Our local markets are bursting with excitement as they celebrate Ukrainian Christmas (newly established as December 24th, although some still celebrate in January) and Lunar New Year (occurs this year on February 10th).

Discover all kinds of traditional dishes like the handmade Ukrainian classics at Margarita’s Dishes to creative dim sum, Filipino-style siomai, and east/west fusion from YYC Dim Sum, Siomai Queen, and Expat Asia.

Margarita's Dishes


Margarita’s Dishes is owned and operated by Margarita Korduner and her son Danny. The family immigrated to Canada in 1982 and quickly thereafter opened their first restaurant. There, family recipes handed down through the generations made their Calgary debut. Having grown up in the family restaurant, Danny educated himself further by spending most of his 20s in New York, deepening his knowledge of the restaurant industry. Upon his return, the mother-and-son team combined their talents to create the long-standing Calgary institution we now all know and love.

The menu is replete with mouth-watering old-world classics like warm cheese pierogi, overstuffed cabbage rolls, breaded schnitzel and the ever-popular homemade buttermilk blintz. The combo plates are piled high and topped with a generous portion of silky sour cream. On the side, the oven-baked sauerkraut lends the perfect balance of acid. No time to sit and eat? Margarita’s freezers are stuffed with take-home options you can prepare with ease.

Every item on the menu is handmade with loving care. Danny says, “I have thought about getting a machine to make the pierogi, but I love watching the team make them by hand, just the way my mom used to.” Like the pierogi itself, Margarita’s Dishes has proven it too can stand the test of time.

Margarita’s Dishes
Calgary Farmers’ Market South – 510 77th Ave. S.E.
Calgary Farmers’ Market West – 25 Greenbriar Dr. N.W.
calgaryfarmersmarket.ca/margaritas-dishes | @margaritasdishes

sio mai dumpling


Clement Ng and the team at YYC Dim Sum and TeAmo Fruit Tea have been honing their dim sum offering since launching it last summer. Chef Clement’s approach to Hong Kong-style small bites is creative and beautiful with special attention paid to presentation. Sample your faves with mochi bun flights, steam-bun flights, dumpling flights and more. Call in advance to ensure availability.

Felise Vizcarra has been serving up Filipino-style siomai dumplings from her Siomai Queen kiosk for the past three years. What’s the difference between Filipino and Chinese siomai? Vizcarra says it’s all in the dipping sauce.

“Chinese-style uses chili oil,” she says. “We use a chili garlic crunch. Not too spicy and very good.” We can confirm it is, indeed, very good.

Finally, we pop in on our friends at Expat Asia, where you will always find something delicious on the go. In honour of Year of the Dragon, we had the Badass Dragon Noodles featuring black garlic confit, French truffle oil, crispy pork belly, 63-degree sous vide eggs, real Parmesan cheese and Korean chili: talk about a delicious east/west fusion. Chef/co-owner Joel Matthews says the team always cooks up something special for Lunar New Year and this year will be no different. Make sure you pop by around Feb. 10 for a limited-time dish (it was still a secret at press time.) Speaking of TBD, Joel says they’re looking at a potential second location in Marda Loop. Watch for more news on that!

Fresh and Local Market & Kitchens | 12445 Lake Fraser Dr. S.E. | 403.475.4155 | freshandlocal.ca