Best cocktail bars in downtown Calgary to grab a drink

Mar 3 2023, 5:15 pm

Looking for the best cocktail bars in downtown Calgary?

Sure, going out to your local pub is great and all, but sometimes you just want a little more selection than beer and highballs.

Or maybe you’re looking for somewhere fancy to take a date, for a girls’ night out, or to celebrate a special occasion.

Luckily, Calgary is home to a number of cool spots to go out that boast creative drinks and unique decor, from hidden speakeasies to trendy lounges, all serving up incredible beverages in upscale atmospheres.

Here are seven cocktail bars to check out in and around downtown Calgary.

Prickett Richard

Located underneath the extremely popular corner BBQ spot Comery Block, this low-key but very hip space doesn’t advertise itself at all, hidden to the side of the building, behind a plain door, and in the old storage space. You even have to avoid the kitchen to get there.

Espresso martinis, old-fashioned cocktails, tiki-style drinks, balanced sours, and more are all created and garnished beautifully here.

Address: Underneath Comery Block – 638 17th Avenue SW, Calgary




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SHELTER combines pre-Prohibition-style cocktails with cutting-edge, modern mixing technology to create a seasonally rotating cocktail list, so you’ll always find something new.

The 1st Street SW hideaway also offers an extensive selection of wines and spirits and sharing plates combining both local ingredients and international flavours. The cocktail bar is home to several very Instagrammable design elements, including an artfully arranged wall of gas masks and a light fixture that has over 5,000 individually hung bulbs.

Address: 1210 1st Street SW
Phone: 403-233-7730

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Proof is maintaining classic cocktail culture while remaining dedicated to old-fashioned service.

The bar crafts a variety of beverage offerings with inspiration drawn from literature, paying tribute to the characters, themes, and prose within select masterworks, along with small plates to pair with your libation.

Address: 1302 1st Street SW
Phone: 403-246-2414

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Betty Lou’s Library

This Prohibition-style speakeasy requires guests to know the secret password in order to gain entry through a “bookcase” door into the venue. Betty Lou’s delivers an intimate vibe, small plates, and both classic cocktails and their own creations, with names like “Zelda Fitzgerald,” “Flappers and Philosophers,” and “Anais Nin.”

Address: 908 17th Avenue SW
Phone: 403-454-4774

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Ricardo’s Hideaway


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This Caribbean-themed hideaway focuses on all things rum, but if you’re into other spirits, Ricardo’s has a few other drinks up their sleeve. The bar features daiquiris, a mezcal cocktail, and Dark and Stormys, along with their own concoctions like “Lights Out,” “Jungle Bird,” and “Hawaiian Ryan.”

Address: 1530 5th Street SW
Phone: 587-349-2585

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Frenchie Wine Bar


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Adorably named after the dog breed, this secret spot has an extensive wine list, cocktails, snacks to pair, and a delectable choice of fondue options. This little wine bar has close to 15 wines by the glass, from refreshing sparkling to bold reds. Grab a bottle and stay a while, with wine from all over the world and priced so that you can sip on a budget or go for some higher-end options.

Address: 616 17th Avenue SW, Calgary (behind Una Pizza)


Missy’s This or That


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This enticing bar is a small and intimate one, with low lighting, simple decor, and comfortable seating. If it wasn’t for the large windows overlooking the Mission and Beltline area, you might think you’re in a Brooklyn bar.

Missy’s offers a simple but excellent menu of beer, wine, late-night-style snacks, and cocktails.

Address: 348A 14th Avenue SW, Calgary


With files from Elle McLean

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