Eat like a local in Calgary


Couple eating in restaurant

Read Time: 7 minutes

If you are looking for a delightful holiday to Canada, spending some time in Calgary should certainly be on the agenda. Calgary is a beautiful cosmopolitan city in Alberta, full of fun things to see and do as well as a terrific food scene.

In this guide, we’ll highlight some of the city’s most delightful restaurants, so you can discover how to eat like a local when visiting Calgary. We have selected some of Calgary’s best-loved establishments, each serving up dishes that locals just can’t get enough of. We’ve also made sure to include some nearby places of interest so that you can explore the city’s delights after enjoying your meal.

Make sure to read more of our blog to find out what else Calgary has to offer including our ‘Free things to do in Calgary’ guide. You will find a few more Calgary themed pieces spread throughout this guide.

Ginger Beef Bistro House

38 Ginger Beef

Image credit: Ginger Beef Bistro House

Eating like a local in Calgary is all about experiencing the favourite dishes of a particular area, that you wouldn’t necessarily hear about without visiting. Ginger beef is a Canadian-Chinese dish comprised of beef, ginger, and a delicious sweet sauce. One of the best places to try some for yourself is the popular Ginger Beef Bistro House, found at multiple locations including on Macleod Trail. This fine dining restaurant in South Calgary excels in bistro-style Chinese cuisine, offering a delightful atmosphere to enjoy good drinks, dinner and dessert.

No matter what time you feel like sampling some of their dishes, Ginger Beef Bistro House provide delicious options for a sit-down lunch, dinner, or takeout. And if you’re travelling on a budget, there are plenty of lunch combos and meal deals which include the aforementioned ginger beef, as well as wonton soup and other staple dishes.

Speaking to us about their star attraction, Ginger Beef Bistro House says: “Ginger Beef Bistro House is the home of the local favourite, ginger beef. A unique dish that blends Chinese flavours in a westernised style of cooking. Specialising in westernised cuisine as well as providing a traditional Chinese menu, Ginger Beef Bistro House provides an experience that both Chinese and Western taste buds will enjoy.”

Nearby places of interest

Heritage Park Historical Village

Gasoline Alley Museum

Osten & Victor Alberta Tennis Centre

Native Tongues Taqueria

Calgary is full of amazing spots to enjoy a great bite to eat and one of these popular local spots is Native Tongues Taqueria. This award-winning Mexican restaurant has come to be a favourite with Calgarians and it’s not hard to see why. Apart from being steeped in authenticity and sporting a rustic cantina atmosphere, the food itself is truly some of the city’s best.

The General Manager of Native Tongues, Judith Cloutier, spoke to us about what she believes makes the restaurant such a great local spot: “We are known for our lively ambience, Taco Tuesday deals, Mezcal selection, extensive cocktail list, knowledgeable staff, and our happy hour. We offer $5 Margaritas as well as $10 Hamburguesa Al Carbon. Every night after 10pm you can find $3 tacos as well as $4 AGD (Alberta Genuine Draft) and $5 Tequila. The best deals in the area.”

Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, as well as offering a takeout menu, you will find yourself drifting back on more than one occasion during your stay. Choose crispy fried tortillas, topped with a variety of garnishes from beans and cheese to tuna with Maggi, chipotle mayonnaise, crispy leeks, and avocado. Judith also recommends the Donitas, which are mini donas dusted with porcini mushroom, salt served with whipped queso and fried. You can take a look at the full menu offerings here.

Nearby places of interest

Central Memorial Park

Stephen Avenue Walk

Olympic Plaza

Yellow Door Bistro

Yellow Door is a bistro-style establishment with a modern twist, all housed within a vibrant restaurant environment. Citizens of Calgary know better than anyone how to do brunch—and Yellow Door is among the most popular venues to choose from.

The Travelista, a UK travel blogger who has spent time enjoying the culinary delights of Calgary, singles out Yellow Door as a favourite. “The contemporary Yellow Door Bistro serves food all day from breakfast to dinner”, she also says that the brunch options are particularly varied with dishes such as the Chef’s Seasonally Inspired Feature Pancakes and the Pork Belly Hash. She made sure to also praise the fun brunch cocktails that are also featured on the menu for those in the mood.

Yellow Door is a great spot to head to for a drink with both a lunchtime happy hour and social hour (between 8.30pm and 10pm) that includes half-price bottles of wine. It’s clear why this location has become a true Calgary favourite.

Nearby places of interest

Calgary Stampede

BMO Centre

Cowboys Casino


CHARCUT is a Calgary restaurant that isn’t afraid to set expectations high and has gained the reputation as a must-dine-at establishment. Serving award-winning, locally-sourced cuisine, diners can look forward to one of the best meals they’ll experience in the city here.

This includes chowing down on some delicious bison—a popular meat in this part of the world—and luckily CHARTCUT know how to serve it up just right. Their bison brisket is a particularly popular option, served with beech mushrooms, bacon, sour cream, and soft polenta. You can take a look at the full menu over on their website.

Nearby places of interest

Calgary Tower

Arts Commons

Theatre Calgary


SEE ALSO: Where to stay in Calgary

Foreign Concept

Canada has a significant Vietnamese population, with a particularly high concentration in Calgary. So, it’s no surprise that there are some truly wonderful restaurants serving must-try Vietnamese dishes. One that should definitely be on your list is Foreign Concept, with a pan-Asian menu full of Vietnamese influences.

The two chefs have a strong commitment to sustainable, seasonal, and local ingredients, all of which add to a memorable dining experience. Foreign Concept’s full menu can be viewed on their website, which includes the likes of Alberta trout cha ca la vong and charred Alberta wagyu beef tartare. If you want to experience Calgary’s local food scene to the fullest, some superb Vietnamese food is a must.

Nearby places of interest

Lougheed House

Glenbow Museum

Core Shopping Centre


SEE ALSO: 48 hours in Calgary

The Tommyfield Gastro Pub

Next on our list is the infamous Caesar cocktail. A favourite drink across Canada, the Caesar was actually invented in Calgary in 1969. It consists of vodka, tomato juice, clam broth, hot sauce, and Worcester sauce and is garnished with a wide range of interesting accoutrements. Different locations offer different variations, but The Tommyfield Gastro Pub is known for serving some of the very best. The TF Caesar comes with a mozzarella stick, celery, and even a mini slider (burger).

But that’s not all that this favourite South Calgary eatery has to offer. The English-inspired eatery also serves a fantastic menu of contemporary pub fare such as chicken wings, steak bites, calamari, and, of course, Canada’s famous poutine—complete with double smoked bacon and Québec cheese curds.

Nearby places of interest

Fish Creek Provincial Park

Calgary Corn Maze & Fun Farm

Ralph Klein Park


SEE ALSO: The top day trips from Calgary

Where to eat in Calgary

Calgary Skyline

– Ginger Beef Bistro House

– Native Tongues Taqueria

– Yellow Door Bistro

– Charcut

– Foreign Concept

– The Tommyfield Gastro Pub

We think it’s fair to say that there are some truly wonderful dining options awaiting you in Calgary. Regardless of the type of cuisine you are looking to enjoy, or the size of your party, this exciting city has tons of options adored by locals.

Calgary’s excellent food scene is just one of many reasons to visit Canada, of course, and our blog is full of tips, advice, and guides on how to best enjoy your visit.

If this has inspired you to book a flight to Canada for yourself, take a look at some of the incredible holidays available in Calgary.

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