By MICHAELA RITCHIE
We’ve all been there—seeking out a delicious mid-day meal, but pressed for time in the middle of the workday or between errands and meetings. It’s easy enough to hunt down the nearest McDonald’s or Tim Horton’s for a quick lunch fix, but if you’re in the mood for something a little more hearty or healthy, finding a quality meal on-the-go can certainly be a challenge. Whether you’re looking for take-out or dine-in, a solo meal or a speedy spot that is sure to impress, these local eateries are sure to feed you right!
This little sandwich shop prides itself on being Calgary’s face of “good food, served fast.” Their lunch menu is evenly divided between a love of artisanal paninis and mouth-watering burgers, with an assortment of breakfast sandwiches, bennies, and other classics available before 11 a.m. If you’re craving a hearty bite mid-day, we recommend the Gourmet Burger with avocado and blue cheese.
• Holy Grill 10th Avenue, 827 10th Ave SW, 403-269-4659, holygrill.ca
• Holy Grill 5th Avenue, 200 – 444 5th Ave SW, 403-454-4659
Why settle for a fast food fiasco when you could have ‘Gourmet 2 Go’? Known for its locally sourced and comfortable menu, many of the dishes served at The Nash’s urbanite settlement are available for takeout between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dial up everything from an ahi tuna poke bowl to a meatloaf panini from their take-away menu. The Nash and NOtaBLE’s famous Happy Chicken — a whole roast chicken, accompanied by home fries and veggies — is also available to order over the lunch hour.
• The Nash, 925 11 St SE, 403-984-3365, www.thenashyyc.com
This local dining legend serves up ‘lunch all at once,’ with three plates designed specifically for folks running on a tight schedule. Our favourite, a daily soup paired with a sandwich on warm focaccia, is served with a kitchen pickle, parmesan fries and a bag of warm cookies to take back to work with you for dessert at your desk. Other options include the daily rotisserie special, or bronze die-cut fresh pasta, with a side of wild greens. Grab a specialty coffee to go for an extra pick-me-up before you return to the office.
• Charcut, 101 – 899 Centre Street SW, 403-984-2180, www.charcut.com
This 20-seat bar is something of a health-food secret amidst Calgary’s bustling downtown core. Located inside UNDRCARD Boxing Studio, Yo Adrian! serves up an assortment of cold-pressed juices, freshly blended shakes, plant-based raw food snacks and artisanal sandwiches and salads. By partnering with local foodie groups like Analog Coffee and Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, Yo Adrian! showcases the most delicious variety of local bites on-the-go all in one place, while also providing a quiet corner (and complimentary wifi) for you to relax between meetings.
• UNDRCARD Boxing Studio, 20 10 Ave SW, 587-356-3779, www.undrcard.com
Equal parts bistro and market café, Cucina serves up a taste of authentic Italy however you want it—to stay or to go. Dine in at the bistro with a delectable antipasti like the arancini or Italian poutine for a lighter bite, or pick up soup, salad, sandwich, and pasta meals hot and ready from the café. Our favourites? The caprese and market risotto!
• Cucina Market Bistro, 515 8 Ave SW, 587-353-6565, www.eatcucina.com
For scrumptious and ethical grab-and-go at a discount, look no further than this vegetarian hotspot. Customers who are able to bring in their own container for takeaway dishes (and a mug for beverages, too) receive 5% off their meal—just mention it to your server when you order. This restaurant is on a mission to completely compensate for their carbon footprint by putting a ton of green practices into place, making this the perfect lunch choice for the conscious consumer.
• The Coup, 924 17th Avenue SW, 403-541-1041, www.thecoup.ca