As a tram driver in the late 19th century, Bert Malthouse ferried passengers past one of London's most vibrant and eclectic seafood markets—Billingsgate. Seeing this historic site daily apparently left quite the mark on Malthouse. In 1907, shortly after moving to Canada, he founded a market near present-day Calgary and named it after that famed seafood supplier. And being miles away from the nearest ocean didn't deter Malthouse from his mission one bit—he used a humble horse and buggy to supply the prairie region with fresh, wharf-worthy catches .
Over the next century Billingsgate Fish Company expanded to three seafood markets, two cafes, and two processing plants, all without losing that original passion for fresh-caught fish. Now owned and operated by the family's fourth generation, Billingsgate reaches out to both shores and stocks its displays with everything from Pacific salmon and oysters to Atlantic lobsters and halibut. As part of this maritime-inspired empire, the two Billingsgate Lighthouse Cafés welcome diners to sample some of the markets' freshest catches. New arrivals appear in the daily pasta special, while the fried fish and chips and the steamed lobster would fit in seamlessly at a seaside eatery or potluck in Atlantis.
For nearly two decades, Chef Danielle Majeau has slow-simmered Cajun meats and served them with hearty dollops of traditional southern sides. She cooks her Creole and Cajun specialties to order at the restaurants Stony Plain Road location, or for up to 250 guests and brings them to homes and businesses across Edmonton. If preferred, Chef Majeau can also prepare meals in clients’ kitchens and serve them to eager dinner guests or arrange them for uninspired still-life painters.
When Joe and Theresa Klassen first founded Joey’s Seafood Restaurant in 1985, they were simply looking to create a friendly neighbourhood eatery that served made-to-order seafood. Though the company has since expanded to more than 69 franchises across Canada, it still falls under the leadership of its founder, who frequently develops new strategies for growth and expansion while continuing to supply each location with fresh, Pacific-based seafood. Joey’s offers two distinct dining experiences: full-service restaurants (designed for families and their hungry sock puppets) and quick-serve places (designed for younger generations). At the quick-serve eateries, foodsmiths dole out a smaller menu of fried fish and shrimp. The full menu includes seafood entrees such as sautéed PEI mussels, blackened Pacific snapper, and Joey’s famous fish 'n' chips—fillets of halibut, cod, or haddock dunked into a secret-recipe batter and then deep-fried in canola oil. Nationally, the company supports the Alzheimer's Society of Canada through local and national fundraising efforts. Since 2000, its franchises have collectively raised more than $950,000 for the organization.
The smells of sizzling Indian and Chinese dishes mingle as they waft out from Masala Wok's kitchen. Inside, naan rises in tandoori ovens, and meat, poultry, and seafood simmer in saucepans of curries, stir-fries, and rice dishes. Chefs eschew trans fats in favour of canola oil, and fine Asian spices help minimize the use of sodium to craft healthier dishes. During midday, a lunch buffet of eclectic menu items stretches across the dining room beneath Asian artwork and walls the deep red of a fire truck wandering out of the wrong restroom.
A chain of restaurants founded in 1952, Fatburger’s team of skilled grillsmiths tirelessly bustles about kitchens across the continent whipping up platefuls of fresh, cooked-to-order diner fare. Upon receiving each patron’s order, chefs spring into action meticulously preparing feasts from the finest of ingredients including AAA Alberta beef, hand-picked produce, and cholesterol-free oil. Frozen treat specialists plunge scoops into ice cream containers, extracting creamy orbs to be transformed into milkshakes so old fashioned that they only enter the straw after donning a set of pearls. Fostering an authentic atmosphere, each Fatburger location features retro decor and enforces a strict poodle-skirt-only dress code for all diners.
Pita Pit’s sandwich artisans arm themselves with fresh produce each morning as they battle the common assumption that healthful food is never delicious. They customize each fresh-made pita and salad with 15 veggie options and more than 15 sauces to dazzle taste buds during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To quench thirsts, they blend myriad fruits into smoothies that are more refreshing than diving into a giant smoothie, complementing tender roast beef and spicy buffalo chicken wrapped in low-carb pitas.