A few weeks ago, Johnny and I made our way to Calgary for a little 3-night getaway. When we were making the decision about moving to Alberta, the close proximity to Calgary was a big draw for us. It’s only a 2-hour drive from Lethbridge, so we get to experience a larger city with lots of great food options (a must for us when it comes to travel!) and fun things to do but and can then return home to our “smaller” town. Thanks to many of your recommendations, we discovered a ton of great spots for coffee, brunch, dinner and drinks! It’s so nice to be able to ask on Instagram and get a ton of great itinerary options sent my way. So I thought it was only fair to pay it forward and put together a little Calgary city guide, in case you’re heading that way too!
Shop/To Do in Calgary
Calgary Public Library | If you haven’t checked out the downtown Calgary Public Library, you need to add it to your must-visit list. It’s truly an architectural marvel – it’s massive, so unique and a free stop while you wander the city!
Simons | Also while downtown, you should pop over to Simons department store! I’d never been to a Simons before and was blown away by their beautiful and affordable home decor goods!
Explore Inglewood | This neighborhood is one of my favourites in Calgary. You must stop into Plant (an incredible plant + plant accessory shop! There’s also a ton of cute boutique shops down the main stretch. I always love grabbing a coffee and then taking time to wander and browse.
Explore Kensington | This area was new-to-me this visit but a friend mentioned that I should check it out and it definitely did not disappoint. This is the exact itinerary she sent me and now I’ve gotta pass it along to you – swing into Pages (cutest bookstore), stop by The New Forest shop for the sweetest dog treats/accessories, and then grab a cupcake from Crave. We also went and grabbed ice cream in this area at Made By Marcus. The best afternoon!
Coffee/Brunch in Calgary
Rosso and/or Phil & Sebastian | Both of these coffee shops have multiple locations in the city. Keep your eyes peeled for either one if you’re looking for a morning coffee or an afternoon pick-me-up. You can’t go wrong!
Sidewalk Citizen Bakery | There are a couple of Sidewalk Citizen Bakery’s in the city but there happened to be one right across from our hotel so one morning I ran over to grab coffee and breakfast and then brought it back to the room. The perfect breakfast in bed kind of morning.
Monki Bistro | After visiting this amazing brunch spot, I actually learned that it’s owned by my friend who also owns the online plant store, Fleur Collaborative (you can learn more about them in this post I wrote)! What are the chances?! Anyways, this spot had delicious brunch and was a haven of plant-filled goodness.
Dinner in Calgary
Southblock | This is one of our favourite spots we’ve discovered in Calgary. It’s a southern bbq restaurant and it is melt-in-your-mouth-good. We love to get one or two main meats, a side to share and a couple of pieces of cornbread. Brings me back to my time living in the South!
Una | Get ready for ahhhh-mazing pizza! This trip was my first Una experience and it did not disappoint. One evening, we were tired and didn’t feel like going out so we picked up a pizza and some local craft beer and brought them back to the hotel. A cozy evening in while on vacation just hits differently.
Blanco Cantina | This spot is a Mexican restaurant and we actually went twice on this trip (and seriously contemplated a third visit) and I just learned that one is supposed to open in Lethbridge! The best tacos and margs, if that’s your scene!
Happy Hours/Drinks in Calgary
Blanco Cantina | I know I just listed this spot but it’s worth noting a second time in the Happy Hour section because their HH deals are so so good. Half priced tacos and margaritas every single afternoon from 2-5 and evening from 9-12.
The Derrick Gin Mill & Bar | This spot was really unique and a fun stop for Friday Happy Hour! It’s an old school gin bar with a ton of really unique combinations and cocktails to try! Gin is my favourite of all the liquors so I knew this one would be a fun stop!
Last Best Brewing | This place is a great option if you’re looking for that classic pub food + beer option. They had a great menu of snacks and beer for Happy Hour and we were impressed with the quality, service and how fun the environment was!
Where We Stayed In Calgary
The Alt | This was our second experience staying at The Alt (the first time was in Saskatoon) and it was just as good as I remembered. We love the modern design, the plant-filled lobby and some of the thoughtful touches (hello, Nespresso in every room!). We found it to be an affordable yet central spot to the downtown area.