Guilty Pleasures: What We’re Eating at the Calgary Stampede
We explore the greatest outdoor show on earth to uncover the best of the midway fare.
The culinary experience of the Calgary Stampede is a destination in its own right. You can’t walk a block in the morning without stumbling upon a free Stampede breakfast and every gourmet restaurant in the city has something special on its menu. But what’s sometimes overlooked is the joy of the basic fair food. We don’t mean deep-fried ice cream or cockroach pizza, we’re talking the classics. Here is our one-day binge on all things delicious at the Calgary Stampede midway – just in time for the second weekend of the event.
The corn dog is the perfect warm-up for the rookie Stampeder. We don’t know why eating a hot dog on a stick is so satisfying, but why deny yourself the nostalgic joy of starting out your Stampede diet with a classic?
Once you’ve finished your appetizer corn dog, it’s time to indulge in Canada’s favourite delicacy, a classic poutine. This one had crispy fries, squeaky cheese curds, and they didn’t cheap out on the gravy. Come on. It’s our heritage.
It’s time for a snack once you arrive at the rodeo. Really, when else do you get popcorn hand-delivered to you? This salty Stampede-branded snack is delicious, but be sure to nab a couple bags – your seatmates won’t be able to resist helping themselves.
At this point, you might start feeling a little thirsty from the heat and the popcorn. If you’re going to “yahoo” your way through the barrel racing & bull riding, it’s smart to stay hydrated with a refreshing lemonade (or two).
We are known for loving donuts at WL, so of course mini-donuts are basically mandatory for Stampede. These sugary little morsels are a treat and come in every quantity from a dozen to 100, depending on your hunger level.
Taco in a Bag
Back on the midway, the taco in a bag is a Stampede staple you need to try. In case you want to make one at home, here are the (super-simple) directions: 1. Open bag of Doritos. 2. Add ground beef, lettuce, sour cream, and salsa. 3. Shake bag. 4. Enjoy.
The Maple Donut Burger
An entire day of eating leads up to the grand finale – the infamous Maple Donut Burger. Introduced at Stampede in 2011, this is no regular hamburger. It’s a bacon cheeseburger sandwiched between two maple-dipped donuts that feel just like the Tim Horton’s classics. This Canadian mash-up is surprisingly delicious, if you can get around the guilt of consuming 400 calories wrapped around a bacon cheeseburger. We recommend sharing bites with your crew to avoid feeling too gluttonous!