Peter’s Drive-In

Review by: Michael Stern

When we put out a call at for suggestions of where to eat in Calgary, several people – including a few homesick Albertans – said we had to go to Peter’s Drive-In.

It is charming in an old-fashioned way. You drive through (or if on foot, walk up) and place your order, which is handed to you out a window in a bag and in paper cups. You then park your car and occupy one of several happy, sunlit picnic tables around the building or in an adjacent lot and have a classic drive-in meal.

While the setting is nice, most of what we ate was less compelling. A double cheeseburger was built upon two tidy patties of machine-pressed beef that had neither the luxury of a plump hand-formed burger nor the appetizing raunch of a greasy little griddle-cooked slider. We did enjoy the sweet barbecue sauce with which the double-decker was dressed – a supercharged ketchup. And the French fries were crisp and generously apportioned.

As for Peter’s famous milk shakes, available in a rainbow of flavors from banana and blackberry to root beer and rum & butter, we won’t inscribe them in our book of groovy culinary memories, either. The maple shake is a true-Canada experience, but like the other flavors we sampled, its thickness seemed more the result of chemical suspension than of creamy dairy richness.

Still, if it’s a sunny day in Alberta and you are cruising through town along the old Trans-Canada Highway, burgers and shakes at a Peter’s picnic table are the makings of a roadside experience that is hard not to like. Its motto is hard to resist: “The Drive-In You Can’t Drive By.”

What To Eat

Double Cheeseburger


Peter’s Drive-In Recipes


What do you think of Peter’s Drive-In?

3 Responses to “Peter’s Drive-In”

Zeno M Bereznicki

September 9th, 2023

am very disappointed in Peter’s new milkshakes. They tast like they have been blended by a mad chemist.

What happened to clumps of REAL cherries, clumps, of REAL strawberries, etc.

What happened to the the real tast of ice cream.

I have lost all confidence in ALL your food, is it real or is it made in pitre dish???

Please fire the “McBarf” chemists and bring back the old milkshakes.


I will go to Dairy Queen and see if they serve REAL milkshakes or madman chemistry.

Again,,,, Very disappointed and I will make shure my friends know about it. 

GOOD LUCK peter’s



November 21st, 2022

The service at Peters has declined terribly! I’ve been going a few times a year since 1987. They have closed down one of the service windows, and only allow traffic through the lane where the service window is on the PASSENGER’S side. Not a great idea when you have no passenger and a large console between the front seats. Took me almost 40 minutes to get through the line. If there was anywhere to abandon the line-up, I’d have taken it. Won’t be back.


Michael Serry

September 24th, 2006

Pete’s is an experience for a non-Albertan going through Cow town. On our summer vacation we did our research and found that Pete’s was an institution. Not being natives of Calgary we had our doubts if the mystique of the drive-in could pass muster. Simply put it did.

Now not to attract the attention of locals who might otherwise be angry with the post, but we did not indulge in the burgers, although our friends did. The burgers seemed fine, if average, but the shakes… ooooooohhh the shakes, now that is the reason for a visit.

The shakes, to our best guess, are made with the store’s soft-serve ice cream, which gives them the consistency of wall filler (that’s a good thing). They were so thick that it required effort to get the lactose overload into one’s mouth, but the reward… tremendous. They have a multitude of flavors and if you ask nice they will mix them together, no extra charge. I had coconut, chocolate, and cherry. It was like haveing a German chocolate cheescake milkshake.

Also, I would recommend the onion rings: they are very thin, very crisp. The batter is more crunchy than others I’ve had, and I like them that way. For those who like the extra thick, supersized rings, look elsewhere.

Things that you should note:

1) It is always busy, and I do mean always; an hour line-up on a hot Saturday is not uncommon. Suggest parking next door; get out of the car and go to the walk-up.

2) They are cash only, no Visa, no debit, so no cash, no food.

3) It is a task to finish a whole shake. They come in one size, and I, at 6’7″ 240 lbs, got through 4/5 of it.


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