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Bookers BBQ + Crab Shack
Bookers BBQ + Crab Shack

Bookers BBQ + Crab Shack Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.bookersbbq.com
  • Phone: (403) 264-6419
  • Hours of Operation: Mon – Thurs open from 11:30 am to 11:00 pm
    Fri open from 11:30 am to 1:00 am (food served until 10:30 pm)
    Sat open from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am (food served until 10:30 pm)
    Sun open from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Barbecue, Seafood, Southern
  • Executive Chef: Myles Learning
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room
  • Catering: Please contact the restaurant directly for more details.
  • Private Party Contact: Katherine Miranda (403) 264-6419
  • Entertainment: Live local bands Friday and Saturday nights starting at 9pm. No cover charge.
  • Special Events & Promotions: Live Music Saturday nights. All-You-Can-Eat Crab on Sunday and Monday evenings. All-you-can-eat ribs Monday evenings.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 3rd Street SE
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Bookers BBQ + Crab Shack
Established in 1998 in a century-old brick warehouse, Bookers is a hidden gem at the gateway to Calgary's East Village. Our seasoned BBQ chefs slow-smoke over 200 lbs of Alberta chicken, beef, and pork every day and serve it up along with fresh seafood, local produce, and original rubs and sauces. With daily features, weekly specials, and live music on weekends, we offer authentic Southern hospitality and a comfortable, upbeat dining and drinking experience.

Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "Great Food Great Sevice what more can I say. Be sure to try the Jim Beam lemonade."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "It felt like we were a huge inconvenience to the wait staff, had to go find someone to take our drink order and even then they didn't come by to check on us very often - it wasn't even that busy! The saving grace was we went to hear the band which didn't disappoint."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "WE have been to Bookers for all you can eat crab many times and always enjoy it. This time we did find that the crab came out quite cold a few times and we were not told of the 18% gratuity that was automatically added on to the bill. Otherwise our server was friendly and the food was good overall."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "This is our third time eating at Bookers and I must say the food quality has severely declined. My wife ordered the blackened catfish and it was dry and bland. When she asked for a creole sauce, she was given tarter sauce. I ordered the all you can eat crabs and ribs. The crab legs were cold and obviously the chef did not boil them in crab boil because they were very bland and difficult to get out of the shell. The ribs were very meaty, tender and spicy. So if you are going to this restaurant, it is probably best to stick to meat selections. My wife and I are from Louisiana, and Bookers is a very poor imitation of a "Southern BBQ & Seafood" restaurant. We likely will not go back."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "Bookers use to be great, food was amazing, service was efficient and the atmosphere was original and cool. Now the food is sub par, on a Friday night there were out of calmari, chicken wings and 2 types beer. When we did receive our food 2 of the orders were not correct. The chicken and ribs of the other orders were either cold or dry. Our server was sweet but terrible at her job. P"
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "I've had good service at Bookers before but our waitress on this visit could barely be bothered to do the bare minimum. Three people out of out group including myself had the brisket. I can't say that I know much about this type of cuisine but the meat was nicely spiced and tender. Everyone enjoyed the side dishes that ranged from yam fries, to cole slaw, to jalapeño mac & cheese. I've been to Bookers on a few Saturdays when they had live music and its always a good time with the crowd being a little on the older side."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "We had visitors from the UK and wanted to treat them to some great food... Bookers was it!!!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "I've been before, so didn't disappoint. The service was a bit slow and confused, but it was a busy lunch time and we were a group of 5. Servings are generous, lots of spice and heat (if you want). Fun environment. Live music would be the draw for an evening visit. Good beer selection, excellent menu choices, even for those not into the heavy battered and fried foods. Good spot for lunch, better spot for dinner/evening/music."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Food was excellent, restaurant was a bit smoky though, we went for lunch and I'm pretty sure I smelled like BBQ smoke all afternoon back at work."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Not sure why I went back there, but I know I'll never do it again. The service was bad and the food was even worse. I ordered the chicken and ribs with a side of beans and slaw. The chicken was dry and the ribs were bland. We should have just gone to Montana's. It would have been 100 times better. And we could barely hear ourselves think, it was so loud. We couldn't wait to get out of there. I think Bookers is long past its best before date."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "Went for all you can eat crab and they just kept on bringing it!!!"
