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Cheap Eats Calgary 2017: 10 Dishes (with Drinks!) Under $20


Chilaquiles at Native Tongues Taqueria (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Chilaquiles at Native Tongues Taqueria (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Put that KD back in the cupboard — we did the math and came up with 10 tasty and varied dishes that can be enjoyed at Calgary restaurants for $20 or less, including an alcoholic beverage.

$11 at Native Tongues Taqueria Happy Hour = $6 Chilaquiles + $5 Margarita

When even $15 is a little much, Native Tongues’ happy hour (2 – 5 pm and 10 pm – close) comes to the rescue with a hearty plate of chilaquiles — totopos piled with salsa verde, crema, queso fresco, onion, and cilantro — and a classic margarita. In fact, any two things on the happy hour menu will be under $15.

$9.65 at Peters’ Drive-In = $4.70 Cheeseburger + $4.95 Milkshake

For the under 18 crowd, teetotalers, and just about everyone, nothing beats a classic burger-and-shake combo. Peters’ Drive-In is a local institution and lineups are a usual sight, but it’s always worth the wait.

$14 at Holy Grill = $6.5 Hamburger + $7.5 “Holy Water”

If the spirit moves you, get thee to Holy Grill for a basic yet well-made hamburger topped with tomato, lettuce, and onion (or splurge for some extra toppings) and “holy water,” a red and white wine mix.

$15 at Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus = $10 Pannenkoek + $5 Domestic Beer

If you’ve never had pannenkoek — a large, thin, crepe-like Dutch pancake — it’s important that you do so at the first possible opportunity. They come in savoury and sweet varieties at Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus, but cheese and leek goes great with a cold beer.

Ramen and sake at Goro + Gun (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Ramen and sake at Goro + Gun (Photo: Jason Dziver)

$18 at Goro + Gun on Saturdays and Happy Hour (Weekdays 3 – 6 pm) = $10 Ramen + $6 to $8 Sake or Beer
There’s one small catch for this deal, so let’s get that out of the way — it only applies to Goro + Gun’s tachigui noodle bar, meaning you have to stand up salaryman-style to eat. Choose from seven varieties of ramen and add three ounces of sake or a draft beer to keep the bill under $20.

$17 at Double Zero Happy Hour = $12 Panini + $5 Beer, Wine, or Prosecco

Take advantage of Double Zero’s happy hour (3 – 6 pm on weekdays) for your choice of beer or select wines and prosecco and a panini — the “Ham and Cheese” with Italian mortadella, granny smith apple, manchego, and mustard aioli is recommended.

$18 at Anejo, 11 am – 3 pm = $13 Tacos and Guacamole + $5 Margarita

¿Tienes hambre? Anejo’s Speedy Gonzales lunch special will soothe the savage beast within. Choose two classic tacos with a mini guacamole and add a margarita for a lunch that will both fill your belly and leave it with that warm, happy tequila sensation.

$19 at Nam Vietnamese Kitchen = $12 Pho + $7 Draft or Bottled Beer

For those not “in the know,” pho (pronounced “fuh”) is Vietnamese noodle soup with various toppings, including basil, onion, bean sprouts, and lime. Nam Vietnamese Kitchen also has vermicelli bowls that fit the budget, plus import and domestic beer.

Eggs Benedict and a Caesar at Alforno Cafe & Bakery (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Eggs Benedict and a Caesar at Alforno Bakery & Cafe (Photo: Jason Dziver)

$20 at Alforno Bakery & Café on Weekends = $15 Eggs Benedict + $5 Mimosa, Bellini, or Caesar

To put it mildly, brunch is rather popular in Calgary. Get your hollandaise fix at Alforno Bakery & Café with a choice of four eggs Benedicts, and wash it down with a mimosa, Bellini, or (if you’re feeling extra Calgarian) Caesar. On Tuesdays, these drinks are regularly priced at $7 but breakfast is only $12, giving you a $19 deal to start your week.

$20 at Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey = $14 ½ Pound of Spare Ribs and Side Dish + $6 Whiskey

A half pound of tender, house-smoked, fall-off-the-bone pork spare ribs (or pulled pork) and a finger of whiskey is the treat your stomach deserves. Half pound not enough? Is $20 too much? Show up after 10 pm when the meat is half price and get a veritable feast for your dollars.

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