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calgary food

15 Things to do in Calgary in August

By KYLEE PEDERSEN

Get the most out of the summer with this list of great things to do in Calgary!

Photo courtesy Heritage Park.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST
Presented by the Calgary Young People’s Theatre comes Oscar Wilde’s “trivial comedy for serious people” with shows August 1 – 5.

ALBERTA KENNEL CLUB CLASSIC
Check out this destination dog show with exhibitors, vendors and judges from around the world from August 3 – 6.

HERITAGE DAY AT FORT CALGARY
Celebrate Heritage Day at the very place Calgary began on August 6, with free museum tours, a Blackfoot ecology education session, Indigenous artisans, a family friendly movie, kids crafts and much more!

STEVE MARTIN AND MARTIN SHORT
If their names alone don’t set the tone, their aptly titled show certainly does — An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life is in town August 4th.

ART CAMP FOR ADULTS AT CSPACE
Focused on the themes of play, recharge and wonder, these two back-to-back weekend camps will see a different guided art activity each evening.

TINARIWEN
Listen to this Grammy-Award winning group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali as they perform at the Bella Concert Hall on August 7.

Photo Courtesy Joachim Cooder.

RY COODER
The legendary guitarist, songwriter and producer returns to his Americana roots with covers of old blues, gospel and folk songs on Prodigal Son, plus a few new originals. His first album of six years aims to give a message of hope and resilience. See him August 10.

MUSIC IN THE PLAZA AT HERITAGE PARK
No matter the weather, Wednesday evenings throughout the month of August will fill Heritage Town Square with live music!

ANDERSON EAST 
Get whisked away with the soulful sounds of this Alabama native on August 12, who’s touring his second studio album Encore. East’s gravelly voice will glide effortlessly through expertly crafted songs that blend blues, R&B and country.

GIPSY KINGS
On August 12, “Bamboleo” all the way to the show!

PEELED COCKTAIL FESTIVAL
From August 16 – 19 experience seminars, tastings and networking events, all centered around the enjoyment and development of Calgary’s cocktail scene.

BEN HARPER & CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE
The American blues musicians join forces for their collaborative new album, No Mercy in This Land. See them August 20. 

Photo courtesy Kelly Hofer.

ALICE COOPER
On August 22, the founder of shock-rock returns to Calgary for a night of theatrics and psycho-drama. A Paranormal Evening will undoubtedly live up to Cooper’s signature performances, where heavy metal and punk rock meet horror show, electric chairs, guillotines and fake blood.

CALGARY PRIDE
Running from August 24 – September 3, Calgary’s best and brightest will be on display at the 28th annual Calgary Pride Week, in celebration of diversity, inclusivity and community. From humble and difficult beginnings, the Calgary Pride Parade has grown to become the second largest parade in the city and is followed by Pride in the Park, where live music and beer gardens continue the festivities.

HONENS
After quarter finals in Berlin and New York, the world-class international piano competition declares a winner in Calgary. From August 30 – September 8.

 

Your Ultimate Calgary BBQ Guide

By SILVIA PIKAL and RACHAEL FREY 

You don’t have to head south to get a taste of authentic barbecue — from St. Louis ribs to Carolina-style pulled pork to true-Texas brisket, Calgary chefs are bringing it home.

HAYDEN BLOCK SMOKE AND WHISKEY
The true-Texas barbecue at Hayden Block is a labour of perfectly smoked love. Located in the bohemian Kensington neighbourhood with both a street-side patio and a whiskey garden out back, the communal tables and chilled-out vibe set the stage for some downright delicious meat. Best done family- style (so you can taste more stuff), the food is served on old-school metal trays. Even vegetarians profess love for Hayden, with dishes like watermelon mint salad, deep fried pickles and gooey mac ‘n’ cheese gracing the menu. They also make three of their own sauces — don’t miss the espresso version.
Eat: The beef short rib.
Drink: Michter’s American.

Photo courtesy Hayden Block Smoke and Whisky.

HOLYSMOKE BBQ
When Alec Ferguson and Torin Shuster started Holysmoke BBQ, they recognized a need in the catering market for high-quality, delicious food that wouldn’t break the bank. Shuster, a lover of Southern barbecue, knew it would fit the bill. They opened their flagship location on Manhattan Road in the middle of an industrial park, and people quickly flocked to get a bite of tasty and sizable portions without a hefty price tag. The seating is banquet-style, so you could be rubbing shoulders with people in suits or coveralls and everything in between. “We often get remarks from American visitors that we succeeded in capturing the essence of Southern BBQ — no nonsense surroundings and keeping true to the recipes and methods,” Ferguson says.
Eat: Carolina-style pulled pork sandwich, Kansas City-style ribs, and Chef Shuster’s sweet corn bread.
Drink: Southern sweet tea.

