Top Ten Places To Eat Like a Local in Cowtown?

As Stampede time arrives and tourist start stampeding into our city I thought it would be fun to generate a list of local eateries that tourist should check-out.  I am not a foodie so my criteria are a bit different from those with the mega taste buds that can identify a every herb and ingredient known to man.   

I have chosen my top ten based on their proximity to the Stampede Grounds and downtown so they are in walking distance or a short cab ride.  

Another criteria is that they or the building have to be part of shaping Calgary's unique culture past and present. 

Finally there had to be a fun story associated with them.   

So here goes...in no particular order...  

Forget the Golden Arches or KFC head to Cowtown's own "Chicken on the Way" which has been serving up great chicken and french fries since 1958.  It is very popular with the late night crowd.  1443 Kensington Road NW (Kensington) 

Peters' Drive-In has been a Cowtown tradition since 1964. Just look for the sea gulls circling the skies just waiting for someone to leave them some yummy fries.  There claim to fame is that they served 4,000 milk shakes on one day.  It is a bit off the beaten path but worth the trip. 219 16th Avenue NE (Crescent Heights) 

Spolumbo's Fine Foods & Deli is located in Calgary's hipster community -  Inglewood. It is owned and operated by three hefty former Calgary Stampeders (Canadian Football) players all from traditional Calgary Italian families.  Surprise Surprise it is know for its sausages. Be prepared to line up, but it is worth the wait.  1308 - 9th Avenue SE (Inglewood)    

Rouge is one of Calgary's, Canada's and maybe the world's best restaurants.  It was rank # 60 in the S. Pellegrino top 100 restaurants in the world in 2010.  Located in the A.E. Cross House (Cross was one of the Big Four, who invested in Guy Weadick's crazy idea in 1912 to create frontier show that would showcase skills of cowboys, which became The Calgary Stampede) built in 1891.  It doesn't get more authentic cowtown than this. 1240 8th Ave SE (Inglewood).

Yes Model Milk is located in an old dairy building on Calgary's Red Mile.  In fact it use to be the largest and most modern dairy in Alberta in 1933.  Today it is home to one of Calgary's most popular new hang outs for the "young and restless."  Fried Chicken Mondays are very popular as is family style Sundays.  This place can be loud and fun.  308 - 17th Ave SW (Beltline) 

Charcut is another of the fun foodie spots that are popping up everywhere.  Since opening a  few years ago it has been chosen one of the top 50 restaurants in Canada by MacLean's magazine and one of the top ten new restaurants by en Route magazine.  The Chefs have travelled the world working in some of the top kitchens, but have decided to come home and be part of Calgary's thriving foodie fun.  Look for their food truck Alley Burger which is one of the best in the city. 899 Center Street  South(Downtown) 

Buzzards and Bottlescrew Bill's pub celebrate their 20th year in 2013.  It is perhaps best know for its "Testicle Festival" with the most popular choices being "Mixed Nuts," Great Balls of Fire" and " Battered Balls." The pub is famous for its "Around the World in 80 Beers" which invites patrons to test 80 different beers from around the world in one year.  If you are looking for a stampede challenge you might try it in 10 days. 

Buzzards and Bottlescrew Bill's pub celebrate their 20th year in 2013.  It is perhaps best know for its "Testicle Festival" with the most popular choices being "Mixed Nuts," Great Balls of Fire" and " Battered Balls." The pub is famous for its "Around the World in 80 Beers" which invites patrons to test 80 different beers from around the world in one year.  If you are looking for a stampede challenge you might try it in 10 days. 

Silver Inn Restaurant is where ginger beef was invented in 1974.  Story goes the owners wanted a menu item that featured the world famous Alberta beef so they created ginger beef and the rest is history. (2702 Centre Street North) Tuxedo. 

Sidewalk Citizen Bakery Deli is located in the Sunnyside Natural Market across the street from Safeway in Calgary Bobo community of Hillhurst Sunnyside.   Aviv Fried started baking his bread for friends and delivering it by bicycle, then move to the Farmer's market and now has a southside and northside location.  While he is famous for his bread, we have come to love his scones, pastries and sandwiches.  Not bad for guy with a masters in biomedical engineering. Who says engineers can't be creative? 

Sidewalk Citizen Bakery Deli is located in the Sunnyside Natural Market across the street from Safeway in Calgary Bobo community of Hillhurst Sunnyside.   Aviv Fried started baking his bread for friends and delivering it by bicycle, then move to the Farmer's market and now has a southside and northside location.  While he is famous for his bread, we have come to love his scones, pastries and sandwiches.  Not bad for guy with a masters in biomedical engineering. Who says engineers can't be creative? 

Calgary has a very sophisticated cafe culture which has exploded over the past few years.  The early culture was centered in Kensington at the Roasterie and Higher Ground near the Southern Alberta College of Art & Design and SAIT.  Today there is a plethora of local cafes - Analogue, Bumpy's, de Ville, Gravity,  Kawa, Rosso, just off the top of my head.  But the epicenter of the our coffee culture is Cafe Beano on 17th Avenue.  It is were both the artists and the CEOs like to hang out.  There is always a buzz.