Pat & Betty: Where to Celebrate Good Times on Calgary’s 1st Street

Victoria Park is a vast area covering Calgary’s Downtown and a collection of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Stampede grounds and BMO Centre. Importantly, Victoria Park is a neighbour to the notable 1st St, a strip of worthwhile bars, restaurants, and retail storefronts. One of these must visit establishments, Pat & Betty, is a contemporary bar and “dinette” inspired in equal parts by European and Canadian cuisine. If you’re not stopping by just for the beautiful location in the heart of Calgary, it will certainly be for the food and friendly atmosphere.

Pat & Betty: Where to Celebrate Good Times on Calgary’s 1st Street

Pat & Betty is first and foremost a place for celebrating the connections between good friends. The restaurant’s website outlines that their mission is to foster an environment where their patrons can celebrate simply being together – no special occasions needed. That’s not to say, however, that Pat & Betty is not an ideal place to gather for a birthday, anniversary, or special date night. The interior is a perfect balance of chic elegance and cosiness, with wooden accents, checkered floors, and warm lighting. Plus, the dual-level dining room offers a clear view onto 1st Street which, on a weekend night, is likely to be bustling with patrons. Those seated on the second-level balcony are treated with an additional lively view of Pat & Betty’s main dining room – which features a heated outdoor patio and a brightly-lit bar with plenty of additional seating.

It’s hard to find a better place to be on a busy weekend night in Calgary. Paired with the eclectic combination of interior styles and a well-rounded menu of tapas-inspired dishes, Pat & Betty establishes itself as one of the best gathering spots. The lunch and dinner menu is best summarized by a blend of Canadian cuisine and European heritage (taking homage from the background of the restaurant’s two namesakes, Pat and Betty) with delectable signature dishes that utilize European cooking traditions and ingredients inspired by Canada’s landscape. The Seared Foie Gras, for example, pairs this French staple with a hint of the Great North by adding maple syrup sourced from Quebec. Other notable menu items include Pork Belly & Scallops, a Pacific Sablefish with pistachios, and – for the vegetarians of the group – a rich and creamy Wild Mushroom Pappardelle.

Pat & Betty: Where to Celebrate Good Times on Calgary’s 1st Street

These larger “main course” meals only make up about a third of the overall menu, from which the servers at Pat & Betty recommend at least three dishes per person. Continuing the themes of community and savouring the small things in life, the menu is designed to inspire more of a communal approach to dining out. Each item from the “Snacks” and “Small Plates” section is made first and foremost to share amongst friends at the table – although that may be easier said than done. The good news is that, even with a small group, you should be able to order your way through a good portion of the menu while savouring the ways in which Pat & Betty brings a nuanced concept to fine dining.

From the Choice Oysters (served with a house-made hot sauce and fermented lemon mignonette) to the salty and savoury White Anchovy Toast on toasted sourdough, each small plate stands out with inventive flavours and fresh ingredients. Another strongly recommended dish from the sharable menu is the Atlantic Octopus, grilled to the perfect tenderness and served with a smoky ‘Nduja Aioli. And, if we have learned anything from the playbook at Pat & Betty, it’s that we should not be afraid to celebrate just for the sake of it. So if the circumstances of the night do call for a bit of indulgence, the kitchen offers a caviar service with rotating selections.

As a hub for community and good food, the tenets held strong by Pat & Betty are apparent in both the welcoming atmosphere and passion in the kitchen. So, regardless of what you choose off the menu, or how you decide to share it, there is a promise that you will leave your experience at Pat & Betty satiated in more ways than one.


About Bailey Seyts 12 Articles
Bailey Storey is an Honours Bachelor of Arts Graduate from the University of Toronto, where she double majored in English and art history. Since completing her degree, she has worked as a freelance writer for various online publications throughout Toronto and Calgary, the latter being where she currently resides. While completing her final year at the University of Toronto, she was runner-up for the Lorne Tepperman Prize in Public Writing in response to her article on St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Red Deer, Alberta. Bailey has the most experience writing about the arts due to her academic background and hobbies – which include painting and screenwriting. Most recently, she is attending SAIT’s Film & Video Production program with intentions to extend her writing career into the entertainment industry.