It’s already started – the pressing cold, the icy roadways, the sunless skies, and that underlying dread of the season. Sure, there are a few truly great moments that can only be attained in winter, be it outdoor ice-skating, holiday festivities, or snow days, but it can be rough. To keep your spirits light and your stomachs full, here’s a list of 25 of Calgary’s finest comfort foods that will help you cope.
1. Pho Sate from Basil Ultimate Pho
There’s little else that can truly warm a frigid body like a Vietnamese Pho can. While any of the options at this little restaurant are a good idea, the Pho Sate are some of the most popular dishes. You can choose between beef, chicken, or seafood to satiate your appetite and warm your innards.
2270 32 Ave. NE, 403-457-0808
2. Chicken Panang Curry at White Elephant
How satisfying does this sound: orange chilli, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, and a divine addition of chicken? It’s the perfect escape from the bleak snow into an oasis of mildly spicy, zesty, and summery flavours.
1808 19 St. NE, whiteelephantcuisinecalgary.com
3. Garlic Bread at Bridgette Bar
Some may dispute the entrance of a garlic bread into an article of ultimate Calgarian comfort foods, but those people have surely never tasted the delight at Bridgette Bar. Fashioned with house-made bread and delivered with a pleasing cheese curd, this snack has certainly warranted its admission to the list.
739 10 Ave. SW, bridgettebar.com
4. Any Poutine at Naina’s Kitchen
There’s no doubting that this Canadian classic is a proper people pleaser, but Naina’s Kitchen simply steps it all up a notch with their unique ideas. You can add a number of additional toppings, like blue cheese, sun-dried tomato, and caramelized onion for a fresh new take on the dish.
121 17 Ave. SE, nainaskitchen.com
5. Macaroni au Gratin at Ricardo’s Hideaway
Aaah, one of the world’s greatest comfort foods – except with a fancier name. This Haitian-style delight features aged cheddar, parmesan, and nutmeg that will make it all worthwhile to venture out into the cold to this tropical paradise.
1530 5 St. SW, ricardoshideaway.ca
6. Char Sui Musubi at Shiki Menya
If there’s anything that can drag someone out of the warmth of their home into the brittle frost, it’s the char sui musubi at Shiki Menya. Pork belly is matched with nori seaweed, rice, garlic mayonnaise, negi, and shichimi for a dish that will truly knock your socks off.
827 1 Ave. NE, shikimenya.ca
7. Miso Ramen at Goro + Gun
Soup is definitely one of the best ways to warm up in the winter, and Goro + Gun’s miso ramen is probably the king of all Japanese soups. Pork belly, red ginger, bean sprouts, wakame, friend and green onions, and a pork broth is rolled into a bowl of pure heaven. For a little extra heat in the frigid weather, you can go on to make it extra spicy on the house.
Scotia Centre, goroandgun.ca
8. Kati Rolls at Calcutta Cricket Club
Any of the Kati rolls at Calcutta Cricket Club is a good life choice. They’re tandoor-grilled meats wrapped in a paratha. You can opt for tandoori spiced chicken, wagyu sirloin, and even egg or paneer, for the meatless among you. Each houses a little spicy kick with some exceptional flavours.
340 17 Ave. SW, calcuttacricketclub.com
9. Cheese and Onion Dip at Wurst
Cheese. Onions. Dip. We don’t think much else needs to be said, but we will anyway. This creamy dip features cayenne, chives, caramelized onion, and a slew of tortilla chips to dig in with. Perfect for sharing with friends who braved the winter to see you.
2437 4 St. SW, wurst.ca
10. Confit Chicken Ravioli at The Nash
Served with roasted mushrooms, Boursin cheese, and peas, this feature is almost beyond words. It’s substantial enough provide you the energy to stroll home, but light and delicate in flavour, and certainly worth a trek to the beautiful location in Inglewood.
925 11 St. SE, thenashyyc.com
11. Patatas Bravas at Ox Bar de Tapas
Translated into English, patatas bravas means “spicy potatoes,” so they’ll be a perfect solution to keep you cozy and warm. Each dish is carefully made with crispy fried baby potatoes, a special OX braves sauce, and aioli to satiate your wintertime need for coastal Spanish flavours.
528 17 Ave. SW, oxtapas.com
12. Chimichurri Pizza at Charbar
Inspired by the Argentine “fugazza,” this chicken chimichurri deep-dish style pizza is certainly something to write home about. It’s local, intensely prepared, and topped with a white garlic sauce and kale to round out flavours and add a little extra punch.
13. Kang Poong Gi at San Dong Banjeom
An electrifying Korean chicken locale can be found right in the heart of Killarney, and it’s stirring up some hype with its pleasantly comforting goods. Try the Kang Poong Gi for a dish that’s crispy, saucy, sweet and savoury, loaded with green onions and fresh flavours.
