Explore Calgary's Bustling Inner City
Discover the vibrant heart of Calgary with our guide to the city’s bustling inner core.
Immerse yourself in the energy of this thriving metropolis as we take you through its diverse neighborhoods, lively entertainment districts, and iconic landmarks. From trendy cafes to cultural hotspots, uncover the best of Calgary’s inner city and experience its unique charm like never before.
Great restaurants are sprinkled across Calgary’s core, all within easy walking distance of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre. Here are 10 of our favourites.
Meat is on the menu at this lively restaurant, known for its charcuterie, roasted meats and a poutine made from fries cooked in duck fat. The back-of-house staff are stars in their own right: Co-owner and chef Connie DeSousa has appeared on Top Chef Canada twice.
899 Centre St. S, charcut.com
Goro and Gun
Honouring traditional Japanese recipes, Goro and Gun offers classic takes on ramen and sushi, as well as modernized versions of these dishes, including spicy lamb ramen and a gluten-free tonkotsu noodle bowl.
Scotia Centre, 7 Ave. SW, goroandgun.ca
Canadian ingredients are highlighted at Klein/Harris where chef James Waters focuses his dishes on the bounty of the country’s farms, fields and waterways. Barring a couple of special exceptions, every ingredient in the sharing plates and in mixologist Christina Mah’s cocktails are homegrown.
110 8 Ave. SW, kleinharris.com
Serving familiar food with a twist in an atmosphere that feels just right. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone, taking advantage of Happy Hour after work or enjoying brunch with friends, Milestones will make sure that you have a simply memorable experience.
107, 8th Ave SE, milestonesrestaurants.com
One of the newest restaurants to open in the downtown core—a second location to their original in Kensington—Modern Steak takes advantage of the multi-floor space by offering a steak restaurant upstairs and, on the main floor, the more casual Bar Modern.
107 10A St. NW, modernsteak.ca
A fantastic burger and a choose-your-own-adventure version of the classic Old Fashioned cocktail set this restaurant in the Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel apart. A highlight for brown liquor lovers, One18 offers more than 100 ryes, whiskies and bourbons.
820 Centre St. S, one18empire.com
BBQ fans should head to Palomino, where everything from ribs and brisket to chicken and sausages get the low-and-slow treatment in the restaurant’s massive smoker. Southern classic sides include smoked cheddar grits, macaroni salad and cornbread.
109 7 Ave. SW, thepalomino.ca
A cornerstone of Calgary’s downtown dining scene for more than 25 years, Teatro treats its guests to refined Mediterranean dishes and impeccable service. Once a bank, the vault now serves as wine cellar for the restaurant, with row on row of award-winning bottles.
200 8 Ave. SE, teatro.ca
The ’60s make a comeback with this Mad Men-esque lounge on Stephen Avenue. The décor is midcentury modern-meets-rumpus room, but the dishes have a distinctly modern approach, mixing international ingredients with comfort food.
100-118 8 Ave. SW, wednesdayroom.com
Entertainment & Shopping
Whether you’re looking for gifts or gourmet chocolates, our neighbourhood’s finest shopping destinations have you covered.
The East Village neighbourhood is home to general stores and gift shops like Liz and Lottie (537 Riverfront Ave. SE) and Crystal Bar Soap Company (535 8 Ave. SE) as well as a variety of community pop-up shops and markets selling Calgary made products and works from local artists.
Kanata Trading Post
This go-to souvenir and gift store on pedestrianized Stephen Avenue sells Canadian maple syrup, postcards, soapstone carvings, Indigenous crafts and seasonal wear.
116 8 Ave. SE, kanatatradingpost.com
This store is a great place to find unique Canadian-designed footwear with that signature Fluevog flamboyance, ranging from everyday casual shoes to incredible sculptural fantasies.
207 8 Ave. SW, fleuvog.com
Get kitted out in the latest gear for the gamut of Alberta weather—rain, sun or snow. At Patagonia, you’ll also find sporting gear for fishing, climbing or getting in a good run.
135 8 Ave. SW, patagoniaelements.com
The Calgary flagship of Canada’s oldest department store is located in one of the most historic buildings in the downtown core. Here, you’ll find brands like Ralph Lauren and Topshop, housewares and gifts, including an entire department dedicated to iconic Hudson’s Bay stripes.
200 8 Ave. SW, thebay.com
Calgary’s Chinatown is one of the best places in the city to find gifts and souvenirs. Small shopping centres like the Dragon City Mall (328 Centre St S.) house gift shops specializing in manga and anime. Check out the Chinese Cultural Centre for pop-up markets throughout the year.
Glenbow Museum Shop (Temporarily Closed – Under Renovation)
The acclaimed Glenbow Museum has a well-stocked gift shop featuring gallery worthy work by local artists, Indigenous crafts, and catalogues from their recent exhibitions. One of the city’s best selections of artfully crafted jewelry can be found here, including delicate silver and gold and bold statement-making wearable art.
130 9 Av. SE, glenbow.org
Arts & Culture
Culture lovers will want to linger at the city’s gorgeous new public library, the country’s home of music history and much more.
The Calgary Tower
Completed in 1968, the Calgary Tower ties the city’s impressive skyline together with its distinct red top rising among the skyscrapers. In addition to taking tours, you can dine inside the Tower, either at the famed Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, or up top at Sky 360 Restaurant with its unforgettable view.
101 9 Ave. SW, calgarytower.com
A mecca of theatre, music, dance and more, Calgary’s Arts Commons hosts over 1,800 performances a year, ranging from internationally renowned acts to up-and-coming local groups.
205 8 Ave. SE, artscommons.ca
The first of its kind in Canada, Studio Bell (also known as the National Music Centre) is a museum and concert venue that celebrates the history and future of Canadian music. Highlights include 30,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, a program of performances and the lively King Eddy bar with its terrific rooftop.
850 4 St. SE, studiobell.ca
Open in November 2018, Calgary’s new Central Library is an architectural marvel reminiscent of a modern art gallery. Meticulously designed for an optimal user experience, the space proves that libraries can adapt to the 21st century, while still providing opportunities for learning, quiet and community.
800 3 St. SE; book tours at calgarylibrary.ca
The Glenbow Museum
One of the largest museums in Western Canada, the Glenbow’s collection boasts over one million objects that tell the story of culture, art and history in Alberta and beyond. See internationally recognized Indigenous art and sculpture, decades-old library archives, and more at this important Calgary institution.
130 9 Av. SE, glenbow.org