Winter Story Starters

Calgary Skyline
Calgary Skyline

Winter Story Starters

Meet a Local: Sal Howell

Sal Howell is passionate about Calgary’s local food scene. As Proprietor and Founder of two iconic Calgary restaurants, River Café and Deane House, her farm to table philosophy has garnered awards and achievements, including being named among Canada’s top restaurants.

Think Local

Working with local producers, vendors, and embracing the flavours of the season, Sal’s menus combine Prairie inspiration with seasonal Alberta fare and creative touches.

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River Cafe

River Cafe

Patios Heat Up as the Temperatures Rise

Patios in the winter? Don’t overlook a prospective winter visit if you happen to be in the city when a “Chinook” rolls through. A weather phenomenon unique to Calgary, it’s a warm wind that can make months of snowfall melt within hours. On these days, as the sun shines, you’ll often see restaurants open their patios in the middle of February to cater to heat-deprived Calgarians, as they roll up their sleeves and order a cold brew. Mainstay patio spots include the Ship & Anchor, National, Ricardo’s Hideaway, the Living Room and Blanco Cantina.

Bring Your Pooch

Calgarians love their dogs – nearly one in ten in the city count Fido as part of the family. Many of the city’s patios have recently become dog-friendly, meaning owners can enjoy a pint in the sun and their four-legged companion can come along too. Some patios offer beds, treats and water dishes for the dogs, which might leader you to wonder: who’s night out is it?

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Neighbourhood Profile: Hello East Village

Once a forgotten part of the downtown core, today Calgary’s East Village is emerging as an arts and cultural hub in the city.

Architectural Wow-Factor

It’s here that you’ll find Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, as well as Calgary’s newest architectural masterpiece, the new Central Library. Opened in 2018, the library has become a great junction for exploring, reading and people-watching. Grab a coffee from Luke’s and check out the reading rooms, or join a free tour of the building.

Riverfront Bliss

From there, head towards the river, where a converted mattress factory called the Simmons Building, now home to Phil & Sebastian Coffee, Sidewalk Citizen Bakery and charbar, a restaurant featuring Argentinian, Spanish and Italian inspired cuisine. Head up to their rooftop patio for a cocktail and sweeping views of the city skyline.

Island-Hopping

Head across the George C. King bridge to St. Patrick’s Island, a 31-acre park that’s perfect for urban explorers in any season.

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East Village Calgary

East Village Calgary

George C. King Bridge

George C. King Bridge

Meet Locals: Phil Robertson and Sebastian Sztabzyb

These two take their coffee very seriously and serve some of the best in the city. They follow the beans they roast and sell all the way from the fields where they’re grown, straight through to the finished, steaming perfection in your mug. As engineering grads who were looking to do something different, friends Phil & Sebastian started their first coffee shop (and namesake) in 2007 and haven’t looked back.

Discover how the duo have become two coffee kings in Calgary’s beloved coffee scene.

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Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters

Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters

Snow and the City

Where can you train alongside world champions, go tubing, skate on world-class ice, practice your turns on the slopes and warm up with a cup of cocoa Calgary’s Winsport offers a great variety of winter snow sports, with many locals opting to get in a few turns on their way home work each evening.

Did you say hot chocolate?

Every year, local restaurants and coffee shops come up with their best hot chocolate concoction, using inventive ingredients and the chance to be awarded Best Hot Chocolate in the city. Sip one or sample a few – either way you’re guaranteed to warm up!

Downtown skate

Lace up the skates and go for a glide under the skyscrapers at Olympic Plaza. Skate rentals are available onsite, and you’re within easy walking distance of a number of the restaurants and eateries on historic Stephen Avenue.

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WinSport

WinSport

A Ski Holiday Stopover

Headed to Banff or Lake Louise for a winter ski or snowboard holiday? Plan a stop in Calgary for a few days before or after the slopes and get a taste of what makes the city so vibrant.

Soak and Soothe

Just west of Calgary is the Nordic Spa, located in Kananaskis Country. Cycle through hot, cold and steam, gazing at the mountain peaks around you.

In the city, take solace at one of many luxurious city spas, offering Rocky Mountain and Prairie 

inspired treatments designed to rejuvenate and refresh your body, mind and soul.

Curl up and get cozy

After a day exploring the city, get cozy at one of the many Calgary restaurants that feature fantastic fireplaces. Pour a glass of red, put on a cozy sweater and relax with a great meal. Try The Nash, River Café, Al Forno Bakery or the Hyatt’s Sandstone Lounge.

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Kananaskis Nordic Spa

Kananaskis Nordic Spa