Calgary's Favourite Restaurants

April 13, 2019

A trip to Calgary wouldn't be complete without ticking off some of the best places to eat around the city. True Calgarians know and love these well-earned eateries on the list. They are popular both for their traditions around Calgary as well as being incredibly tasty food. You'll find a good mixture of both classic cafes, good ice cream parlours, and just plain lovely food.

Start your bucket list right now as you work through these tasty Calgary restaurants.

Peter's Drive-in

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Any restaurant list of Calgary places to eat would include this local spot at the top of the list. Peter's Drive-In has been a Calgary staple for over 50 years. First launched in 1964, it rapidly grew attention for serving the most original and best milkshakes. The menu expanded soon to include burgers, hot dogs, fries, and their classic onion rings.

If you're going at lunchtime, expect long lines and crowds around the walk-up counters. This has never stopped being one of the most popular places in Calgary to eat. Even brutally cold winter days won't stop most Calgarians from grabbing a thick milkshake and gulping it down during their lunch break. The menu hasn't changed much. The service is still personable and warm. And the food is just as good as you would expect it to be.

The wait is worth it at Peter's Drive-In.

My Favorite Ice Cream Shoppe

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Just because a place doesn't offer food doesn't mean that it's not worth a stop. That's the way it is with My Favorite Ice Cream Shoppe. Marda Loop is a fantastic and familiar place to be for Calgarians. And it's been the home for this classic ice cream parlour for over 35 years.

Church pews line the walls inside as well as out the door. You'll find the walls covered with memorabilia and trinkets. A large piano takes up much of the floor space, and a sign offering piano players free ice cream in exchange for 10 minutes of play.

On a summer night, people will line around the corner for a scoop or two of the 72 flavours offered in the store. And strangers will rapidly become friends as you sit next to someone, greedily licking your ice cream before the summer sun melts it away. One visit isn't enough as you discover new flavour combinations that you never knew you loved.  

Calgary Tower

You can roadtrip to the mountains, or you can look at them from the most iconic restaurant in Calgary has to be the Calgary Tower, a revolving restaurant that does a complete 360 revolution every hour. The fine dining at the top of the city is a major attraction for those who want to go full Calgarian.

The food is world-class and reservations are required for the 200-seat restaurant. You'll discover a touch of class and style as you watch the city spin around you, eating multi-course meals 190m above street level.

Tubby Dog

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Not a fan of fine dining? As it turns out, so are a lot of Calgarians. Many would prefer to sample the exotic and incredible hot dogs offered at Tubby Dog along Calgary's hottest street, 17th Ave. Tubby Dog has only been a part of Calgary since 2005, but it's quickly rose to prominence among the fast, cheap, and good food lovers of the city.

Expect something amazing when you order food like the Harlo, the A-Bomb, or dare to try the Sherm's Ultimate Gripper, barely contained in your hands. The taste is amazing, and you needn't be concerned that you'll still be hungry leaving this shop. That's impossible.

Bow Valley Ranche

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There are a number of fine dining establishments in the city. So, to pick one that excels above the rest is hard. Bow Valley Ranche is a no-brainer addition to the list. Situated in Fish Creek Park, this is one of Calgary's best places to eat, both in location and in gastric experience.

The food at Bow Valley Ranche is good, there is no doubt. But what makes this place unique is the history behind the place. Bow Valley Ranche was once the homestead of the original settlers of the area and the home's cattle range once extended from here all the way to Montana's border.

Native Tongues Taqueria

New to Calgary, this interesting place has taken simple food and put it on display. You think you know Mexican? Think again as you sample authentic and tasty Mexican food in Calgary's hottest downtown restaurant. Taco Tuesdays will take on a whole new meaning as you sample some of the best food from south of the border...south of the border.

Don't be alarmed if you don't recognize the dishes on offer. Pick a plate at random and I guarantee that you won't be disappointed. It's an experience as well as a meal that you won't forget.

River Cafe

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Not in the mood for a full meal? Want a place that is unique and different from every other restaurant in Calgary? Hit up River Cafe in the middle of Prince's Island Park/ This cafe is always busy with Sunday brunch being a very big hit amongst the city's food lovers.

The food and ambience combined make this a certain hit. Stop by for a coffee, grab a dessert, or stay for a whole meal. It's a perfect place to sit back and enjoy the Canada goose, watch the people walk past, and enjoy the best of Calgary's parks and skyline.

Boogie's Burgers

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On a diet? Maybe you should skip this one. I wouldn't recommend this place for the faint of heart. Boogie's Burgers is the place to grab a burger, as told by the burger enthusiasts of the city. It presents an unassuming shop with hardly any signage out front to advertise its position. It's almost one of those places to eat in Calgary that you have to know in order to find it.

But once you do find it, you'll be hooked. The food is excessively good with portion sizes to satisfy even the hungriest person in your party. You simply gotta find your way to this local hot spot.

Certainly one of Calgary's best features is the sheer number of great, local eateries here. Although this list is not comprehensive by any means, pick just one of these places and you'll feel like a true Calgarian.

These are authentic, local, and most definitely unmissable places to eat in Calgary.

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