Alberta is one of Canada‘s three Prairie Provinces, characterized by vast and mesmerizing forests and mountainous landscapes. In fact, the best restaurants in the region come with spectacular views of the surrounding nature alongside delectable menus of local and international cuisines. In our updated guide to Alberta’s top eateries, we have identified the 10 best restaurants across the province for a memorable dining and cultural experience.
Central to restaurant Balkan‘s philosophy is philoxenia, the ancient Greek word for friendship. The term certainly fits well in this lively restaurant where, in addition to exemplary meals of scrumptious Greek food, customers can feel a breeze of Mediterranean passion and hospitality. On Tuesday and Thursday nights, in particular, dining here becomes a fun, cultural experience as dancers perform traditional Greek dances and plates are safely smashed against the wall, a peculiar celebratory ritual common in Greece. The menu includes Balkan’s flagship arni psito — a dish made with roasted lamb — and the succulent souvlakis, a range of skewered grilled meats.
Would you like to know where those crispy, delicious veggies you ate at Calgary’s Downtownfood come from? Make your way to the restaurant’s rooftop – there you will find the urban garden, powered by solar energy, where the staff grows an array of 40 different vegetables, herbs and fruits that later end up in the kitchen. Kicking the ‘farm-to-table’ philosophy up a notch by bringing in the roof-to-table idea, Downtownfood is a must-visit if you’re looking to enjoy fresh, flavourful, healthy food in Calgary’s downtown. Specialising in Canadian fare, this spot welcomes guests in a hip, urban setting as pleasant as the house’s cuisine.
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Duchess Bake Shop captivates guests in an extremely delightful ambiance of Parisian refinement. First and foremost a bakery, this enchanting little shop offers a rich and varied gamut of European patisserie works. Sinful and beautifully displayed pastries like almond croissants, buttertarts, Florentines and ginger cookies will make eyes open wide and mouths water as you survey the cases, eager to pick a treat of choice. Duchess Bake Shop is also a cafe wrapped in a lovely French aura, ideal for a quick lunch of simple but delicious fare like sandwiches, soups, salads and quiches.
Part of the stately Rimrock Resort Hotel, fine-dining restaurant Eden boasts a location like no other. The establishment is found in the middle of a picturesque valley covered in thousands of tall firs, from where truly breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains can be enjoyed. But Eden’s award-winning cuisine as well as its impressive 17,000 bottle wine list are no less out of the ordinary. Chef and sommelier Chad Greaves shows culinary genius in the exquisite dishes he creates, every one a masterful work of both taste and presentation. Aim for the ten course Grand Degustation menu for a monumental, unforgettable dining experience.
It was 1987 when Italian restaurant La Brezza opened its doors in Calgary. Today, almost 30 years later, La Brezza continues to match expectations, keeping up with its reputation of being one the best restaurants in Calgary, and even throughout the entire region of Alberta. In the kitchen, chef Angela cooks up the best dishes of Italy‘s original culinary tradition. Start with an inviting bruschetta as an antipasto, pick the linguine with clams, mussels, calamari and shrimps or fettuccine alla carbonara from the menu’s rich selection of pastas, and finish with the exquisite saltimbocca rolls of lamb or chicken for an authentic, sumptuous Italian dinner.
Luxury inside and majestic views outside are the winning ingredients of Lakeview Lounge, in hotel The Fairmont Chateau. This is a top establishment located right on the shores of Lake Louise, a bowl of crystalline water surrounded by sprawling forests of firs. Join the extremely elegant atmosphere at Lakeview Lounge and soak up the outstanding view of the lake while sipping one or two of the exquisite cocktails from the Fairmont Modern Classics menu, perhaps accompanied by some indulgent tapas bites. For the best experience, come here at summer and enjoy the unique panorama from the lounge’s unbeatable outdoor patio.
The best way to enjoy Nourish Bistro is to come here with company. The menu was modeled to encourage sharing and turn the quotidien act of feeding oneself into a communal, fun experience. Of your friends, choose vegetarians or those who don’t mind an entirely meat-free meal: Nourish was designed to cater to vegetarians and vegans with a menu of delicious and wholesome dishes, like the gourmet falafels mixed with garlic, cucumber, tomatoes and red roasted peppers, or the wicked wedge pizza pie topped with coconut flakes and fresh herbs. Boasting an unusual venue with many quirky fixtures and an upbeat atmosphere, Nourish Bistro is recommended for a delectable lunch in the company of friends.
One of the top tourist attractions in the region of Alberta is the spectacular Banff National Park. If you visit the park, consider a stop at the restaurant inside the Storm Mountain Lodge‘s premises. Immersed amidst the park’s pristine nature, the restaurant offers an all-Canadian menu of local delicacies prepared with organic ingredients, naturally raised meat and fish and home-made breads and pastries. The cabin-like venue is completely built from wood, and provides the perfect backdrop for a wholesome meal on Alberta’s mountains. The restaurant’s lounge is particularly charming — take a seat on one of the leather couches and enjoy a drink while gazing at the roaring fire in the stone fireplace.
A jewel of an eatery in the middle of the scenic Canadian Rocky Mountains, and more precisely in the small, enchanting town of Canmore, restaurant Tapas offers a tantalising array of both hot and cold tapas for dinner. The restaurant is located in a charming house, its walls painted floor to ceiling with stunning murals inspired by Spanish culture. Small tables, high-back leather chairs and discreet lighting make for an intimate and sophisticated atmosphere, a recommended choice for a romantic dinner. Join Tapas on Wednesday nights for special prices on select beers and wines, and to enjoy the live music of talented Latin performers.
Even staples as simple as a hot dogs can become irresistable for discerning foodies when lovingly put together with fresh buns and prime grilled meats. Ask patrons at Wieners of Waterton, an eatery in the Waterton Lakes National Park, so popular with locals that they have come up with a smart nickname for their beloved purveyor of hot dogs — they call it WoW. In addition to the delicious dogs, WoW keeps sausage lovers coming back with a range of other finger-licking bites, like its glorious gelato and potato chips; however, this spot may find its true WoW factor in the arresting views of forests and glaciers further down the horizon.