Opened Dec 28, this pop-up restaurant is in the Meat & Bread space (in the Grain Exchange building downtown). The reviews and food pics I've seen so far are making me REALLY want to check it out despite their somewhat limited hours. I'm not sure if this place would be better for dinner and then you head out on the town, or maybe the reverse, go out for some drinks and then head here when you get hungry for a late night bite. Will research.
Opened Dec 18 2018, Bar Modern is the newest member of the Modern Steak family. And this family member is the classy, mildly drunk, younger better looking sibling. For real though, the bar looks beautiful, and I could see myself wearing uncomfortably high heels and drinking something strong whilst engaging in some hardcore Stephen avenue people watching. Classy and fresh, this is not your stuck up steakhouse. And I appreciate that they've done their own thing.
Brand new on 4th street, with a dark club feel, and slogan "we vibe hard," I think Mister Chen's is ready to party. And I like it. I haven't been yet but I like the concept. Its high energy, its happening, there's even a DJ on weekends. Not to mention the food and cocktails look really good. You know how some places that are more club than restaurant skimp on the food aspect, from what I can tell Mister Chen's is still very food-centric. The BEST OF ALL WORLDS. I MUST try it.
OMG! LOVE!!!!!! How's that for a review? Seriously though, I went to Greta for their opening weekend (Nov 10) and I liked everything about it. Its a retro games bar (think Mario cart) that is similar to The Rec Room in the NE, but its smaller, downtown, and has a food truck inside (that's right its inside! you have to go see) Also, because its a bar I'm pretty sure they don't allow children, which was an annoyance of The Rec Room. I REALLY liked Greta's Montreal smoked meat poutine and would return just for that. But I do need to go back just to play some games though. Oh and great cocktail menu. See. I told yah it was cool! You'll thank me later.
I am a sucker for a good deep dish pizza, not a crappy deep dish pizza cuz those are definitely around, but one with real solid ingredients. So I have high hopes for Pow Pizza. Admittedly I have not tried it yet, but rest assured I will ASAP. They are out of Renfrew and my understanding is they don't have a restaurant its take-out and delivery only. So much crust. So much sauce. So much excited.
What's most surprising about Luke's is how instagrammable it is. It is after all, just a Library kiosk, but maybe its because its in the new architectural wonder that is the downtown's new library. Or maybe its the healthy hipster menu items (luxury oatmeal and porridge options, I'm sorry but it doesn't get anymore hipster than that!!) I feel like it fits though, the library, the look, the trendy ultra cool minimalist Instagram pics. Def worth checking out. Also probably check out the Library too, obvi.
The Shoe & Canoe is an interesting place. While they are inside the Delta hotel, they seem to think the hotel is the background to the pub. And they might be right in that it could be a prominent place for lunch or for post-work drinks for the downtown crowd. Also unique about this establishment, the theme! Its all Canadian eh? I think that is awesome. Let's embrace Canadian culture and not in a cheesy moose meat maple syrup way, in a classy upscale hotel pub way. Nicely done.
I haven't been here yet but I like the concept! Its a lounge which means wine and comfy chairs, but they also do manicures, pedicures, and offer a espresso bar! I'm guessing it would really depend on the time of day you went... or would it..? Very curious to try it out. They also have daily specials like "Mani Mondays" in which you get 15% off your manicure. Awesome.
I like the King Eddy a lot. I just think it has cool vibes. It has neat history and its right next to the beautiful, new, shiny National Music Centre. And they host live music multiple nights a week. It just seems like a cool place to hang. Check their website before heading down, some shows have cover, but many are free!
"El Furniture Warehouse" or "The Warehouse Stephen Avenue" is a self-described dive bar. Its got old school party vibes, cheap drinks, and even cheaper food. They pride themselves on their $5.95 food menu. Obviously the portions are smaller and quality is not the greatest for that price, but hey, its $5! Ask your waitress for menu suggestions as I feel that's how you get insider information on what food is tastiest. I think the cocktail menu is the best part of this bar though, as its probably the cheapest place on Stephen Ave to get your sugary party drinks (margaritas, bulldogs, palomas, etc). Yum.
Another professional dive bar! This one has more Coyote Ugly feels I think. Actually, I may be wrong but I think they encourage girls to dance on the bar? This is probably a good place to watch a Flames game or just get randomly wasted on like a Tuesday. Expect loud music, drunk dancing, and ski shots. Also important, they pride themselves on their dog-friendly patio, good info for the summer. Full disclosure, I haven't been here, I think it might be for a younger (early 20's) crowd. Let me know if I'm wrong!
Gorilla... what now? So hipster. So Inglewood. So good though. I feel like everything is "fusion" now, its like weird combos are the norm and aren't weird anymore. At Gorilla Whale you can expect Japanese food, like freakin' good ramen, yakitori skewers, and sake but you can also get burgers and craft beer. Nice. Hot tip - try the Gorilla Rice. It was so good my boyfriend almost didn't let me have any. Jeeze. That's okay, I didn't want to share my ramen with him anyway.
Bullet train sushi!! The first in Calgary. How it works is you order your drinks from a server but your food order is entered by you via the tablet on your table. Then a short time later it zooms right up via bullet train! And repeat. And maybe repeat a few more times. (Note, its not an all-you-can-eat restaurant, its a sushi restaurant with a cool delivery system.)
So much delicious sandwich! This place is somewhat tucked away on 17th ave (its in the building attached to Blanco and Starbucks). I like that they also have a bit of a bar atmosphere serving draft beer and a having an awesome cocktail menu. Warning their sandwiches are VERY FILLING and you may inadvertently not leave room for their many delicious sides. Plan accordingly. I say eat more sides, take half of the sandwich to go.
I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty sad that Roosevelt is gone, I liked that place! But Hostel is probably more fitting for Calgary's current economy. Similar to a few other new bars, the intention is to be cheap, divey, and cool. The food menu is all $10 items and the drink menu features all $5 cocktails. I got my bill after a night of drinking with friends and I was like... what?! is this real? It was shockingly cheap and that NEVER happens. Haha. It's a pretty lively place and has a good atmosphere for watching hockey.
Super trendy and cute. This little shop in China town serves soft ice cream in fish-shaped waffle cones. They offer some usual flavours: Matcha, Pandan, and Red Bean. They also have vanilla if you're not feeling too adventurous. Trust me, all the flavours are yummy though. You also get your choice of topping(s) like sour candies, Oreos, Teddy Grahams, sprinkles or wafers. And be sure to add a toasted marshmallow for extra pretty instagram pics.
So retro cool. The concept of this bar on 17th is to offer up some awesome game time along with delicious sandwiches. I'll confess I haven't yet had a chance to visit but I've heard good things and I know it was quite busy when it first opened. Seems like it would be a good time!
This is the sister bar (brother? cousin? some kind of relative) to Cleaver. Actually its probably best described as the neighbour bar because they are right beside each other. The main food they serve are are high end tacos, think soft shells filled with lamb shoulder or pork belly. Yummmmmy. They also have an awesome craft cocktail menu with drink names like Pablo Escobar and Peruvian Marching Powder. How can you not want to try them all?? Be sure to visit before 7 or after 9 for their happy hour prices.