Costa Vida – Royal Oak – Calgary

So every year, my aunt and I try to get to the Bow West Artists Show because a very, very dear family friend happens to be one of the members.

This year marked 22 years of local artists showcasing and selling their works, and two years of us heading to the Royal Oak Costa Vida for lunch afterwards.

I dig the Costa Vida look – fun, fresh colours and lots of lighting make the space feel comfortable considering it’s vast size. And on that particular Saturday, the place was hoppin’.

Costa Vida basically lets you create your own dish – taco, quesadilla, enchilada, salad etc. with whatever tortilla and bean you fancy. We were with my cousin, who is Celiac, and the Costa Vida staff promptly changed their gloves after asking her if her corn tortilla was “allergy or preference”?

She does tend to frequent this particular location, so on weekdays, when they see her coming, they’re already reaching for the gloves. I highly appreciate a place who takes the time to recognize repeat customers and their needs.

I went with a shredded beef enchilada with refried beans and rice. I also got a whopping dollop of guac for added measure. I went with a corn tortilla this time and, while it was hella fresh – they make them in house. I still prefer good ol’ flour.

costa vid

Long lines and enchilada. Hey there Jarritos, I dig you.

The beef was flavorful and juicy and Costa Vida doesn’t skimp on the cheese. The beans were the most lackluster – sure re-frying beans isn’t the most appetizing sounding, but when done right they’re creamy globs of goodness. These were decent, but I’ve had better (I’m lookin’ at you Twin Butte General Store).

So a tasty meal for under $15 is a great way to lunch, especially with good company after supporting some local artists.

Atmosphere: 4
Service: 3.5
Food: 3.5

Costa Vida Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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