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Are there any great restaurants in YYC Chinatown ?

I am in town for a week and wonder if there are any great Chinese, Japanese or Vietmamese Restaurants in or near Chinatown. Looking forward to your responses.

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  1. If it wasn't for Chinatown, Calgary would be truly hopeless, from a culinary standpoint.

    Try;

    Han's;

    Pho Hoai

    MBA Cafe

    Golden Inn

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    Golden Inn Restaurant
    107 2 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B2, CA

    3 Replies
    1. re: seemac70

      Inasmuch as I am often tempted to draw comparisons to Toronto and Vancouver with respect to specific food offerings in Calgary, I have never arrived at the conclusion that you have. You need to look around a bit more, there are some pretty fine culinary experiences here. Read these boards.

      1. re: Scary Bill

        Thanks for the admonition, but I call 'em like I see 'em.

        Mostly, people are terminally defensive about "their town," but Calgary is way down the list when it comes to cities with a great food culture. Sure, there are some good spots, but they're the exception, not the rule. A restaurant scene responds to the demands and tastes of the public, basically, and overall, Calgary is white bread with mayo.

        A very large number of people here actually think Peter's is good.

        1. re: seemac70

          Good? Nah. Nostalgic? There you go. And gotta at least like a burger joint that dresses its employees as nurses. {Insert cardiac arrest joke here.}

    2. Is it bad that I think that some of the best Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese food are *not* in or near Chinatown? Not saying the ones that are in that area aren't good, but the best places tend to be in other areas. Try Forest Lawn area (International Avenue) for Vietnamese food.

      8 Replies
      1. re: cn1822

        Calgary is different from Toronto, where the best Chinese (by far) has migrated to the far-off ethnoburbs along Hwy 7 and Chinatown is for nostalgia and tourists. The best Vietnamese is arguably in the SE for sure and Calgary's Chinatown has never supported a strong Japanese element (though there is superb Japanese elsewhere). But for CHINESE, IMO Calgary's Chinatown is still the place-- or one of the places-- to check out.

        Han's, in particular, is our single favourite resto in Calgary. Calgary Court is up there, too.

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        Calgary Court Restaurant
        119 2 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B2, CA

        1. re: John Manzo

          +1 for Hans. Definitely, by far, my favourite Chinese resto in Calgary. I should mention they focus mainly on sichuan/taiwanese dishes. My favourite dishes are the eggplant (either the spicy sichuan version or the soy sauce version, both are very good), the fish hot pot (sichuan water boiled fish), the dry fried green beans, and the pork and cabbage stir fry (aka sichuan twice cooked pork)

          1. re: miss.foodie

            Looks like Han's has turned into a Vietmamese Sub Shop.

            1. re: finefoodie55

              Hans is inside the mall, Thai Tai is on the corner. Pretty sure Hans is still there, next to the cell phone store.

              1. re: finefoodie55

                I'm pretty sure Hans is still there. I was there for dinner less than 2 weeks ago. Also, please take note that they are closed on Mondays. Their hours are from 11 to 8:00pm Tuesdays to Sundays. Here is their phone no. (403) 263-5667.

                1. re: miss.foodie

                  Found Han's was really good had some ox tail and Drunken Chicken with noodles fried beans too much food for two but worth every bite.Thanks very much for the tip made a big difference to my trip. I am back in a month how about Thai,Korean and off Oriental....How about Vegetarian Thali restaurants. Appreciate your help!!!!

                  1. re: finefoodie55

                    White Oak II was good, but I haven't been there in a while. It's a tiny space in a mall, 132 3 Ave SE. They have vegetarian Vietnamese and Chinese.

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                    White Oak II
                    132 3 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4Z4, CA

                    1. re: finefoodie55

                      Try Anju. 507 10 Street Southwest. Korean.

          2. There are SO many good Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants all over the city. Calgary Court or MBA for chinese downtown if your looking for great cheap eats. If you were willing to drive a little away from the core, I'd say go to Pho Xuan on 36 st in the NE area if you wanted great Pho. What kind of Japanese were you looking for?

