Avenue Diner (Calgary) – A classy breakfast option downtown
People seem to really like brunch. I theorize that it is because people just love to eat all the salty foods of breakfast (bacon, hashbrowns, eggs, omelets) as well as the sweets (french toast, pancakes, crepes, waffles). And because you are eating for 2 meals, you get to eat more! There appear to be a few different types of brunch places in Calgary:
First tier, you have Denny’s. Lots of locations. Open 24 hours. It serves greasy food that is great for the 5am grease fix you need after a night of drinking. I’d never go here for an actual brunch.
Second tier, you have Galaxie Diner and Belmont Diner (same owner I believe). Essentially the same as Denny’s in greasiness. Not open 24 hours. Huge line-ups. I don’t really understand these places. I don’t think it is remarkably better than Denny’s. Also I find the counters usually feel pretty greasy. One nice plus: all you can eat hashbrowns. I don’t have the heart to ask for it… but it is supposedly true.
Third tier, you have Diner Deluxe, Avenue Diner, and Dairy Lane. I really like these places. They have interesting menus, the line-ups aren’t insane, and they feel clean.
Avenue Diner is probably the classiest of the above 3. The decor is a little more upscale than your usual diner. I have professed my love for Dairy Lane but Avenue Diner is a close second. It is nicely located on Stephen Avenue in downtown Calgary so in the summer, it is a great place to stop for brunch while walking around the bustling street. In the winter… it can suck. First… no close free parking. Second… they don’t have a double door. The cold Calgary wind BLASTS in whenever the door opens. They have a little curtain that is their best attempt at stopping the draft but I should be clear: it is pretty useless. Sit as deep into the restaurant as you can in the winter.
They usually have a daily menu as well as their regular menu. I’ve been there maybe 5x and my favourites are probably the Eggs Benny and the Banana’s Foster. I forgot to shoot some pics the last time I went so all I have is the one below:
This is the Avenue Florentine (double smoked bacon, wilted spinach, garlic roasted shallots) for $14.49. A perfectly poached egg. A nice thick(ish) Hollaindaise and some barely crispy bacon. I really liked it.
Stay tuned for more photos when I go back.
Avenue Diner, 105 – 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB, (403) 263-2673, www.avenuediner.com