Now that things are opening up again, who hasn’t missed brunch in Calgary? Whether you’re looking for a refined brunch to celebrate a family milestone, a spot tolerant of young children or an urgent hangover cure, we’ve got you covered.
Brunch in Calgary
When it comes to brunch in Calgary, you’ll find a buffet of options. If you like traditional breakfast foods, visit Galaxie or Belmont Diner. For out of the box choices, try Monki Bistro or Chix Egg Shop. Walk downstairs from your hotel room to Yellow Door Bistro or if you’re an animal lover, consider the Calgary Zoo for a Safari Sunday brunch. Here’s a look at our personal favourite brunch spots.
Pat & Betty
It’s hard not to get excited about a brunch menu that boasts foie gras, quiche Lorraine and caviar soft scrambled eggs. In fact, there’s an entire caviar and oysters section on the brunch menu. So it came as a colossal disappointment that Pat & Betty were out of caviar when we went in for brunch.
Serving staff erred more towards curt than friendly, walking away muttering something unintelligible under their breath about caviar after seating us at our table. Turns out that was our warning there was no caviar to be had.
We made due with the duck fat potato rosti, which isn’t like the Swiss shredded potato dish you may be used to. It felt more weighed down by the duck fat than being infused with its flavour. The P&B montecristo sandwich was another disappointment. It was fine, but nothing to speak of, being very heavy on bread and light on ham.
The slab bacon was quite good as were the wild mushrooms in a pecorino cream sauce, accompanied by a poached egg and slice of sourdough.
Though you may wish to chow down on your own dish of quiche or lamb shakshuka, the menu is family style, and food comes out when it comes out. They warn you of all this on the menu, so you know what you’re getting into beforehand.
Still, expect you may be watching your dining companions eat before your preferred dish arrives. And of course, it’s nice if sides such as bacon and potatoes can accompany your meal instead of having to tuck into them as an appetizer.
Sensei Bar brunch
Sensei Bar is a chef-driven restaurant tucked away beside Via Cibo on 14St. SW, just behind 17th Ave. It’s kind of hard to find, but basically it’s directly across from the 17th Ave McDonalds back entry. And there’s free parking, which is super sweet in this neighbourhood.
Brunch doesn’t start here (read: they don’t open) until 12pm on weekends. But it’s very much worth having a snack at home before hitting this eclectic spot up for a late weekend brunch. The thing to order is one of their scallion pancake omelettes, but they’re so massive you’ll want to share.
Three of us gals split the lobster and scallop scallion pancake omelette, brussel sprouts with a savoury kewpie/citrusy/chili sauce, the wagyu tataki (also v. good) and a had a bao bun each. It was perfect. Perhaps a bit too much, but oh-so good!
If it’s your first time, definitely go for the pork belly bao bun. And don’t forget a sake-mimosa. Sensei Bar boasts a sake sommelier, so you won’t be steered wrong.
Yellow Door Bistro
Housed in hipster Hotel Arts, Yellow Door Bistro is a Calgary staple. Enjoy brunch every Saturday, Sunday and stat holidays. Yellow Door Bistro offers gluten-free options, traditional breakfast foods and some unique delicacies like the Fondita Cheeseburger.
Back when buffets were legal, they’d lay out their brunch spread on Le Creuset cookware. It was just as appealing to the eyes as your mouth.
Blue Star Diner
You can get your breakfast fix all week long with Blue Star Diner’s expansive breakfast menu. Try one of their many Eggs Bennie options including sautéed Swiss chard and mixed mushroom or attempt to take down a breakfast bowl.
When you buy a featured breakfast option, you give back to Calgary with the local Meal share program.
One of Calgary’s newest buzz-worthy restaurants, Orchard is situated in the base of the SODO building, attached to the Marriott Residences on 10th Avenue SW.
Their ‘Asian meets Mediterranean’ style brunch features enticing options including Honey Buttered French Toast, Labeneh Spread and Poached Egg Shakshuka. It’s the Albacore Tuna and Shrimp we’ll be having again, though.
