A prairie city beneath the mountains historically known for cowboys and rodeos has mastered Italy’s most coveted recipes. And though it may seem as unlikely a pairing as white wine with red meat, Calgary is home to two of the best Italian restaurants on the continent, Mercato. We say two because it has two locations, and now one of them is serving brunch.
Mercato has become a centerpiece in Calgary’s burgeoning food scene, attracting famous hockey players, business leaders, and socialites alike with al dente pastas and a traditional Italian menu elevated by use of the best available ingredients possible. It’s gourmet, but unpretentiously so, with a less-is-more approach that supersedes clickbait gimmicks for simple deliciousness. So if you order their tagliatelle, that’s exactly what you get, Tagliatelle noodles with classic pomodoro sauce, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and Parmigiano Reggiano. It’s to die for. Like, if anyone else made the exact same pasta there’s no way it could possibly taste as good as Mercato’s. How do they do it? Must be magic. So the fact that they’ve added weekend brunch is a big deal.
The regular lunch menu and rotating seasonal specials will still be available, in addition to new brunch dishes like Eggs in Purgatory – which is basically an Italian Shakshuka – composed of eggs baked in spicy Pomodoro, zucchini, peppers, fior di latte mozzarella, parmigiana cheese, and basil pesto, the Frittata with swiss chard sauce, smoked scamorza cheese, and crispy kale chips, and the Sausage Burger with a grilled spicy Calabrese sausage patty, fried egg, roaster peppers, red pepper aioli, and potato chips.
But it’s not called Mercato for nothing, attached to the restaurant is the city’s finest Italian market, where you can get imported products from Italy along with the restaurant’s handmade pastas and sauces. Ask for a jar of Uncle Luigi’s olive oil.
Brunch is only available at Mercato West on Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 11:30am to 3pm, book your table here.
873 85 St SW, T3H-0J5
Calgary, Alberta, Canada