The Allium: Inside the elevated plant-based restaurant in Calgary

Jan 12 2023, 10:18 pm

The Allium is known to most vegetarians of Calgary already, but this still feels like a secret spot to most even though it’s located in the heart of the city.

It probably still feels like a hidden gem because it’s plant-based and many people still write those kinds of places off, but it’s the creativity of the dishes here that should bring guests in to try it. They’ll likely go back. For the ones who already know it, they appreciate the great food and drinks made locally and ethically as well.

It’s small, it’s intimate, worker-owned and operated, and one of the best restaurants in YYC.

The Allium is an upscale vegetarian restaurant set inside a very hip and comfortable atmosphere. The menu here is short and sweet and designed to be shared.

Dished recently had the opportunity to sit inside the dimly lit space surrounded by plants and conversations and try some of the delicious plant-based food and well-crafted drinks.

The menu isn’t split into any categories, but the friendly service staff will help you decide how much to order. It seems to naturally build from smaller bites to larger shared items, to even larger mains that are also just as easy to share.

Before we could even order, we were greeted with two complimentary snacks on a. crispy chips that were delicious. We then put in our drink orders, a glass of red wine from the carefully curated menu, and the Arborist, a shaken cocktail made with vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, hibiscus pear and pink peppercorn syrup, lemon, rhubarb bitters, and topped with a vegan foamer.

The Allium

Dished Calgary

The Allium

Dished Calgary

For food, we started with the chickpea fritters, which were soft on the inside and wonderfully crispy on the outside. It came topped and surrounded by jalapeno toum, fried polenta, pickled shallots, and charred tomato chutney.

We also tried the Allium Mezze Plate, which was an interesting dish to share. Scattered across the plate were both sourdough flatbread and house chips for dipping into the multiple kinds of dips, which always rotate. There were also seasonal pickles and za’atar on the plate as well.


Dished Calgary

For the main dishes, it was a hard decision but we went for two very different options for variety. The first was an Asian-inspired Fried Forbidden Rice and the second was an Italian-inspired Radiatore pasta.

The vegan and gluten-free rice dish was prepared with charred Sichuan vegetables, Alberta ginger, cilantro sauce, and crispy garlic. The pasta dish was a cacio e pepe, made with baba ganoush, peperonata, and Alpindon cheese and it could also be prepared vegan.

The two complimented each other really well because they were so different. With other options, like the zucchini latkes, squash gnocchi, or the black bean falafel, it’s really easy to switch up the taste or order similar items.

Rice Dish

Dished Calgary

The Allium

Dished Calgary

This is a low-key spot that’s just around the corner from the incredible dining of First Street (Ten Foot Henry, Proof, D.O.P) and also in between other great destination spots in the Beltline just steps away (Central Taps, Native Tongues, Civic Tavern).

The Allium might be a concept you aren’t usually drawn to, but it’s well worth a visit, especially if you’re looking for plant-based options (or just a great quick spot on a YYC food/drink crawl).

The Allium

Address: 211a 12th Avenue SW, Calgary


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