened considerably since the first months of opening. I'm usually quoted 30 minutes nowadays and the pizza is ready when I get there.

                              Another place for the thinner, softer crust style of pizza is Giuseppe's. I recommend the Funghi.

                              -----
                              Giuseppe's Italian Market
                              1207 1 St SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0V3, CA

                              Yann Haute Patisserie
                              329 23 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0J3, CA

                              Bliss & Co. Cupcakes and Desserts
                              108 3 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0E7, CA

                              Vogglio D' Pizza
                              1514 14 St SW, Calgary, AB T3C, CA

                              Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters
                              2043 33 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T, CA

                              1. re: foodkarma

                                Links for Tiffin, Surya and some other Indian places:

                                -----
                                Namskar Fine East Indian Cuisine
                                202 16 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E, CA

                                Rajdoot Restaurant
                                2424 4 St SW, Calgary, AB T2S, CA

                                Surya Restaurant
                                1207 11 Ave SW #101, Calgary, AB T3C 0M5, CA

                                Tiffin Curry & Roti House
                                188 28 St SE, Calgary, AB T2A, CA

                              2. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I don't think I'm going to get much sleep tonight as I have to organize where and when I'm going to try most of these places. I fully expect to gain several pounds in two days.