My 9 Favourite Specialty Foods in Calgary

When a visitor to Calgary asks me where and what to eat, I often come back to the specialty foods – the places that sell just the one thing, albeit in many varieties. Ice cream, hot dogs, doughnuts and more, Calgary is full of specialty food offerings. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of my favourites, and to show you just how committed I am… I may have even visited a few of them this month, just so you would have a foodie photo to go with it. Honestly, the things I do for this blog.

Fiasco Gelato

With unique flavours and quality ingredients, Fiasco Gelato is never short of customers. Recently David and I may have worked our way through four pints of ice cream, and we may have called the dark chocolate caramel sea salt flavour a genuine food-gasm. While you can find pints of their artisan ice cream and sorbet at certain supermarkets or at their test kitchen, the best way to find them in the summer time is through their food truck. For daily maps of where the food trucks are, check out YYC Food Trucks Test Kitchen: A20 416 Meridien Rd SE

Village Ice Cream

Village Ice Cream self describe their homemade batches as a love letter to your mouth, and they’re not far off. With ten signature and seasonal flavours, they make sure that what they do, they do right.

Locations: Britannia Plaza, 820 49th Ave SW and Victoria Park, 431 10 Avenue SE 

Calgary specialty food

Jelly Modern Doughnuts

Doughnuts are pretty simple, right? Wrong. Jelly Modern Doughnuts has brought the gourmet and artisanal to the Calgary doughnut scene. Not every flavour is available every day, but why not visit multiple times to get your fill? From peanut butter cup and maple bacon to crème brulee and lemon curd, these are not your average doughnut. Calgary’s Mayor, Naheed Nenshi, even had the salted caramel doughnut named after him. I guess he’s a fan. Personally the maple bacon hits the spot for this Canadian.

Flagship store: 100, 1414 8 Street SW. Suncor building, 111- 5 Ave SW

Calgary specialty food

Bacon bits AND Nacho cheese? Um… YES!

Tubby Dog

Established in 2005, Tubby Dog goes to show that there’s more to a hot dog than meets the eye. These beefy dogs (chicken available) come with interesting combinations of toppings, like the PBJ – peanut butter and jelly, captain crunch cereal optional. If you plan to get fries, go for the ½ order unless you’re with a group. A single order of fries arrives on a tray! David and I may have made this mistake and been mocked mercilessly by those at surrounding tables. The restaurant is licensed and open late, perfect after a night out on 17th Ave. Open daily 11:30 – late. 1022 17 Ave SW

Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut

The chocolatiers at Bernard Callebaut have been handcrafting chocolate for over twenty years. With a selection of over 45 chocolates, not to mention the baking products and novelty chocolate, your only problem is deciding what to choose. I can’t remember where my Dad was working at the time, but I remember when he’d come home each December with the Callebaut Yule Log – a thick, hollow milk chocolate log filled with truffles and chocolates. Oh man, was December ever the month of decadence!

Visit the factory location and glimpse the chocolate being made with love. Hint: chocolate makes a great souvenir! Over 10 locations across the city.

calgary specialty food

The Big Cheese Poutinerie

Canadians love their poutine and variety is the spice of life. Always busy, The Big Cheese Poutinerie puts the personal in poutine, with toppings like the Veggie Nacho, Scottish Curry, Yamtastic and the Cluster Buck to name a few. 738 – 17 Ave SW and 2017 – 10 St NW.

Janice Beaton Fine Cheese

Honestly, Calgary, what did we do before Janice Beaton came along? Was there really a time when we thought cheddar, parmesan and mozzarella were our only choices? Enter the queen of cheese, Janice Beaton.

Crave Cookies and Cupcakes

Two sisters with a passion for baking have turned Calgarians into cupcake addicts. Hard to believe that when I started my degree, I got to meet these lovely ladies during an interview for my Entrepreneurship class. I remember vividly that one of the sisters was wearing a “Make Cupcakes Not War” t-shirt.

Made from scratch every day using real butter and fresh ingredients, Crave turns out sinfully delicious flavours, complete with their own personalities. Just Chocolate, Red Velvet Elvis, Peppy Pattie and the Crave-O-Licious are just a few of their signature flavours. Seasonal cupcakes available. Gluten Free available. Locations include: Kensington, Willow Park Village, Aspen Landing and Crowfoot.

Cinnzeo

You know you’re showing your true colours when the majority of your specialty foods list is dessert. What??? We don’t judge. Nor do I judge those who go to Cinnzeo, the Canadian cinnamon bun chain, and order extra icing. That’s right, EXTRA icing on your already gloriously delicious cinnamon bun. These are so good that back in the day when we traveled as a family to Scotland, my Mom would buy a box, freeze them, then carry the slowly defrosting batch in her luggage for our relatives to enjoy. Located in every mall in Calgary, except The Core.

Here’s the thing, if we’re going to consider specialties, we also have to think of the YYC Food Trucks. There’s only so much one blog post can take. Check back next week for a post on the many flavours and cuisines available, all thanks to a kitchen on wheels.

Foodies, if you’ve sampled any of the above, what are your favourite dishes/flavours? If you’ve never been to Calgary, what can’t you wait to try?

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2 Responses to My 9 Favourite Specialty Foods in Calgary

  1. Irma April 21, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

    Great post Victoria! I like that all of these are affordable treats in their small doses – cost and calorie-wise! Want to see more about the Food Trucks. 🙂

  2. Nicole April 21, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    Important point about Janice Beaton — the daily grilled cheeses are mind-blowing.

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