Make a reservation

Party Size
For 2
Date
Tue, 4/24
Time
7:30 PM
icon/ic_social_proofCreated with Sketch.
Booked 4 times today

Essence Bistro

3.9
72 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
CAN$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Great for Lunch
  • Good for Groups
  • Great for Brunch
Whether sitting down for a business meeting or a special occasion, you’ll enjoy the menu with a focus on local foods showcasing Alberta's many flavors.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Contemporary American
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Lunch
Monday - Friday, 11am - Last Seating at 1pm

Breakfast
Monday - Friday, 6:30am - 11am (Breakfast Table 6:30am - 9:30am)
Saturday - Sunday, 6:30am - Noon (No lunch)


icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(403) 508-5165
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Smart Casual
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Michael Batke
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
Third Street
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
Valet and underground parking available. On Sunday parking on the street is free.
Additional
Beer, Cafe, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Wine
What 72 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on all time ratings
4.0
food
3.9
service
3.5
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
4.0Dined on February 6, 2018

Everything was fine, but our sever was less than adequate.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on January 11, 2018

Good quality, good service but avoid sandwiches and the bread which is strange and tough, and is charged for as an appetizer. Impossible to eat as part of a sandwich .

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on November 21, 2017

Nice quiet atmosphere and close to the office works well for business lunches

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on October 12, 2017

Despite the over-priced menu, the food is of good quality, and the location is very convenient for downtown meetings.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on October 4, 2017

Great place to habe a conversation during a meal.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on August 24, 2017

like eating in a noisy high school cafeteria except worse food, had buffet breakfast,soggy French toast, cold scrambled eggs. Absolutely abysmal. Westin Hotel should be ashamed of themselves. also $102 for buffet breakfast for three, worst food value in downtown Calgary.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on July 10, 2017

My friend and I had the Cobb salad and it was huge. My other friend had the steak sandwich and found the bread to be very hard. We had a great waiter but I found the ambience to be lacking .

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on June 14, 2017

Lunch meeting for business. Not too noisy so easy to have a conversation. Really good food for the price.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on May 14, 2017

We went for the Mother's Day brunch and overall the food was very good. The prime rib was excellent and cooked perfectly. They have a good variety of food to satisfy everyone and the service was awesome. The only complaint would be that there was no general dessert table with small cakes/desserts, only the Moms and kids were treated to dessert which was disappointing.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on May 14, 2017

Reasonable variety of food in good condition for a buffet brunch. The price seemed a bit high but understandable since it was Mother's Day.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on May 14, 2017

Food was good, but way over priced for the brunch buffet

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on May 5, 2017

Food was straight forward and nice selection of good, quality ingredients (kennebec potatoes, Alberta bison, etc). A bit limited menu but each of our plates were well done. It's a institutional in decorating style with the metal and fabric chairs. Very "hotel" but nicely old school with cloth napkins and plenty of glassware and cutlery. They do great food... decor could get a refresh to draw a bigger audience.
Server was very attentive and helpful with handling allergen information.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 26, 2017

Food is fresh. Easy to book a table.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 14, 2017

Excellent Food, just don't like curd cheese mixed with plain potato but the steak was delicious! Thank you!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on December 14, 2016

Very good. Will definitely return. food portions were good as was the quality.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on November 7, 2016

Good breakfast

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on May 8, 2016

I felt like I just flew three hours in business class, services was great, some interesting food but not well executed (was it was in a warmer for hours), yes I know they are busy on Mother's Day but no reason to have the permanent buffet line Zig real close to a pillar this was compounded by really tight quarters Lighting was like you would expect all of the long-haul business class flight no shadows and a unusual colour . Brunch was 45 here versus 75 at the Palliser - should have booked at the Palliser.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on May 6, 2016

Restaurant was dead, I believe there were two other tables, yet we waited forever to be served and even longer until we received our water prior to our order being taken. The food was good, but a little overpriced for how basic the menu is. On the plus side, food came out pretty quick (we just ordered soup and sandwiches) and it was tasty (though a little salty).

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on April 20, 2016

We were shocked at the prices. Felt $14 for a glass of wine at lunch to be pretty pricey

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 29, 2016

Essence at Westin is a perfect spot for business meetings. Staff are very friendly and accommodating to our need. I called the day before to inquire if I could pre-order our meals as we only have an hour to spend for lunch. We decided not to pre-order and to just come early. We ordered right away and they prepared our meals in no time.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 20, 2016

service is fantastic, and the breakfast buffet has excellent variety of fresh food choices and an omelet bar .

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 11, 2016

The staff are professional, the restaurant is quiet and the food is good. It's easy to get and most times you don't need a reservation.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on January 1, 2016

The food was standard, the service was excellent. We were in and out in less than an hour. No complaints at all.

