Answers from Our Experts (1)
With its rich ranching heritage, Alberta is known for high quality beef, so while steaks take top billing on many Calgary menus, the cosmopolitan city boasts a foodie culture that’s growing more sophisticated by the moment. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ five best places to eat in Calgary:
1. Rouge Restaurant. Step inside the bright red 1891 heritage home-turned-restaurant for a contemporary French dining experience. Rouge, headed by chef Paul Rogalski, earned itself a spot on S. Pellegrino’s World’s Best Restaurants list in 2010 for its innovative cuisine. The restaurant features its own garden, and what it can’t produce in its own backyard comes from local partners. The menu, featuring Alberta-raised lamb and bison, incorporates classically decadent elements like foie gras, truffles and bone marrow.
2. Brava Bistro. Along Calgary’s popular 17th Avenue you’ll find Brava Bistro, where traditional Mediterranean fare meets modern touches. Flavorful dishes embody upscale comfort food: steak frites, barbecued pork and the signature lobster poutine. Brava’s wine list of 100 options — 30 are offered by the glass — includes both top-rated vintages and undiscovered treasures.
3. Charcut Roast House. With its custom-built rotisserie and charcuterie bar with a vintage-style slicer, Charcut serves dishes inspired by rustic French and Italian cooking made with ingredients sourced from artisan Alberta ranchers and producers. Dishes such as rabbit terrine with baked apple butter and desserts such as preserved huckleberries in a jar are offered alongside a curated craft beer list and organic cocktails.
4. The Ranche Restaurant. For a quintessential Calgary experience, locals direct visitors to The Ranche. Located inside a century-old ranch house 20 minutes from downtown, the restaurant features locally raised bison, beef, elk and caribou meats on its menu. The fare is rustic at heart, staying true to Calgary’s rancher roots, yet manages to slip in refined touches. Inside, The Ranche is cozy, with dark wood and a fireplace. When the weather’s good, snag a seat on the romantic veranda.
5. Chef’s Table. Known as one of Calgary’s dining secrets, the Chef’s Table at the Kensington Riverside Inn is headed by chef Craig Boje. His modernist approach to classical French cuisine is on full display thanks to the open kitchen. With just 40 seats, the restaurant offers both à la carte dining and five-course tasting menus paired with wines from small producers.