food + drink

DONNA MAC: THE BELTLINE’S NEWEST EATERIE

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I am always thrilled to hear about new restaurants opening up in the Beltline, my neighbourhood and I was even more excited to find out that Donna Mac was one of the newest spots to open it’s doors before Christmas. This beautiful space was designed by my friend Sarah Ward of Sarah Ward Interiors. The room is stunning – she did a phenomenal job creating a warm, welcoming space with many exquisite details like the lighting, the yellow door with the port-hole and the seamless flow throughout the space.

➔ Donna Mac is the brainchild of industry veterans Jeff Jamieson, Jesse Willis, Amy Turner and Justin Longpre. Located at the base of the Versus building on 10th avenue, the Beltline restaurant is a neighbourhood hub with approachable favourites. Named after Turner’s grandmother, the all-encompassing hospitality concept echoes values of resourcefulness, community, and humility. 

I had the opportunity to try out their gluten-free dishes at a recent media dinner and was absolutely blown away by the incredible flavours, originality and impeccable service. Their cocktail list is pretty fantastic too.

If you love a dining experience that evokes the spirit of home cooked dinners, has a friendly inviting atmosphere and fills you up with comforting and inventive dishes, you’ll definitely want to pop into Donna Mac as soon as possible. ♥♥♥

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Donna Mac will be open every day from 11:00am to 11:00pm, including weekend brunch.

For more information and to make a reservation please visit: https://www.donnamacyyc.ca/ Follow Donna Mac on Twitter twitter.com/donnamacyyc, and Instagram instagram.com/donnamacyyc/

FAVE GLUTEN-FREE EATS IN INGLEWOOD

It is no secret that Inglewood is one of my favourite places to hang out in the city. I love the boutiques, the people, the views of downtown – and I also actually really love the food. I’ve been sharing some of my favourite spots in Inglewood on social media all month long in support of #inInglewood and I thought I’d put together a list of my favourite spots to grab a gluten-free meal. There tons of other great restaurants in the area – this is just a list of the ones I return to time and time again!

Inglewood Pizza: Hands-down the BEST greasy, thick crust extra tasty gluten-free pizza in all of Calgary, Inglewood Pizza is a must-eat when in the neighbourhood. Between their iconic pizza boxes, their cute little eaterie is a great spot to put up your feet an enjoy a personal pizza with a friend. There are only like four seats so you might have to take your pizza to go – but with the river only blocks away eating outdoors has never looked so good. Maybe I am basic but I seriously love the gluten-free pepperoni and cheese. Also, as a forewarning, the first time you have Inglewood Pizza you will probably go back and be like “this can’t possibly gluten-free; its so chewy and fluffy”. But it is and it is the best!

1225 9th Avenue SE

Inglewood Drive-in: This is one of Inglewood’s cutest, most legendary spots that also happens to get overlooked all of the time. Don’t wander past this delicious and inexpensive eaterie! They carry gluten-free buns for their burgers and veggie burgers – both of which are absolutely delicious. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll be blown away by their selection of milkshakes – they even have a mouthwatering lavender milkshake. Unreal. The dairy-free pineapple Dole Whip is a huge hit as well. Also just as an FYI, their fries are not gluten-free as I sadly mistook them for being gluten-free (not fun.). All in all, the service is excellent and its a cute spot to grab a bite.

802 12th Street SE

Without Papers Pizza: If you are more of a thin crust pizza type of person, I would recommend checking out Without Papers Pizza. I love the ambiance of WOP; it has a great bustling vibe with views over 9th Avenue. They also often screen movies projected on their walls which I love. Their classic Margherita pizza is my fave with the Hawaiian coming in at a close second.

1216 9th Avenue SE

Well Juicery: While Well Juicery is not a restaurant it is a great place to pick up drinks and snacks while on the go. One of my fave vegan and gluten-free companies Little Tucker operates out of Well Juicery and I can always count on them to have delicious bite-sized treats to share with Jack. Their “snickers bar” is seriously legendary – I can’t even handle how good it is – I always pick one up to throw in the freezer for when I need to “eat my feelings” but don’t want to feel guilty about it, haha.