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on December 21, 2015

Service was good, portions were ridiculously small, food was cold, two of the three meals were under cooked, Tuna meals were fishy, food did not appear fresh, soup was look warm at best, I was starved, had to go to the Keg after the meal for an appetizer to fill up! couldn't afford it after paying the bill!!

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on December 15, 2015

This restaurant was booked for client lunch meeting. The wait staff were excellent and professional and efforts were made to get our order in ahead of a much bigger table of about 20. The food was also very good. The ambience was ok as most tables were just placed in a large open space. Overall more than suitable for the occasion.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on November 25, 2015

The welcome was warm. the food good and the atmosphere condusive to good conversation with my guest.

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on October 4, 2015

I made reservation but definitely didn't need to as the person said ok when I told her I had a reservation. No name needed. IT was nearly empty. I am lactose intolerant and the server couldn't understand what it was. The food was ok at the end but the service was awful. We were 4 and 3 had the brunch and liked it. I had to ask her twice for a menu as she still couldn't get why I couldn't take the brunch. Not friendly and definitely no smile!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on September 22, 2015

The staff have been there a long time and know the menu well. They advise you when it changes and are happy to bring you things from the old menu. They are very friendly and customer focused and recognize and acknowledge repeat customers. It is a great place to take someone for lunch as you can enjoy a good meal and it is easy to carry on a conversation.
I am a regular and whenever I bring new people there, they become repeat customers.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on September 22, 2015

I really love the staff at this restaurant they are very attentive when you need them but otherwise they give you the privacy to have a productive business lunch. The food is great and the prices are reasonable.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on May 10, 2015

The cheese and cold cut platter were melting and sweating due to being under the heat lamp for who knows how long. There was only one type of cheese and one type of cold cut offered. The fresh food, like the fruit was not replenished enough, plates sat empty or partially empty, there was limited selection. Eggs Benedict comes with holandaise sauce, you shouldn't have to ask for it. Our server Jill was really attentive, that was appreciated. We assumed for Mother's Day, the overall service with the host and cooking staff would be at higher standards. Very disappointed and frankly embarrassed to have brought our mom there for her special day.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 13, 2015

The staff working at Essence are all very friendly - the service is exceptional. The staff remember you and they remember what you like to eat and drink - they are amazing - really - Essence is worth it for the staff. If you want to take someone for a business lunch, then Essence is the place to do it because of the staff and the ambiance -you can actually hear a conversation. The food is of "Westin" quality as well, and, the location is good.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on March 3, 2015

Great restaurant with a good selection of appetizers and snacks. A hidden gem in downtown Calgary. It is a little less noisy than most restaurants and pubs so its good for business lunches.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on February 13, 2015

Delicious food! The menu has a lot of choices - from healthy options to gluten free! Excellent spot for lunch. Efficient and friendly service by John (server).
Highly recommended!

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on February 3, 2015

I like that they have really good healthy choices. However I ordered the kale and frisee salad as I'd really enjoyed it last time. But seriously, cut the kale a little smaller and 'massage' it or something. Last time I had it, it was easy to eat - this time I felt like I was chewing my way through a tree. A bit tough.
Service is great though and a very easy location for me. Quite convenient for quick business lunch without the distraction of lunchtime crowds and shopping.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on January 16, 2015

Food is very consistent every time i go, and the service is outstanding. Not real loud which allows one to have a decent lunch meeting. And yes i would recommend to others.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on December 29, 2014

I wanted a nice quiet and discreet place to discuss an upcoming project with a potential client and it fit the bill to a T. The seating could have been a little more conducive, especially after I requested a table out of the main pathway.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on December 22, 2014

I've been to this restaurant a number of times now for lunch, and I must say, if you're looking for a place to do business downtown, this is it. The service is spectacular, the atmosphere is very, very business friendly, and the food will never disappoint. They can take a simple meal like a turkey clubhouse sandwich and make it a treasure to look forward to in your next meeting. The service is excellent, yet unobtrusive, allowing you the opportunity to deal with your business associate, whether an employee, a colleague, or even a potential client. I highly recommend this restaurant for your next small get together.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on December 17, 2014

Had a couple of 9 for our Christmas lunch celebration and everything turned out perfect! Made the reservation for 12:30 to beat the lunch rush, made our lunch visit so quiet for us to interact. Great food, and the waiter was fantastic he sure works hard!!
Highly recommended

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on December 16, 2014

Essence is an excellent spot for a business lunch - food is consistently good, selection is good, noise level is reasonable and the tables are well spaced. Even the lighting cooperates as it is quite bright. Prices are high for similar food elsewhere, but the consistency and convenience is worth it.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on December 1, 2014

I am a regular customer of Essence. I take a lot of meetings there because it is quiet, the menu has a lot of variety (including healthy and gluten free) and the service is fast and reasonably priced. I will continue to go to Essence on a regular basis.

Report
Helpful
1
2