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Culinary Adventures in Calgary and Edmonton

Author: Travel Alberta

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River Cafe, Calgary

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The food scene in Alberta is innovative and adventurous. Top chefs offer a smorgasbord of culinary experiences using locally sourced ingredients – from our famous Alberta beef to wild boar, ranch elk and ostrich. Come see what’s cooking in Calgary and Edmonton.

Calgary

Many neighbourhoods in this bustling city boast eclectic cafés, bistros and pubs – Bridgeland, Kensington, Inglewood, Marda Loop, The Beltline and 17 Avenue, to name a few. Or choose from casual, upscale and ethnic offerings along Fourth Street in Mission, known by the locals as Restaurant Row. Watch for YYC Food Trucks bringing street food culture to community events. Wander on your own or book with Calgary Food Tours.

Weekend breakfasts at Edmonton Trail diners regularly have line-ups around the block. Or head to Chinatown for traditional dim sum.

The city has some of Canada’s top craft breweries, so sip a crisp Alberta beer at lunch, while enjoying gourmet burgers or charcuterie platters featuring fresh local fixings.

Speaking of fresh, area farmers are producing delectable edibles year round. Load up at all-year farmers’ markets like the Calgary Farmers’ Market, Crossroads Market and Market on Macleod.

No culinary adventure would be complete without taking a cooking class. Book one at Cookbook Co. Cooks or SAIT’s downtown culinary campus. From basic bread making to exotic Thai, top chefs are on hand to teach you the tricks of the trade.

Hungry again? End the day with fine dining at one of many restaurants led by nationally and internationally acclaimed chefs attracting attention from shows like Eat Street, You Gotta Eat Here, Top Chef Canada, Chopped and Cook It Raw. 

Don’t forget to attend one of Calgary’s festivals for foodies – Taste of Calgary, Big Taste Calgary and BBQ on the Bow.

Edmonton

Inspired by its diverse ethnic heritage and a devotion to food fresh from local farms, Edmonton’s unique take on cuisine has put it on the map of go-to culinary destinations.

Start the morning with a jolt from one of the city’s many indie coffee roasters that are raising the bar for third wave coffee shops. Breakfast at the café in the Muttart Conservatory where fresh herbs and greens grown on site are part of your meal.

Hike out of the valley into downtown’s historic Warehouse District on 104 Street. Once the heart of Edmonton’s fur industry, century-old brick warehouses are now part of a pedestrian-friendly haven for foodies. In one block alone you’ll find several restaurants, a health food market, coffee shop, chocolatier, bakery bistro, gourmet oil and vinegar retailer, and a wine and cheese store.

On Saturdays, visit City Market Downtown, Alberta’s oldest farmers’ market. In summer, it’s held outdoors with up to 200 vendors featuring farm-fresh produce, locally raised meats and ready to eat meals. In winter, the market moves indoors at Edmonton City Hall.

Within walking distance is the Arts District, home to a host of ethnically inspired eateries that put new twists on fresh local ingredients. Chinatown is just around the corner.

End the evening wandering trendy 124 Street, jam-packed with fine restaurants, bakeries and galleries.

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