1327a 9th Avenue SE

Delightful Donuts & Cafe: Another hole-in-the-wall type of spot, chances are you’ve walked by Delightful Cafe a dozen times without even noticing it. While the name advertises donuts, I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a donut in the cafe. I go there to get the best Vietnamese food in Inglewood. The owners are very kind and have built such a loyal clientele. I love walking into places like this where everyone seems to be a regular and people are chatting from table to table. I like to get their classic lemongrass chicken rice vermicelli without any spring rolls – delicious.

1201 9th Avenue SE

The Nash: While the Nash is decidedly higher-end than the rest of the spots on this list, I’ve managed to find the best gluten-free take-out deal. Their Happy Chicken wood roasted whole chicken is $25 and seriously the most flavourful roasted chicken ever! Get it with fries and their house-made jus and you’ve got a gourmet dinner to go for less than $40. Any leftovers go towards making homemade chicken soup so it’s actually like two meals in one! Winning.

925 11th Street SE

CALCUTTA CRICKET CLUB

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There is a hot new eaterie in town and it is next level dreamy in terms of the design. The Calcutta Cricket Club looks like something Wes Anderson would have visions of while planning his next film. This is the newest restaurant venture from the team at Thank You Hospitality. Spearheaded by Cody Willis (Native Tongues Taqueria – one of my fave local restaurants and Two Penny – another new spot featuring fine Chinese cuisine), the new Indian restaurant and bar is a partnership with Shovik Sengupta, Amber Anderson, and Maya Gohill, and is inspired by the cosmopolitan nature and cuisine of West Bengal. The name is influenced by the Raj-era Calcutta Cricket & Football club, and is the very first interior design project from local artist Maya Gohill (I wrote about her for SFGirlByBay here). 

Calcutta Cricket Club is open seven nights a week from 5pm until late. I don’t know about you but I just want to sit here and stare at these photos – my mouth is watering. Hell, I’m making plans to eat + drink there this weekend!

Calcutta Cricket Club – 340 17th Ave SW – (403) 719-1555 – No reservations.

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KENSINGTON 1918 TAP + TABLE

If there is anything I say time and time again, is how lucky we are in Calgary to have such a strong culinary community with endless new spots to dine out with friends and family. And some places are totally unexpected which is super exciting to me. The Kensington Legion is one such place that is surprising and unexpected. If you’ve ever been to the Kensington Legion or just driven past it you’re probably thinking of the large drab, concrete, one story building located on Kensington Road. Well, you are certainly in for a change of pace when you check out the NEW Kensington Legion located right next door. This new building represents a partnership between the Legion and Truman Homes – the very firs of its kind in Canada. The stunning result is a modern, four-story structure located at 1918 Kensington Road NW. The gorgeous window-filled new building features the Legion Members’ Lounge, two floors of office space as well as the 1918 Tap & Table restaurant which is open to the public.

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The new restaurant is a fantastic inner city destination and a great addition to the neighbourhood. I can see 1918 Tap & Table quickly becoming a staple for the area with their fresh and delicious farm-to-table menu created by Chef Chris Murphy. I popped into 1918 previous to the opening with my Jack – between the two of us we make quite the pair for dining out. I have Celiac and Jack has an egg allergy. But Chef Chris Murphy easily accommodated our dietary needs and we ate some beautiful dishes like the Grilled Chicken Breast with Artichoke & Caper Pan Jus and Crispy Polenta. Guests can expect fresh, authentic fare from a menu that changes every three months, ensuring in-season ingredients are always prioritized.

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I am also super impressed with their gorgeous bar set up. I tried one of the gorgeous cocktails made by their house mixologist. They are planning on having all sorts of amazing feature cocktails on rotation all of the time – and rumour has it that there will flaming cocktails, allowing their bartenders and mixologists to add a bit of performance to their drink crafting.

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The restaurant is super spacious and beautiful with massive windows, stunning light fixtures and plenty of seating. I can’t wait to see it filled with people enjoying a local craft beer and delicious food.

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They also rent out the space for events – I can totally picture it being a great venue for a Christmas party or wedding reception.

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You should go:

1918 Tap & Table

1918 Kensington Road

Follow along on Instagram @1918tapandtable

This post is in partnership with 1918 Tap & Table and all words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.