The Caesar cocktail is Calgary’s hometown hero. Considered Canada’s national signature boozy beverage, it’s widely accepted that the Caesar was invented in the late 1960s in Calgary by barman Walter Chell at what is now the Westin downtown.
Some may contest the origin story (or at least Chell’s originality) but that can’t stop Calgarians from taking pride in their city’s part in creating a country-wide classic.
May 13 is considered Caesar Day in Calgary, however last year the whole country got on board with the inaugural National Caesar Day. It fell on May 14 in 2015, however for its second year, we’re learning it’s meant to be “observed” on the Thursday before Canada’s May Long weekend. This year, National Caesar Day falls on May 19.
Now toss the calendar aside, and plan where you’ll conquer your next Caesar. Here are seven places in Calgary to enjoy a (bloody) good Caesar:
Head to this pub located next to the Delta Calgary South and find an impressive menu of Caesar cocktails each with their own unique twist. They’ve got the Applewood Smoked Bourbon Caesar (Bulleit bourbon, Applewood smoke, cracked pink peppercorn & chipotle sea salt rim, lemon, pepperoni bite) or ones made with gin (Long Table Caesar), tequila (Caesar Patron), soju (Ty Ku Caesar), or a pumped up classic, The Walter “Works” Caesar (Absolut vodka, clam, horseradish, lime, tabasco, worcestershire, olive, spicy bean & celery salt rim).
Address: 135 Southland Drive SE
Hit up the revamped Unicorn Superpub’s Classic Calgary level for their Stephen Avenue Caesar; it’s got Clamato, Worcestershire, Tobasco, pepperoni stick, pickle slice, olive, house spiced rim lime mixed with your choice of booze: Vodka, Gin, Whiskey or Tequila.
Address: 223 8th Avenue SW (First Floor)
What’s in a name? Well, at Caesar’s Steak House, the answer happens to be a drink. Their Bloody Caesar dates back to 1972 and their opening–just a couple of years after the original Caesar was first poured at the Calgary Inn by Chell. Hail Caesar’s Steak House!
Address: 512 – 4th Avenue SW
Address: 110, 10816 Macleod Trail SE, Willow Park
You’ll find Blue Star Diner’s Caesar on the Breakfast Cocktails section of the menu. Start your morning off with a pow with their version of the drink, made with Iceberg Vodka, Angry Sauce, and Clamato.
Address: 809 1st Avenue NE
Kick up your Caesar quest with the El Caesar at Local Public Eatery on 8th Avenue. They call it “The Wild West in a glass.” Made with Smirnoff Vodka, Mott’s Clamato Juice, very special Mexican hot sauce, other spices and topped with a pepperoni stick snack, this drink is served in a boot.
Address: 310 8th Avenue SW
Head to any of the four locations of National in Calgary and enjoy their National Caesar. It’s made with vodka, clamato, spices, horseradish, pickle, chorizo, cheddar, and splash of IPA. Those last few ingredients are definitely what makes this rendition a real standout.
Chell “invented” the Caesar here when this was the Calgary Inn. It doesn’t get much more classic Calgary than that. Here at the hotel’s Liquid Lounge, you’ll find The Caesar–made in its purest form. Cheers!
Address: 320 4th Avenue SW