John_Manzo Senior Member Joined: 5 Aug 2005 Posts: 318 Location: Calgary Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Elektra Microcasa a Leva,... Grinder: Baratza Vario Vac Pot: none Drip: presspot Roaster: nada (yet)
Posted Sun Jul 29, 2007, 8:53am Subject: Re: Goin' to Calgary (and Banff, and Lake Louise, etc)...
It's been hot, REALLY hot, in Calgary, but it's my understanding that the weird wave of humidity we had earlier this month has passed. I'm in Toronto right now (talk about humidity!) so I can't be sure, but I'd say the next 5 days will be warm and dry.
Coffee? Well there are lots of threads here of course but some good places include Phil&Sebastian at the Farmers' Market (you'll need a car or take the 20 bus), Thurs-Sun only; Bumpy's at 8 St b/t 10 and 11 Ave SW, by MEC, but not open Sundays, M-Sat something like 6:30-5:00; there is new and very positive buzz about a resurrected Caffe Beano (resurrected from years of mediocrity, if always, always busy with great atmosphere), on 9 St SW just off 17th Ave (north side, just look for the crowds on the sidewalk), open 7 days and open late; and I've had good luck at The House in Kensington (10th St, east side, north of Kensington Rd) and, depending on who's working there, Cafe Koi on 1st SW around 10th ave, west side. There are great options further afield (Java Jamboree in Cochrane, a NW suburb of Calgary, and Communitea in downtown Canmore). I'm not aware of any coffee in Banff worth a detour, which is not to say that Banff isn't worth a detour.
I'd say the one restaurant experience that everyone should have in Calgary is The River Cafe, on Prince's Island Park. It is very expensive but is an experience on par with someplace like West in Vancouver- all locall sourced, beautifully presented in a space that feels like a lodge in the mountains (a REALLY NICE lodge)- you can google them to get their menu online. Other standouts are Capo in Inglewood, Muse in Kensington, Divino, Centini, Teatro, Opus on 8th, The Belvedere, and Catch on Stephen Ave, Brava Bistro, Cilantro, and The Living Room on 17th Ave, and Wildwood, Aida's, and the brand new BLVD on 4th St SW. As far as ethnic food, the best in Calgary is Vietnamese, and everybody has his favourite noodle or banh mi place, but I'd say either Banh Mi Thi Thi in Chinatown for subs (Kim Anh on 17th by Western HS is great too) and for noodle houses- I could not say which is best, but I love Co Do on 17th east of 14 St and for an upscale version, The Orchid Room in Bankers Hall.You would not expect great sushi in Calgary and it's not Vancouver, but I've found excellent sushi at Globefish (14 St Kensington and a new location in Marda Loop), Hana Sushi (4th St SW)m and for great value, Uptown Sushi at 11 and 11 SW. There's good shawarma and felafel at Falafel King (1 St SW off Stephen Ave, and 17th and 9 St), Pita Express in the Burns Building (Epcor Centre off Olympic Plaza) and Shawarma Station on 10 St in Kensington. Tons and tons of other ethnic options are tucked into the ethnoburbs of the SE and NE but you probably won't be in those areas.
Ports- we always head to The Cellar on Stephen Ave next to the Patagonia store. Amazing selection and a great staff.
Hotel- I'd stay DT at the Hyatt or Westin, but there is a beautiful new-ish boutique hotel on 12th Ave east of 1st SW called Hotel Arts- it has two very well-regarded restaurants, Raw Bar and St Germain, but it's also in an area that is, let's say, in transition. It will be another False Creek when it's done, but until then it's more like skid row, but people like it and it's lovely. If you really want to splurge you can do no worse than the Kensington Riverside Inn, which is a small boutique inn, but it is very expensive. The Best Western on 8 St is notiong special but has kitchens and is by far the closest to 17th- and just a couple blocks to Bumpy's and Beano, this might be your best bet. There are, unfortunately, no hotels ON 17th Ave.
I'd be thrilled to meet you in person and will be back home on Tuesday.
MarkPrince Moderator Joined: 19 Dec 2001 Posts: 5,628 Location: Vancouver, BC Expertise: Professional
Espresso: KvdW Speedster Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder Vac Pot: A bit too many Drip: Bonavita Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Sun Jul 29, 2007, 2:13pm Subject: Re: Goin' to Calgary (and Banff, and Lake Louise, etc)...
WOOT! All great information! Thanks for all the info!
We're also planning on staying in Banff or Lake Lousie for two nights - I remember Lake Louse' hostel when it first opened up - it rivalled the Post Hotel (I think that's the name) in LL. We're trying to get a private room there for two nights, but it's proving tricky.
I'm afraid I'm going to be missing Phil and Sebastien's farmer's market thing though, as we're planning on going to Banff on Wednesday afternoon, staying there, then going back to Vancouver for Saturday (Beata's got a thing...).
