Essence - Westin Calgary
Essence - Westin Calgary

Essence - Westin Calgary

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.westincalgary.com/calgary-restaurants
  • Phone: 4035085165x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch
    Monday - Friday 11 AM - 2 PM

    Breakfast
    Monday - Friday 6:30 AM - 11 AM
    Saturday - Sunday 6:30 AM - 2 PM
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Frederic Hoffmann
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Cafe, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Takeout, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Third Street
  • Parking: Hotel Parking
  • Parking Details: Valet and underground parking available.
A word from Essence - Westin Calgary
A place to replenish. Whether sitting down for a business meeting or a special occasion, you’ll enjoy the fabulous menu with a focus on nutrition & which showcases Alberta's many flavors.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
Essence - Westin Calgary reviews from OpenTable diners
23 reviews since June 2, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food4.1
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.5
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for lunch (14)good for groups (8)great for brunch (6)special occasion (2)kid-friendly (1)fit for foodies (1)neighborhood gem (1)Show More
  • Always great
    mkprovos
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Have meetings here with people from downtown, great atmosphere and the food is really good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not Impressed
    Soso
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Sorry to say this was a disappointment. We arrived for breakfast and were given menus and coffee, but that was the end of our service. We waited for about 20 minutes and did not see a server. We ended up having to eat at the buffet due to time and it was ok. After dining, we finally saw a server as they were quick with the bill. BUT..... they never came back so I could pay. I ended up walking to the front and waiting for the hostess to return so I could pay my bill. It's a good thing this hotel has a Keg and Starbucks as I will not return to Essence.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Party of 4 for business lunch-all enjoyed our lunch. I had the stir fried veggie, tofu and rice and it was just excellent. The Owl's nest hasn't been around for a while and this was my first time to the Westin in a very long time but the food was just as excellent this time and quickly became one of my favourite places to lunch. My only complaint was the echoing of voices but it was quite busy (no surprise there). I'll still return with family and friends in the future.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Essence Lunch Review
    Jade
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    The clam chowder and fish was very tasty. Service was quick and attentive. Room looks worn out and half empty, I almost got up and left to go to the Keg next door, since it was an embarrassing place to take Clients. However, as I said the food and service was really great.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great restaurant
    12footdavis
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    I visited for a business lunch. Attentive but not annoying service, great entree salads, not busy. Food was terrific, but the place looked like a hotel restaurant (it is). From the prices, one expects more, but it still was a great business lunch or breakfast place.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    The hostess had a hard time understanding that a business person would need their briefcase and asked on more than one occassion to leave the bag at coatcheck, then tuck it away at the table making it vertually inaccessible. (rolling briefcase)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 17 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service3.9
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 116 reviews are from the Essence - Westin Calgary reviews archive.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    Essence is the place you go when you can't get into the Keg or other lunch spot. However it is an excellent restarurant. What it lacks is any windows and the pub or Joey's type atmosphere most downtown folks are looking for at lunch. So on a sunny day most folks would rather be on the patio. However if you want a quiet place for a meeting or feel like excellent food and excellent service it is worth checking out. Essence excels at fine dining and service but lacks in lunchtime summer ambiance.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mothers Day Brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Good breakfast buffet at a 'reasonable' price. Good breakfast selection with poached shrimp, smoked salmon, crepes omlets, eggs benny and so on. Mind you this was for Mothers day but I understand they have something similar on the weekends. Good service, quiet, and good food overall.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Well Done !!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Took my wife, daughter and mother to "Essence" for Mothers Day Brunch. It was buffet style with an "omelet station. All buffet items were fresh and replaced regularly. The staff did a wonderful job.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mothersday Brunch 2014
    likesgoodfoodandservice
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Booked the Westin for Mother’s day brunch this year as I had family friends also going. Location was great, parking was a bit tough, but for a small gratuity the hotel will park your vehicle out front - or pay the $38. valet fee and have them valet the car completely. Food selection was good at the buffet, only think lacking was a pancake/waffle station...there was some red velvet pancakes in a warming tray - but unless you like red velvet that was your only selection. We all really enjoyed the omelet/egg station for fresh made eggs to order. I would say next year we will try something different, maybe with a larger selection of breakfast items. Overall for the size and price, great value and food was tasty.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food, Good Service
    RLindsay
