From the shops and restaurants of 17th Avenue to the live music venues of Inglewood, there is no better way to experience Calgary than to explore one of its neighbourhoods. Wander the best neighbourhoods in the city, meet the locals, and get an insider’s view into what makes Calgary such a vibrant place. Here’s what to expect when you explore some of Calgary’s most unique neighbourhoods.
Best Neighbourhoods in Calgary
Best Neighbourhoods in Calgary
Things to do in Inglewood
Inglewood is Calgary’s original main street and has the history to prove it. Today, this historic neighbourhood is a bohemian paradise of unique shops, restaurants, and live music venues that are all part of the Music Mile. Neighbourhood favourites High Line Brewing, Cold Garden, and Ol' Beautiful make Inglewood a great place to grab a pint. Get an education in Japanese knives at Knifewear, try the wood fired rotisserie chicken at The Nash, the weekend brunch at Deane House, shop at the Inglewood Night Market, or take in big band swing or live jazz standards at Ironwood Stage & Grill and you will see why Inglewood was named the Best Neighbourhood in Canada in 2015.
Things to do in Kensington
Snap a must-have Instagram shot at the Peace Bridge before you walk across the Bow River to Kensington, one of the most walkable neighbourhoods in Calgary. Locals can’t get enough of the organic, fair trade coffee at Higher Ground. Sweet treats at Crave Cupcakes are always a favourite or you can get some kitten cuddles and a hot drink at the Regal Cat Cafe.
Things to do in Bridgeland
Bridgeland might be known as Little Italy but has gained a reputation as the breakfast capital of Calgary and features several hole-in-the-wall restaurants you just have to try. Head to 1st Avenue NE and become a fan of brunch with the organic, homegrown eggs served up at OEB Breakfast Co. and the Bridgeland Breakfast Sammy at Blue Star Diner. It’s always a good idea to get in line early for the legendary ramen at Shiki Menya – only a limited number are made each day – before you flip through the vinyl record collection at Lukes Drug Mart, a family run business since 1951.
Things to do in Downtown Calgary
Downtown Calgary is the first stop for many visitors to Calgary and for good reason. Downtown activity is centred on Stephen Avenue (8th Avenue SW) a pedestrian mall and Calgary icon. On busy weekdays you will see Calgary’s business crowd mix with buskers and street performers, along with world-class restaurants, like Saltlik, a great place to try a classic Alberta steak. This area is a shopper's paradise, with many unique stores, famous brands, and luxury boutiques at Bankers Hall and The CORE Shopping Centre. Calgary’s arts & culture scene is also anchored in this entertainment district with performing arts companies taking the many stages at Arts Commons and The GRAND.
Things to do in Eau Claire
Eau Claire is known as Calgary’s festival district, sitting on the banks of the Bow River and hosting exciting community events every year. Explore local shops at Eau Claire Market or catch a blockbuster movie at Cineplex Odeon Eau Claire Market Cinemas for the perfect downtown movie date. A short walk across the river to Prince's Island Park will take you to River Cafe, a Calgary classic that serves fresh, local cuisine.
Things to do in the Beltline
Discover a stretch of art galleries and contemporary furniture showrooms along 10th, 11th, and 12th Avenues SW that make up The Beltline community known as the design district. Start your day with breakfast at Monki and check out their massive hot sauce collection, take a walking tour of public art and make the Chinook Arc light up using your phone, or check out Re:Grub for stacked burgers and out of this world milkshake creations that will make it easy to see why there is a lineup out the door. Or check out Park by Sidewalk Citizen in beautiful Central Memorial Park.
Things to do on International Avenue
Multiculturalism comes to life in Calgary with a trip down International Avenue . Murals celebrating the history and diversity of the community can be found throughout the neighbourhood while the annual GlobalFest celebrates its international flare with a fireworks show that lights up the night sky each year. Tour international cuisine with Around the World Food Tours and taste flavours of the world along 35 blocks and five continents.
Things to do in East Village
East Village is redefining the Calgary skyline with public spaces that any architecture enthusiast will fall in love with. Tune up with some music history at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, a performance and exhibition space inspired by the prairies, the mountains, and the inside of an instrument. Just a few blocks away, the historic Simmons Building brings three Calgary favourites under one roof with an Argentine wood-fired grill at charbar, coffee roasting at Phil & Sebastian, and the smell of fresh baked bread at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery. From musical performances to fresh baked pastries, this former industrial area is bringing new life to Calgary one building at a time. The Central Library is a must visit location for any trip to this popular neighbourhood.
Things to do in Marda Loop
Things to do on 17th Ave SW
17th Ave SW is the centre of Calgary’s nightlife and the ultimate place to see and be seen. Grab a pint at National on 17th, shop local with a huge collection of boutique retailers, watch some European football at the Ship and Anchor, and be sure to follow 17th Avenue to Cowboys Dance Hall for live concerts and dance party atmosphere that will get you dancing in no time. With hot restaurants and cool boutiques, "17th" as the locals call it, is where Calgary comes to play.