• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Calgary restaurants

Chef Spotlight: Rogelio Herrera

By SHAUNA MCGINN

Rogelio Herrera has a succinct food philosophy: “I think local, but I cook global.” It’s also the perfect description of the diverse menu at Alloy, the upscale restaurant Herrera co-owns with Uri Heilik. Herrera has been head chef since Alloy opened 11 years ago.

Photo: Rafal Wegiel.

Originally from Colombia, Herrera’s mother raised him and his two siblings on her own, so learning to cook was more about being able to help out rather than a romantic pastime. “I don’t really have the beautiful story of the grandmother that was making Thanksgiving dinners and stuff like that,” Herrera says.“I kind of parachuted into the profession.” 

At 19, he left Colombia and worked in kitchens in places like France and Israel, and then on cruise ships throughout the Mediterranean. This exposure to different cuisines, along with his upbringing, are what continue to inspire Alloy’s fusion-style menu, which has lobster fettuccine next to Latin-inspired fare like duck arepas or wild prawn ceviche. 

“I’m a curious person by nature, so I’m always trying to do something innovative,” Herrera says. “I like to experiment a lot… and working with my cooks on a daily basis, they also teach me a lot.”

In terms of his own personal favourite dish, Herrera jokes that, “All of the things on the menu are like my kids — I don’t pick one over the other.” He says that while he enjoys trying new things, there are some dishes — namely the truffle gnocchi and braised short ribs — that are here to stay. “Those dishes have been there from the beginning and are untouchable,” Herrera says.

Having worked in the food industry in Calgary for over a decade, Herrera’s seen firsthand how the city’s restaurant scene has evolved. “Calgary has become one of the best cities (for dining) in Canada,” he says. “The restaurant community is very close. We collaborate a lot, and we also pull for each other — we want everybody to do well, and that sort of friendly competition pushes us to be better.”

From bubble tea to ramen: 3 must-try eats in YYC

By RACHAEL FREY

Courtesy Pixabay.

CALGARY TO TOKYO IN SECONDS
The Japanese capital boats some of the best cuisine in the world, and trendy Tokyo Street Market is committed to bringing that atmosphere and flavour home to Calgary. With a menu of “fresh-fast food” like ramen, yakitori and takoyaki, it’s designed for those looking to grab a quick lunch, or throw back some beer or sake after work. The space is also family friendly.

Courtesy Burwood Distillery.

SIP LOCAL CRAFT SPIRITS IN STYLE
There’s a little jewel tucked away in northeast Calgary where you can sit at the bar and sample small-batch spirits while watching the distillery at work in the next room. Burwood Distillery lovingly crafts gin, vodka, honey eau de vie and medica (an incredible eastern European honey liqueur) and is now offering a menu that perfectly complements their hand-crafted beverages. Pair the vodka with their house pickles and gin-cured salmon, or try the honey eau de vie with charbroiled octopus and prawns, and polish it off with medica trifle topped with vodka-macerated berries. Don’t forget to take a bottle home — Burwood’s spirits are also available in local shops and Alberta-wide at Co-op Wine & Spirits and Sobeys Liquor.

A NEW TEA TIME FAVOURITE
If you need more bubble tea in your life, Presotea has you covered. Located on 17th Avenue, this new tea time hangout is exclusive to Calgary as the only location in Alberta. The Taiwanese chain uses espresso machine technology to press each cup of tea, maximizing the flavour. Choose from an array of milk tea and fruit slush before customizing your drink by choosing the temperature, sweetness, and toppings such as panda pearls or basil seeds. There are tons of options that allow you to find your perfect combo, though you may need to conduct a few experiments.

Dining spotlight: Holly Parks of Vintage Group

By SILVIA PIKAL 

Photo by Jasmine Croteau.

Holly Parks loves a challenge — especially when the clock is ticking. So the hospitality industry feels like home.

“It’s 100 percent a perfect fit for me,” Parks says. “I like to be busy. Even in my own home, I’m always putzing. It drives my husband crazy that I can’t stop doing things and sit and enjoy. I’m always going and fluttering about.”

As the operations manager of Vintage Group, Parks oversees their downtown properties, including Vintage Chophouse. She’s also got her hands full travelling to Lethbridge once a week in support of a new concept Vintage Group is opening there in the summer. And with a steakhouse opening in Mahogany in 2019, there’s no slowing down.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Parks moved to Calgary in 2000 eager to make her mark in Calgary’s hospitality scene. She got her start with Creative Restaurants, and then the Stampede Casino, before joining Vintage Group in 2010.

The folks who come through the doors keep her energized in an industry known for its fast pace and long hours.

“The guests make our business. Vintage is celebrating 15 years this year. We’ve weathered some major recessions and the only way we’ve stayed in business and continued such great success is because of our guests. We’re loyal to them and they’re very loyal to us.”

Watching her team grow is a big part of what she loves about her job.

“It’s exciting to watch the evolution and growth of younger employees — to watch them grow through the ranks — starting as a server or bartender and moving into management and seeing their great success and rise within our group or outside of our group.”