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "We will not go back. It is a very noisy, messy, disorganized spot. We had brisket, pulled pork and ribs, all of which were dry, dry, dry and really mediocre. The stuffed potato was good. The service was very poor and slow."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "The food was great. Our table ordered ribs, brisket, chicken, and the all you can eat ribs/crab, and all were fantastic. The great the food was tempered by terrible service. My table sat down at 5:45pm and promptly ordered drinks. The drinks came quickly to our table, but they were not the drinks we ordered. 10 minutes passed until we received our correct drink order. We order our meals- 45 minutes passed, when our server Emily finally came to check on my table and noticed the we were still waiting for our food. Another 12 minutes passed and our food arrived. We watched other tables receive their food within 10 minutes of ordering. No table checks, and we had to ask three times to get a water and a pop refill for my husband and dad."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "We always make a point of stopping in here when we stay down town."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "As a whole the experience was awesome!!! The music was great, service was good, food was great....everything you want for a Saturday night out!!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "We loved this spot! We have two children and the menu was friendly and the atmosphere was great! Was a total hit! We plan to take them up on their Stampeders offer this summer. The brisket is something to rave about! Get one of the platters to get some variety. Service was great! Friendly staff and management and we felt very welcome there. We loved this place!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "I was really excited to try out bookers for the first time for a girlfriends birthday last week. My first impression was excellent, the building is really cool, its in a need location and the food smelled delicious. It was a rather refreshing atmosphere relative to most places in Calgary. However, what quickly followed was very disappointing. The food was cold, very expensive for what it was and the service was horrible, I would not recommended this place to anyone."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "Food and service were good. Portion sizes are a joke. I and two colleagues had the combo. I little piece of chicken, and two strips of brisket. OMG. This was the skimpiest plate I have ever seen down town for over 20 dollars per plate. I know food costs are higher in Canada, but I suggest the owners take a trip to Houston and see a real BBQ joint. Very disappointing portion sizes. I have not been there in 3 years and will likely not be going back anytime soon. "
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "Excellent food and service. Nice ambiance. Good choice of menu, suitable for all... Highly recommend the crab. Careful, Huge portions... We ordered two appetizers and 2 entrees... Way too much! We've been in Calgary for 14 years and always drove by this place and wanted to go. We finally did! Regrets we did not go sooner... We will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Third time at Booker's and as always the food was delicious! Sadly this time the service was lacking. The person who served us was pleasant, he brought the wrong appetizer, he mixed up our dinners, my companion ordered the spicy pulled pork sandwich, I had the pulled pork sandwich minus the bun so it wasn't a simple switch of plates to rectify. Once the band started we did not see our waiter at all, we wanted another drink before leaving but opted to just grab our bill and go. We had to go to the bar to request the bill and after waiting at our table with the credit card visible for quite a while, had to go to the bar to pay. While the service wasn't the worse, it still dampened the experience."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Got to go if you're hungry - portions are generous and quality id good"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Had a good meal at this restaurant but nothing stellar. Most tender brisket I've ever had but half of it was fat. Best part of the meal was the deep fried pickles, but they arrived just before our entrée so we felt like we were being rushed through our meal. Cocktails were ok but not worth the price. Our driver was just average, a bit surly and didn't check in on us until our meal was almost finished. We had much higher expectations for this meal and they fell quite short. "
    Dined on 5/19/2014
  • "We had a good time, great service and enjoyed our meal thoroughly."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "Great food! Fun atmosphere. Looks are deceiving from the outside but the interior is very trendy."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "Food was reasonable but non spectacular. Great ambiance but we felt the need to eat and leave...."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "My husband and I (late 50's) came to dine here early one Saturday evening. Being from the Maritimes, the appeal for me was the snow crab on the menu. We had the crab for appetizer, then the seafood jambalaya and the fish'n chips; hubby had tried the catfish on his previous visit. We were pleasantly surprised with every food item; the crab was better than we both expected and left us hungry for more; the half-portion of Jambalaya was very spicy and good although not enough seafood/fish chunks in it for my taste. My husband enjoyed his fish on both occasions. The service was very friendly and efficient. We plan on returning in the future for the "all you can eat crab" and hope to be just as pleased the next time around."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "very welcoming when we arrived. open relaxed atmosphere. love the tunes. service was quick, friendly and well informed. I had the shrimp po'boy and fries. my friend had the brisket sandwich (she let me have a small sample only - lol). both were really good and filling. we plan to go back again and again until we work our way through the entire menu."
