Love is in the air at one of Okotoks’ restaurants.
For the second year running, Heartland Café has made the list as one of OpenTable.ca's 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in Canada for 2023, among just 15 others in Alberta.
“We are very proud, of ourselves, of the kitchen, the servers, and also the customers who are why we are here,” said Laszlo Radi, who operates Heartland with his wife Viktoria. “There’s lots of work we put in, decorating the restaurant constantly, teaching the staff how to do things right.
“Whoever comes here and leaves with a smile on their face, it’s also a smile on our face, because then we understand why we put all this work into it."
Built into an old church constructed in 1906, the historic building lends a unique atmosphere to the restaurant, which the Radis bought in 2018.
Over that time, a loyal customer base has made Heartland a part of their own history too.
“We have customers who have gotten married here in 2018, and are coming back on their anniversary,” Radi said.
“They sit at the same table, they come in at the same time, and they’re regulars on Valentine’s Day too, because that’s the place where they want to celebrate – that really makes us happy.”
It isn’t just Cupid’s arrow flying either, Radi added, but love for family and friends that brings them to share a meal at the restaurant.
“What I really like to hear is when somebody is reuniting their family every year, at Christmas or any time, the ‘must’ where they have to go is here,” he said. “If somebody comes to Okotoks from wherever in Canada or abroad, they come here.
“Lots of people have memories.”