Bookers BBQ + Crab Shack
Bookers BBQ + Crab Shack

Bookers BBQ + Crab Shack

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.bookersbbq.com/
  • Phone: 4032646419x
  • 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: Seafood, Southern, Barbecue
  • 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 403-264-6419x
  • Entertainment: Live local bands Friday and Saturday nights starting at 9pm. No cover charge.
  • Special Events: 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.


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Bookers BBQ + Crab Shack reviews from OpenTable diners
65 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating3.6
  • Food3.8
    Service3.5
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
82% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (36)fit for foodies (21)neighborhood gem (20)great for lunch (15)late-night find (13)special occasion (12)vibrant bar scene (9)hot spot (8)kid-friendly (6)great for brunch (3)romantic (2)scenic view (1)notable wine list (1)Show More
  • Don't judge a book...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    Really good BBQ in a really unassuming location. Nothing special from the outside but if you can find the door it gets much better inside. As soon as you walk in you can smell the BBQ. Lots of TV's for both Monday night football and baseball playoffs with comfortable and casual surroundings. Beer selection was good with some Calgary brews on tap but the food was the star of the night. I'm sure it's not the same as southern BBQ but I thought it was pretty good for Calgary. The brisket ends and wings were great appetizers. The ribs weren't your usual sauce smothered type (which I like by the way!) but smoked and rubbed with some great tasting spices. Other great bites at our table was the brisket, a huge Caesar salad and a seafood platter.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Really enjoyed our dinner.
    BadFood
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Upon first arriving at the Crab Shack I chose to go inside to confirm it was kid friendly. It struck me as more of a bar than a restaraunt. The inside was the same. But Kidd friendly it is. It was very busy. The servic suffered slightly but not to the point that I minded. It was also very loud. I'm not a "bar person" so this was a little out of my comfort zone. The food was worth the inconveniences. The brisket appetizer was simply the best beer dish I have ever tried. The crab meal was also excellent. My kids enjoyed watching NASCAR on the screen. I will definitely return at least once more. I need to try the Brisket dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A First
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    What an atmosphere for our first snow crab experience. We will be back and bring friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Meh
    Notthistine
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    The waitress ladies are great at there job and try their best to make you happy... But te all you can eat grab and ribs... Better tell them to make sure it's hot!! Cause if not you'll get served grab that's cold and ribs that seem to be cooked in a microwaveable I sitting at a table made from an old door that flexed with food is not a good way to serve a family if 7 that we had and when asked for Another table was told non available while tables had been left empty for our entire meals
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What a shock
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Heard nothing but great things about this place.... Boy what a surprize .
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Rude manager.
    ZachW
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    We showed up, after booking through Open Table, and the Manager said, "Your reservation didn't go through, but I guess (loud sigh) we could fit you in." He also made me print off the vouhcer I had in the office upstairs rather than accepting it from my smartphone. My fiancee was very offended and she did not feel we were all that welcome. Thankfully the food was very, very tasty and pretty quick.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great place in East Village
    glutenfree
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Awesome food in this historic little place. Despite being a pub atmosphere, the food is awesome. A great menue selection with some unique signature items. Lots of great energy in this place. Although there were not any items labelled gluten free, there were many things I could eat. I loved the food and so did my friend and her child. The noisier atmosphere actually made it terrific for having a child with as any grumbling or crankiness didn't bother other diners. There were other children there too, so I guess they already learned that noise helps when dining out with their kids
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Outing
    Igetoutoccasionally
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Great find! Food excellent, service decent. Only knock was our servers attention was hard to get. Once you had it she was good
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exciting Hot Spot
    kalypso18
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    First time to Bookers and my Husband and I were celebrating out 10th wedding anniversary. The service was EXCELLENT but I wish we had not been seated in a booth in view of the kitchen. I would have rather been able to enjoy the scene in the restaurant. Food was great except we did not expect the salt and pepper wings to be spicy.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good value for your dollar
    Freckles
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Disappointment that crab is not available for Groupon deals (not listed on terms and conditions). However, the wings are great as appetizer. Burgers are just super if you are hungry.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great ambiance!
    Boston09
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Cool restaurant with great, interesting decor. Loved the tin cups with the lemonade and the table top made from an old door. Pictures were great too. Food was really really tasty, but lunch buns were too hard. Didn't eat it with my sandwich ordered, and neither did another of our party. Need to be very fresh for the ultimate dining experience. Restaurant was out of a certain Ceasar drink that we wanted to order. Service was very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Slow service and sub par food
    CalgaryDiner
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Our first and last experience at Bookers. It took 10 minutes to order a drink and another for it come out. Food was just as slow, sat for over an hour for our food.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Was Ok.
    BBQBetty
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    My boyfriend and I camehere for our anniversary. The hostess seated us quickly which was nice. At first our server walked by our table 4-6 times before finally stopping and asking us if we wanted drinks. We ordered drinks and then waited another 20 minutes for her to take our order. She wasn't very friendly at first but that changed after. The food wasn't as great as I had hoped for but wasn't bad either. Definitely won't be coming back for a special occasion but could be a good spot for a group of people.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Stuff!
    GorbyVIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Have been to Booker's many times over the years. Not sure what changed over the last year but the food has been ramped up. Easily the best Cajon food and one of the best places in town for ribs. The Jambalaya is the best I've had and would highly recommend it to anyone. Had the brisket for the first time and would rate it a perfect 10...well done bookers!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cold Beer, Great BBQ, MNF.
    mbbinyyc
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    Great spot to watch the game. Will return for more fantastic BBQ.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good eats
    Balzacfamily
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    The All-You-Can-Eat Crab and Ribs on Sunday's is a good deal if you have a big appetite. Being able to start with one and switch is great. The ribs are very filling so sharing a plate of each to start is a great way to go.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great Q
    joemcg
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Had a BBQ platter along with crab legs, they did this stuff right!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a good time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The service was a bit slow - we had to flag our server down a few times. Bookers has great pricing and a good vibe
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, band way too loud
    jebr
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We went to Bookers BBQ and Crab Shack for dinner, and the food and service were great. Between everyone at our table we tried at least half of the menu and each item was awesome. The only negative component was that a live band started playing at 10PM, and the music was utterly blaring. We couldn't hear each other at all and had to leave the restaurant to go elsewhere to continue hanging out. Live bands are generally a great addition, but the noise level could have been turned down to 50% and it still would have been too loud.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • HotRodJoe
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Great Food Great Sevice what more can I say. Be sure to try the Jim Beam lemonade.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fail on service
    Bluebird
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food quality has gone down hill
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    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.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What happened to Bookers
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    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
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good Food, Apathetic Service
    RonDon
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Visitors
    Conrad
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    We had visitors from the UK and wanted to treat them to some great food... Bookers was it!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun, vibrant, casual, great bar-b-q
    Dales
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Last resort? Maybe not.
    FoodsterVIP
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome Experience
    Shlink
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    Went for all you can eat crab and they just kept on bringing it!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • So Sad
    finefork
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, atrocious service
    Stuffygee
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • one of our favs
    withfell
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    We always make a point of stopping in here when we stay down town.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, romantic, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 32 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 423 reviews are from the Bookers BBQ + Crab Shack reviews archive.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    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!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • LOVED our visit! !
    SpicyEaters
    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!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disapointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food, EXTRA SMALL Portions
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bookers
    eatingout
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, service was lacking
    Darch
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • codyVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Got to go if you're hungry - portions are generous and quality id good
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic