Alberta’s gateway to the Rockies, home of the Stampede and the best place to show off your cowboy boots, Calgary is also a bona fide foodie town.

Fueled by a booming economy, chefs have the mind space and bankroll to dabble in creativity. That’s evident in a crop of head-turning new eateries. To get your started, here are our top tips for eating out in Calgary.

 

Tip #1: Sample the Whole Gamut

Teatro Ristorante, one of Calgary's upscale eateries.

Beef? Yes. But there’s room for fusion, Spanish tapas, farmer’s market pot pies and haute cuisine too.

 

Tip #2: Eat Meat

Calgary is Canada’s steakhouse capital.

Tender, barley-fed beef that gave Calgary the nickname Cowtown, and made it Canada’s steakhouse capital— Calgary boasts 100. Or try that beef in a burger, served to share with duck-fat fries at one of many upscale burger bars.

 

Tip #3: Take Out From a Food Truck

Food trucks are a terrific dining option in Calgary, with around 40 to choose from.

Today’s go-to for something authentic and innovative (and affordable). Calgary has 37 food trucks, plus regular pop-up dinners hosted by celebrity chefs. Search on Twitter for the latest fare and locations.

 

Tip #4: Say Yes to Beans

If you go to the Stampede, you've got to order some baked beans, the cowboy staple.

Don’t go to the Calgary Stampede without sampling this quintessential cowboy staple. Stampeders serve five tonnes of baked beans every year.

 

Tip #5: Try Twists on the Old

Calgary chefs are experimenting with all kinds of cuisine and ingredients.

A new generation of Calgary chefs is modernizing traditional meat-and-potatoes Prairie cuisine. The new guard is keen on things like pizza as art, artisan charcuterie, field-to-table heirloom root vegetables and cold-pressed canola oil. You’ll see entrees on menus like gourmet wild mushroom and local goat cheese perogies, Korean braised short ribs and bison carpaccio.

 

Tip #6: Sip the Signature Cocktail

Try some special Stampede cocktails while you're in Cowtown.

In the Stampede tradition, wash down your bacon-centric pancake breakfast with a spicy Bloody Caesar, invented at the city’s Westin Hotel. You can go back to dry toast with orange juice when you get home!

 

Tip #7: Go Ethnic

You can find all the popular global ethnic cuisines in Calgary, too.

Calgary hits all the global cuisine, too: Chinese BBQ duck, Japanese ramen noodles, fresh salmon sushi, smoky kielbasa, Neapolitan pizza and artisan Italian sausage.

 

Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget to Shop!

Don't leave Cowtown without some new boots.

If there’s a place to get your cowboy/girl on, it’s Calgary. Make time for shopping, too — especially for boots, hats and silver belt buckles.

You can work off dinner the Cowtown way — on the mechanical bull!

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