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A Food Lover’s Guide to Foodie Calgary

You may not know this, but Calgary has a booming food scene. The third largest city in Canada, Calgary has a population of over 1 million, and offers a variety of activities from shopping to museums, festivals to sporting events. The city attracts over 4.2 million visitors a year. One of the main draws to Calgary is its food scene, which has slowly been gaining an international reputation. Within Calgary’s downtown area alone, there are over 200 restaurants and dining spots to choose from!

LeafCanoer, migrantmuse, recently shared their tips on the Calgary food scene in their leaf titled, “Calgary’s Foodie Guide.” For a taste of what the city has to offer, here’s a food lover’s guide to experiencing foodie Calgary.

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Have a drink
If you’re looking to just whet your appetite, why not begin with a drink? Calgary offers plenty of drink options, both in the non-alcoholic and alcoholic variety. For a daytime drink, there’s Cru Juice, a juice store that sells cold-pressed raw juice. Another popular place is Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar, which offers high end coffee, as well as wine options. Some of the best places to find cocktails in Calgary are Model Milk, where you’ll find unique cocktails mixed with fresh juices and liqueurs, and the Oak Room, which is an old-school style Calgary bar offering weekly live jazz.

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Explore the Beltline
When you’re ready for a meal, head over to the Beltline, Calgary’s main restaurant area. Here, you’ll find places like Corbeaux Bakehouse, which offers French-inspired food, coffee, and pastries, as well as fresh-baked breads. Another restaurant worth visiting is Parc, which also offers French cuisine. This traditional style bistro has a nice selection of charcuteries as well as classic French dishes like steak frites. For more tavern-style dining, head over to Local 510. This is also a great place to hear live music.

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Go local
Locally sourced food has been growing in popularity in recent years, as restaurants and diners become more conscious about the environmental impact of their food. In Calgary, there are a number of restaurants that source their food and supplies locally. The Coup, which offers vegetarian cuisine, uses organic and local ingredients, and makes many of their dishes from scratch. The Beltliner also sources their ingredients locally, and offers a modern interpretation of classic diner food. In addition, Vero Bistro Moderne uses local producers and suppliers to create unique and creative variations of French and Italian cuisine.

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Go global
One of the benefits of Calgary being the third largest city in Canada is its global influences. Here, you can find cuisine from all corners of the world, from Asia to Europe. A popular place for pho, the classic Vietnamese noodle soup, is Golden Bell Saigon. And for Hong Kong-style food, many locals head to Calgary Court. Other popular international restaurants include The Himalayan, offering Nepali cuisine; Las Canaria, a casual dining establishment offering Spanish tapas; and Café Momoko, which focuses on Japanese cuisine.

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Go for comfort
If you’re more in the mood for comfort food, there are also plenty of options. LeafCanoer, migrantmuse, recommends 4th spot, which serves classic meals like burgers, tacos, and pastas. For pizza, many visitors to Calgary recommend Gaga Pizzeria, which offers fresh-baked pizzas, as well as homemade soups and sandwiches. For breakfast, a popular spot is OEB Breakfast Company, which has a variety of healthful and flavorful breakfast selections.

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Go high end
On the other end of the spectrum, Calgary has a large selection of critically acclaimed high end restaurants. Some of the top restaurants in the city, according to Calgary’s premier lifestyle magazine, Avenue Magazine, are Blink, Raw Bar, and River Café. Blink offers French-influenced cuisine, while Raw Bar serves Vietnamese-inspired dishes with a modern and creative twist. River Café, located in Prince’s Island Park, focuses on providing a unique dining experience in a unique setting. They offer a chef-created six-course tasting menu.

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Whether you’re looking to explore the local cuisine, or are in the mood to expand your palate globally, there is something for every taste bud in Calgary. This guide to foodie Calgary is just the beginning. For more information on some of these places to eat, check out migrantmuse’s leaf by downloading the LeafCanoe app.

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Touring the World with New York Restaurants

New York is a city known for its cosmopolitan feel. Home to people from almost every country in the world, a trip to New York can expose you to virtually any culture imaginable. A great way to learn about another culture is through food, and in New York, global restaurants abound, from small hole in the wall restaurants, to large five-star dining establishments. Leafcanoer travelfreak recently shared his top places to eat and drink in New York in his leaf titled “The Ultimate Guide to Eating and Drinking in NYC.” Here are some highlights from that leaf, to get you started on your own global tour of New York restaurants.

Caribbean Flair
El Malecon, located in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, has been serving up Caribbean food, particularly from the Dominican Republic, for over 30 years. The restaurant is famous for its rotisserie chicken, but diners also enjoy their mofongo, flan, and seafood. El Malecon prides itself on serving home-style food. For an introduction to Caribbean cuisine, El Malecon is a great starting point for New York restuarants.

