Dished Neighbourhood Gems: Calgary's University District

Feb 17 2023, 9:24 pm

Calgary is home to some amazing gems, longstanding classics, and under-the-radar establishments when it comes to stellar food and beverage. 

We’re doing the digging for you by highlighting the best local destinations to check out in each neighbourhood (if you haven’t already).

Here are our Dished Neighbourhood Gems for Calgary’s University District.

Most cities have a few colleges, universities, and other schools scattered across the map. They are often hubs for social events and residential living, and the area surrounding the University of Calgary is no different.

In YYC, the University District is very new and a great spot for bars, fast food, restaurants, and more.

Calgary has iconic neighbourhoods like Kensington, Bridgeland, and the Beltline, but it’s this area, just minutes from the University of Calgary campus, that has students and non-students alike travelling for some great spots to eat and drink.

From massive sports bars to ice cream spots to students pubs, deciding where to eat when here can be a very difficult choice, whether you’re on a student budget or not.

Here are some of our favourite food and drink gems in Calgary’s University District.

The Banquet Bar


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This is the first and only Calgary location for The Banquet, a premium dive bar known for killer cocktails, great bar food, and fun games to play.

This spot has an amazing rooftop patio, a bowling alley, a full-size Price is Right wheel, shuffleboard, billiards, and more, so you know this place is an exciting night out.


Borough Bar + Grill

Inspired by the five boroughs of New York, Borough Bar + Grill is a contemporary restaurant that is one of Calgary’s premier destinations.

Food from the five boroughs is incredibly diverse, and the menu is designed to reflect all of those different tastes. Look for New York staple dishes like rotisserie chicken, prime rib, and whole fish on the tables here.


Village Ice Cream


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This is one of the newest Village Ice Cream locations in Calgary, with all the flavours you know and love. Making signature and feature ice cream flavours from scratch, this is a fun and delicious place to grab a cold treat in the summer.

Address: 4019 University Avenue NW, Calgary


OEB Breakfast Co.

This Calgary-founded and quickly expanded breakfast spot recently opened its latest location here. OEB has become known for its extensive menu featuring signature breakfast items like poutines, sky-high French toasts, and classic breakfast staples made using locally sourced ingredients.

Address: 4132 University Avenue NW, Calgary


The Den


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This two-story spot has been an iconic place for students and concertgoers for over 45 years.

Operated by the Student’s Union, this University of Calgary bar is a great place for food, beverages, dancing, live shows, and fun. Wings, burgers, and flatbread pizzas are all pub fare you can order, but there is also plenty of creative out-of-the-box options, like the K Pop fries tossed in honey butter glaze and topped with sliced boneless Korean marinated and fried chicken thighs, gochujaru hot sauce, pickled red onions, scallions, ginger lime aioli, melty cheese sauce, shredded cheddar, and togarashi spiced popcorn.

Address: 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary


Last Defense Lounge

Operated by the Graduate Students’ Association of the University of Calgary, this bar has been serving YYC (and its fun-loving students) for over 30 years.

It’s an eclectic comfort pub menu that seems to take inspiration from all over the world, from the kimchi tatchos (a combo of tater tots and nachos) to the butter chana masala to the BBQ pulled pork grilled cheese sandwich.

Whether you’re in a study session or not, this is a cool spot to split an order of nachos, wings, or a pitcher.

Address: 350 MSC, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary


Bake Chef Co.

This food court spot in the school may seem unassuming, but it’s a great place if you’re craving a Vietnamese sub sandwich.

There are nearly 15 subs to choose from (tuna, spicy beef, pizza, Spolumbo chicken apple, etc.) but also quite a bit of baked goods, like muffins and cookies.

From DoorDash to Google, the reviews of this place are all extremely high.

Address: 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary

If you have a neighbourhood gem in or around the city that you want to shine a spotlight on, let us know at [email protected]. 

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