You’ll be dining in one of Calgary’s prettiest parks when brunching at River Cafe on Prince’s Island. Inside, you’re sure to love the decor and rustic fishing lodge vibe. River Cafe serves up seasonal Canadian cuisine that supports local farmers and fishermen.
Order a breakfast staple like buttermilk pancakes or change it up with the Haida Gwaii Halibut Cakes. We always start with their trio of pastries and why break with tradition? Many people don’t realize River Cafe is family friendly and offers a children’s menu. Many more people don’t realize it’s a lovely spot to meet your girlfriends or book club on the weekend.
Dubbed Calgary’s modern diner, The Beltliner is a hip spot for any meal (with a fun happy hour), but it’s their breakfasts we keep coming back for. Specifically their potato pave. And we happen to know a certain 16-year-old who insists they have the best smoked salmon and avocado benny in the city.
If you’re on a cleanse, their health bowl won’t leave you feeling deprived, but beware of being tempted by the brown butter waffles and bacon at $1/slice.
Pop up brunch: Con Mi Taco
This just in! Con Mi Taco is a pop-up restaurant downtown in the Meat and Bread space. As you’d expect they do a super fun taco spread and some decadent chilaquiles. On occasional weekends they offer brunch from 10am-2pm. You’ve gotta stalk their Instagram to find out if it’s on.
Right now they’ve got a huevos rancheros with lots of little fried quail’s eggs on top of a sesame tostada. there’s a breakfast platter with duck carnitas and a pretty decadent chocolate donut.
Safari Sunday Brunch
Sunday brunch becomes an all day affair at the Calgary Zoo. Situated in Destination Africa, guests can enjoy a fun brunch adventure complete with a chocolate fountain, omelette station and waffle bar. Purchase the Zoo + Brunch option at the entrance to get your meal at a reduced price. Kids under 2 eat for free.
Red’s now has 4 locations in Calgary and it’s definitely a local favourite for brunch. They offer traditional brunch options including bacon and eggs, pancakes, or yogurt parfaits.
Sample some of their more decadent options like the Blueberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast or the Bacon and Brie Benny.
For a revolutionary brunch experience, hit up Monki Bistro in Inglewood or the Beltline (across from Community Natural Foods on 10 Ave. SW). Start your meal with the Monki Pick Me Up (5oz of Iced Coffee and a shot of Kahlua) or the Showstopper Mimosa.
Follow it up with one of their crazy French toast options, like the ‘Elvis’ French Toast (cream cheese stuffed French toast with peanut butter, caramelized bananas and bacon) or one of their poutines. Don’t worry, they have other options if you don’t want to scarf back a sweet breakfast. Just be sure to finish off your meal with a Monki chocolate fondue!
A fixture of the Marda Loop area, Belmont Diner is a classic spot for a traditional breakfast. Eggs Benedict can be spruced up with smoked salmon or Montreal smoked meat. For fun try the Chuck Norris: two potato pancakes topped with your choice of bacon, beef sausage, ham, donair, Montreal smoked meat, or veggies; eggs, cheese, and hot holly sauce.
They don’t take reservations, so get there early.
We recommend starting off your meal retro-style with grilled grapefruit or a massive cinnamon bun with rum caramel sauce. Next, tuck into a Diner Deluxe skillet, omelette, or sweeten it up with chocolate bananas foster French toast. Kids can also dine with their own menu that features pancakes, eggs, breakfast sandwiches and cereal.
You can visit Diner Deluxe at their Bridgeland or Mahogany locations or check them out in Kelowna and Victoria, BC.
Phil’s on 11th
Phil’s on 11th isn’t your parent’s Phil’s, trust. This new location offers some traditional Phil’s options, but there’s also several menu items that embrace its urban location. Try the Savoury Bread Pudding, Hangover Poutine or Apple Cinnamon pancakes. Of course, you can’t forget to throw back a tangy Caesar, mimosa, or Irish coffee.
One of Calgary’s premier vegetarian restaurants, The Coup dishes out brunch every Saturday and Sunday. Chow down on healthy, yet delicious brunch options like the Sumac Shakshuka, Vegan Benedict, Tofu Scramble.
