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Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese?

Looking for affordable regional food in Downtown Calgary

ashleylynne27 Feb 21, 2011 03:47 PM

I'm going to be in Calgary for the first time for three days in early March, and am looking for a nice place to go to dinner on my first day. I'm doing "touristy" things that afternoon, so I'd like to stay downtown for dinner too. I would like to find a good restaurant that sells regional favorites, basically what I can't get or can't get as good anywhere else. I know this might be really hard / impossible to do, but I want to keep the price fairly low, hopefully under $20 for mains (I'm a graduate student...). If you guys know of anything, please let me know!

  1. k
    KCMcG Feb 24, 2011 02:59 PM

    As mentioned, downtown Calgary can be expensive as there are a lot of people on expense budgets. It can also be kind of dead after 6 pm on a week night. I would second District. It cures all its own meat and isn't overly expensive. The bucket of bacon is awesome. It is also a relatively lively place on Thursday and Friday nights. Other options:

    Home Tasting Room on Steven Ave - I believe there are some options for less than 20 bucks.
    Una Pizzaria on 17th - not "regional" but great, relatively inexpensive pizzas, etc.
    Farm - see above, the mac and cheese is wonderful

    Home Tasting Room
    110 8th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1B3, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: KCMcG
      John Manzo Feb 26, 2011 02:48 PM

      Stephen Ave. Not Steven. And Calgary can also be packed DT on a weeknight. It's not 1997 anymore.

      Boxwood is a fantastic reco.

    2. cellophane_star Feb 24, 2011 01:29 PM

      Just wanted to add Boxwood Cafe on 13th Ave & 4th St SW.

      1. a
        aktivistin Feb 22, 2011 03:27 PM

        Oh, just noticing from another thread--The Big Taste (formerly Dine Out Calgary) is March 4 - 14. So if you're here during that timeframe, there are quite a few restaurants offering $35 prix fixe three-course menus for dinner. From that list, I'd recommend the aforementioned Charcut, River Cafe, Bonterra (Italian, not really local), and Catch (seafood, a local institution but not really regional). Others may have different suggestions from the list:


        Catch Oyster Bar
        100 8th Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0K6, CA

        Bonterra Trattoria
        1016 8 St SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1K2, CA

        River Cafe
        25 Prince's Island Pk SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0R1, CA

        CHARCUT Roast House
        101 9 Avenue Southwest, Calgary, AB T2G 1B8, CA

        4 Replies
        1. re: aktivistin
          ashleylynne27 Feb 24, 2011 05:13 PM

          Oh cool, that's great! That expands my options as well, thanks for letting me know!

          1. re: aktivistin
            cancowboy Feb 24, 2011 07:00 PM

            Just a small addendum to the Charcut suggestion.
            If your timing is right, Charcut Alley Burgers.
            On random Friday or Saturday nights.
            You have to join their Twitter or Facebook feed to be notified.

            It's beefy so that makes it regional ;-)

            1. re: cancowboy
              sidepockets Feb 25, 2011 06:24 AM

              Actually, the Alley Burgers are sausage patties (80% pork/20% lamb) - not "beefy" at all - but delicious, nonetheless.

              1. re: sidepockets
                cancowboy Feb 25, 2011 06:37 AM

                Thanks ... I failed the reading comprehension test.

          2. TSAW Feb 22, 2011 02:20 PM

            Calgary is a pretty expensive city. You will be hard pressed to find <$20 mains at a "nice place" downtown. As you probably know, beef is a regional food, namely steak. You may have to break the budget or consider going somewhere nice at lunch instead, as suggested by others.

            Yes, do try ginger beef if you are in Chinatown. It's a local deep fried delight! Also drink a caesar, invented in Calgary.

            1. s
              Scary Bill Feb 22, 2011 08:14 AM

              Fits the regional food description well, but just outside downtown, and over your price range:


              1 Reply
              1. re: Scary Bill
                The Gut Feb 22, 2011 11:50 AM

                Crispy fried ginger beef at Silver Dragon, Harbour city or Golden Inn, I've heard it's regional. I also recommend Thi Thi's vietnamese subs not regional but delicious. All in china town.

                Silver Dragon Restaurant
                211 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1E4, CA

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

              2. a
                aktivistin Feb 22, 2011 07:27 AM

                Not "downtown" per se, but close on 17th Ave SW -- FARM has a $25 three-course prix fixe menu on Tuesdays. The rest of the week, a few of the mains are still below $20, and most ingredients appear to be sourced locally.

                1006 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0A5, CA

                1. cellophane_star Feb 22, 2011 07:12 AM

                  The District on 11th Ave & 5th St SW
                  The Coup on 17th Ave & 9th SW

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cellophane_star
                    josey124 Feb 23, 2011 05:46 AM

                    The District! Definitely!

                  2. h
                    hsk Feb 21, 2011 08:54 PM

                    I think Charcut would fit, it's downtown, regional, it's really good and you can't get it anywhere else. Mains can be under $20 depending on what you get. you can spend a lot more, too.

                    CHARCUT Roast House
                    101 9 Avenue Southwest, Calgary, AB T2G 1B8, CA

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hsk
                      DeeDub Feb 22, 2011 12:44 PM

                      +1 for Charcut. Although the OP needs a dinner recommendation, Charcut has a great lunch special for $15... daily soup, daily sandwich w/ kitchen pickles and warm bag of cookies.

                    2. n
                      nonlinear Feb 21, 2011 06:55 PM

                      donairs - a&a deli on 4th street in mission

                      other than that, calgary really doesn't offer anything that you can't get in every other city in north america. you might want to check out chinatown, but then again it's nothing regional or unique.

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