Earlier this evening a barista who sees me on a pretty regular basis asked me for some suggestions on places to shop for foodies. She has some friends coming to Calgary that want to know where to find high quality ingredients…. flattered, I of course said yes.
It also occurred to me that it’s something that would be worth sharing with my friends and acquaintances
It’s obviously not a 100% complete list, so I’m hoping people will comment and add their own Calgary suggestions for places they love to find high quality food or shops that carry hard to find ingredients.
I’d also suggest people snag a copy of “Shop Talk” by dee Hobsbawn-Smith. It’s a great resource to find even more butchers and organic produce etc from reputable shops. A number of vendors at the Calgary Farmer’s Market carry it.
Not in Calgary? Make a post of your own for your city/region, your fellow foodies will appreciate it Heck, even if you don’t consider yourself a foodie, now and then it’s nice to make a really nice meal for a special occasion, or you just like being able to shop locally instead of big chain stores.
Master Meats – These guys are my hands down favourite. Fairly small spot, but impeccable quality. They are probably the only place you’d be able to order something like wild boar (needs to be ordered in advance)
120 40 Avenue NW
Calgary, AB T2K 0E3
Also good at the market are:
Grazin’ Acres – Eggs, poultry & grass fed beef. Great roasts and steaks.
Valta Bison Farms – Bison meats, sausages, jerky and deli products
Patsy Clark Farms / Essence of the Nile – Ostrich meat & products
Wapiti Ways – Elk
Sunworks Farm is also awesome. They are definitely my preferred folks to pick up organic chicken breasts. They’re pricey, but oh so worth it. Fresh, tender, and a fscking joy to cook with. The difference between these and the ones I typically find in Big Box Store is noticeable. They also sell a lot of organic produce, and have some *very* reasonably priced organic apple cider that comes in glass jugs – the same volume of which sells for more than double at Big Box Store.
For harder to find Italian/Mediterranean items check out
Lina’s Italian Market
2202 Centre St N
Friendly staff, and a great selection of Italian ingredients and cookware.
I don’t tend to cook a lot of seafood at the moment, but I can definitely recommend
Billingsgate Fish Co
Stadium Shopping Center
1941 Uxbridge Drive NW
Boyd’s Lobster Shop
1515D 14th St SW
Mon-Sat 9am to 7pm
Sun 11am to 6pm
777 Northmount Drive N.W.
Phone: (403) 289-2202
Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday – Closed
1212-9 Ave SE
Calgary, AB, Canada
Julie at Bite is a joy to deal with. Friendly and knowledgeable, and she carries an excellent selection of high end products from 30+ year sherry vinegars to a dazzling number of options for fleur de sel. I think at least 3 of the ones I normally cook with I picked up there. Cheeses, duck pate, cookware… and she pulls a pretty good espresso too. Nice to be able to enjoy a doppio espresso while wandering around looking for that perfect ingredient
If you’re looking to improve on the knives in your kitchen, *definitely* go to Knifewear in Inglewood. Kevin sells very high quality Japanese knives at *extremely* reasonable prices – tell him I sent you He also offers a knife sharpening class which I’ve taken and recommend highly. Kevin knows his stuff, and is passionate about high quality knives for cooking – and with the variety he carries, he can ensure you get the right one for you, not just some
mass produced ‘chef knife’. The right balance, the right shape and length… these are all things to be aware of when choosing your knives, and to ensure you get one that’s comfortable in your hand. When you find the right one, it’s suddenly like cutting with a laser
1316 9 Ave SE
Field Stone Fruit Wines – Locally made fruit wines (including strawberry and bumbleberry!)
The Glenmore Landing location carries more in the way of liquor and liqueurs like Calvados and Bas Armagnac and so on.
J. Webb Wine Merchant Ltd.
Glenmore Landing, C157 1600 – 90th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2V 5A8
The Wine Shop Excellent selection of wine, convenient for us downtown folks, and great staff who know their stuff.
550 17th Ave SW
And of course, The Wine Cellar, a spot I’ve picked up some seriously stellar boozamahol from. Scotches to steal your heart away, wine that is lovingly selected and stored, regular scheduled wine tastings… and a beautiful location and store. These guys are great, I love them… and you should too!
And in a category all their own, we have Phil & Sebastian Coffee Company – Artisanal espresso and clover brewed coffee. If you don’t know these guys for coffee, you clearly don’t read my blog very often
Calgary Midtown Market Co-op
For more inexpensive options, the Calgary Midtown Market (Co-op) has an excellent meat counter and deli counter.
1130 – 11 Avenue SW
Midtown Market hours Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m
[edited to add Thanks to Scott and Eric (so far!)]
Sylvan Star Cheese – Cheese, butter, yogurt
These guys make one of the best applewood smoked cheddar cheeses I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. We go through a fair bit of this here at Chez Gnu.
Mount Royal Shop
1017 – 16 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2R 0T5
Choklat in Inglewood for fresh made chocolate. These guys take chocolate to a whole new level. I’m not kidding. If you think you know about chocolate, particularly good chocolate, Choklat may bring you to the next level.
Willow Park Wines & Spirits for fine Scotches and wines.
Edelweiss Imports – A good German deli and bakery
1921 20th Ave NW
To have respect for ourselves guides our morals; and to have a deference for others governs our manners. – Lawrence Sterne (1713 – 1768)