Any other things to do or see in Calgary and environs the week of the 5-12th?
Posted Sun Jul 29, 2007, 7:44pm Subject: Re: Goin' to Calgary (and Banff, and Lake Louise, etc)...
Hey Mark! So it's wicked hot in Calgary right now. Low 30s for the past several days and it's supposed to be like this for awhile.
The restaurants mentioned are top notch, and I have nothing to add, except for when you're in the Rockies, try to get to Crazy Weed in Canmore. I'm not sure where they're at in terms of moving to their new location, but I think they're at a spot larger than their old Main St locale. They should be at the north end of Railway Avenue. John Gilchrist (Calgary's eminent food critic) said that if he was in a last meal situation, he would have the chef from Crazy Weed cook it for him... Also in Canmore, visit Communitea, they serve Intelly coffee and have a Synesso (I've never been though).
For liquor in Calgary, drive south down Macleod Trail to Willow Park Liquor Store. They have by far the most extensive selection of anything in Calgary and their prices are decent too. Their beer section is taken care of by a very enthusiastic beer geek (I think his name is Dave). They've got a good supply of US Micros (Rogue being my fav by far) that's hard to find elsewhere in Canada.
Other than that, I think John has you covered with most recs. I definitely have used his food recommendations from the chowhound message boards before with great success.
Too bad you're missing out on P&S. It's most definitely the best coffee in Calgary (and no, that's not just because I'm currently working a few shifts with them... haha). That's not to slight Bumpy's either. They've got some great folks pulling great shots. Jason (coffeegeek member - coffeeactivist) is the current assistant manager/head barista and his baristas definitely do a great job of providing spro for the downtown workforce.
Enjoy the trip! Maybe I'll bump into you somewhere.
unidonburi Senior Member Joined: 10 Oct 2005 Posts: 59 Location: Calgary Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Euro2000 Jr., Estro Profi Grinder: Cimbali Jr., MD40,... Vac Pot: French press/moka pot Roaster: Swissmar Bravi, Poppery I,...
Posted Sun Jul 29, 2007, 8:46pm Subject: Re: Goin' to Calgary (and Banff, and Lake Louise, etc)...
Peter and John have already provided a great list of cafes and restaurants.
For stuff to do...If you are anywhere near Canmore on this coming long weekend, the Canmore Folk Festival has a fantastic line up this year and it is a more beautiful, romantic and intimate than the larger festival venues. I don't know if there are tickets left, however.
I also recommend CommuniTea in Canmore. Nic (coffeegeek member) is not pulling shots in the summertime, but last weekend, the owner pulled a great Black Cat for me.
KeenBean Senior Member Joined: 2 May 2007 Posts: 216 Location: Calgary, AB Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Andreja Premium Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Sun Jul 29, 2007, 8:50pm Subject: Re: Goin' to Calgary (and Banff, and Lake Louise, etc)...
Hey Guys -
I'd be keen to join in for a coffee and chat, so if you're planning an open social, please let me know! I'd offer my place for a coffee, but the barista ain't that great yet... but getting there! ;)
Great write up on Calgary John... you sure you aren't involved with Tourism Calgary? Only one place that I think you may have missed that I personally like for it's atmostphere and food, and that's Murrieta's on 8th Ave (near that Patagonia store you mentioned). Otherwise, I think most of the restaurants you mentioned could be considered some of our "fine dining". There are a whole bundle of other "staple" options depending on where you are in the city: Cactus Club, Smuggler's Inn, Joey Tomatoes, Barley Mill, etc.
I know my wife and I often try go for either Italian or Greek food - both of which there are several good options here in the city. I always like to support Mykono's, as they support our community. Me personally - I often am eating Asian or Indian when I eat out with friends, since there is a great selection of those as well in the city.
Maybe let us know what kind of food you think you might be craving Mark and we can throw in some specific recommendations...
What a great coincidence, I'll be in Canmore (after a tour up north) by August 6th! I would definitely enjoy a coffee with you, last time at Brad's place I would have talked hours more ;-) so if something get planned in Calgary let me know. If not, give me a shout when you'll be in Canmore.
... when you're in the Rockies, try to get to Crazy Weed in Canmore. I'm not sure where they're at in terms of moving to their new location, but I think they're at a spot larger than their old Main St locale. They should be at the north end of Railway Avenue. John Gilchrist (Calgary's eminent food critic) said that if he was in a last meal situation, he would have the chef from Crazy Weed cook it for him...
Yep a very good choice. Though on my last days off it wasn't open yet. The old place on Main St. is under new ownership but they kept the name "Crazy Weed Miné" Miné being the last name of the Japanese who own the place. Great food too but very different than "Crazy Weed".
Hope to see lots of you CoffeeGeeks!
Enjoy your coffees with Respect :^) =============== BGA0531
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