Looking for affordable regional food in Downtown Calgary
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!
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.
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
re: Scary Bill
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
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.
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
1016 8 St SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1K2, CA
25 Prince's Island Pk SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0R1, CA
CHARCUT Roast House
101 9 Avenue Southwest, Calgary, AB T2G 1B8, CA
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