banff lake louise, canada

Whether you’re headed to Calgary, Canada for vacation or Ironman 70.3 Calgary, you need ideas on food and fun. While we may not be going to the race, we have a great friend who lives in the area, so we went to Denise Katelnikoff for the inside scoop. Besides living there, her husband is a phenomenal age group triathlete – seriously – and her kids are phenomenal swimmers. So, she knows how to feed athletes. Here’s what she had to say…


There are so many great restaurants in Calgary, but a few of my favorites and notable restaurants are located centrally.

If you are looking for great Italian that is reasonably priced, Chianti’s on 17th Avenue is great.

For great atmosphere and one of the best patios, it’s definitely Bonterra Trattoria, located on 8th Street and 10th Avenue. Their patio is a little gem in the downtown core!

what are some ideas for food and fun in Calgary, Canada

Bacon and eggs Bonterra Trattoria style. Photo credit Bonterra Trattoria.

Cibo on 17th Avenue, Una Pizza and Wine, and Ox and Angela, also have great tasting food and atmosphere. Just a note, Ox and Angela is a Spanish tapas restaurant and so, the portions are small! For triathletes, when the waiter recommends the sampler, which pretty much includes the entire menu, I would suggest you take him up on it! It’s a highly recommended restaurant.

Calgary, Canada

Spanish pork and beans! Photo credit Ox and Angela.

You can’t come to Calgary and not visit Peters’ Drive-In located in the north, right on 16th Avenue, also known as the Trans Canada highway. They have great, no-frill burgers covered in BBQ sauce. and don’t forget the fries! And, no visit is complete without one of their amazing milkshakes!! If you can dream the flavor, they likely will have it! Don’t be discouraged if the line up is huge! Oh, and it won’t get smaller so wait, it is worth it! I love their slogan, The Drive-In You Can’t Drive By!

Calgary, Canada

The line at Peters’ Drive-In. Photo credit Peters’ Drive-In.


If you’re looking for a great day trip, try and book some extra time to go see Bannff National Park and the Lake Louise area. It’s about 1 1/2 hour drive from Calgary. The Bannff townsite has a lot to see and do with great shops, restaurants, art galleries, hotels, etc. If you only have a day, I’d choose Banff/Lake Louise. It is just so incredibly gorgeous.

banff lake louise, canada

The sheer beauty of Banff Lake Louise. Photo credit Banff Lake Louise Tourism.

In Calgary, up-town 17th Avenue, Ingelwood, and Kensington all have lots of charm, interesting shops, and restaurants. Here are several things you can do:

Visit the Olympic Plaza from the 1988 Winter Olympics and check out Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Take a trip to the top of the Calgary Tower with a 360 degree observation deck that rotates. Incredible views of the city included!

If you like living history museums, you should enjoy the Heritage Park. You can learn all about the history of the early west, churn butter, train with the Mounted Police, visit the car museum, and take train and boat rides, just to mention a few of the available activities.

If you love opera and who doesn’t, take in Opera in the Village at the River Walk Plaza in an open air tent.

If you plan on staying for a bit of vacation after the race, check out the International Fireworks Festival with multicultural food booths and entertainments and of course, plenty of fireworks.

what are ideas for food and fun in Calgary, Canada

The Calgary Tower. Photo credit Denise Katelnikoff.

This should give you a good start for some food and fun in Calgary. Have a great race or a fabulous vacation!