Kensington is one of Calgary’s top destinations for shopping and dining. It sits just north of downtown and has C-Train access via Sunnyside Station. The area was once used as grazing land by a prominent local rancher. It is now home to trendy brunch spots, eye-catching public art, and specialty stores.
Kensington Neighbourhood Guide
Kensington Neighbourhood Guide
Best Restaurants in Kensington
Choose from over 25 restaurants, all within walking distance.
Brunch in Kensington
Whether you’re an early riser or enjoy a leisurely morning, these brunch spots will get your day started right.
- Red’s Diner – This is classic breakfast food, with some tasty surprises. Case in point, the Blueberry, Basil & Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast. It’s rumoured that Jon Hamm frequented Red’s Kensington while filming the fifth season of Fargo.
- Vendome - A modern café that serves binge-worthy brunches and wicked espresso. Vendome takes its name from the historic “Vendome Block” building that it calls home.
- Fuwa Fuwa - Ever tried Japanese pancakes? Fuwa Fuwa, has made a home in Kensington with its handcrafted soufflé pancakes. These photo-worthy pancakes are “fluffy, fluffy” which is Fuwa Fuwa in English.
Dinner in Kensington
Choosing a place to have dinner in Kensington is not easy. If you want a fine dining experience, look no further than these four Italian restaurants:
- Vero Bistro – Vero means “true” in Italian. This speaks to the authenticity that Chef Jenny brings to her menu at Vero. Organic meats and eggs, fresh seafood, and Valrhona Chocolate.
- Osteria Chef’s Table – Expect red tablecloths, original art, and great wine. Locally-sourced ingredients are at the heart of Osteria.
- Niko’s Bistro – A restaurant with a great story. Niko emigrated from Croatia and worked his way up through Calgary's restaurant scene. Niko’s Bistro is his dream realized. It has been serving authentic pasta for over 15 years.
- Pulcinella – Traditional Napoletana pizza in a distinctly modern setting. Every ingredient meets Associazione Pizzaioli Napolitani standards.
In a city famous for its beef, the Black Angus Steak at Modern Steak, has become one of Calgary’s signature dishes. Want a great deal? Wednesday night is Date Night at Modern Steak. Get a discounted dinner featuring two steaks, two sides, and a bottle of wine.
Bacon Mac n Cheese, deep fried pickles, maple smoked pork belly. These are a few of the mouth-watering dishes available at Hayden Block. If you like meat and whiskey, then this is the place for you. And on Fridays and Saturdays, the second floor turns into an intimate live music venue.
Pubs & Bars in Kensington
Looking for a low-key dinner or post-dinner drinks? You'll enjoy the pub scene in Kensington.
- Scuba Jay’s - Great craft beer, friendly staff, and a weekend brunch menu featuring the Hangover Poutine.
- Kensington Pub – Known by locals as KPub, this family-run pub serves UK comfort food at its finest. All in a charming 1911 house.
- Winebar – Artisanal cheeses, house-made charcuterie, and an eclectic wine list. Winebar is a perfect spot for a night out.
- Free House – There are 24 rotating beer taps at Free House, serving up the best in local craft beer. The menu is a sophisticated twist on traditional Canadian comfort foods.
Alberta Food Finder Game
The food scene in Kensington is so good that Alberta Food Tours made an app to help you explore it. In the Alberta Food Finder game, you’ll need to solve puzzles, uncover hidden gems, and taste your way through Kensington.
Best Coffee Shops in Kensington
A great brew is never far away in Kensington.
- Higher Ground - A staple of the Kensington café scene since 1982. Higher Ground serves organic, fair-trade coffee in an old masonic temple from the 1920’s.
- Aggüdo - Taste coffee from some of the oldest known varieties of beans in the world. Aggüdo translates to ‘shelter’ in the owner’s native Tigrinya language. It is a place of belonging and community offering.
- Good Trade - Coffee with a cause. Good Trade is helping increase access to education for children in Colombia.
- Regal Cat Café - More than 900 cats have found a home since the Regal Cat opened in 2017. Cat-lovers get a chance to sit in the Kitty Kingdom, before or after a delicious cup of espresso.
- Oolong Tea House - Choose from over 100 different teas and an extensive selection of baked goods. Oolong has been a household name in Calgary since it opened in 2004.
- Deville – Deville has been a massive Calgary success story with locations popping up all over the city. Its Kensington location, housed in a historic brick building, is arguably its coolest.
Top Things to Do in Kensington
It’s easy to spend a full day exploring the pathways, shops, and attractions in Kensington.
Shopping in Kensington
The shops in Kensington are eclectic in the best possible way. Find the perfect gift for yourself or someone else.
- Pages – Calgary’s literary meeting place. Browse their impressive collection of new and used books over three floors.
- Hot Wax – Selling vinyl records since 1978.
- Nanao Kimono – Japanese lifestyle shop offering stationery, linens, and tableware.
- Canary – Part refillery, part lifestyle store selling zero waste essentials.
- The Scottish Shoppe – Authentic Scottish jewelry, food, clan emblems and of course, kilts.
- Peacock Boutique Consignment – High-end, yet approachable clothing consignment store.
- Purr Petite – Oh-so-cute clothing, toys, and books for kids.
- Another Dimension Comics – Established in 1983, Another Dimension has been serving the comic book community in Alberta for nearly four decades!
Games & Entertainment
On a rainy day, or really any day, these fun spots are worth a visit:
Dessert & Treats
Need a snack while shopping? Or something sweet after dinner? Try one of these local spots.
- Pie Junkie – Handmade sweet and savory pies that you won’t want to share.
- Crave – A cupcake empire that started with their Kensington location in 2004.
- Chunk’d – Gourmet cookies with decadent fillings.
- Peasant Cheese Shop & Kensington Wine Market – Side-by-side shops with expert staff. They'll ensure you find the perfect pairing of wine and cheese.
On a sunny day, you’ll want to be outside exploring Kensington’s parks and pathways.
- Riley Park – One of Calgary’s most prized parks. Complete with a wading pool, rock garden, and massive playground.
- Kensington Art Walk – A self-guided tour through sculptures, murals, and art installations.
- Poppy Plaza – Stroll along the Bow River for views of Calgary’s impressive skyline and end with a picnic in the park.
Hotel Arts Kensington
Hotel Arts Kensington is perfect if you want to spend a day or two exploring the neighbourhood. It’s the only hotel in Kensington and offers the perfect boutique experience. Hotel Arts Kensington is also home to one of Calgary’s top restaurants, Oxbow. The space is cozy, and the kitchen serves up comfort food with a creative twist.