Luckily for Parks, she’s been able to find a career that ensures she’s able to follow the big passions of her life: food, wine and travel. She’s always learning more, and both for work and fun she travels the globe in search of the next big dish, or new wine, Vintage Group can bring to their guests.

“My work allows me to travel all over the world to some really great places, sometimes because of work, and sometimes on my own with my husband and my family,” Parks says. “Any travel you do changes you as an individual. You see how other people live and you see what other people’s core values are, which you bring back with you.”

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 places to get an Old Fashioned in Calgary

By SILVIA PIKAL

The Old Fashioned cocktail is a classic typically made with spirits, bitters, water and sugar. You can’t go wrong with this classic and it’s quite popular amongst Calgary’s happy hour hoppers. Here are five places that do them particularly well.

Barcelona Tavern 

Smoke in a glass at Barcelona Tavern/Photo by Silvia Pikal.

The drink here is made with Bulleit Bourbon and the glass is cedar smoked by the bartenders. Drop by on a Friday after work and you’ll smell it in the air. (more…)

Where to celebrate Pi Day in Calgary and other foodie updates

By Silvia Pikal

March 13, 2018

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

Where to get pizza and pie in Calgary for Pi Day

Mini pies from last year’s Pi Day at The Beltliner/Photo by Silvia Pikal.

In our geeky hearts, Pi Day (March 14) is one of the best days of the year. The annual celebration of pi, the sexy mathematical constant you know and love, is observed around the world with specials on arguably two of the best foods on the planet—pizza and pie.

Hop by one of Calgary’s Blaze Pizza locations to add some pizzazz to your day for personal pizzas at the special pi price of $3.14.

The Beltliner is participating in Pi Day again this year by offering apple and Saskatoon mini pies for —you guessed it—$3.14.

Crave Cupcakes will be selling raspberry sour cream pies for $5. The single-serving pies are baked with raspberry sour cream filling and topped with brown sugar pecan crumble, along with a pi symbol in honour of Beakerhead (and the Mathletes among us)— $1.00 from each pie sold will benefit Beakerhead programming. Pre-order or stop by a store on March 13 or 14.

Elwood and the Rabbit now open for lunch

Opening night of new restaurant Elwood and the Rabbit/Photo by What’s Good Photography, courtesy Elwood and the Rabbit.

This new restaurant in Bridgeland with quirky rabbit-themed décor cooks globally inspired comfort food. They’ve officially opened their doors to the lunch crowd, providing hungry diners with tantalizing menu options like buttermilk fried chicken with kimchi potato salad, or grilled flank steak with hot and sour wild rice.

Get your brunch on at Murrieta’s Bar & Grill


Murrieta’s is officially serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm. You’ll find mouth-watering traditional brunch dishes like eggs benedict, along with modern fare including banana bread French toast, tiramisu pancakes, avocado toast and smoked salmon tacos.

Michael Noble launches Noble Fare catering


Michael Noble, the chef behind highly successful and acclaimed restaurants The Nash and Notable in Calgary, launched Noble Fare Catering and Events on March 1.

“We’re doing what we do best in small bites,” Noble said.

Noble Fare will serve weddings, parties and corporate events with the delicious and familiar comfort food you know and love from Notable and The Nash, along with options from a wine and cocktail list.

We were lucky enough to try some bites at the launch party, which included unbelievably gooey mac n’ cheese and tasty mini burgers cooked right in Noble’s restaurants for catering customers.

Vintage Chophouse offering Social Hour

Vintage Chophouse and Tavern now has a social hour menu with food and drink specials. We’re eyeing meaty and decadent plates like the BBQ glazed confit duck wings for $12, pork belly tacos for $5 each and beef ribs for $10.

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…)

Dining spotlight: Andrew Keen’s journey from ski bum to Murrieta’s chef

By MICHAELA RITCHIE

Photo courtesy Murrieta’s Bar and Grill.

Who doesn’t love an adventurous dish prepared with exciting new methods and piled high with unusual ingredients? Nothing feels quite so top-of-the-line as imported ingredients and menu items with names you can barely pronounce, right? Well, not according to chef Andrew Keen, leader of the charge at Murrieta’s Bar and Grill.

Born in Ontario, raised in England, and a culinary prodigy of Canada’s west coast, Keen may be a citizen of the world, but he still insists the best menu around is the one grown right here in Alberta’s backyard.

“I love the simplicity,” Keen says of the steakhouse fare he’s cooked for over 17 years. “It’s about showcasing and respecting the product and the skill of cooking it. It’s tempting to get creative, but the simplicity of a perfectly cooked steak sometimes gets a little lost. Salt, pepper, a great piece of meat and a hot grill—those are really the only ingredients you need.”

After abandoning his former career as an insurance broker in London to live the life of a ski bum on the slopes of Whistler, Keen first stepped into the kitchen when the money for his lift tickets ran out. He cut his teeth cooking omelets at the Nancy Green Lodge, a natural choice for a part-time gig, he says, given the town’s history as a hospitality hotspot.

“You’d do your best, and sometimes you’d cry yourself to sleep in the store room to make sure you were there bright and early for the next morning, but the camaraderie of the kitchen was like nothing else.” (more…)