Get your big appetite ready for Downtown Calgary’s The Big Taste

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

OK, maybe you reserve that sentiment for Christmas or Calgary Stampede, but for those who love food and checking out all the great restaurants this city has to offer, the annual The Big Taste festival is definitely worth celebrating.

Starting March 3rd and running to the 12th, more than 95 restaurants will be offering set lunch or dinner menus for a bargain. Three-course lunches run $15 to $25, three-course dinners for $25 to $35 and five-course meals (with optional wine pairings for an additional cost) are $65. Some restaurants are even offering Happy Hour options.

Restaurants run the gamut of all cuisines, from Mexican with Anejo to burgers, steak, seafood and all the flavours of Asia with Foreign Concept, Hapa Izakaya and Goro + Gun

Along with the set menu meals, The Big Taste has 12 signature events planned, including a winemakers’ dinner at Deane House, a reunion meal at Catch featuring the fantastic chefs who have cooked in that kitchen and “Seoul Food” dinner at Anju, which will combine American soul food with the flavours of Korea.

The best part — for a planner like me, at least — is all the menus are already posted online so you can get excited about what you will be eating well in advance, and you can make reservations as soon as you spot something you like.

For a full list of menus, events and to buy tickets, head to

Gwendolyn Richards is a Calgary-based food writer and the author of Pucker: A Cookbook for Citrus Lovers. She regularly contributes to Avenue magazine, the Calgary Herald and is the restaurant writer for Where Calgary. She is currently wondering if she can manage to go out to lunch or dinner every day of The Big Taste.