Today I thought I’d post about my favorite Calgary restaurants. Over the past few years I’ve been discovering more and more of them. There’s so many great places out there, so I wanted to highlight a few.
Diner Deluxe is the coolest little diner just outside of downtown on Edmonton Trail. There’s a retro sixties feeling to it, with all kinds of cool decorations on the wall. I’ve eaten there a few times with my dad, and every time he sees something on the wall that he didn’t see before that reminds him of being a kid. Diner Deluxe uses all kinds of local ingredients, so you know they’re fresh. My favorite time to go is in the mornings for breakfast. These pancakes were literally the size of my head. While I wasn’t able to finish them, they were delicious.
I usually find myself in Sunnyside once or twice a month for various things. It’s a very vibrant neighborhood full of cool independent shops and restaurants. I’d walked past Flipp’n Burgers again and again, but I hadn’t gone in until last summer. I have no idea what took me so long, because they have some delicious burgers! You get to customize your toppings and bun, which is kind of a treat for me, as that doesn’t happen at fast food places. The burger was kind of messy to eat, but totally worth it. The fries were crispy on the inside and soft on the inside. They’ve participated in YYC Burger Week for the last couple years, and won first place in 2014.
Gruman’s has been a relatively recent find for me. It’s a Jewish style deli located downtown just off of McLeod Trail. They’re only open until 2 or 3, so you have to get there early in the day. I’ve eaten breakfast there a couple times, as well as lunch once or twice. They offer your typical breakfast foods and all kinds of smoked meat sandwiches for lunch. The last time I was there they had their smoked meat pizza on special. It’s not a regular part of their menu, so I thought I’d take advantage of it being offered. It was amazing! Starting with a latke crust, it was piled high with smoked meat, sauerkraut, and a little bit of cheese. I would definitely get it again.
I think Vietnamese is one of my favorite Asian cuisines. Needless to say that I’ve been to lots of Vietnamese restaurants in Calgary, and Kim Lan is my favorite. Located in a strip mall in NW Calgary, from the outside it honestly doesn’t look all that impressive. What sets Kim Lan apart is their food. I’ve tried everything from rice dishes to fried won tons to vermicelli, and they’ve all been delicious. They also have some fantastic jasmine tea that I get every time I’m there.
Kinjo is by far my favorite sushi restaurant in Calgary. I usually eat vegetarian when I’m there, but I’ve found it’s just as good as the rolls with fish in them. My absolute favorite are the yam tempura and midori rolls (they have veggies and cream cheese in them). While it always takes longer than they say to pick up take out orders I don’t mind waiting a few extra minutes because the food is that good. They also add a box of pocky on to every order, and who doesn’t like pocky?
The last place on my list strictly speaking isn’t a restaurant, but I just have to add it. Village Ice Cream has the most amazing ice cream in all of Calgary. I’m not exaggerating at all, it really is that delicious. Usually there’s a line (which is an indication of how amazing it is), but it generally moves pretty quickly. Once inside you have a choice of 10 flavors that they have available year round as well as two seasonal flavors that they change up every month or so. The first time I took my dad was just before Christmas. He still raves out the eggnog bourbon ice cream he got that night. My favorite flavors are salted caramel and vanilla.
If you live in Calgary leave me a comment with your favorite restaurant in the city.