As nice as it is to enjoy an upscale meal at a restaurant complete with all of the microgreen garnishes, aioli dots and crumbles, sometimes a simple plate of pub fare can be just as fulfilling. Here are 11 pub dishes from Calgary and Edmonton that always hit the spot!
For decades, this Kensington institution has been a go-to for many. The atmosphere of the century-old home-turned-pub lends itself to comfort food. What better way to be comforted than with a platter of warm, house-made sausage rolled in puff pastry with tangy beer mustard on the side?
207 10A Street NW, 403-270-4505, kensingtonpub.com
These amped up, meaty pork ribs are a perfect complement to a big pint of craft beer at this popular local pub. They can come in one of two ways: in their signature smoky barbecue sauce or tossed in the Lowden family secret dry rub recipe with chipotle aioli. Personally, I’d go with the latter.
1312 12 Avenue SW, 403-966-2244, pigandduke.com
Probably the least conventional of all the dishes here, these tempura-battered tuna sushi rolls served up with a spicy wasabi aioli and pickled ginger are addicting. They’re great for sharing with friends even if you don’t want to after the first bite.
124 10 Street NW, 403-270-3347 oaktreetavern.ca
Any ship regular will confirm that there never is a bad time of day to enjoy the pub’s namesake burger that is fairly no-frills and extremely reasonably priced. $9 will get you a grass-fed beef patty with the regular fixings and a side of fries. For an extra couple of dollars, you can add mushrooms, cheddar, and bacon – which is still one heck of a deal!
534 17 Avenue SW, 403-245-3333, shipandanchor.com
With a hefty amount of East Coast-born folks living in Calgary, it’s nice to see an establishment pay homage to a classic dish from out east. Slices of Brothers’ (a famous Halifax sausage maker) spicy pepperoni are fried until crispy, and then served with honey mustard sauce for dipping. If you really want to indulge, order some garlic fingers too — another east coast pub staple!
223 8 Avenue SW, 403-265-3665, superpub.ca
Local’s Baja Fish Tacos (locations in Calgary, Edmonton and Sherwood Park)
Head into this dimly lit, but lively pub on Stephen Avenue in the early evenings to find it full of downtown workers cheers-ing to the end of a day at work. Golden, beer-battered chunks of fish are nestled into a warm flour tortilla with finely shaved cabbage and a fresh pico de gallo. During the pub’s happy hour (3-6 p.m. daily), they are only $2 each. Who doesn’t love a good bargain?
Multiple locations, Localpubliceatery.com
The Next Act is famously known as the local artists’ watering hole, and also for their outstanding pub food. And there’s no need to look further than their mouth-watering PB&J Burger to prove it. Topped with peanut butter and house-made bacon jam, the combination of creamy and salty plays off each other perfectly. Pair it with some fries and jalapeno mayo for dipping, upgrade to poutine with local cheese curds, or try Next Act’s surprisingly excellent house salad. Standing ovations accepted.
8224 104 Street, 780-433-9345, Nextactpub.com
Edmonton is home to an increasing number of barbecue joints, but this unpretentious pub on 124 Street might have the best brisket in town. Daravara’s brunch hash is loaded with a generous portion of smoky chopped brisket, endless hash browns, melted cheddar, and a little crunchy shredded red cabbage.
10713 124 Street, 587-520-4980, Facebook page
Traditional pubs immediately bring to mind menu classics like Shepherd’s Pie, Irish Stew, and of course, great fish and chips. One of the best fish and chips can be found at O’Byrne’s Irish pub in Old Strathcona, where they’ve been serving their secret recipe beer battered cod since 1998. The batter is light and crispy, providing a great contrast to the generous portion of tender and flakey fish inside, and O’Byrne’s authentic chips are the perfect pairing. The house tartar sauce is plentiful enough for dipping chips too, so let’s raise a pint to that.
10616 82 Avenue, 780-414-6766, Obyrnes.com
Is Otto technically a pub? Well, they have a great selection of Alberta beers, a bar, and a menu almost exclusively of craft sausages from local charcuterie wizard Steve Furgiuele of Fuge Fine Meats, so let’s go with it. All the sausages here are fantastic, but the Otto dog, a bratwurst stuffed with Sylvan Star Gouda, is the one link to rule them all. Pair it with Otto’s fries, which are finished in garlic and butter, and your sausage party is complete.
11405 95 Street, 780-477-6244, Facebook page
Pubs often put their own spin on this iconic Quebec dish with debatable success. But Provincial Pub’s addition of confit duck works, and the intensely flavoured house gravy keeps your tastebuds guessing with the slight hint of barbecue. This is solid pub food in an area of the city not generally known for its eats.
#160 – 4211 106 Street, 780-760-1937, Provincialpub.ca