Alberta’s culinary scene is burgeoning, and has been for years. Whether it’s killer pizza at your neighbourhood pub, pasta that any Italian nona would be proud of, or ramen that has people lining up down the block, there’s no shortage of amazing eats in our province.
From Calgary to Edmonton (and all of the small towns in between) chefs pride themselves on showcasing local ingredients and traditions, while still embracingdiversity and modernity in the food they cook. In that vein, we’ve compiled favourite restaurant dishes from various personalities across the province including food critics, writers and even football players. See what their go-to choices are for a failsafe meal out:
Chilli Chicken Master Pizza at Pizza Master Fusion
The Chilli Chicken Master Pizza is totally awesome because, first of all, it’s in my neighbourhood of Coral Springs. Second, it combines Indian and Italian cuisine; I love that it combines two different cultures on one pizza. Plus, it’s delicious.
Amber Schinkel (Global Calgary Morning News)
Pizza at Ducks on the Roof
Calgary and the surrounding area have several restaurants that serve great pizza, which is great because I love pizza! I live in Cochrane, just outside of Calgary, and the pub, Ducks on the Roof, has a delicious pepperoni, mushroom, and green pepper pizza. I’m not sure how they do it, but the cheese on top forms an amazing sort of crust.
Julie Van Rosendaal (CBC Calgary)
Vietnamese Beef Carpaccio at Song Huong
It’s tough to pick just one of my favourite restaurant dishes – I have so many! But one not many people might know is the paper-thin Vietnamese beef carpaccio with Thai basil and lime at Song Huong, just off 17 Ave and 61 SE. Chef Duncan Ly introduced me to it – it’s fresh, bright, and hits all the right texture and flavour notes, and it also inspired his version when he was at Raw Bar.
Mike Chalut (The Bounce, Edmonton)
Cocktails and Chicken Platter at Rostizado
One of my favourite places is Rostizado. It’s elevated, creative Mexican cuisine served in stylish surrounds, accented with brick and exposed wood. What do you need to order? Well the menu is over the top, and the cocktails are delish! I suggest you start with a signature margarita, or 3! Be sure to try the chicken platter. The chicken is locally raised, brined for 12 hours, dry rubbed in a house blend of spices, and slow roasted until perfect. It is served with rosti-papas, tortillas, pickled vegetables, and salsa.
Linda Garson (Editor-in-chief, Culinaire Magazine)
Eats at Safari Grill and Escoba
I have many favourite dishes in Calgary; they’re the ones I never tireof and go back time and time again for my fix. Safari Grill’s Masala Mogo is one of these dishes; they’re chunky, crunchy sticks of deep-fried cassava in a mild and flavourful masala sauce of crushed tomatoes and spices. Escoba’s Signature Mushroom Soup is another fave; it’s creamy, and chock full of wild mushrooms, with ingredients such as sherry and grainy mustard to give it a lift. A hug in a bowl.
Sasha Spencer (KiSS 95.9 radio host, Calgary)
Saskatoon Berry Pie Fries at The Beltliner
I love brunch, so The Beltliner is one of my go-tos in Calgary. Every time I’m there, I can’t resist ordering the pie fries along with my meal. They always taste like they’ve just come out of the oven, light and flaky, and that vanilla sauce you get to dip them in? I want some right now!
John Gilchrist (CBC Calgary and Calgary Herald)
Roasted Carrots at Ten Foot Henry
I love the roasted carrots at Ten Foot Henry. The contrast of colours – multi-coloured carrots against a backdrop of avocado puree – is visually engaging, the textures are crunchy and creamy, and the addition of pistachios and shoots heightens the flavours.
Click here to see Media Personalities: Part II