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Aug 8, 2012 02:03 PM

3 nights in Calgary

My husband and I will be in Calgary for 3 nights
in early September. Where should we eat? Nothing too
formal. We will be at the Hyatt without a car-if that
matters. Thanks for your help

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    1. My pick would be:

      Palomino (across the street)
      District (short walk to 11 ave & 5 st SW I think)
      Notable (definitely worth taking a cab to Bowness!)

      6 Replies
      1. re: josey124

        Thanks for the suggestions. Any thougths on Wurst-second floor or Blink?

        1. re: michla

          I love Blink. Wurst is decent. I would skip District, and my experience with Notable wouldn't make it worth the drive for you.

          I would add Cibo and Divino to your list. The latter is a old standby in the city, but it never loses its charm. The latter is a newcomer on the city scene, but boasts a funky interior and great pizzas and pastas at a reasonable pricepoint. Boxwood would be a great spot for a lunch on a sunny afternoon also.

          1. re: marcopolo

            Seriously? Notable is in my opinion the best that Calgary has to offer.
            Why not District?

            Wurst is a rip off. Very expensive and the service is terrible. Food was ok but definitely not worth the price.

            1. re: josey124

              I enjoy the food at District. I haven't been in a while and my friends have said it's gone very downhill. And their service is usually horrible. I'd say it's been 50% good and 50% bad in all the times I've visited.

              I also think Wurst is ok but not a "must eat". However, I heard their Sunday brunch is worthwhile.

              I would suggest Borgo Trattoria over Cibo. Info in this post:

              On 17th Ave, Farm and Una Pizza are also good.

              1. re: josey124

                Josey124, we'll just have to agree to disagree about Notable. I find the main room large and impersonal, and imho the service is too casual given the price point. Re: Wurst, fwiw I'd originally written 'Wurst is OK', but then changed it to ' decent'. It's not a must visit, in any case. District, as cellophane_star mentions, has been on a downhill slide.

                1. re: marcopolo

                  Marco I agree with you about Notable, every visit had been underwhelming for me. I just finished up lunch there. Asked waitress about a beer and she says lager so I order, ends up being a hefeweizen.
                  $20 for a quarter chicken lunch. My soup bowl may have been filled a third of the way. Coleslaw was small and nothing special. The chicken was nice and moist but way over seasoned. For $11 I may go back but at their prices you can actually find real gourmet food at many other spots.
                  Notable wouldn't even enter my top 100 in Calgary

        2. If you wanted to keep to a walking tour, and wanted to look around and do some shopping and poking around, I would recommend trying restos in 4 areas below. These are all walkable.

          These would by my recommendations but there are so many great places, it would be overwhelming for you to name them all (and too many to try in 3 days). Other suggestions so far are great too. I won't debate Wurst on this thread, but it would be one of my secondary choices.

          1. Stephen Ave/Downtown Core - Home Tasting Room, Charcut, Rush, Anju, Gruhmans Deli

          2. 17th Avenue - Borgo, Ox & Angela, Una Pizza, Rustic Sourdough (bakery but great deli sandwiches; soft pretzels on Saturdays only)

          3. 4th Street - Purple Perk (coffee shop & stellar old fashioned desserts)

          4. Kensington - Vero or Muse

          1. As always, I am amazed at how much people differ!

            What food do you like to eat? Where are you visiting from?

            Many of the restaurants mentioned are, in my opinion, formal. Muse, Home Tasting Room, Rush. . . to name a few. Some are good, but all are formal.

            District Tavern is one of my favorite informal places to eat! It IS informal. The service is not the best at busy times, but it's a tavern. The food is phenomenal and locally sourced. They have in-house brews that are great. All is reasonably priced.

            I LOVE Wurst! I love the atmosphere (patio and dining room). I love the food there. It keeps me coming back. Often, my husband and I split an entree and order an extra side or appy. My mouth is watering now! The spaetzle with spinach and bacon and cheese.... ohhhh yum.

            Catch is in the Hyatt. Downstairs, at the Oyster Bar, is informal. It's isn't the cheapest, but is really good -- and they have well-priced daily specials.

            You are very close to a great spot for Pho Satay -- Saigon Y2k.

            If you need a late-night bite, You & Me is also close (Chinatown). I really like their dinner for 2, substitute crispy garlic chicken for the main entree.

            Diner Deluxe is good for breakfast.

            One of my go-to restaurants is within walking distance of you-- Farm. Tuesday is prix fixe (3 courses for $30). Locally-sourced ingredients. I love the atmosphere here -- sitting at the bartop is fun because you can see the chefs at work. They have fantastic berry iced tea. I love their charcuterie/cheese boards! The best I've ever had -- a well-planned accompaniment to each. I have never had a bad meal and love to converse with the servers.

            3 Replies
            1. re: girlfoody

              We are coming from Boston. By "not formal", I meant I did not want my husband to wear a jacket or a jacket and tie. We love all kinds of food. Hubby is not so keen on steak. We love small plates and tapas style eating. Is there a "must" for out of towners? Thanks for all the help

              1. re: michla

                Try Vin Room, Home Tasting Room or Taste restaurant for tapas.

                1. re: michla

                  Vin Room is a great idea -- very unique in concept, great small plates. I LOVE their grilled calamari.

                  My absolute favorite restaurant in Calgary is Il Sogno. It is modern Italian (not the Boston variety). They have a chef's tasting menu. Specifically, hubby and I always order the 6-course one and split it. We often split the wine pairings, as well, but I guess that depends on your budget, preference, and appetite!

                  I think District Urban Tavern is a must. Please see what I have said above -- I have yet to see something similar anywhere else in my travels. Be sure to order a Ball jar of beer and a bucket of bacon to start your meal!

                  I stand by Farm as a rec, as well. It's my second fave. ;)

                  Skip my rec for Catch -- coming from Boston, well . . . it's a seafood restaurant. In the prairies. It's as good as it gets here (and is quite good), but coming from Boston? Don't do it.

                  I still love Wurst. ;)

                  Please skip Muse. I have had terrible experiences there.

                  If you're up for a bit more than a meal, Big Rock Brewery has a fun brewery tour and beer tasting. (I would eat lunch beforehand, though, as the food was not impressive.)

                  Please look at menus and prices before arrival. I don't want to hear of a casualty due to sticker shock heart attack! :D

              2. I can't add much that hasn't already been mentioned here. Different tastes for different folks, but I think it's hard to go wrong if you find your way into Charcut, Divino, Home, Farm, Cibo, etc.

                For what it's worth, what hasn't been mentioned is that you happen to be staying across the corner from Deville, which IMO is one of the top 3 coffee houses in the city. So if you're a coffee drinker, make your way over there for a great cup of coffee.