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "Service wast fast, and foods were great! Servings are huge - you get what you pay for. Servers take care of your needs."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "As the title states, the food was cold. Apparently they need to better manage the food as it comes out. The taste was good by Calgary BBQ standards, but I've definitely had better. The ambiance I can say was great thanks to the live blues band they had playing. Had the sampler platter and a couple Caesars (with beacon in it, which was great). The waitress left us waiting with empty glasses on several occasions. In fact, the host even stopped by to fill our glasses once because of that. The food took forever to come out. Would I go back? Probably, but only to give them a chance to redeem themselves, but if I receive the same service that will be the last time I do."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Terrific service, great atmosphere, and food to DIE for - Bookers has everything you need to make for an enjoyable lunch, dinner, or celebration. It doesn't look like much from the outside, and you'll suffer a minor panic attack as you lock the car and wonder if you'll ever see it again - but from the moment you walk inside, you'll understand why this place comes so highly recommended. The decor is vintage Memphis BBQ, live entertainment is great, and the meat falls off the bone. Bookers does it right, and we will most definitely be coming back!"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Upon arriving at 4:30 the place was pretty much empty. The manager (he seemed to be the person in charge) gave us a hard time about accommodating our seating from high tables to normal chairs. It was the Saturday before mothers day. I knew with the people in my party that high seating was not going to be comfortable for them. His excuse was that at 7:30 he needed the table. He handled it very poorly and finally I managed to get normal seating. For some reason my party of 7 was not important to them? I was going to give them plenty of money. Either way we were done eating by 6:30. The highlight was the good food. I'm still upset about their poor service because I explained it was also a birthday dinner for my son."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Always a happening place to go with great service & food. Bookers has the best corn bread I've ever had!! "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "We shared the deep-fried pickles. It is a large serving, and the bbq aioli is wonderful. I had the spicy chicken sandwich with fries. I enjoyed my meal. My husband ordered the brisket and ribs combo plate. He said the best thing on his plate was the corn on the cob. Although the ribs were tender, they did not have much flavour. The brisket was average at vest, and again, not much flavour. We would not return for the food, but may go back for drinks and the weekend live music."
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "Good bbq and blues, service was great! When the band came on, the sound was a bit loud since the whole building is brick and concrete but it seemed to get better as the band played on. Overall, great night, food was good, could have been a bit warmer when it hit our table but otherwise it was tasty. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "I booked a table at Bookers BBQ Grill and Crab shack for a birthday dinner. I had been there before and remembered it as being good. We had a good table, in front of the stage; live music started at 9:30. The band was good, but we were no longer able to talk once they had started playing, we ended up leaving early because of it. We ordered multiple drinks, several appetizers, and main courses. The drinks were good, but the food was generally only okay. The service was really good and the servers were very attentive. I really wanted to like everything and was disappointed when I didn't. But I would certainly go back again and try something else."
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "I belong to a dress club where a group of ladies get together and gab and just have fun. Bookers is a favorite of ours. Central in the city for all of us and we can get our "Crab on"!!"
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "When we walked in with our family including my 18month old we found it very loud. Fortunately she didn't mind! We were all excited for all you can eat crab which is always excellent, it did not disappoint. Our first server was friendly and very helpful, unfortunately he was replaced by a girl who didn't seem to want to be there. Our first server brought my daughter a wonderful bowl of carrots and noodles which kept her entertained and happy so I could enjoy my crab. Overall a great experience."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "Make a mean martini!! Bartender and waitress went over and above - had a great time."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "It was my first time going to bookers, i was glad I was able to reserve a table online because once we got in there it filled up fast. The food was excellent ,the service was also very good. It was by far the best crab I have ever had, can't wait to go back "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "My last two visits have been fair, but not great. This last time I think the service really killed it. We had 6 people and we kept having to go to the bar or asking other servers to gather cutlery and condiments etc. Overall, food was okay, but I think I won't be back anytime soon. I wanted to give it one last try. The last time, which to be fair was about 4 years ago, I had to send my steak back twice! (wanted medium rare - first time came out VERy well done and the next time came out raw! It was almost surreal). That was the only time in my life I had to send a meal back. However, I will say, I HAVE had delicious meals there about 5 or 6 years ago!"
    Dined on 4/25/2014