If you’re hoping to casually bump into someone at lunch, it’s probably a good idea to start frequenting Mercato. The Italian restaurant and market on 4th Street has long been the Calgary hangout for business lunches and pre-game drinks. Mercato is the perfect place to stop in for lunch or dinner, but since the restaurant is attached to a great Italian market, it’s also a great place to pick up something on your way home from work.
Mercato makes Italian specialties fresh daily for hungry patrons to take home and reheat. You can find full meals such as pasta dishes, or you can buy one of Mercato’s 14 styles of homemade sauces to pour over pasta at home. They also have a great deli where you can find some of the best Italian meats, olives, cheeses, and sausages in Calgary. There is a distinct emphasis on quality at Mercato, which is why their sausages are made from an old family recipe, their olives are stuffed on site, their pasta is handcrafted with organic eggs, and their produce selection includes ingredients that would be near-impossible to find anywhere else. Their deli also serves up great Italian sandwiches and desserts, such as the classic tiramisu. There’s an in-house coffee bar where you can grab an authentic Italian espresso or cappuccino and delicious baked goods.
Some of the best Italian fare in Calgary is featured in everything that the restaurant attached to the market at Mercato serves. The authentic Italian dishes are simply prepared, as is custom with some of the best Italian foods. The quality and freshness of the ingredients shine through in Mercato’s different pasta dishes. Make sure you sit close to the kitchen, so you can get a full view of the action while you’re eating your meal. Mercato, 2224 4th Street SW, Calgary, 403-263-5535.