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Essence is a hidden gem in my opinion. The food is excellent and fairly priced. The service was good, but not outstanding. The waiter was a little "off" that day. I have dined here before and the service was outstanding (different server). Both times I ahve been here the food has been amazing however. I would recommend this for a more quiet business lunch or lunch with a friend. Not great for groups as it is a bit quieter than the typical downtown scene.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Place For Lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    I had the Kale salad. It was delicious. I liked that this is a quiet restuarant. So many are noisy. It was a great place to catch up with an old friend without all the noise. The other menu items looked very good. Looking forward to trying this again.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anonymous
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    Always consistently great service and food. The noise level is low enough that it enables easy conversation.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hit and Miss
    borstruc
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    The menu looked incredible and things started off well with the complimentary bread, and then the appetizers were great. But the main course let me down and was nowhere near as good as the starters. I hope other people have better luck. the restaurant wasn't busy at all and that took away from potential atmosphere. the layout is fully open, so it feels less fancy because of the event layout look.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointed this time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    I've eaten at Essence many times and it has been fine. Unfortunately this time, the service was not very good. The service was very slow and the server completely messed up one of our meals ( there was three of us). Brought the wrong salad and didn't bring the side dish ordered (stir fried veggies). We had to talk to him a couple of times about the side dish and when he eventually did bring it, it was just a plate of regular veggies not a stir fry. By then it was almost 1:pm and we had to get back to work. We were never offered a discount or anything, he treated it like nothing happened. Disappointing.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Friendly staff and quiet atmosphere
    Noranne
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    The staff at Essence are very friendly and courteous. I frequent Essence for lunches because the food is good and it is quiet -you can hear your guest and easily carry on a conversation. The staff get to know you and I always feel very well-served - the staff are terrific. My experience here just happens to be mostly at lunch and for business lunches, I do highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I can always count on outstanding
    Anonymous
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    I can always count on outstanding service and food at this restaurant. The noise level is comfortable, which facilitates easy conversation with table mates. My only critique of the restaurant is that I find the ambience of the decor to be somewhat cold and sterile.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Big Taste YYC lunch
    CgyMomof2
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    Did not even know this restaurant existed before I saw it listed for Big Taste. It is a Hotel restaurant and is only open for breakfast & lunch. It is quite dim as there are no windows. I read some other reviews about this and the menu being hard to read and they were correct. We started with the Potato & Leek soup which was very nice, could have been a little bit warmer than it was. Main course was the Boeuf a la Bourginonne which was very good. I could leave out the bone marrow. Our server was a gentleman and was very attentive. Now that I know this restaurant exists I might try their breakfast, but most likely will not return for lunch. Its just too pricy for a hotel restaurant lunch.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • frequentvisitor
    pickydinerVIP
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    I like this restaurant for lunch. The location is easily accessible by +15 (good in the winter), the food is good and the service is excellent. Dark lighting caused a problem during my last visit. We could not read the menu, which is printed in small, shaded font. The waitress was kind enough to recite a number of choices for us. We were not the only patrons having this problem. I will try this restaurant once more, but will insist on a table that is well lit.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • business lunch
    Tash
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    I hosted a business lunch for 6 which turned out to be 8. The staff where very accomodating, food was good and the restaurant was quiet.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Went here for lunch with a
    travellingfoodie
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    Went here for lunch with a coworker on a Thursday afternoon. Our server was very polite upon greeting us and our food came quickly. I ordered the green tea salmon medium rare but it was prepared more like medium well. Otherwise, my lunch was good - I would give it a 7/10. We ended up waiting quite a long time for our bill after we had finished eating. I believe this was a product of the restaurant being quite busy and our server attending to many tables.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I appreciate "gluten free"
    ckrusch
    Dined on 2/7/2014
    I appreciate "gluten free" items noted on the menu.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Business lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/5/2014
    Interesting menu (especially for a hotel restaurant), well prepared food and good service. We had the crab cakes and potstickers as an appetizer, both were quite good, but not exceptional. As a main, I had the fried chicken. The chicken was tender and very good, the fries and coleslaw were average. My colleague had the short ribs, which were a very large portion. Overall the portions were large, so bring an appetite! The price point was my biggest objection; it's pretty high for what you get, given other lunch options downtown.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great for business lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 2/3/2014
    This is a relatively quiet spot for a business lunch. Never that busy and great food & service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • always a solid choice .
