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Taste of Calgary back with bigger venue, new digital ticketing

Taste of Calgary is returning to the downtown this August, and without hyperbole, it is bigger than ever.

The festival that celebrates food and beverage culture in Calgary is expanding its west downtown location at CPA Lot 6 (4 Avenue SW and 8 Street SW) to cover parts of the pathway system and green space.

Jennifer Rempel, Taste of Calgary’s organizer, said that would help to eliminate the lines seen at last year’s festival and offer more shade and picnic space for attendees.

“We were definitely overwhelmed—and thankful—for everybody that came out last year, but we hit capacity,” Rempel said.

“By taking some of the green space, we’re now offering shady nooks and crannies, and the ability to put a blanket out, have a picnic, and really round out the festival experience.”

She said that the additional space roughly doubles the amount of capacity that the festival has for attendees this year.

With that additional space, said Rempel, will come more vendors. The number of restaurants, food trucks, distilleries, and breweries is up from 2022 by approximately a third to 90.

What has remained, she said, was the emphasis on giving Calgarians an opportunity to try different offerings from restaurants and supporting local food and beverage businesses.

“Everybody still has a little bit of Covid debt they’re dealing with, and trying to pick things up. So there’s still that message of support, and there’s also the message of trying something new,” Rempel said.

“So come to Taste of Calgary and taste something that you haven’t seen before, explore a new restaurant that you might not have considered going to—you can have a little sample of it—as well as just pushing the boundaries on cuisine.”

Taste of Calgary is also going from four days to five this year—running from August 3 to August 7, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

Entry to the festival is free, and all of the meals and beverages at Taste of Calgary will like previous years, range from $2 to $7 per item.

Paper plates yes, paper tickets no

Taste of Calgary is dropping the use of paper tickets for 2023, and instead is using what the festival is calling a Taste Pass.

The pass, which is effectively a pre-loaded tap card, allows attendees to pre-purchase credits for the various vendors online until August 2, or can be purchased at Taste of Calgary during the event.

The passes range from $25 to $1,000, and online purchasers before August 2 will receive VIP entry to the festival and a free Taste of Calgary tote bag, while supplies last.

“We’ve been thinking long and hard about this for a couple of years, and as technology has changed, we’ve now been able to take advantage of that,” said Rempel.

“To go from paper tickets to digital is really we’re just providing all of our vendors a [point of sale] system, that’s ours.”

This also means that people can tap their own debit or credit cards at each vendor instead of purchasing tickets directly.

“If you’re worried about all those individual bank fee charges on your debit, you can also go and buy a pre-loaded taste pass from our main ticket tents,” she said.

Rempel said that one of the little-known secrets of Taste of Calgary was that for the past 25 years, they didn’t count the tickets turned in from vendors, they weighed them.

“It was really difficult for us to, with all those tickets, to count them, and to manage the backend accounting. We did an experiment once where we handed a bunch of different people the same amount of tickets, and they came up with different numbers—just physically counting tickets can be difficult,” Rempel said.

“This way, we can also track individual sales and individual item sales and provide feedback daily on their sales, really modernizing the experience for the vendors.”

Part of the reason that the change has become possible is festivals like Taste of Calgary can now rent for short periods of time POS terminals instead of having to purchase them.

“We have things now like Shopify and Square which allow point-of-sale systems to be rented. Our biggest problem is we couldn’t purchase that many to use for five days a year. Now equipment can be rented, and so it’s a real benefit to our organization.”

Some returning favourites, but lots of new food to try

Rempel said that there were some sure-fire hits to be had this year for people to try, some new and some returning.

“Well, of course, the lobster roll from Blowers and Grafton that hit it out of the park last year is coming back. But this year, we have some great partners joining us,” Rempel said.

“We have Big Fish and Open Range doing fresh shucked oysters and they’re doing deep fried soft shell crab, which just sounds so amazing to me.”

Other top items, she said, were vegetarian and vegan options from Sprout and Odd Burger, and no-alcohol ales from Tuesday Brewing.

For attendees who couldn’t make it to Dumpling Hero due to the lines at the Stampede, they will be serving up their dumplings, bao, and tacos.

“Personally I love the dumplings from Dumpling Hero. Quite a few of the trucks that were at Stampede are at Taste of Calgary, and so if there was a long line at the Stampede, you can actually get to try them at Taste of Calgary,” Rempel said.

For a full list of all of the items for sale this year, tasteofcalgary.com/pages/menu.


  • Ametia and Sub
  • Amihan Grill and Bakeshop
  • Arepa Boss
  • Arepas Ranch
  • The Banquet Bar
  • BBQ Chicken
  • Big Fish and Open Range
  • Blowers and Grafton
  • Brie and Banquet Wild Catering Co
  • The Canadian Brewhouse
  • Caribbean Taste
  • Chattime West 85
  • Chunk’d
  • Churros by Fernando
  • Expatasia
  • Fantasy Donuts and Pretzels
  • Flavours Cuisine and Catering
  • Flower and Wolf
  • Foothills Creamery
  • Fusion Food Indian Chinese Corner
  • Fuwa Fuwa
  • Gershom’s Pinoy Kakanin ATBP
  • Golden Kway Teow Palace
  • Good Fillin’
  • Hanbo Korean Noodle
  • The Halal Guys
  • Hot Cakes Factory
  • The Inn on Officers Garden
  • Kitchen Lizard
  • Kokoms
  • Las Canarias Service Corp
  • Laokuza Grill
  • Mama Dessert
  • Mia’s Lechon
  • Mina’s Brazilian Steakhouse
  • Odd Burger
  • Pablo Cheese Tart Calgary
  • Peak Pizza
  • The Plate
  • Pure Street Food
  • Quechivo Salvadorian Street Food
  • Simply Irie
  • Siomai Queen
  • Sprout
  • Tasty Churros
  • Wafflepops

Food Trucks

  • Authentic Churros
  • Buldak Stick
  • The Canadian Brewhouse “Our Truck is Your Truck”
  • The Dumpling Hero
  • The Greta Food Truck
  • The Happy Fish Catering Inc.
  • Mumbai Bites
  • Sassy Scarlett’s
  • Tasca Piccante Empanadas
  • Uzu Ice Cream
  • Viet 2 Go


  • The Banquet Bar
  • Blackfly Beverage
  • Blowers and Grafton
  • Big Fish and Open Range
  • Bow River Brewing
  • Bridgeland Distillery
  • Brie and Banquet Wild Catering Co
  • The Canadian Brewhouse
  • Corby Spirit and Wine
  • Eau Claire Distillery
  • Expatasia
  • The Fort Distillery
  • Las Canarias Service Corp
  • McClelland Premium Imports
  • OT Brewing Company
  • Romero Distilling Co
  • Simply Irie
  • Spirit Hills Winery
  • Tuesday Brewing
  • Uncommon Cider
  • Village Brewery
  • Wild Life Distillery
  • Zero Issue Brewing