BELLE SOUTHERN KITCHEN AND BAR
Belle’s tagline is “making barbecue beautiful” and it shows. The welcoming space showcases stylish picnic tables, a pink pig smoker, and the food is exquisitely presented on cookie trays. Wood is stacked neatly in the corner — you may catch staff picking up a piece for the smoker. The menu is full of Southern-inspired dishes and lets you build your own feast, with the ability to pick from multiple snacks, salads and sides. They also offer a vegan main — the grilled cauliflower steak topped with creamy cashew olive remoulade is always a hit.
Eat: The “Daisy Duke” platter which includes Cajun-roasted chicken, 14-hour applewood smoked brisket and St. Louis ribs.
Drink: The Belle peach tea.

Photo courtesy Belle Southern Kitchen and Bar.

THE PALOMINO SMOKEHOUSE
Cowboys, punk rockers and suits on their lunch break are all welcome at The Palomino. Western memorabilia is wedged on the walls next to playbills and the iconic poster of Johnny Cash’s angry finger. The popular live music venue has supported many local and touring artists over the years. Food-wise, they specialize in dry rubbed and smoked Texas-style barbecue and have developed their own special Palomino dry rub. “Our goal is to do the best barbecue, showcase the best live music and have the coldest beer,” says Arlen Smith, one of the operating partners of The Palomino. “That’s what we’ve been aiming for and want to keep hitting.”
Eat: Sliced Alberta beef brisket.
Drink: Good, crisp, light, cheap, American-style lager.

JANE BOND BBQ
Jane Bond BBQ first rolled through Calgary as a food truck before expanding to a barbecue house in 2016 on International Avenue, a cuisine hotspot in the southeast. The space is classy yet comfortable, thanks to black leather, wooden planks and light- up marquee letters that spell out “BBQ.” Jenny Burthwright, owner and chef, says they aim to create an atmosphere where guests feel like they’re in a second home. The menu features some tasty and unique dishes, including croc bites — that’s right, crocodile battered and fried. You can still catch the food truck out and about, and they offer full-service catering too.
Eat: The jerk chicken.
Drink: Tennessee sweet tea.

Photo courtesy Jane Bond.

BOOKERS BBQ + CRAB SHACK
Bookers is all about Southern style, from the smokehouse barbecue, to the music, to the laidback, welcoming atmosphere in a century-old brick warehouse. It’s also about some epic all-you- can-eat sprees — every Sunday from 4 pm, dine on piles of succulent ribs and crab legs until you can’t possibly take another bite. More than 200 pounds of Alberta chicken, turkey, beef and pork are slow-smoked every single day, and if you’re not into barbecue (why are you even reading this!?) there are other Southern favourites like shrimp po’ boys and jambalaya. This is a place to relax, kick back and let the good times roll.
Eat: The BBQ platter featuring pork ribs, brisket, smokehouse turkey breast, pulled pork, baked beans, coleslaw and fries — add crab legs for market price
Drink: The sangria (it’s a secret recipe!)

PADDY’S BARBECUE AND BREWERY
If you want to chow down on Southern-style barbecue with small-batch craft brews never far from your side, this “brewbecue” is the place for you. For years before he opened the joint, owner Paddy Sorrenti worked with smoked meats in the family catering company. Once he started home brewing, it wasn’t long before he envisioned a barbecue brewery. Nestled in Manchester Industrial Park in a cluster of craft breweries pegged the “Barley Belt,” it’s a casual and family friendly spot. “We want people to feel at home and then do everything at their own pace — take time to enjoy the beer and food,” Sorrenti says.
Eat: The in-house pastrami served only on Thursdays.
Drink: A house lager.

BIG SKY BBQ PIT
While Big Sky isn’t exactly in Calgary (it’s about a 30-minute drive south), it’s well worth the trip to this massive, no-frills barbecue emporium with indoor and outdoor seating for hundreds. Don’t go alone — bring your hungriest friends to help you defeat the mountains of Texas- style smoked meat, including brisket, pulled pork, St. Louis ribs and chicken thighs. Add sides such as scratch-made cornbread, smoked beans and scalloped cheddar bacon potatoes, plus a giant candied bacon chocolate chip cookie for dessert. You won’t find any fryers, freezers or grills at Big Sky — everything is authentic and made with 100 percent Alberta-grown meat.
Eat: The Whole Pit is made for eight to 10 people and comes with brisket, pulled pork, chicken, pork ribs, beef ribs, house-made sausage, hog spuds (potatoes wrapped and smoked in bacon, drizzled with honey and sour cream) and a tub of beans.
Drink: One of the 12 different Caesars on the menu.

Photo courtesy Big Sky BBQ Pit.

 

 

3 new eats in Calgary

By RACHAEL FREY and SILVIA PIKAL

Looking for something fresh? These places have opened in Calgary within the past few months.

