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You Are Here: Bridgeland

Northeast of Calgary’s downtown is the quaint community of Bridgeland. In the early 20th century, this trendy hub was known as “Little Italy” due to a high concentration of Italian immigrants. Today, the community continues to boast several Italian restaurants as well as boutiques, coffee houses and antique homes with original architecture.

By Allison Onyett

Fine Dining

Located in the historic 1910 de Waal Block is Il Sogno, a cozy, elegant restaurant serving contemporary Italian dishes.  The menu includes items like confit pork ravioli, braised veal cheeks, spicy meatball soup, seasonal sea and fresh water fish, and Spring Creek flat iron steak and short ribs with seared polenta (24 – 4 St NE).

Doggy Day Spa

Drop off your four-legged friend at Muttley Crüe, Calgary’s first organic and chemical-free day spa for dogs. They’ll be pampered with natural and organic shampoos and conditioners, while chowing down on delicacies like “forest found” elk antler chews and yam treats. Everything, even the cotton balls, are organic. Their on-site shop offers eco-friendly dog collars, leashes, and dog beds made of recycled pop bottles. The space is Bullfrog powered and runs completely off wind power (813 – 1 Ave NE).

Home-style Café

At Heartland Café, you’ll find an extensive menu of comfort foods like their popular mac ‘n’ cheese, daily made soups, sandwiches and creative salads. Then there’s the ever-changing list of old-fashioned homemade pies, made with whole ingredients like strawberries, eggs, and cream. Try their raspberry yogurt muffins (825 –  1 Ave NE).

Global Eats

Although many Italian restaurants dot the area, you can also find authentic Japanese sushi and tempura at Sushi Bar Zipang (1010 – 1 Ave NE), or handmade baklava and falafels topped with fresh vegetables and tahini dressing at Tazza Deli and Grill (1105 – 1 Ave NE).

Gourmet take away

The Main Dish offers gourmet, ready-to-eat  take-out (or eat in) meals with innovative options like cilantro quinoa beef and cranberry apple slaw. They also boast a decent wine selection (903 General Ave NE).

Craft Corner

Stroll into Make One Yarn Studio to find shelves upon shelves of brightly coloured balls of yarn from local independent dyers, as well as buttons, books, needles, and locally made jewellery and leather work. Classes and open knitting nights are offered throughout the week (841 – 1 Ave NE).

Nearby, B-dekk Beads is a small shop filled with all the necessary ingredients to make your own jewellery. The shop offers regular classes and craft parties hosted by instructors who will guide you through the process of making your own pieces (180 – 9 St NE).

Little Italy

At La Brezza, owner Marco Abdi personally ensures his customers are enjoying their Italian dishes made from family recipes, like lasagna bolognese with Mama Angela’s secret spices (990 – 1 Ave NE). Down the street, Villa Firenze goes a little more upscale with dishes like Portobello mushroom caps disguised in a creamy white wine sauce, enjoyable even for the non-mushroom eater (610 – 1 Ave NE). More casual fare can be found at Roma’s Pizzeria, a small take-out spot known for its fresh, thin-crust pizza. Try their simplistic margarita pizza, a combination of basil, garlic and fresh mozzarella cheese on a crispy crust (931 – 1 Ave NE).

Bridgeland, which encompasses its sister community, Riverside, is located just north of downtown. Its east-west borders are Deerfoot Tr and Edmonton Tr NE; the north-south borders are 8 Ave NE and the Bow River. The main pedestrian street is 1 Ave NE between Edmonton Tr and 12 St NE.

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