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Alberta’s Cilantro and Chive Is Worth the Detour

Alberta, Canada, is an undersung hotbed of independent brewing. One of the best places to taste what the province has to offer has locations in Lacombe and Red Deer—a homey restaurant that takes locally grown beer as seriously as locally grown ingredients.

Scott Messenger Sep 25, 2021 - 2 min read

Alberta’s Cilantro and Chive Is Worth the Detour Primary Image

Photo: Courtesy Cilantro and Chive

What it is: Located roughly halfway between Alberta’s two biggest cities—Edmonton is 80 miles north; Calgary, 110 miles south—Cilantro and Chive is the ideal endpoint of a quick prairie road trip. This three-time winner for best restaurant at the annual Alberta Beer Awards is hidden in the heart of Lacombe, a small city that boasts a beautifully walkable, century-old downtown. Thanks to the Kay family, who opened Cilantro and Chive here in 2015, it’s also one of the province’s best beer destinations—the list features more than 200 choices, most of them Alberta-brewed.

Why it’s great: From the start, the restaurant highlighted the region’s ingredients and producers. Soon after, the Kays applied that same approach to beer, taking macro lagers off the menu. After all, this part of Canada produces more barley than any other province and the entire United States—lovely stuff that ends up in beers from the likes of Russian River to Sierra Nevada. This is a homey, friendly place—families welcome. There’s cotton candy on the dessert menu for the kids, but you’re the one who’ll feel like you’ve been given the keys to the candy store.

Hours: 11 a.m.—8:30 p.m., Tuesday–Sunday
Address: 5021 50th St., Lacombe, Alberta, Canada; plus a new location in nearby Red Deer, at 1927 50 Ave.

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