Restaurants & Bars 21

Calgary High-End Prices

alley | May 19, 200809:22 PM

I travel frequently on business and for the last couple of years this has meant several trips a year to New York. This has given me a chance to try out some excellent restaurants and cafes in Manhattan and Brooklyn: from cheap ethnic restaurants in the East Village to some of the best (and most expensive) places around the city.

But after paying top dollar at some very nice restaurants in New York, I find myself constantly surprised when I get home at the prices charged by many Calgary restaurants: 15-20$ for appetizers, 40$ plus for a main course, never mind the desserts.... I would expect these prices at a place like Bouley, or...

Now I am willing to pay top dollar for an exceptional evening out in Calgary. And there are some top-class restaurants in Calgary that are worth every penny: Capo and River Cafe are both excellent, I love Divino, and we had a surprising evening a few weeks ago at Teatro, the first time I had been there in several years. There are other places in town that are as good as any I have found in New York: Fleur de Sel outclasses Les Halles for example, and some of the best Indian restaurants here are as good as I have found in NY so far.

But there are too many "good but not great" places in Calgary charging Manhattan-level prices. I know: oil boom, inflated real estate, hard to get staff, yaddah yaddah. Still there has to be a limit to the number of people who are willing to pay so much for a less than stellar experience.

Are there other people out there who are also put off by overly high prices in town? Are you seeing menu prices starting to come down (just like housing prices)?

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