The Calgary Folk Music Festival runs July 24 to 27. Here’s where to eat and drink at the festival and around Prince’s Island Park
Photo credit: larrykwan/Flickr
The Calgary Folk Fest is a full four days of music and entertainment, and if you are going to attend any of the days for an extended period of time, you need to know where the best eats are at, so you are never on an empty stomach. After all, what goes better with music and sun (fingers crossed) than some salty snacks, or better yet, a full on meal in the park? It might just make you want to start singing.
At Folk Fest:
Family Squeezed Lemonade
Remember those lemonade stands you used to set up as a kid? Well Family Squeezed Lemonade has taken the business a step further and serves up freshly squeezed lemonade that might just beat the kind you made in your youth. It will be sure to keep you hydrated all festival long!
Frozen treats are a must when you are outside on a hot day, whether it be ice cream or otherwise. Gelato, its creamier, lighter counterpart is the perfect way to beat the heat without the richness of true ice cream. You cannot go wrong with any of the flavours that Fiasco offers up, whether they be seasonal creations or fan favourites. Might I recommend a scoop or two of dark chocolate salted caramel?
Slow Food Tent
Grab a bite to eat from the Slow Food tent and try dishes from Sidewalk Citizen, Market and Cuisine et Chateau, among many others. Boxwood’s offering of a red lentil burger on a brioche bun with goat cheese, vegetables, onion jam and a citrus aioli simply screams fabulous Folk Fest food.
Sugar Creek Kettle Corn
You will probably need a snack after taking in all of the great musical acts lined up for Folk Fest and what is better for munching than popcorn? Not only can you get their traditional kettle corn, they also offer a gourmet line with flavours like double cheddar and the must-try salted caramel. Inevitably it is going to make you thirsty, so rinse it down with Saskatoon berry lemonade (they’ve got those too).
Take an Asian steam bun, form it in the shape of a taco shell, fill it with delicious, spicy ingredients and you have Taiko Taco. The Szechuan eggplant “tacos” pack some heat to help you cool yourself down out there – or perhaps you will just end up even hotter. Regardless, they will have you questioning why anyone would bother to use tortillas.
Yama 2 Go Sushi
Have you ever heard of a solar-powered food truck? Yama 2 Go is not only a solar-powered food truck, it is a solar-powered sushi truck. Try saying that 5 times fast. On the menu there is a little something for everyone, whether you like seafood, beef, or are a vegetarian. Items like the “Joe Brown Roll” with beef and avocado, or the “Bahn Mi Wrap” with kimchi and sweet and sour slaw are sure to stanch your hunger, at least for a couple more performances.
Around Prince’s Island Park:
1886 Buffalo Café
Start your day off right with a hearty breakfast before the long hours of festival-going begin. The 1886 Buffalo Café is as classic as it gets; steak and eggs, omelettes, breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros. It will be sure to leave you energized for the day ahead – or make you want to go take a nap.
The Barley Mill
If you fancy yourself a cold beverage, head on over to the Barley Mill before, during or after the festival. They have plenty of local brews, as well as good food to go along with the drinks. If a steak sandwich seems a bit heavy when the temperature is scorching, try their sirloin steak and beet salad instead.
My first stop anytime I go to Prince’s Island Park is the River Café, so it seems fitting to stop by during Folk Fest as well. Try the bison burger with fresh Okanagan cherries for something a little bit different than your traditional hamburger. For something a bit lighter, the Lois Lake rainbow trout with wild ramp gazpacho and chickpea fritters is also a winner. Or, order a gourmet picnic basket (available from June to September) and eat on your tarp!
Test Kitchen YYC
The Test Kitchen at Eau Claire has been hosting all kinds of innovative pop-ups and other food events in the few months it has been open. On Saturday, July 26 they will be featuring live music with no cover charge and throughout Folk Fest they will be offering to-go picnic baskets for only $25. Buttermilk fried chicken, coleslaw, German potato salad and peach pobbler sounds like one fancy picnic, doesn’t it?