October 15th, 2010
Our weekends at the lake may be over but who said we had to give up our cabin in the woods?
From the owners of the famed River Café comes Boxwood, a charming and petite eatery tucked alongside the newly revamped Central Memorial Park. Reminiscent of a cozy cottage with wood interiors and antler chandeliers, the menu stays true to its sister location’s food philosophy serving dishes from organic, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
Choose a few sides like the faro salad with nectarines and arugula ($6) or the stone-ground aged Grizzly Sylvan Star gouda cornmeal ($6) and pair them with a fresh-from-the-rotisserie pick like the Sunworks farm organic roasted chicken served with the best squash we’ve ever tasted ($15).
And you won't miss campfire smores when you have a dark chocolate and raspberry and caramel brownie ($5) for dessert.
Boxwood, Central Memorial Park, 340 13th Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-265-4006, www.boxwoodcafe.ca
September 10th, 2010
Post holiday, fall mornings usually mean one cup of Joe is not enough, so why settle for just one café?
True to its name, Chiasso Coffee Company, is creating a racket with its second location (a third and fourth are on the way). The 17th Avenue café is a cozy space with apple green walls and a Buddha, silver horse head and cuckoo clock thrown into the décor mix.
More important, the bold Americano passed the taste test, as did the breakfast picks: the Almost Famous breakfast sandwich ($5.25) and the Crack of Dawn chicken wrap ($7.95).
Now for that second cup.
Chiasso, 843 17th Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-228-1005 and 308 Fourth Ave. SW, Calgary, 403- 266-7595, www.chiasso.ca
January 29th, 2010
These days, we’re seeing double downtown with the opening of two new coffee hot spots.
Located on Stephen Avenue, the second location of Ramsay’s beloved Caffe Rosso opened last month. Roomier than their original, it’s more business than casual but expect the same fresh-baked goods and delectable coffee.
Three’s a charm for deVille Luxury Coffee and Pastries with a third location in Fashion Central. Beware: the big booths will suck you in into a day of coffee sipping and watching shoppers emerge from the newest fashion spot downtown.
December 11th, 2009
You say coffee, we say Phil and Sebastian. The beloved Calgary Farmers’ Market duo just opened their first coffee shop in the heart of Marda Loop.
The sleek and narrow space has distressed wood floors, funky chandeliers, communal wood tables and a wrap-around bench that extends the length of the café. The lime espresso machine, surrounded by pretty young things typing away on their Macs, adds an impressive pop of colour.
With half a dozen delectable coffee offerings and a small bites menu in development, we'll be spending a lot of time with the boys in the loop.
Phil and Sebastian Coffee Company, 2043 33rd Ave. SW, Calgary, www.philsebastian.com
November 20th, 2009
The new Rise Bakery and Café caters mostly to the Monday-to-Friday business crowd but even if you’re not of that set, the fresh baked pastries and grilled paninis are worth braving the downtown madness for.
The second location (the original is in Bow Valley Square) is open bright and early for pre-office java, fresh baked muffins (love the mango-bran combo) and rich yogurt parfait packed with homemade granola and Greek-style yogurt ($4).
Satisfy lunchtime hunger pangs with sandwiches like the smoked turkey with sliced pears, Oka cheese and sweet onion relish on an apple, rosemary, flax sourdough ($7.95).
And before the weekend hits, stock up on the fresh-made breads like the chocolate loaf ($6)—it's worth every carb.
Rise Bakery and Café, Penn West Plaza, 120-207 Ninth Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-262-7474, www.risebakery.com
October 16th, 2009
The newly revamped Vendôme Café is catering to caffeine-loving Sunnysiders once again.
Brought to you by the folks at Teatro, the café’s hearty menu is perfect for a cold day and includes delectable goodies like goat cheese and beet salad, rich butternut squash or tomato soup ($9.95 for the combo) or a ham and cheese croissant with gruyere and emmenthal ($6.95).
But it’s the stunning black-and-white photos adorning the walls that add the right amount of edge and modernity to the historical space. Photographed by Jason Eng with art direction by Shea Kerwood, the three photos on the right wall are of the lovely Calgary model Ania B. (centre) and her equally stunning parents.
We can’t promise you’ll look as chic as them sipping your java but at least you can try.
Vendôme Café, 940 Second Ave. NW, Calgary, 403-453-1140.
August 21st, 2009
We were heartbroken when Kensington’s Heartland Café closed for good recently. So what becomes of the brokenhearted? (Sorry Jimmy Ruffin).
Time heals, but if you’re suffering from withdrawal, a trip to Bridgeland’s Heartland can do the trick. Often forgotten, the equally rustic and charming café is also famous for its ever-changing daily soups (the pumpkin bisque is to die for) and homemade comfort food.
The Mac and Cheese ($9.40) is a classic and the spinach feta frittata is a brekkie ($9.95) must-have. Finish off the perfect lunch with the highly addictive warm crumble ($4.25).
And if you’re up for a drive, stay tuned for a new Okotoks location opening later this month.
Our heart is on the mend.
Heartland Café, 825 First Ave. NE, Calgary, 403-263-4567.
August 7th, 2009
The quaint eatery formerly known as Koi has a fresh look to go with its new moniker, Convergence Café. And true to its name, a modern new look and classic charm meet here.
Koi menu favourites like the Warrior Bowl with chicken apple sausage and greens in a chili maple sauce ($14.49) and the Lotus Bowl with tofu and roasted almonds ($13.49) remain, with some new stellar additions like the Mediterranean chicken sandwich with hummus, tomato jam and spinach ($13.49).
With a focus on community arts and culture, the café hosts open mic nights on Tuesdays (for singer/songwriters) and Thursdays (for classical/jazz/instrumental).
Now go plan a little converging for this weekend.
Convergence Café, 100-1011 First St. SW, Calgary, 403-206-1564, www.convergencecafe.com
July 17th, 2009
As far as summer lunching goes, there’s nothing better than grabbing a snack from a kiosk and basking in the sun on the grass before your next meeting.
Calgary’s Stephen Avenue is a well-known hot spot for the downtown lunch crowd but head a tad east to Olympic Plaza and you’ll come across Ca’puccini.
From the talented folks at Teatro, the upscale restaurant where celebs come to eat (or at least are rumoured to come), the laidback kiosk serves a variety of breakfast and lunch items made fresh every morning at the neighbouring restaurant.
Start the day with an espresso and breakfast panini ($3.80) with eggs, bacon and cheese or head there at noon for a hot pulled lamb sandwich made with braised Alberta lamb and served with coleslaw ($6.90).
And who knows, maybe you’ll see Mr. Pitt there one day.
Ca’puccini, Olympic Plaza, 222 Eighth Ave. SE, Calgary.
June 26th, 2009
Calgary’s First Street Southwest has been an eyesore for many months. First, the desolate feel of the boarded up windows and then, the never-ending construction.
But an ultra cool neighborhood is on the horizon with the opening of the strip’s first café. From the upscale baristas at deVille Coffee in Art Central comes Chow Bazaar.
Like its sister locale, it serves plenty of handcrafted caffeine bevies—but the new space is more late-night lounge than coffee house. The evolving menu from neighbouring Saint Germain restaurant includes sandwiches and soups like gazpacho and duck confit with rice (both $7) and small plates like Dungeness crab mac ‘n’ cheese for under $10.
It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.
Chow Bazaar, 1302 First St. SW, Calgary, 403-233-0880.