Calgary Beltline Neighbourhood Guide

CRAFT Downtown patio Calgary
CRAFT Downtown patio Calgary
Best Things to Do in the Beltline

Calgary Beltline Neighbourhood Guide

Check out the local favourites in the Beltline neighbourhood.

Best Things to Do in the Beltline, Calgary


The Beltline is packed with hundreds of eclectic businesses that make it one of the most popular neighbourhoods in the Calgary. Show off this neighbourhood to visiting friends and family or make it your new go-to spot for urban adventures. The best way to experience the Beltline is to explore on your own. You’ll be writing your own list of your favourite things to do in the Beltline soon enough.

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Sidewalk Citizen Park

Sidewalk Citizen Park

Bridgette Bar

Bridgette Bar oven roasted duck with kuri squash polenta, granny smith apples and prepared in brown butter and thyme. 

Best Beltline Restaurants

The neighbourhood is one of the premiere dining districts in all of Canada. Bridgette Bar and Ten Foot Henry are consistently awarded for their culinary excellence and recognized as some of the top restaurants in the nation; both made the list of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants in 2020. 

Looking for great atmosphere? Park by Sidewalk Citizen is a must-visit. Sidewalk Citizen has been a Calgary staple for years, and now their one-of-a-kind solarium creates a space filled with 360 degrees of natural light, curated art and an Israeli-inspired menu built from the best local food and drink around. In the warmer months the restaurant’s garage style door opens onto Central Memorial Park, creating a patio experience with a beautiful city view.

Donna Mac is a go-to spot for locals for its ever changing menu of comfort food favourites, sharing plates, and delicious cocktails. Orchard Restaurant is an elegant but casual Asian Mediterranean dining experience and a throwback to a European supper club.

Vegan Street is the ultimate spot for vegan comfort food in Calgary. Their menu is uncompromisingly delicious and filled with favourites like calamari, BBQ quesadillas and buffalo fries, all made with innovative vegan substitutes that will even have staunch carnivores coming back for more. Your dining experience comes with a unique piece of Canadian history, as Vegan Street operates out of an old heritage house, which was once the residence of the designer of the Canadian flag, George Stanley.

A few blocks east, #REGRUB cooks up some of the most Instagram-ready meals you’ll find anywhere. Burgers topped with crazy concoctions and quality local ingredients go hand-in-hand with imaginative milkshakes. The menu also features everything from Beyond Meat, black bean patties, and crispy cauliflower to diary free milkshakes topped with treats like vegan cheesecake and ice cream sandwiches.


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Chinook Arc - photo by: @mikey__travels

Chinook Arc - photo by: @mikey__travels

Central Memorial Park

Central Memorial Park - photo by: Chris Bolin

Parks and Art in the Beltline

One of the most memorable parts of the Beltline is its public art and parks. From incredible plants and flowers, water features, murals, and statues, beauty is around every corner of the Beltline.

 

Chinook Arc

Be wowed by this giant sculpture that emits a colourful glow across Barb Scott Park. Pick which colour the sculpture turns by holding something up to the interactive receptor and watch as the arc mimics the tone. This masterpiece by artists Joe O'Connell and Blessing Hancock, inspired by the chinook arc phenomenon that sometimes covers Calgary’s sky, has been one of Calgary’s coolest photo opportunities since 2014.

 

BUMP Festival

The Beltline Urban Mural Projects (BUMP) is annual festival that transforms the walls in the Beltline into an expansive open-air art gallery. The festival takes place throughout August and includes muralist panels and meet ups in Central Memorial Park where you can enjoy beats by local DJs and meet the artists to learn about their practice and inspiration. While the festival only take place once a year, you can enjoy the murals year-round with self-guided tours by walking, biking, running and scootering to the different mural sites.

 

BIG Winter Classic

The BIG Winter Classic is the ultimate winter festival, pairing arts and entertainment with local craft beer and an all-around good time. The four-day winter wonderland features awesome local talent and the chance to dance the night away when the colder months hit.

 

Central Memorial Park

Where: 1221 2 St SW

This tranquil oasis in the heart of the Beltline is Calgary’s oldest park. Enjoy a relaxing lunch or a picnic while being surrounded by gorgeous flower beds, walking paths, water fountains and a view of Calgary’s tallest buildings. The park is also home to Remembrance Day ceremonies and features a 35-foot-tall Boer War Memorial statue by Quebec artist Louis-Philippe Hébert.

 

Beaulieu Gardens & Lougheed House

Where: 707 13 Ave SW

Beaulieu Gardens is a massive terraced garden that surrounds the historic sandstone mansion Lougheed House. Extravagant patterns of red and yellow roses grace the paths and public green spaces to create one of Calgary’s most popular spots for weddings and wedding photos. The park’s knowledgeable volunteer gardeners also grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are used in seasonal cuisine at the Lougheed House restaurant.

