Bridgeland was one of Calgary’s first suburbs, a magnet for Italian and Ukrainian immigrants during the early days of the 20th century. Today it has emerged as an enclave for food connoisseurs who can find cafes, bistros, and an abundance of cucina Italiana.
A TASTE OF ITALY
The Italian heritage of Bridgeland’s early residents is still present at places such as Il Sogno. Each dish at this Italian-inspired restaurant is painstakingly created, and has a subtle blend of flavours; the veal and wild mushroom pasta, or roasted hen with panzanella lemon, white balsamic and mustard vinaigrette, are perfect examples. Over at La Dolce Vita, head chef Franco Cosentino is more traditional, but his cuisine—especially the handcrafted pasta—is just as worthwhile.
Bridgeland is only a short walk from downtown, but far enough that it maintains its neighbourly charm—evidenced nowhere better than Heartland Café. The vibe is homestyle, but their menu takes a creative twist on comfort food. Try the Tibetan lentil soup or a pasta salad made with spinach and rotini; like everything else on the menu, they’re made from scratch.SWEET BOUQUET
One-of-a-kind gifts are the specialty at Candy Bouquet, which creates colourful “flower alternatives” out of candy and chocolate. Their “Get Well Soon” bouquet includes gummy Band-Aids, while their “Thanks a Million” creation is filled with chocolate coins (945 General Avenue NE, 403-265-8687).
Artisan Bistro takes breakfast food seriously. Their brunch menu is available until 3 pm all week long (except Mondays and Tuesdays) and has extensive range, from Spanish tapas to daily quiche specials, homemade sausages and crepes. We recommend the buttermilk Belgian waffles with blueberries, maple syrup and crème chantilly.
Foodies on-the-run should stop into The Main Dish, a gourmet, open-kitchen market with items ranging from ready-made dinners to finger foods. We like the bourbon barbecue ribs, coconut chicken breasts, and pistachio-crusted salmon. Over at Tazza Grill & Deli, the menu is less varied, but just as good: Middle Eastern fare such as tabbouleh, shawarma, hummus, falafel and some of the best baklava in the city.
The yarn selection at Make One Yarn Studio is available in a multitude of colours, and designed for just about any project, from baby blankets and winter scarves to delicate lacework made from gossamer-fine threads. The store is owned by two urban professionals who decided to get serious about their favourite hobby—they even offer classes at the shop after hours (841 – 1 Ave NE, 403-802-4770).Bridgeland, which encompasses its sister community, Riverside, is located just north of downtown. Its east-west borders are Nose Creek and 1 St NE; the north-south borders are 8 Avenue NE and the Bow River. The main pedestrian street is 1 Ave NE, between Edmonton Trail and 12 St NE.—Sally MacKinnon