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            Pho Xuan Restaurant
            920 36 St NE #128, Calgary, AB T2A 6L8, CA

            Calgary Court Restaurant
            119 2 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B2, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: Roarasaur

              A Japanese Izakaya Restaurant would be wonderful but if not available a good "old school" restaurant that focuses on Sashimi and Sushi not rolls I remember going to one years ago on 9th ave SW(I think) that fit the bill.

              1. re: finefoodie55

                For Japanese Izakaya, we have Shibuya Izakaya (centre st and 16 ave nw) and Globefish Izakaya. I wouldn't say they are in the same league as the ones in Vancouver such as Guu, Hapa, nor Kingyo, etc.

                For traditional sushi and sashimi, my favourite is Wa's (centre St and 17Ave NW).

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                Shibuya Izakaya
                453 16 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 1K3, CA

            2. For Chinese:
              +1 for Hans, and its Sichuan eggplant dish and dry-fried green bean dish
              +1 for Calgary Court, for Hong Kong-style cafe cuisine (there is a recent thread on this board about Calgary Court)
              And adding a rec for Try Again if you like bubble "tea." Even for the fruit smoothies alone, this place is great--the fruit smoothies (not the ones with milk) are made from real frozen fruit, very minimal filler.

              For Vietnamese in Chinatown, try Banh Mi Thi Thi's subs--best viet subs in Calgary IMO. For pho, I like Sunny's on 2nd Ave (the satay is recommended; there is better in the city, but this one is pretty decent) and Pho Pasteur, next to Banh Mi Thi Thi.

              For Japanese, you're out of luck in Chinatown. Consider taking the 301 bus to Wa's (I second miss.foodie's rec). The 301 stops on Centre Street, just north of the 16th Ave intersection.

              If you're in Chinatown, you must try the cupcakes from Bliss & Co. Not Chinese food, but very, very good--fresh, light, buttery icing and moist-not-greasy cake with a fluffy crumb.

              -----
              Calgary Court Restaurant
              119 2 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B2, CA

              Try Again
              111 3 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B7, CA

              6 Replies
              1. re: aktivistin

                Bliss & Co's Chinatown shop is closed until January 10th - they reopen the 11th weekday hours 10:30-17:00hrs.

                1. re: aktivistin

                  To expand on aktivistin's reply, Centre Street and 16th Ave is only 5 minutes north of Chinatown by bus, but your options expand tremendously. Search for Pho Anh Huyen, Shikiji, Central Grand, Sun Chui Kee, Wa's (as mentioned above), & Tai Pan.

                  You didn't mention Thai, but I have to say that Thai Bistro in Chinatown is absolutely superb.

                  -----
                  Tai Pan Restaurant
                  1518 Centre St NE #171, Calgary, AB T2E 2R9, CA

                  Thai Bistro
                  102 Centre St S, Calgary, AB T2G 2B7, CA

                    1. re: ybnormal

                      Went to Thai Bistro yesterday really good..

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                      Thai Bistro
                      102 Centre St S, Calgary, AB T2G 2B7, CA

                      1. re: finefoodie55

                        Cool!

                        I forgot to tell you to just go around the corner to Bliss Cupcakes as well for dessert.

                        Calgary Court is still a good HK style option. Let us know how the rest of your week turns out.

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                        Calgary Court Restaurant
                        119 2 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B2, CA

                        1. re: finefoodie55

                          Thai Bistro is the place I frequent most in Chinatown. If anyone is venturing here suggest you try one of the first 3 salads. My guests prefer the Papaya since it's less spicy but I'm a big supporter of the Larb Gai. Both these dishes you can order as a main or family style when we eat there, they go great with rice.

                          -----
                          Thai Bistro
                          102 Centre St S, Calgary, AB T2G 2B7, CA

                    2. Gee Gong is good for BBQ pork and duck.

                      Also, seconding Pho Hoai and Try Again.

                      The sushi options in Chinatown (Sakana Grill and Sushi Tokyo) are pretty bad.

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

                      Gee Gong Restaurant
                      206 Centre St S, Calgary, AB T2G 2B6, CA

                      Try Again
                      111 3 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B7, CA