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Calgary neighbourhoods

10 Must-Visit Places in Kensington

By MICHAELA RITCHIE

Calgary’s vibrant Kensington neighbourhood is known for its eclectic shopping, artisanal dining scene, and prolific street festivals. (Photo by Jason Dziver.)

Kensington maintains a charming, bohemian vibe while also hosting some of Calgary’s best restaurants and boutiques. The pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood is easily reached from downtown by foot or the CTrain’s Sunnyside station while bustling street festivals occur at all times of the year. (more…)

You Are Here: 17th Avenue

by Dan Leahul

Not exactly the street with no name—in fact, 17th Avenue SW goes by a few: “Uptown,” “The Red Mile,” and for many Calgarians “The Pulse of the City.”  Over 400 shops, bars, restaurants, cafés and clubs are crammed along its well-tread sidewalks, not to mention some stately architecture (The Devenish) and a great little urban park (Tompkins). It’s easy to while away a day here: noshing at fine restaurants, soaking up sun on the patio and shopping till you drop. (more…)

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. (more…)

You Are Here: 1 St SW

by Dan Leahul

Nestled in of one of Calgary’s oldest neighbourhoods, Victoria Park, 1st St SW has been a focal point for the area’s recent business revitalization efforts. What was once boarded-up shops and vacant lots, now house sumptuous delis, bustling markets, art studios, eclectic boutiques, and a variety of sophisticated, yet affordable, eateries—and that’s without mention of the nightlife scene. For a night on the town, from pubs to clubs, 1 St SW has it all.

Pub Crawl
For a self-guided pub-crawl, start at Bottlescrew Bill’s, Calgary’s essential brew house. For 31 years the pub has offered a large selection of ales and lagers, over 200 at last count, with seasonal specialty brews and their very own Buzzard’s Breath Ale, always on tap (140 – 10 Ave SW). The Drum & Monkey, part of the historic Radio Block, is a casual, modern-style British pub with a loyal following. Out of the kitchen is a constant stream of pub favourites, including bangers and mash and U.K.-style curries. (1201 – 1 St SW). St. James Corner, named after St. James Gate in Dublin, home of Guinness beer, is a quaint slice of the Emerald Isle, boasting a huge mahogany bar and comfortable seating ideal for intimate conversation. The pub prides itself on its Irish heritage and serves authentic cuisine out of the kitchen, including boxty, a traditional Irish potato pancake cooked on the griddle with sliced chicken breast in a creamy bacon and leek sauce (1219 – 1 St SW).

Buon Appetito
With a compelling Italian-market vibe, Giuseppe’s has a busy, noisy, and lively ambiance and offers handcrafted dishes next to an exquisite wine selection. Their pizza, cooked to perfection in their massive wood-burning oven, should not be missed. Downstairs is a market and deli offering homemade sausages and meatballs among a selection of olive oils, balsamic vinegars, pasta and sauces (1207 – 1 St SW).

Dress Up
Sprawling over two separate locations across 1 St SW, O’Connor’s is Calgary’s pre-eminent and largest independent fine menswear store, with an ample women’s section as well. For men, there are custom tailored suits from Canali and Pal Zileri to Samuelsohn and Ted Baker. For women, there’s an extensive selection of clothing and accessories, from brands Zanella, A Priori, and Iris, as well as footwear from Cole Haan and Stuart Weitzman (1420 & 1415 – 1 St SW). Originally founded as a men’s hat shop in 1948, Formans has evolved into one of Calgary’s foremost clothing boutiques, offering two distinct lines, Homme for men, and Femme for women, which feature designers from the world’s runways, such as Hugo Boss, Paul & Shark, Lida Baday and Georges Rech (1202 – 1 St SW).

Art Scene
Comprising over 2,800 square feet of open space in a former dance studio, Endeavour Arts is a contemporary and eclectic gallery carrying artwork by local artists. Almost half of the gallery’s available space is used specifically for digital exhibitions, with eight high quality digital screens displaying rotating artwork. The front half of the space displays mixed media or other types of “innovative” artwork, avoiding the traditional paint on canvas variety (200, 1209 – 1 St SW).

Good Taste
If you’re lucky, try to grab a table at cozy Taste. Head chef Shawn Greenwood’s menu is constantly evolving to reflect seasonal ingredients, with an emphasis on small, sharing plates, like the duck fat popcorn, or tuna tartare, served on a wasabi cookie. At the bar, sommelier Brad Royale builds an entirely new wine list each month embracing a region, theme or varietal, always at an affordable price (1210 – 1 St SW).

You Are Here: Bowness

by Dan Leahul

Striking a balance between contemporary flair and old-fashioned comforts, Bowness has undergone a bit of a renaissance over the past few years. The community, which was its own town until 1964, still maintains its welcoming, small-town vibe, but a wealth of new residents has branded Bowness as one of Calgary’s up-and-coming neighbourhoods. A number of eateries focus on global cuisine, but there’s still old-fashioned diners complete with milkshakes. While the shopping scene slants towards those seeking a bit of adventure, there are also spots to pick up something unique. What’s undeniable is the area’s beauty, the winding Bow River is the star of the show, and offers a number of family-friendly activities throughout the year. (more…)

The Ultimate Calgary Experience

15 must-see attractions to get a true feel for the city

We’ve compiled a list of 15 of our favourite attractions and city landmarks that anyone coming to Calgary for the first time should experience. (more…)