 


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CRAFT Beer Market Calgary

Rooftop patio at CRAFT Downtown Calgary 

Sled Island on the Broken City rooftop

Sled Island on the Broken City rooftop - photo: Kelly Hofer 2015

Best Bars in the Beltline

The Beltline is one of Calgary’s most densely populated neighbourhoods, filled with entrepreneurs, young professional, and artists, many of whom like to play just as hard as they work. This has resulted in an amazing bar scene with plenty of options for whatever mood you are in. 

 

Bars with rooftop patios:

CRAFT Beer Market

Where: 345 10 Ave SW

The bar with the ultimate craft beer selection also serves up the ultimate patio experience. Catch all those summer vibes you’ve been looking for while enjoying the backdrop of Calgary’s towering skyline. The patio serves a full menu with daily specials of wine-on-tap, summer cocktails and local beer, providing endless options to quench your thirst. The patio also features an authentic 1967 Volkswagen van turned DJ booth where the summer vibes are kept alive late into the night. Your patio season won’t be complete without a visit to CRAFT.

 

Broken City

Where: 613 11 Ave SW

 

Bars with craft beer:

National on 10th

Classic pub food and craft beer on tap make National on 10th a neighbourhood favourite. With over 60 beers on tap from great local craft brewers, it’s the perfect place for a pint. They even have a bowling alley if you want to kick off your meal with a few frames.

 

Inner City Brewing

Where: 820 11 Ave SW

Inner City Brewing produces their beer in house with small batch brews and twenty different taps ready to pour. Their unique fusion system lets you experiment with flavour combinations you won’t find anywhere else. Remember to bring an empty growler!

 

Last Best Brewing & Distilling

Where: 607 11 Ave SW

Well craft beer, spirits, and Alberta-inspired cuisine come together at Last Best Brewing & Distilling. They brew their own beer in house and leave guest taps open so you can get a taste of other local breweries. Lock your bike up outside and get ready for an authentic Alberta experience.

 


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Café Niko at Kawa Espresso Bar

Café Niko at Kawa Espresso Bar

Best Cafés in the Beltline

Calgarians are crazy for their coffee and the city has a robust scene of local roasters and talented baristas.

 

Gravity Espresso & Wine Bar

Where: 1221 8 St SW

This spacious café has all the qualities that will make you want to you spend the whole day here. The floor to ceiling windows bring in lots of light, making it a go-to work spot, and great place for a long catch up with a friend. Comfortable seating overlooks the patio space, perfect for gazing off and getting lost in your thoughts. Enjoy expertly brewed coffee from local roasters Phil & Sebastian, as well as a great selection of fresh baked breakfast and lunch specials.

 

I Love You Coffee Shop

Where: 348b 14 Ave SW

I Love You Coffee Shop is a cute café inspired by Japanese jazz bars and serves Japanese baked goods like red bean donuts and melon pan. Unassumingly located downstairs from a convenience store, if it weren’t for the hilarious sandwich board outside you might never know it was there. Retro furniture, delicious Calgary Heritage Roasting Company coffee, and super friendly staff make for a comfortable atmosphere that is great for spending a few hours reading a book or just listening to the selection of old vinyl albums that play all day. The walls are lined with local art from Burnt Toast Studio, all available for purchase and affordable for anyone.

 

Kawa Espresso Bar

Where: 1333 8 St SW

This Polish style café is one of the best spots in Calgary for an authentic European coffee experience. Pair their special Café Niko, a triple shot espresso with orange blossom mist, with any of the fresh baked cakes for a flavour explosion. Sip your coffee slow from the sun-soaked patio or meet up with a group of friends in the roomy indoor seating. They’re also open late and serve a selection of wine and beer including specialty European imports you won’t find anywhere else. 

 

Milano Coffee

Where: 602 11 Ave SW #102

Traditional Italian technique makes the difference at Milano Coffee with a combination of premium coffee beans perfect for a cup of drip or French press brew. Stop in for a hot drink and baked good in the heart of the neighbourhood in this modern, rustic space.

 

Sucre Patisserie & Café

Where: 1007 8 St SW

Coffee and a pastry is always a good combination and Sucre Patisserie & Café has mastered both. Hand craft French croissants, pastries, macarons, and cakes are great for an early morning wake up call or afternoon break.


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Shopping in the Beltline

For outdoor adventurers, the Beltline provides all the ways to get out and enjoy the Rocky Mountains. Gear up at MEC on top quality brands for all your hiking, running, climbing and camping needs. This downtown MEC location even sports a climbing wall. 

The Bike Shop is your one-stop-shop to get riding and offers amazing selection on all types of bikes with trade-in options.

Looking to shred on the mountain this year? The Source Snowboards has stylish boards and apparel to make you look your best while you seek out that pow. They also specialize in skateboards for any of your urban shredding needs.

The Beltline also has several stores with great specialty food options. Community Natural Foods has been bringing Calgary top-notch organic and local produce since 1977 and is a regular Best of Calgary winner for the Best Place to Buy Organic Food. Check out their selection of locally brewed kombucha brands and home brewing kombucha kits.

If you like to cook Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food, Kalamata Grocery imports thousands of specialty products from Greece, Bulgaria, and Italy to North Africa, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Impress your charcuterie loving friends with a selection of over two dozen varieties of olives.

 


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