3803 26 Ave. SW, 403-217-8855
14. Fish Tacos at Heaven
As if you needed another reason to visit after checking out their menu, it turns out all of the food at Heaven is totally gluten-free. Now you can enjoy your breaded basa fish in peace. To make matters even better, each is topped with guacamole and served with coleslaw in a soft taco.
1013 17 Ave. SW, heavengf.com
15. Fat Ass Platter at Palomino
It’s exactly as it sounds: a tonne of food to be shared with many. Applewood smoked pork, smoked sausage, and chicken, Kentucky bourbon apples, bacon wrapped corn, beans, Palomino slaw, and even more glorious feasts for you and your friends. If you end up in a food coma, at least you can sleep off the winter, eh?
109 7 Ave. SW, thepalomino.ca
16. Queso and Eggs at National
The great part of this addition is that you can choose from a variety of National restaurants close by. That way, you won’t have to brave the frigidity for too long! National’s got a remarkable little dish called queso and eggs, and you simply have to try it. Fried eggs, toasted cornbread, Mexican-style chorizo, and hash team up to make perfection on a plate.
Various locations, ntnl.ca
17. Special Fried Rice from Two Penny
When they say “special,” they really do mean it. This fried rice at Two Penny is loaded with shrimp, duck, pork, bone marrow, and egg, to give a satisfaction that you didn’t even know you needed. While it may not cost two pennies, it is most certainly the perfect addition to a less-than-balmy winter’s day.
1213 1st St. twopenny.ca
18. Linguine Carbonara at Double Zero
Pasta is an under-appreciated saviour on a cold winter’s day, and the linguine carbonara at Double Zero will work wonders on your feeble body. Mixed with pork belly lardon, reggiano parmesan, black pepper, green peas, and a whole egg, it’s bound to add some serious magic to your life.
3 more days till’ Friday #dinnertime #pasta #carbonara #carbs #cheese #italian #italianfood #italy #food #foodie #foodporn #foodies #foodbeast #foodstagram #foodblogger #comfortfood #foodlover #fooddiary #yyc #yyceats #yycfood #yycliving #calgary #calgaryeats MCAT studying is slowly tearing my soul out. 👊
Chinook Centre, doublezeropizza.ca
19. Pomme Frites from Bar Von Der Fels
We promise, we’re not crazy for adding what seems like an everyday food item to the list. These delightful rectangles are practically made out of pure joy — they’re brined with a light vinegar, fried to perfection, and served hot enough to keep the cold at bay. We’re just thankful that Bar Von Der Fels takes this provision so seriously.
1005A 1 St. SW, barvonderfels.com
20. Fried Chicken and Waffles at Anju
While waffles and chicken have definitely become more of a craze in the past few years, they’ve never been executed quite like Anju’s. A gochujang marinade is thrown in with perfectly fried chicken and served atop kimchi cheddar waffles. Then you also get a side of watermelon salad. Whoever came up with these flavours deserves a standing ovation.
344 17 Ave. SW, anju.ca
21. Lil Clucker Sandwich at Cluck ‘n’ Cleaver
Though the name suggests an adorably quaint food, the Lil Clucker is anything but that. It’s packed with flavour, fried to ideal standards, and topped with mayonnaise, lettuce, and sauces. What else would you expect but pristine flavour from the Gomes sisters?
1511 14 St. SW, cluckncleaver.com
22. Liège Waffles at Elbow Room
Enjoying a splendidly sweet waffle is a perfect alternative to enduring the glacial temperatures of a Calgarian winter. These bites at Elbow Room feature a mascarpone white chocolate mousse, a rum butter sauce, and cashew brittle to liven things up even further, and will never cease to disappoint.
802 49 Ave. SW, elbowroombritannia.ca
23. Croque Madam at Cassis Bistro
Served with béchamel sauce, ham, cheese, a fried egg, and a tart mixed salad, the croque madame at Cassis is a Calgarian legend. Even on the coldest of days, this dish is good enough to leave you feeling elated and optimistic about the next six months of crippling chill.
2505 17 Ave. SW, thecassisbistro.ca
24. Burger, Clive Style, at Clive Burger
While a burger at the ever-popular Clive Burger is a magnificent choice in itself, it can only be made better deciding to Clive-Style it. You’re granted some delicious Clive sauce, a pickle, lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese to up the comfort level exponentially.
736 17 Ave. SW, cliveburger.com
25 Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Sidewalk Citizen
Grilled cheese sandwich is a classic, and at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, you’re in for a particularly enjoyable approach. Aged cheddar, bocconcini, and gruyere are merged and paired with honey on homemade bread to revive the old stand-by.
618 Confluence Way SE, sidewalkcitizenbakery.com
Need more dessert? Check out our list of Calgary’s 25 Ultimate Desserts.
By Matt Moghadam