NASH81: Where to eat in YYC

Because you’re going to have to feed yourself sometime.

Photo by Mariah Wilson

Calgary is home to a burgeoning culinary scene that offers something for everyone’s taste and budget. We’re providing three dinners, but you’ll eventually need to venture out and find food.

Hotel Arts is situated in the Beltline, an energetic and inner-city community with no shortage of food options. All of the following spots are within walking distance from Hotel Arts.

Native Tongues:

A quick block away from Hotel Arts, Native Tongues serves modern takes on Mexican street food. Happy Hour is 3–6 p.m., Monday through Friday — you can’t beat the $5 margaritas. Reverse Happy Hour serves up late-night, $3 tacos from 10 p.m. until close — they’re open until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday and until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

For lunch or dinner, try out the suadero — a beef brisket taco with white onion and cilantro — for a subtle blend of Alberta beef and traditional Mexican fare. A take-out window serves the menu’s quickest dishes so you can grab something tasty on the way back to the hotel. On Saturdays and Sundays, there’s also traditional Mexican brunch dishes from 11:30 a.m. — 3 p.m. Native Tongues doesn’t take reservations and can be quite busy, so either prepare for a wait or go during off-peak hours.

235 12 Ave. SW

The Beltliner:

A stone’s throw away from Hotel Arts, the Beltliner serves up gourmet comfort food every day of the week. Classic diner staples like the hot turkey sandwich are given a modern twist with smoked paprika gravy and creamy leeks, while their eggs bennies have been updated with smoked salmon, Hutterite bacon and mushrooms with truffle oil. The Beltliner opens early — 7 a.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. on weekends — and stays open until 10 p.m. for your late-night needs. Reservations are available for dinner, but breakfast and lunch are first-come, first-served.

243 12 Ave. SW

St. James Corner Restaurant and Irish Pub:

There are many Irish pubs in Calgary but St. James calls itself the most authentic. There’s good reason — they’re the only pub in Calgary certified by Guinness to pour a perfect pint. The pub offers classics like shepherd’s pie alongside homemade pub curries, beef dips, steak sandwiches and more. They also serve up a weekend brunch and are open late Monday through Saturday.

1219 1 St. SW

Bottlescrew Bill’s Pub:

Opened in 1985, this Calgary staple offers more than 300 different beers from around the world. Start yourself off with one of their “Around the World in 80 Beers” passports and you may just feel compelled to stay in Calgary until you finish it. Pub fare like wings, caesar salads, pickle spears and nachos are served up in a comfortable environment. Their full menu is available until 1:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday — they close a little earlier on Sundays. Plus, they’re the location of our opening night meet and greet!

140 10 Ave. SW

Foreign Concept:

If fancier fare is what you’re after and you’d like to check out one of the Calgary culinary scene’s best, give Foreign Concept a try. Top Chef Canada finalist Jinhee Lee and Duncan Ly, one of Calgary’s most award-winning chefs, serve up dishes inspired by their Korean and Vietnamese backgrounds in a modern, Pan-Asian style. Try the grilled Alberta pork chop with cherry gochujang glaze, sweet pepper and kimchi sofrito.

1011 1 St. SW

Ten Foot Henry:

If you’re a vegetarian, Ten Foot Henry is the place for you. With all dishes served family-style, vegetables are the anchor of the menu. Try the jerk-spiced cauliflower with root chips and pineapple mayo or the chargrilled carrots with salsa verde, hummus and crispy chickpeas. On the pricier end, this upscale restaurant is open from 11 a.m. — 11 p.m. every day of the week. Reservations are recommended.

1209 1 St. SW

—Kristy Koehler