Stunning modern architecture, trendy restaurants, and picturesque pathways make Calgary’s East Village neighbourhood a popular destination for visitors and locals alike. The neighbourhood is tucked into the east side of Calgary’s downtown core, with the Bow River to the north and the Elbow River to the east. The area has been designed to be incredibly walkable, bikeable and connected to transit. The City Hall train station is the perfect starting point for a day of exploration. For those driving, East Village has plenty of surface lots, as well as Platform, a massive parkade and innovation centre that is itself an architectural masterpiece.
East Village Neighbourhood Guide
East Village Neighbourhood Guide
East Village Restaurants
In many ways, the Simmons Building is the heartbeat of the East Village. This restored bedding factory from 1912 houses an eclectic collection of local restaurants including Calgary coffee institution Phil & Sebastian, sourdough aficionados Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, and sustainability-driven Charbar which brings Argentine wood-fired cuisine to the prairies.
The Alt Hotel is home to two of Calgary’s top fine dining experiences – Nupo and EIGHT. Nupo is Calgary’s first restaurant to offer an omakase sushi experience, a chef-driven meal at a six-seat sushi bar, which is in addition to it’s a la carte offering for guests. Exclusive and intimate, EIGHT is an exploration of the cultural mosaic that makes up our view of Canadian food. True to the name, this restaurant only has eight seats and must be reserved months in advance. Also located in the hotel is Chix Eggshop, the perfect place to start a day full and happy.
Those with a sweet tooth will delight in the handcrafted treats at Parlour Ice Cream or the award-winning chocolates at cochu Chocolatier.
Located in a century-old warehouse, just off the Bow River, sits Fortuna’s Row. The 10,000 sq. ft. restaurant transports you to the airy beach fronts of Latin America with dishes spanning Mexican, Peruvian, and Brazilian cuisine.
East Village Hotels
Three hotels are located right in East Village with many more just to the West in the downtown core. Perfectly situated next to the Bow River, Alt Hotel by Le Germain offers the perfect basecamp to explore East Village, St. Patrick’s Island, and neighbouring Inglewood. Its across the street from the Simmons Building and within walking distance of all East Village attractions. The views of the river are spectacular, and the modern rooms are everything you would expect from a hip, boutique hotel.
The Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton are side-by-side right in the center of East Village. Their proximity to the Central Library, Studio Bell, and City Hall train station makes them ideal places to stay while visiting the area.
Things to Do in East Village
Any visit to East Village must include stops at the Central Library and Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. Opening in 2018, the Central Library was named as one of the ‘Top 52 Places to Visit’ in 2019 by New York Times. Undeniably photogenic, the library is filled with public art, cozy sun-filled nooks, Luke’s Café, and 450,000 books. Just a block over is Studio Bell - part performance venue, recording facility, broadcast studio, and museum. The building provides a literal gateway into East Village as it arches over one of the main entrances into the neighbourhood. The National Music Centre is on one side of the building and features five floors of interactive exhibits celebrating Canadian music. On the other side is the legendary King Edward Hotel, one of Calgary’s oldest buildings, which was revitalized during the construction of Studio Bell and continues to serve as a cornerstone of Calgary’s live music scene.
Nestled between the Central Library and Studio Bell is The Bounce Games Park. This drop-in park features a full-sized basketball court, ping-pong tables, hopscotch, four-square, and an impressive art mural.
Stretching along 4km of the Bow River is Calgary’s RiverWalk, a dedicated pathway system for bikes and pedestrians. Much of the RiverWalk borders East Village and offers a relaxing way to take in the Calgary skyline, the Bow River, and surrounding parks such as St. Patrick’s Island. For those looking to move a bit faster, Bow Cycle E-bikes + Rentals has all your two-wheel needs covered and River Valley Adventure Co. provides fun Segway tours along the river. Both are located right along the RiverWalk. In the winter, the green space next to Fort Calgary is turned into a free 1km x-country ski loop.