Of course there is no shortage of places to eat in this Albertan city, but if you’re a big fan of Food Network Canada, here are a few suggestions of where to grab a bite if you want your meal served up with a side of culinary television alumni.
For years, this restaurant has been a brunch go-to for Calgarians. If you are a big fan of the show, You Gotta Eat Here!, you’ll remember John Catucci heading into the kitchen here during the first season of the show to find out what this place was all about.
This diner has got a ton of signature dishes like their meatloaf hash, breakfast poutine (imagine the love child of an eggs benny and a poutine) or the maple fried oatmeal, served with sweet lemon curd and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. As well, they recently opened a second location earlier this year.
Even before the show, this spot – like most buzzworthy brunch spots in the city – was notorious for its line-ups. So, plan to come early to get to be able to satisfy your hunger before lunch time rolls around. On that note, they do serve lunch and dinner too.
Calgary’s love for gastropubs seems unparalleled across the country and a great example of that love is the original Craft Beer Market. When it opened in 2011, the 400+ seat space also had the largest section of microbrew beers in the country, with 120 draught lines ready to pour. The shiny lines running from the keg room to the central bar is really a sight to see.
Their corporate chef, Paul McGreevy appeared on Chopped Canada this past spring (he was robbed, I say!) and serves up his spin on pub food to a packed restaurant day after day. The crab cake sliders with citrus aioli, pepper salsa and house-made pretzel buns are always a solid way to start off here. Since it’s cooling down outside, a bowl of Craft mac ‘n cheese or the butternut squash ravioli are safe bets during the lunch hour too.
Just a half block down the road, you‘ll find another FNC alumnus, Top Chef Canada season two’s Xavier Lacaze, running the kitchen at Briggs Kitchen and Bar. Now that’s a lot of talent on one city block!
The inaugural season of Top Chef Canada will arguably always be the most memorable with chefs like Dale Mackay winning the series and becoming household chef name coast-to-coast, Andrea Nicholson going on to appear on multiple FNC shows and of course, Connie DeSousa.
Her restaurant, Charcut Roast House, that she runs along with her co-chef John Jackson and their prospective partners was busy prior to her appearance on the television series and became exponentially so after the fact.
Charcut is known for their charcuterie and dedication to sourcing out local farmers and producers for ingredients that comprise their seasonally-influenced menu. Definitely on the meat heavy side of things, if there’s a carnivore lurking inside of you, it will be appeased here.
Aside from the eats, Charcut also stirs and shakes up some well-crafted cocktails too, so it’s easy to stay after eating and sip the night away.
Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.