    OldGuy
    Dined on 1/30/2014
    Great for a business lunch where you need to have a conversation, Food is always very good, as is the service. Never let's me down.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Understand why it is empty
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 1/27/2014
    Although we beat the lunch "rush" and got our order in before noon (and the restaurant was empty), it took 25 minutes for the first meal to come out, and 45 minutes for the second meal. After 5 minutes they came back and put the first meal under the heat lamp. Although apologetic (up to the manager level) it was very disappointing given how rushed we were for time. An offer of a dessert on the house does not help when already late. Everyone there seems pleasant enough and they are trying hard, but far from getting things right.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Table was close to another
    Brenda
    Dined on 1/10/2014
    Table was close to another team I work with so if that could have been avoided; however I realize unless reservation is made for both under the company name you woud not know this.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service
    IRMACVIP
    Dined on 1/9/2014
    The service was great and the food did not disappoint.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Last minute dining
    diner2eat
    Dined on 12/19/2013
    The food was great, the service not so - had to track down the server to get our order and then get our bill. And it was not that busy.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Noisy c/w Poor Service
    CJKIN
    Dined on 12/18/2013
    I suppose it has to do with the season - but it was very noisy busy in the resturant. Our waitress was run off her feet and the service (very poor) showed it. I think we asked her 3-4 times for our bill before we actually got it.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food and great service
    RLindsay
    Dined on 12/17/2013
    I went to Essence with a friend for a Christmas lunch. The food was excellent and the service was great. The staff are very attentive and the atmosphere is relaxing. Great place to go for lunch.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First Time Impression-Not so good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 12/17/2013
    5 of us arrived at the restaurant prior to the majority of their lunch time crowd. The service was slow (waited for at least 10 minutes for someone to let us know what the special was and take our order. Lunch was fairly quick to arrive which surprised us because by the time we were able to place our order, most of the tables were full. The restauant is one big open room with nothing to absorb sound so it was really noisy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good lunch location
    Guille
    Dined on 12/13/2013
    Had lunch with four people on a quiet day. The food was good but nothing that we ate seemed to be of particular note. The service was also good, not pushy nor absent. Overall, good place for a uneventful lunch but wouldn't recommend it for anything else.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Strssed Staff
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/12/2013
    Our server was a bit stressed and impatient - must have been an off day as he has been there for many years. It had been a while since I had brought a guest to Essence, the menu had changed and I had a few questions. After three, I was scared to ask any more. Not a good feeling as a guest. The front end was a bit rough as well. The Hostess seemed confused about how to communicate table numbers to the lady seating patrons and had difficulty accepting incoming guests. The lady seating patrons was unphased by this and remained pleasant and professional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Team lunch
    Oldtimerfoodjunky
    Dined on 12/12/2013
    Food very good, great place to take a group and be able to talk and be heard. Service was fine. Everything came out at an appropriate time. Plate presentation very good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service was terrible - EXTREMELY
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 12/11/2013
    Service was terrible - EXTREMELY slow and there were issues with splitting our bill. In the end one person had to pay the bill because their machine couldn't accomodate multiple payees. I'm not sure I'd go back again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT MENU
    FussyMare
    Dined on 12/6/2013
    There is a vast variety of great dishes on this menu for everyone - even for people like me with a gluten intolerance! The green-tea infused salmon is a personal favorite. A little pricey, but the quality of the food and service is worth it.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service was impeccable
    FussyMare
    Dined on 11/21/2013
    As always, one can expect the best from any westin employee. Our server was wonderfully attentive and charming. A real gem.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/6/2013
    We always receive good service and the food is great. Convenient location and never disappointing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Downtown Lunch (But Pricey)
    FromCalgary
    Dined on 10/23/2013
    Essence has a pretty good menu with usually interesting daily specials. The fare isn't exotic but usually features local ingredients. The food is prepared well and presented attractively. Service is prompt and the room isn't so noisy that you can't have a conversation (which I find to be a problem with many downtown lunch spots). One of the appetizers was missed this time so I've docked service a bit. It also tends to be a bit pricey -- about $30/person for lunch, including tip with no liquor. For the first time, the restaurant called me to confirm the OpenTable reservation. I'm not sure why, as it wasn't full.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.