Munching My Way Through Global Cuisine (Taste of Calgary)

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Of all the countries I’ve lived in, Calgary has the shortest summer season. This is one thing that I still can’t get used to after living here for a year. Seriously, I feel sorry for the people who live here (oh ya, that includes myself). How depressing it is to live in a place that only has TWO MONTHS of summer! What’s worse is that the rest of the year is either cold, colder, or even colder!! (The coldest it had gotten to last year was -30°C. My face was instantly frozen as soon as I stepped outside. It was not fun at all.) Growing up in a tropical country where I didn’t have to cope with winter whatsoever, this is a torture for me. Unfortunately, due to Kev’s work, we have to stay here for a few more years. Sigh. But I am desperately looking forward to the day we move away. At least I know that each day is one step closer 🙂

Since summer is so short here in Calgary, we seize every opportunity we have to be outdoor and enjoy the sunshine. July and August are always packed with tons of festivals (Calgary Stampede, Sun and Salsa Festival, Fringe Festival, Globalfest…etc). As though Calgarians are trying to “binge playing” a year’s worth of fun before entering hibernation. One “must-not-miss” festival is Taste of Calgary, an outdoor food and drinks festival featuring local restaurants and an adults-only drink garden. All food and drink items come in sample size. Visitors must first purchase sample tickets in order to exchange for food and drink.

taste of calgary alberta

taste of calgary alberta vendors

To me, it is not only an event where I can enjoy a mix of exotic cuisine, but also a perfect chance to taste testing dishes from newly opened restaurants. That way, I can decide if it is worth making a visit to the restaurant at all.

This year, the festival ran from August 14 (Thursday) to 17 (Sunday) at Eau Claire Market. Admission to the festival was free. You could go there and spend a day listening to music performances. When you got hungry and thirsty, you could then buy sample tickets at the ticket booth and hunt for yummy goodies.

Most dishes were less than $5. Kev and I bought $30 dollars worth of tickets to begin with.

ticket booth

ticket booth

tickets ($1 each)

tickets ($1 each)

We grabbed the map, which showed us the location of ticket booths, food vendors, stage and beer garden. On top of that, it also included a detailed list of menu items and their corresponding prices (sorry, I didn’t include it here).

taste of calgary map

Alright, off we go to feed our hungry tummy!!

This year, I targeted to sample food from two newly opened restaurants at which I hadn’t had a chance to dine yet.

One is an Asian French fusion restaurant which we heard a lot of good things of.

taste of calgary vendor 2

We ordered the seafood croquette for $3. Nom nom nom. I liked how raspberry sauce cleansed the oiliness of the fried seafood balls and gave it a refreshing taste. Thumbs up!

taste of calgary seafood croquette

I tweeted the food photo and entered the prize draw. And guess what?!? I won a free weekend brunch!!! It was truly my lucky day 😀

The other restaurant I really wanted to try is a Japanese restaurant. There was a lot of hype about this place before it opened, but then all the negative reviews popped up and I became skeptical of its quality.

Wow, there was a huge queue in front of its booth. Quite a popular place! While waiting for the food, everyone was taking photos of the staff making ramen burger. Haha, what an eye-catching way to draw the crowd to the booth!

taste of calgary ramen burger 2

We had a ramen burger ($4) and Japanese sushi quiche ($2). Both were really creative inventions, using Japanese ingredients but prepared with a modern twist.

taste of calgary ramen burger

taste of calgary sushi quiche

Looking for more exotic cuisine? Not a problem! African mogo, Korean fried chicken, Indian medu wada or Polish perogies, all could be found here!

mogo (cassava fries)

mogo (cassava fries)

medu wada

medu wada

potato and cheddar perogies

potato and cheddar perogies

Korean-style fried chicken

Korean-style fried chicken

After all the yummy food, we were ready for some deliciously mouthwatering desserts 🙂

Last year, the fragrant, luscious, creamy saffron ice cream stole my heart <3 Too bad it was not being offered this year 🙁


Alternatively, you could eat up a bowl of mini-melts sorbet.


Or you could stop in front of the most popular desserts place – crepe and gelato booth. We waited for 15 minutes before getting our sweet tooth satisfied.

taste of calgary crepe stand

Woo, did you see the melting marshmallow and cookie crumbs?

taste of calgary crepe

What a fantastic summer day! Nothing could be better than indulging in tasty international food. My only regret was not having my ID with me that day. I really wanted to go to the beer garden and sample all the wine. Oh well, that’ll be my goal next year then!

taste of calgary music stage

It’s Friday again! Why don’t you party with me at Fiesta Friday? Big thanks to Angie from the Novice Gardener and to our co-hosts for organizing the event. Happy Friday!

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14 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. I used to live in Winnipeg (we had lived in Kenya previously!) so I feel your pain!! I guess you have to make the most of the winter activities (not my strong point at all) before you move away. I enjoyed your review of the Taste event. We had something very similar here, also called Taste but there is a fee to get in as well as to sample the restaurant food and drink and we also have a lot of chefs demonstrating in theatres and on stands. I have some photos somewhere on my blog…In the meantime, thank you for bringing this review to the party – Happy Fiesta Friday!!

    • That’s so cool – being able to see chefs making food in front of you, making you feel like you’re part of the demonstration 🙂 I know, I have been trying to participate more in winter activities, but it is just sooo cold. I’m not sure if my body is just not born to adjust to coldness. Even when it is 1 degree celsius, my ears and my head hurt like crazy. Maybe I should bundle up like a mummy and try snowshoeing this year 🙂 Thank you for stopping by, Selma! Happy Friday <3

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  3. ooohh that korean chicken looks lovely! and the ramen burger.. still yet to try one of those! great post! thanks!

  4. Koren fried chicken 🙂 🙂 🙂 must see if I can get some of that in London 🙂

  5. Look on the bright side – in that cold climate, you can afford all those extra calories. Your pictures of the event are super.

  6. I love food festivals and this looks so good! I would love to try a ramen burger, it looks so innovative! 🙂

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