Combining historical ambiance with urban progression, Marda Loop is one of Calgary’s trendiest neighbourhoods. Recent revitalization efforts have turned it into a hotbed of coffee shops, eclectic clothing and accessory stores, and upscale dining.
By Derek Neumeier
FAVOURITE ICE CREAM
My Favourite Ice Cream Shoppe is a favourite of the neighbourhood’s locals but a hidden gem to the rest of the city. It offers 72 tantalizing flavours, from the standard vanilla to “Leaping Lizard” (orange, vanilla and black liquorice). The décor screams ‘50s, including the staff’s malt shop-inspired uniforms (2048 – 42 Ave SW).
The moment you step inside Wanderlust Trading Company you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another country. This tiny store is packed with exotic clothing, jewellery, home décor and assorted knick-knacks brought over from faraway lands like Indonesia and Tibet (2205 – 33 Ave SW). The womenswear at Crabapple Clothing Company is a mix of business casual and nightlife outfits from designers such as Marc Aurel and Free People (3526 Garrison Gate SW). Round out your attire with Doo-Dads, a boutique that offers jewellery and accessories laid out by colour (2133 – 33 Ave SW).
Tucked inside the thick vegetation that surrounds its lot, lies Kaffa Coffee & Salsa House, a rustic, wooden café that was built in 1912. The light snacks and brewed coffees and teas are standard fare, but their staple is the homemade salsa that comes with their signature Mexican dishes (2138 – 33 Ave SW). At Phil & Sebastian Coffee Company you can get an upscale cup o’ joe and local bistro fare in a spacious, sleek setting (2043 – 33 Ave SW).
O Restaurant and Lounge is the type of locale where business types come to unwind after a hard day, lounging on one
of the two patios (the upper-floor patio is accessed via elevator) while they sip from a wide selection of wines and eat grilled lehman chicken, pan-seared salmon, or other swanky meals (2018 – 33 Ave SW). For a more laidback vibe, Narah Pan-Arabian Hookah Bar offers some of the city’s best sheesha in an authentic Mediterranean environment (2139 – 33 Ave SW).
Sushi in Calgary doesn’t get any trendier than at Globefish Sushi and Izakaya, thanks to its Japanese tapas bar atmosphere and creative rolls. Of special note is the 12 different flavours of sake (2009 – 33 Ave SW). For someone who wants to try something new without stepping out of their comfort zone, Rasoi Kitchen combines Indian cuisine with Western familiarity, offering unique dishes such as calamari with Indian spices and seasoning (101, 2215 – 33 Ave SW).
WATCH AND LEARN
Monkeyshines Children’s Books is a friendly bookstore catering specifically to kids, but toys and games are also sold (113, 2215 – 33 Ave SW). For a “classic Hollywood” feel when renting or buying movies, head to Casablanca Video. The store is decorated with old posters, action figures and other retro collectibles, and also specializes in having rare films (2101 – 33 Ave SW).