New York restaurants - El Malecon

Authentic Yet Unconventional Chinese
Evidently, the best Chinese food is not in Chinatown, but rather, in Queens! Fu Run Restaurant in Flushing, Queens is famous for their traditional Chinese dishes originating from the Dongbei region of northern China. More rustic in style than the Szechuan style of cuisine typically found in most Chinese restaurants in the United States, one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes is the Muslim lamb chops. The rest of their menu offers a selection of dumplings, noodles, and rice dishes, as well as meats and seafood. Fu Run Restaurant has won critical acclaim from publications like Serious Eats and the Village Voice.

New York restaurants - Fu Run Restaurant

Discovering Central Europe
A trip across the bridge to Brooklyn takes you to Milan’s Restaurant, which serves up genuine Slovak and Czech cuisine. With dishes like Hungarian goulash and potato pancakes, patrons of Milan’s Restaurant love it for its hearty meals. Milan’s Restaurant also offers a selection of Czech and Irish beer. The restaurant also sells specialty Czech and Slovak grocery items, for those interested in stocking up their pantry with the flavors of Central Europe.

New York restaurants - Milan's Restaurant

Classic Vietnamese Flavors
Heading back towards Manhattan into Greenwich Village, you’ll find yourself at Saigon Shack for a taste of Vietnam. Most Vietnamese establishments are known for their pho, a hot noodle soup with star-anise spiced beef broth. However, Saigon Shack also serves up other classic Vietnamese dishes such as bahn mi sandwiches, spring rolls and summer rolls. On this culinary tour of New York restaurants, a stop at Saigon Shack is worth taking.

New York restaurants - Saigon Shack

An Italian Institution
For classic Italian flavors, head to Alleva Dairy, a New York City institution found in Little Italy. Priding itself on being the “oldest Italian cheese store in America,” Alleva Dairy has been in New York since 1892, and continues to be a popular spot for specialty Italian cheeses and meats. Though not actually a restaurant, Alleva Dairy does serve up a delicious selection of Italian sub sandwiches. The store is family owned, with its founder, Pina Alleva, having emigrated to the United States from Benevento, Italy. Many of the cheese recipes created by Pina are still in use today at the store.

New York restaurants - Alleva Dairy

With such a global selection of New York restaurants, you can virtually take a trip around the world without even leaving the city! Essentially, that is the wonderful thing about New York City. The city is so rich in global cultures, it’s easy to expose yourself to the world, just by walking around the city.

For more ideas about New York restaurants, check out more of travelfreak’s leaf, or download the LeafCanoe app to explore other travel destinations.

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Tastiest brunch spots in Manhattan

For such a bustling city like New York, the locals still have an affinity for taking things slow when they can. This is most prevalent on easy Sunday mornings, where many people take to the streets and local restaurants to indulge in a long and lazy brunch. This tradition is carried out by everyone – families order pancakes piled high with candied and syrup, while twenty-somethings often cure their headaches form the night before with unlimited mimosas often included with the meal. Each popular, famous or cozy establishment has its own personality, so it can be well worth the time for travelers to try a few on their next NYC visit.

Choosing a brunch style

It’s really an art form when it comes to eating out on late weekend mornings. Calling ahead for reservations is almost always advisable, due to its popularity all over the city. If interested in unique libations with a meal, ask about included drinks. Or, if trying to impress family and friends, decide on a spot that has a wide variety of selections and some memorable eats. Many establishment will also run specials during restaurant week or have daily deals online to sweeten the deal even more.

Top picks for brunch in NYC

Ilili – American-style brunch may be a classic choice, but sometimes travelers will want to stray from the norm. This stylish eatery offers delectable Lebanese cuisine that’s still include staples like eggs, but they are coddled and prepared instead with fresh spices and sides. Bunch deals also come with a standard mimosa, or guests can sip some tart pomegranate cava, or sparkling wine.

Back Forty West – People who hate making decisions should head straight for this restaurant. On weekend mornings, the pro chef presents a special tasting option that allows patrons to sample many delicious things on the menu at once.

DBDG – Here you can order a stack of pancakes, or go for a more lunch-like brunch, complete with juicy burger sliders and fries. Having a light dinner the night before can be best, as the not-to-be-missed prix fixe menu includes a basket of fresh pastries and a ice cream dessert to finish.

Cafecito Bogota We had to include a great Brooklyn spot as well, as this funky neighborhood as just as much to offer as Manhattan. With a decidedly Latin flair and three free refills on your brunch cocktail, this place more suited sapping stories form the night before than a tranquil meal. Savor poached eggs in passion fruit sauce with South American salami or any of the other filling options.

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