There’s nothing like a family-run restaurant, especially one that spans a couple of generations.
Such is definitely the case at Peppino Gourmet Foods, in Calgary’s near-downtown Kensington district. Joe Lecce launched the business in 1993, offering nine Italian-style sandwiches and a smattering of groceries.
Today, with the help of his family, it’s a multi-location operation offering more than 40 made-to-order sandwiches, fresh pasta dishes and frozen and packaged Italian groceries. The relaxed, family ambience is on full display during a recent visit, with padre Joe and figlio Nick kibitzing about who truly runs the business.
I know a guy who picks up a Peppino sandwich every week, always ordering the Da Nico—a vibrant piling of capicollo, calabrese salami, mortadella, meatballs, hot peppers, cheese and lettuce. This carnivore combo costs $10.75, but most of Peppino’s sandwiches are well under $10, such as a succulent hot Italian meatball sando for $8.50.
All the loaded sandwiches are served on a foot-long baguette, sliced in half, guaranteeing you won’t leave hungry. When food is this fresh, abundant and affordable, I can see it becoming a regular habit.
Peppino Gourmet Foods
101, 1240 Kensington Road NW and other Calgary locations
Weekdays 8 am-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm. Closed Sunday