In the last few years, Calgary's culinary scene, specifically the concept of fine dining, has largely made way for more casual chef-driven restaurants where the music is loud, the food is a little bit cheeky, and guests are encouraged to wear jeans — but there’s still something special about dressing up and splurging on one of the city's best dining experiences in a restaurant that offers exquisite food and impeccable service. These top restaurants in Calgary are all worthy of visiting for milestone occasions, be it a birthday, anniversary or just a celebration of expertly prepared food.
Best Restaurants in Calgary
Best Restaurants in Calgary
From the outside, located on the edge of an industrial park, you may wonder about Alloy as a fine dining restaurant, but trust me – inside, it is all about style and luxury. The chic circular booths and mid-century style make the room feel comfortable and elegant at the same time, but Alloy’s greatest selling point is chef Rogelio Herrara’s delicious and meticulously-plated food, which plays on influences from Asia, the Mediterranean, and beyond.
Where: 220 42 Ave SE
The closest thing you’ll find to Tuscany in Calgary, this longtime Calgary favourite specializes in upscale takes on rustic Italian cuisine. In the winter, Bonterra’s dining room is cozy and welcoming, but when the weather is warm, be sure to request a spot on the restaurant’s lush backyard patio
Where: 1016 8 St SW
Bow Valley Ranche
Sitting in a heritage home in beautiful Fish Creek Park, Bow Valley Ranche is the perfect location for a special meal. The menu is made up of classically prepared (and often locally sourced) proteins and decadent treats like pan-seared foie gras and fresh oysters, all accompanied by seasonal produce.
Where: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE
Calgary's downtown is chock full of excellent steakhouses, but Chairman’s is special enough to be worth a drive out to suburban Mahogany. The Rat Pack-inspired lakeside restaurant is all about old school tradition and service, realized in a smartly modern space. Guests select their cut from boards presented tableside and can choose from a wide selection of classic sides, sauces, and cocktails.
Where: 2251 Mahogany Blvd SE
Located in one of Calgary’s most significant historical homes in the city’s oldest neighbourhood at the confluences of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, Deane House is a Calgary icon. The restaurant offers a fine dining version of locally sourced contemporary Canadian cuisine. The menu changes with the seasons, but always focuses on fresh produce and Alberta-raised meat.
Where: 806 9 Ave SE
The ideal venue for an impressive business lunch or an intimate dinner date, Fine Print inhabits a historic sandstone building that served as the offices of the Calgary Herald over a century ago. That print theme is woven throughout the restaurant’s eclectic decor and its menu, which is broken down like the sections of a book. Enjoy French-inspired indulgences with hints of international flavour and quality fresh ingredients.
Where: 113 8 Ave SW
Hy’s offers several different levels of steak, including 60-day dry-aged beef and Canadian Black Angus. The menu is filled out with a selection of seafood, traditional steakhouse sides, surprisingly good vegetarian options, and Hy’s famed (and legitimately irresistible) cheese toast.
Where: 8th Avenue & 3rd Street SW
The Lake House
Operated by Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts (CRMR), The Lake House is on the shore of Lake Bonavista and makes the most of products sourced from CRMR’s signature game ranch. Dine on beautifully prepared elk, bison, and other meats or fish while gazing out the restaurant’s picture windows.
Where: 747 Lake Bonavista Dr SE
The Oliver building is home to a number of Italian eateries, with Luca being the most formal, thanks to servers dressed in jackets and white tablecloths adding some special occasion ambiance. The pretty dining room drips in art deco elegance even though it’s just steps away from an Italian mercato and a casual pizza place. Luca’s open kitchen adds energy as its busy chefs create plates of pasta, bistecca, and Italian-style seafood.
Where: 524 10 Ave SW
Sitting 40 floors above busy Stephen Avenue, the glitzy Major Tom boasts unparalleled views of the city and also happens to be Calgary’s top spot to see and be seen. Major Tom’s menu is a contemporary play on steakhouse favourites, with locally sourced meats, gooey cheese toast, wow-factor appetizers, and a birthday-worthy baked Alaska. The restaurant doubles as a debonair bar with its impossibly ice-cold martinis, creative cocktail creations, and a spectacular wine list.
Where: 40th Floor, 700 2 St SW
Expect hip-hop instead of muzak on the sound system at Modern Steak, where the level of food is celebration-worthy. Serving only ranch-specific Alberta beef, guests can choose the cut of their choice, cooked on a 1,800-degree infrared grill or non-beef selections like the massive seafood platter, pork belly with scallops, or rich pasta dishes.
Where: Kensington - 107 10A St NW
Where: Downtown - 100 8 Ave SE
The only restaurant on Calgary’s picturesque Prince’s Island Park is also one of the city’s best — a beautifully rustic dining room specializing on creative and sustainable food. In addition to an ever-changing seasonal menu, River Café boasts a truly phenomenal wine list.
Where: 25 Prince's Island
Located in beautiful red Victorian heritage home in historic Inglewood, Rouge has earned its reputation as one of the city’s finest dining spots. The impeccable menu is seasonal and French-inspired and often features ingredients from Rouge’s expansive backyard garden. Complete your meal with a special bottle from the restaurant’s extensive wine cellar.
Where: 1240 8 Ave SE
A Calgary institution for 30 years, Teatro has long served discerning diners looking for an elegant bite before taking in a performance at Arts Commons, which is located right across the street. The restaurant is located in an opulent old bank building — the kitchen serves up carefully prepared Italian-inspired dishes to match the grandeur of the luxurious locale.
Where: 200 8 Ave SE
A classic steakhouse with dark décor, live music and a great selection of wine and whiskey, Vintage Chophouse is the place to go when you’re craving a perfect steak. In addition to a full selection of beef, Vintage serves up lamb, seafood, wedge salads, and the very popular lobster mac ‘n’ cheese.
Where: 320 11 Ave SW
Yellow Door Bistro
Hotel Arts’ whimsically decorated in-house restaurant, Yellow Door Bistro offers one of the city’s best breakfasts and number of refined dinner options, like a lavender honey glazed duck breast and delicate Haida Gwai halibut, as well as seasonal chef’s tasting menus. Don’t skip dessert — the hotel is home to one of the most creative pastry chefs in the city.
Where: 119 12 Ave SW
The Dorian Hotel’s top floor restaurant, The Wilde on 27, is all about big views and ambitiously opulent food. The boutique hotel’s Oscar Wilde theme is reflected in a menu full of highly technical but whimsical dishes, with an emphasis on high-end seafood and luxurious garnishes. The artistic desserts are designed to surprise and delight, creating a memorable conclusion for each meal’s story.
Where: 27th Floor, 525 5 Ave SW
If a big night out isn’t in the cards, most of these restaurants offer lunch (and in some cases, brunch) options for a less intense and more affordable gourmet experience. Bon appetit!