Welcome to the Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance for journalists, producers, bloggers photographers and other media professionals interested in covering the culinary travel stories ripening up in Alberta.
Find information about the province’s culinary strengths, curiosities and characters. Tap resources for your next story; we offer images, leads, sources and more. Media trip opportunities are offered in cooperation with our destination marketing partners.
We’re pleased to invite you to register for access to our media kit here.
Ask an Albertan what to serve a visitor and the replies will be as varied as the landscape and people who call this bountiful Prairie province home. All draw on Alberta’s rich and pioneering tradition of honouring quality food.
What is Harvested Here
Nurturing ingredients on permaculture homesteads, family-run ranches, inventive forest farms and rural roadside u-picks, Alberta growers and farmers seed the foundation for the best of local food and together foster an inviting spirit that rewards visitors with deliciously rich memories.
Come for the beef. Find hormone and antibiotic-free cuts of what critics deem among the world’s best. There is the bison and venison, the pork and poultry, the lamb and native lake and river fish, and the dairy delicacies. Barley, wheat, canola and flax are exported internationally and savoured locally. From carrots to corn, squash to strawberries, chokecherries to currants, the rewards of rich, fertile soil and Rocky Mountain water runs are plentiful.
What is Notorious Here
Best known for its AAA beef, Alberta is Canada’s cattle capital. But there is more. Bow Island, Alberta is Canada’s bean capital. Canada’s honey capital is in Alberta too; the town of Fahler in the Smoky River Region hosts an annual “Honey Festival.” Its Main Street features a honey bee statue, arguably the world’s largest.
Alberta ingredients create great recipes but also spark innovation, festivals and opportunities for learning and travel.
Where to Go Here
Wherever you venture in Alberta, there is sure to be a culinary story there, nearby or en route.In Alberta’s cities – like Edmonton and Calgary – streets are lined with foodie emporiums, eclectic bars, established restaurants, cute cafes, food trucks and pop-up stalls. Seasoned foodies are drawn to the lively rotation of new hotspots like chefs to tattoos.
Resort towns like Jasper, Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise match majestic scenery with memorable meals and the global influences of resort workers and international travellers. Find steaming shabu-shabu, sizzling fondue, colourful bubble teas, bakeries with Canadian butter tarts, Nanaimo bars and other ideal treats to tote, fine dining and pub grub.
Alberta’s rural hamlets, summer villages and National Parks all have their culinary charms, many of them enlivened by festivals and celebrations. From the Sunshine Skillet to the Taste of Edmonton to BBQ on the Bow, food brings people together in Alberta and visitors are always welcome.
Unique personal adventures take culinary travel bragging rights further in Alberta. Learn how to craft a cob oven in Edmonton; to bust a mutton at the Calgary Stampede; to herd a cow on a horseback ranch holiday; to grill fresh-caught trout by open fire. Or be spoiled; take breakfast by hot air balloon overlooking the Rocky Mountain peaks; charter the Royal Canadian Pacific luxury train with impeccable on-board dining to the pristine Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park; heli-ski to picnic on a glacier.
From the world’s best urban fishing in Calgary and modern Aboriginal cuisine in Edmonton to a new craft distiller in 100-year-old Turner Valley and the edible rewards of some of Canada’s best hunting areas throughout Alberta, authentic and natural culinary wonders offer a sense of discovery.
Who to Meet Here
The people bring the bounty to life. And in Alberta, you can encounter a culinary community – from chefs and farmers to authors and educators to barkeeps and beekeepers – thousands strong, united with one another and those they serve through a love of food and drink.
In Alberta, championing local cuisine by honouring the province’s agricultural heritage is on the front burner for restaurateurs.
In Calgary, meet Sal Howell of River Café (and more recently Boxwood) whose indigenous and locally grown ingredients set an early benchmark for authentic Alberta cuisine, served in a pretty park setting.At Model Milk in Calgary’s Beltline, chef Justin Leboe is frequently named among the city’s best and his menu reflects a commitment to local and seasonal ingredients. Chef Paul Rogalski (award-winning restaurateur) of Rouge, harvests ingredients from his restaurant’s garden patch. At CHARCUT Roast House, another award-winning local’s favourite, co-chefs and co-owners John Jackson and Connie DeSousa put Calgary on the world culinary map by taking their Alberta farm-to-table story international – to London, Maui, Toronto, Vancouver, New York and more.
In Edmonton, there is an emerging roster of new notables joining the longstanding Harvest Room at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald serving “100-mile” entrees for a taste of terroir. At RGE RD by Chef Blair Lebsack, the farm’s the charm with a rustic vibe and fresh, adventurous local dishes like ancho-rubbed Alberta flat iron steak and house made mozzarella. TAVERN 1903 on Jasper Avenue, a go-to stretch for great meals – unites a vintage-inspired saloon with a modern-casual restaurant serving up creativity. The neighbouring City Market Downtown is an Edmonton culinary must, named best Farmer’s Market by National Geographic Traveller, where you can meet the city’s most popular growers, bakers, butchers and more every Saturday, year-round.
Resort-town restaurants know how to nourish nature lovers setting off to hike, paddle and ride through the rugged mountains with healthy fare. Staple breakfast spots like Pearl’s Café in Waterton and the Bear’s Paw Bakery in Jasper.
Throughout Alberta, chefs and restaurants source ingredients straight from farmers they know by name and merchants at more than 100 approved farmers’ markets operating almost daily throughout the province. Try the Canmore Summer Market for The Harvest’s famous cinnamon buns fresh and oven-warm and The Calgary Farmer’s Market for generous samples from Simple Simon Pies before you buy.
Uniquely Albertan takes on global favourite dishes dot the map. Meet the expert perogy pinchers of Baba’s Own in Calgary and Edmonton. The Lethbridge cheese producers who scooped top prizes at the Canadian Cheese Awards in 2014. Noble Meadows Farm soft goat cheese is Canada’s top farmstead cheese. Nearby Crystal Springs Cheese produces the country’s best goat milk feta cheese.
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