Sky 360 Restaurant and Lounge is a revolving restaurant and viewing experience 510 feet above the city. While I was there to enjoy lunch, various groups of diners ranging from tourists to locals out for a birthday celebration were also excited about getting a whirl around Calgary.
During lunch hour, the tower makes one complete revolution in 45 minutes; at dinner, it’s one hour. The tower was originally designed to withstand high winds and shock, and even though Calgary’s not technically in an earthquake zone, this is the first structure in the west built to withstand one.
In 1968, the tower cost $3.5 million to build. Its original owners were Husky Oil and Marathon Realty, forming part of the Palliser Square redevelopment project. From tip to bottom, the Calgary Tower measures 627 feet (191 metres). By comparison, Seattle’s Space Needle tops off at 605 feet (184.4 metres). Bigger cousin CN Tower in Toronto comes in at 1,151 feet (351 metres) above ground.
The restaurant offers a variety of soups, meats, Oceanwise-sanctioned seafood dishes, desserts, cocktails and wines. Brunch is served on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm (it too is on the 45 minute rotation ‘schedule’).
To start, I ordered a mixed organic green salad with champagne honey vinaigrette ($11). I chose Pickerel, a white cold-water fish sourced from Manitoba as my lunch entrée ($28). It was served with fingerling potatoes and green beans in brown butter. The fish had a nice texture and delicious mild flavour to it, while the brown butter added a splash of extra juiciness.
A decadent Rocky Road brownie served with marshmallows, walnuts, chocolate sauce, and vanilla gelato ($9) completed my meal. The lunch deal is pretty good as an adult admission to the tower costs $15.24 (plus 5% GST). Dining at the Sky 360 gets you two floors higher and in a relaxed environment to slowly take in the changing scenery.
I did take a brief stop at the (slightly) lower observation deck, where you can dare to walk out across the glass, putting you 510 feet above ground, with only a plate of glass in between! It took some time, but I managed to walk out there. Kids just love this.
Reservations for Sky 360 Restaurant and Lounge are recommended and may be made online.
And if you prefer to dine closer to the ground, check out Calgary’s explosive food truck scene.
On another day, I sampled the Aloha Arkansas from Cheezy Bizness: Pulled pork, smoked cheddar cheese, and pineapple toasted up and ready to serve for $9.50.
If you’re planning a trip to Calgary, make sure to follow Calgary’s food trucks on Twitter at @streetfoodapp
My meals at both Sky 360 Restaurant and Cheezy Bizness were compliments of Tourism Calgary.