Calgary may be located in the heart of Alberta beef country, but that doesn’t mean vegetables can’t share the spotlight. Here are five of the best places to go for vegetarian food in Calgary.
Though it’s not completely vegetarian, this popular eatery has made a name for itself by serving up a plethora of thoughtful, flavourful vegetable dishes. To start, try the roasted tomatoes on top of whipped feta served with crispy slices of sourdough then move onto plates like the whole roasted beet with pistachio cream and dill or roasted cauliflower topped with garlic bread crumbs. Save room for a generous portion of butterscotch pudding with sponge toffee, Henry’s signature dessert.
Must-try dish: Fried potatoes with fresh herbs and green goddess dressing.
These veggie-focused sister restaurants (best known for brunch) make sure everyone can enjoy a good meal. Vegans in particular can dig into plenty of tasty dishes at either spot. These include Dairy Lane’s red Thai coconut curry tofu scramble, which is loaded with vegetables and served with corn tortillas. Blue Star’s vegan burger is topped with radishes, pickled carrots, sprouts and a chili lemongrass “aioli.”
Must-try dish: BSD Veggie Burger at Blue Star Diner with red pepper mayo and avocado.
After 14 years, The Coup undisputedly remains Calgary’s most popular vegetarian restaurant. Its funky interior includes bright orange chairs, green and blue walls and plenty of plants potted around the room. Sip on an inventive drink such as the kombucha gimlet made with vodka and elderflower liqueur before delving into the restaurant’s globally inspired and ever-evolving menu that can feature anything from tempeh shawarma wraps to house-made ramen noodles in ginger-walnut dashi broth.
Must-try dish: The smoked tomato tart with maple-smoked, sun-dried tomatoes in a vegan red fife pastry shell.
At Deane House, a refurbished historic home in the Inglewood neighbourhood, chef Jamie Harling’s menu offers plenty of dynamic vegetarian options from start to finish. Enjoy the complimentary house-made sourdough bread served with cold-pressed canola oil and lacto-fermented squash before digging into sharing plates like locally grown pickled carrots on on smoked red lentil hummus finished with crumbled goat feta and crackers.
Must-try dish: Kennebec potato gnocchi with ember roasted winter squash, pea shoots and brown butter vinaigrette.
Head downtown to Tamarind, one of Alberta’s only vegan Asian restaurants. The house-made, tamarind-marinated tofu is a signature ingredient and a favourite of vegans and omnivores alike. Try it in the sizzling sticky rice, a hearty dish made with cucumber, zucchini, celery, carrots and red onion. On cold days, the laksa—a warming and aromatic coconut and turmeric-based soup—always hits the spot.
Must-try dish: Sizzling Crepe with tofu, mung bean, bean sprouts and coconut cream in a rice flour crepe.