10 exotic Calgary restaurants that will make you feel like you’re on vacation

Nov 23 2022, 11:00 pm

It’s that time of the year…when everyone starts to make vacation plans to escape the dreaded winter weather. You can also just look for some exotic Calgary restaurants to visit.

You don’t have to actually leave Calgary to catch a vacation.

Calgary is one of Canada’s fastest-growing and most vibrant cities, and it never lacks exotic restaurants and bars.

You’ll save money booking table reservations over plane tickets, and the best part is, you’ll still feel like you’re on vacation!

River Cafe


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River Cafe is set in a magical place where guests must take a scenic walk through Prince’s Island Park to get to it. Chefs prepare regional, seasonal cuisine using local ingredients and serve it to you on their river-facing patio. A true oasis!

Address: 25 Prince’s Island, Calgary
Phone: 403-261-7670

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Ricardo’s Hideaway

Ricardo’s Hideaway is a tropical bar offering authentic Caribbean food and good vibes. It has a great selection of rums as well as other delicious drinks like piña coladas and daiquiris. The tropical cocktails and lively atmosphere at Ricardo’s will definitely make you feel like you’re on vacation.

Address: 1530 5th Street SW
Phone: 587-349-2585


Calcutta Cricket Club

Calcutta Cricket Club is a fun Indian restaurant that draws inspiration from the cosmopolitan nature and cuisine of West Bengal, India. Once you walk in, you’ll find some quirky and colourful decor that will brighten up your day. Its large 50-seat veranda has an upscale yet quaint vibe, calling for many cozy nights and mango gin cocktails.

Address: 340 17th Avenue SW
Phone: 403-719-1555

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Chilitos Taberna

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Chilitos Taberna, or Los Chilitos as it was previously known, is a family-friendly restaurant serving up authentic Mexican classics, top-notch Margaritas, and a wide selection of tequila. The restaurant’s rustic interior design and music will bring your mind to Mexico and make you want to dance. Its colourful two-level split patio seats about 80 people and is also one of the most popular patios on 17th Avenue.

Address: 1309 17th Avenue SW
Phone: 403-228-5528


The Casbah Restaurant


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At The Casbah Restaurant, everything is done in a true Moroccan style. The restaurant is decorated with authentic carvings, tiles, paintings, and crafts, which result from twelve centuries of Moroccan art. Following Moroccan tradition, you will also be treated to a rosewater hand-wash ceremony before consuming some delicious dishes. Dining here will give you a full-on experience of Moroccan culture.

Address: 720 11th Avenue SW
Phone: 403-265-9800

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Cassis Bistro

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If you want to feel like you’re on vacation in Southern France, Cassis Bistro is where you want to be. It is a quaint restaurant offering South-of-France flavour with a local flair, and it’s got a good selection of drinks. Sip on a glass of wine and enjoy some French music and black-and-white movies playing in the background — you won’t want to leave at the end of your meal.

Address: 2502 17th Avenue SW
Phone: 403-262-0036

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Shokunin was voted as one of Canada’s top 100 restaurants, and it is a proper izakaya (casual Japanese pub for after-work drinking) spot serving up Japanese food with a killer sake selection. It features the kind of food traditionally served at an izakaya in Japan, and all its skewers are grilled on a charcoal grill. Have a bottle of sake here and enjoy a true Japanese dining experience.

Address: 2016 4th Avenue SW
Phone: 403-229-3444

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Pigeonhole sits at the end of 17th Avenue and offers wine and bar snacks. Its charming patio is decorated with green plants and flowers, and it will make you feel like you’re sipping rosé on the streets of Paris. Come in for some patio days in the warmer months.

Address: 306 17th Avenue SW
Phone: 403-452-4694

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Santorini Greek Taverna


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Santorini is one of the most established Greek restaurants in Calgary, serving up traditional warm and fresh Greek cuisine, like flaming pan-fried cheese, pristine Moussaka, and chicken Souvlaki. It has the kind of traditional Greek decor that’s clean and refreshing. Try one of its authentic Greek dishes and you will feel like you are on vacation in Santorini.

Address: 1502 Centre Street NE
Phone: 403-276-8363

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Major Tom


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It might not feel exotic, but it certainly feels like it belongs far away from YYC.

Everyone that dines here typically has the same things to say: “There is nothing like it in Calgary” and “it feels like New York.”

The restaurant’s menu is “influenced by the great dishes of the past, specifically those from the old-world era of Manhattan-style dining” so really it’s a vacation in time as well as geographically.

Address: 700 2nd Street SW #4000, Calgary


With files from Christy Wang, Manisha Singh, and Hogan Short

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