If you're missing out on all the wild and delicious treats normally found at the Stampede, have no fear. At this Calgary carnival restaurant, you can find all the delicious and creative festival dishes you've been craving all year round. Not only can you find iconic snacks like corndogs and cotton candy, but they also bring a fresh twist to familiar classics.

Carnival Cafe officially opened its doors on Sunday, May 24, and it's already become a hit with the locals. Co-owner Alex Dunn told Narcity he and his friends love festival food but were outraged they couldn't get it outside the carnival season.

"We're like, let's make a business modelled after the carnival and give them that cool carnival comfort food all year round," he said.

You could tell Dunn loves his job β€” I've never met a man more passionate about corndogs in my life. When he and his team aren't serving customers, they're in the kitchen, coming up with new, creative recipes to try.

"We turn the restaurant into a food lab every Monday," he said. "We experiment with new cotton candy flavours, new burger ideas, new recipes."

For example, right now he's working on an ultra-fancy wagyu-beef corndog fried with duck confit and bonito flakes.

He and his team invented all the recipe ideas, from maple bacon cotton candy to the Chick-N-Boom, their take on the hot Louisiana fried chicken sandwich. They've got all sorts of carnival staples like funnel cakes, deep-fried Oreos, elephant ears, and much more.

"I took some of our favourite recipes from every place that we travelled, just kind of taking the world's food we really love and I think people would enjoy," he said.

The end goal, he said, is to build a community β€” to be "something fun in the neighbourhood, for all the kids right in the community."

That means taking community feedback, too. The restaurant has held contests for customers' own ideas, like blooming onions, with the most popular dish making an audition on the menu.

So come check this place out, whether you're into festival food or not. Their dishes are made with heart, and isn't that what matters?

Carnival Cafe

Price: πŸ’ΈπŸ’Έ

Cuisine: Fair food

Address: 2650 36 St., Calgary, AB

Why You Need To Go: Get iconic carnival classics with a creative twist all year round at this friendly neighbourhood joint.


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