Their juice menu is super fun and you can order shots of flavoured apple cider vinegar to get the old digestive system on track. Find The Coup on trendy 17th Ave, SW.
Reader’s Garden Cafe
Nestled in picturesque Reader’s Rock Garden – just south of Stampede Park, lies a heartwarming cafe. Weekend brunch features fresh salads, sandwiches and appetizers in addition to the usual suspects.
We can’t wait to sample their pastries, chicken pistachio pate and croque madame. Be sure to take some time to enjoy the Reader’s Rock Garden once you’ve cleaned your plate.
OEB Breakfast Co
Eat up family brunch at one of OEB’s 3 Calgary locations: Bridgeland, Downtown or Mission. Farm fresh options include duck fat fried herb potatoes. You may also be tempted by blue-plate specials like a Canadian Lobster and Shrimp Crepe or Pierogis and Duck.
OEB also offers breakfast poutine, omelettes, bennies, and bagels. Its locations are often busy, and for good reason. Make sure you reserve ahead.
Brought to you by the creators of one of Calgary’s best restaurants, Charcut, CHIX egg shop is adding to the cool factor of the East Village.
Having launched during Covid, CHIX is a brand-new delight for Calgarians. They describe themselves as a neighbourhood diner that meets country fried chicken. Try the fried chicken or stick with a more traditional brunch option like eggs and bacon or chicken and waffles.
Cora breakfast & lunch
Cora’s is a Canadian staple for family breakfast. Choose from a large variety of options including crepes, French toast, waffles, pancakes, eggs, eggs Benedict, omelettes, oatmeal and more.
Cora’s prides themselves on supporting families with fun and healthy options for breakfast. Find them at one of their many Calgary locations: Poplar MacLeod, Brentwood, Sunridge Mall, Northland Mall and Calgary SE.
Be prepared to wait in line for this one, but it’s worth it. Galaxie Diner boasts bottomless coffee, toast AND hash browns as well as having the only one price, unlimited choice omelette in Calgary. The unlimited choice omelette allows you to choose any number of fillings for the same price. Talk about a deal!
Be sure to also try the breakfast burrito and Galaxie French Toast. You’ll proabably have to come back more than once because they also make a terrific milkshake and you’ll be way too stuffed to add that onto your brunch.
Pfanntastic Pannenkoek House
Dutch pancakes in Calgary? Yes, please! The Pfanntastic Pannenkoek House offers a large array of sweet or savoury Dutch pancakes, omelettes, and vegetarian options. Popular options include the Potato, Onion, Bacon and Cheese Savoury Pannenkoek or the Black Forest Sweet Pannenkoek. You can also make your own by choosing from their many toppings.
The Bro’Kin Yolk
The Bro’Kin Yolk offers farm to table breakfast options at their three Calgary locations: Mahogany, Symons Valley, and Signal Hill. They offer gluten-free options (including toast and English muffins), vegetarian options, and a meal share program. The Bro’Kin Yolk also has a kid’s menu, making it an easy spot to take the family for brunch.
It’s worth the drive to Seton in deep southeast Calgary for a scrumptious brunch at Starbelly – especially if you’re into classics like the Starbelly Breakfast, French toast, or breakfast sandwich. There’s 5 different eggs benny options, plus specials like chicken and waffles and Cilbir (poached Turkish eggs).
Nothing beats weekend brunch in an atmospheric, historical building. Wedged at the confluence between the Bow and Elbow Rivers, Deane House was built in 1906 and was an important meeting place for Indigenous peoples, who used the area to camp, hunt and cross the river. Deane House moved into Inglewood from Fort Calgary.
Try their freshly baked pastries, Pacific Halibut and Wild Rice Cake, Full English Breakfast or the Braised Bison Pierogi. Deane House always uses the most natural and local ingredients they can source. It’s a similar, refined experience as what you’d find at River Cafe, except in a different stunning Calgary location.
Where is your favourite place to eat brunch in Calgary? Did we miss any?
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