LITTLE LOT DINER 

Check out Little Lot Diner for casual and tasty breakfast, and lunch and dinner, from bennies to burgers. They’re also licensed and serve 12 cocktails, 4 rotational taps and a coffee bar. (more…)

Dining Spotlight: Stephen Deere

By SILVIA PIKAL

May 22, 2018 

Photo by Nadine Benoit.

Stephen Deere decided to try something a little less traditional when opening Modern Steak in 2014. The steakhouse and cocktail lounge has a rotating, seasonal menu that encourages guests to choose their steak from a selection of local ranches, all in a bright and energetic space. Guests can expect to hear hip-hop, R&B, dancehall and reggae tunes that are selected — and often spun — by the owner himself.

(more…)

What’s new and notable with Calgary restaurants

By SILVIA PIKAL

April 11, 2018

Read the latest in our bi-monthly food and drink series, which rounds up eats, drinks and food news!

Elbow Room launches spring menu

Char Siu at Elbow Room/Photo by Silvia Pikal.

(more…)

Q&A: Roy Oh of Anju

By RACHAEL FREY

April 9, 2018

Photo courtesy Roy Oh.

When Roy Oh volunteered for a humble job cooking for a fundraiser at his church, a spark was lit. He enjoyed cooking so much that he quickly became the go-to guy for Christmas dinners and other large events.

“I found I was really enjoying myself and had a knack for it,” Oh says.

At the time, he was running a vinyl graphics business, but sold it to start his dream of becoming a restaurateur. He began working in kitchens and just a couple short years later, opened Anju with his wife Anh on December 31, 2008. Their first major challenge arose when Anh gave birth to their first child just nine months later, leaving Oh to handle the restaurant on his own.

While the first three years weren’t exactly a breeze, word began to spread around town and in 2013, Oh took the risk of shutting down the restaurant in order to build a bigger and better Anju.

In partnership with the Concorde Group, he reopened a year later at the busy corner of 4th Street and 17th Avenue SW, and the extra space has been more than needed as Anju has risen to one of the most respected and beloved restaurants in the city.

The clever and contemporary fusion of Korean food with inspirations from around the globe, draws in restaurant industry professionals, foodies and just about everyone else night after night. (more…)

4 Must-Try Asian Tapas

By SILVIA PIKAL

Oxtail tortellini from Anju 


The oxtail tortellini is a must at Anju. Oxtail meat is shredded and placed inside a small dumpling, with soy sauce, truffle oil and grana padano cheese poured and sprinkled on top. You’ll be ordering more than one plate of this toothsome dish. (more…)

5 delicious reasons to eat through The Big Taste foodie festival

By SILVIA PIKAL

February 28, 2018

Read the latest in our bi-monthly food and drink series, which rounds up eats, drinks and food news!

The Big Taste is back

Now in its 17th year, The Big Taste foodie festival gives Calgarians the chance to sample a variety of dishes from their choice of more than 90 participating downtown restaurants.  (more…)

Calgary restaurants: 4 new and noteworthy things

By Silvia Pikal

February 15, 2018

Read the latest in our bi-monthly food and drink series, which rounds up eats, drinks and food news!

Elwood and the Rabbit opens in Bridgeland

Photo by What’s Good Photography, courtesy Elwood and the Rabbit.


If the name Elwood and the Rabbit makes you think of an imaginary rabbit named Harvey, you’re not alone. We promise. (more…)

Calgary restaurants: 5 new and noteworthy things

By SILVIA PIKAL

January 31, 2018

This is part of our bi-monthly food and drink series, which rounds up eats, drinks and food news!

Brunch Happy Hour at Earls

Brunch got a lot happier at Earls in January 2018. All brunch entrées are $8 on the weekends during brunch happy hour, along with $5 mimosas. Hollandaise fans should order the chorizo and mushroom hash with crispy fried potatoes and poached eggs, topped with everyone’s favourite breakfast sauce. Visit their website for a list of times and locations. (more…)

Calgary’s Best Restaurants 2017: River Café

By SILVIA PIKAL

Photo courtesy River Café.

RIVER CAFÉ

River Café on Prince’s Island Park is a welcome haven from bustling city life. The patio, surrounded by greenery, is popular for leisurely summer brunches while the cozy, cabin-style décor and roaring fireplace provide an ideal winter retreat. The menu focuses on seasonal fare from Canadian farms, ranches and waters. (more…)

Q+A: The Dining Empire of Lance Hurtubise

By MICHAELA RITCHIE

Much has changed in Calgary since Lance Hurtubise made his first foray into our city’s culinary scene—as a dishwasher at the age of 12, making $2.10 an hour. From his days serving as a bus boy, waiter, bouncer and manager, to now as President and CEO of the Vintage Group, Hurtubise has seen it all in Calgary’s kitchens over the last four decades. (more…)