Calgary, AB,

Diamonds are a diner's best friend

Alberta rich with CAA/AAA Diamond-rated hotels and restaurants

Albertan cuisine used to boil down to two essential ingredients. Meat? Meet Potatoes. But as any Alberta foodie knows, this province is packed with good eats, ranging from tucked away fine-dining gems to luxurious hotel kitchens in the mountain parks. For 2016, 11 hotels and eight restaurants in Alberta earned the prestigious CAA/AAA Four or Five Diamond rating. In an age of user reviews and online voting it’s hard to know whose palate to trust, which is why  CAA/AAA inspectors have been out there tempting their taste buds at dining establishments since 1937.

CAA/AAA recently updated its approach to evaluating restaurants, changing the blueprint inspectors use to evaluate 30,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated restaurants throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The guidelines, last updated in 2009, reflect changing industry trends, incorporating input from hotel and restaurant inspectors, CAA/AAA members and industry professionals.

As the restaurant industry continues to change, inspectors continually note the newest dining and hospitality trends. Many of the industry’s most talented chefs, for example, are expanding beyond their foie gras roots to spearhead new fast-casual chains, a domain formerly reserved for the burger and fries crowd. Now consumers can find numerous gastropubs and micro-distilleries serving high-quality food, healthfully prepared vegetables and small portions for sharing. With improved mobile options for reservations, ordering and payment, technology is also gaining an increasing presence in the food service experience.

The focus on fresh, local ingredients and sustainable practices is nothing new to Chef Paul Rogalski, co-owner of Calgary's perennial Four Diamond-rated Rouge. The Calgary-born and trained chef champions the farm-to-table movement that's picking up steam with Alberta diners, working directly with small producers to put quality first.

Establishments at the Four and Five Diamond rating levels make up just 5.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively, of the more than 56,000 CAA/AAA approved hotels and restaurants. Across Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, these select properties represent the best of the best in the hospitality industry.

For the 13th consecutive year, Banff’s Eden Dining Room at the Rimrock Resort Hotel exclusively represents Alberta in the CAA/AAA Five Diamond category. Eden is one of five restaurants in Canada, and the only one west of Ontario, rated at the Five Diamond level for 2016.

For a full list of the Diamond-rated restaurants in Alberta and more details on the Diamond program, visit our website.

About CAA/AAA Diamond Ratings

For 80 years, CAA/AAA has used professional inspectors to conduct in-person property evaluations. CAA/ AAA rate more properties than any other rating entity and is the only rating system that covers all of North America. It is one of only two that conduct physical, on-site evaluations. Travelers can find Diamond Rated establishments and inspector insight in AMA’s trip planning products: the online TripTik® Travel Planner mapping and routing tool and AAA TourBook® guides available at any AMA office. Smartphone users can download the AMA app to locate Diamond rated establishments at