Around the World in Seven Bites

ZENBU

Airdrie boasts some fabulous local chef-owned restaurants. We always prefer to spend our money here because the experience is infinitely more rewarding – from both a service and taste perspective.

Taj Indian

Voted “Best Alberta Indian in 2013, 2014” by Urban Spoon, Taj ALWAYS makes our list of food experiences. Don’t be afraid of dishes with exotic-sounding names like Kalmi Bharwan Tangri (stuffed drumsticks); our theory is the harder it is to say, the better it tastes! The new owners Ankur Goklaney and Sudheer Moola are both highly trained chefs who take turns running the kitchen so the other is out connecting with customers. Their motto is “Atithi Devo Bhav,” which is Sanskrit for “A guest is like God.” How’s that for setting the bar?

Thai Charm

Charming, indeed – owner Killinut Nya has brought the treasured tastes of Thailand to town! NO sauces out of jars here; everything is made in house using family recipes. Fresh is the No. 1 ingredient. We highly recommend the Drunken Noodles with house-roasted hot chili paste and the Basil Fried Rice.

Peppercorns

Finally … after a year away for a move into a brand-new location, Umesh Singh and the team are back! The bright, modern space also boasts Airdrie’s only waterfront patio. (We see ourselves parked here every Friday night this summer). We whiled away many cold winter nights dreaming about the Lobster Balinese and rack of lamb.

Rose Rosse/Ilforno Pizzeria

Stop the press: if you have never had pizza from a wood-burning oven, you are seriously missing out. Imported from Italy, the bright-red ilforno oven releases the traditional Naples pizza as if you were really there. Owner Sal Monna has mastered the light and delicate nature of the ilforno pizza (think fresh arugula and prosciutto) while upstairs in the dining room wife Anna Marie is the goddess of pasta dishes. This is authentic Italian at its best. Prego!

Paros

It’s all Greek to us and thank God! Effrosino and her staff embrace Greek culture with flaming saganaki cheese (TRUST US AND ORDER IT) and the most garlic-infused tzatziki we have ever eaten. Everything on the menu is delish. We can’t say enough; besides, our mouths are too full of calamari and souvlaki.

The Woods

How does a golf course restaurant make the list? How about gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and perhaps the zenest-best patio location (facing the front nine and the best sunset view) in town. P.S. The ribs are considered the best in the city by our friend and self-proclaimed rib connoisseur, Matt Carre. (You can read his 2014 Man’s Guide to Dining Out at eatplaystayairdrie.ca)

Zenbu

Japanese and Korean flavours can mingle at your table. Eliz Jung and her sushi chefs prepare fresh original takes on your favourite rolls, sashimi and sizzling plates of Korean bbq.

Just Desserts

Airdrie is also home to the Avenue Cakery & Bakery – and you will discover just why Deb Macleod has more than 5,000 likes on Facebook … her cakes, cupcakes, squares, cookies and cinnamon buns are coveted, craved and clamoured over. While in line salivating, check out the walls covered in photos of the exceptional special-order masterpieces she and her team have created. We think she could win Cake Boss hands down!

We have to give a shout out to Amato Gelato – while technically a chain (they carry the Mario’s Gelati line from Vancouver), owners Shaireen and Al Jina have personalized their café experience and added to the gelato and sorbet experience with fresh handmade crepes! When we need our Italian ice cream fix we head straight to Amato Gelato. With gourmet flavours like hedgehog, green tea and amaretto we can find about 70 different excuses to stop in for a spoonful!

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