Dished Neighbourhood Gems: Calgary's Marda Loop

Jan 19 2023, 10:00 pm

Calgary is home to some amazing gems, longstanding classics, and under-the-radar establishments when it comes to stellar food and beverage. 

We’re doing the digging for you by highlighting the best local destinations to check out in each neighbourhood (if you haven’t already).

Here are our Dished Neighbourhood Gems for Calgary’s Marda Loop.

It makes sense that the best shopping districts within a city also often have the best dining. Walking from store to store, spending the entire day perusing, and building up an appetite over stressful shopping really lends itself to having a convenient bite to eat (or drink) around the corner.

In Calgary, that’s the community of Marda Loop.

This neighbourhood is known for shopping, markets, street festivals, and more. There are also some incredible places to eat, many of which are locally owned and considered the best in the city.

Calgary has iconic streets like Stephen Avenue, mostly made up of chain restaurants (nothing wrong with that, just saying), or 17th, which seems to change by day (easygoing, friendly) and night (vibrant, busy), but it’s this charming area, on 33rd and 34th Avenues SW between Crowchild Trail and 18th Street SW, that feels like one of Calgary’s most popular communities ideal for indoors and outdoors.

Several sandwich spots, brunch places, pasta joints, and low-key food markets all make deciding where to eat a very difficult choice.

Here are some of our favourite food and drink gems in Calgary’s Marda Loop.

Globally inspired sandwiches: Sammie Cafe


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Sammie Cafe is one of Calgary’s best spots for lunch food, and for whatever reason, it still feels like a hidden gem.

The menu includes three different kinds of Asian-inspired fries, sweet potato fritters, roasted, Brussels sprouts, Eggs Benedicts, and more, but it’s the sandwiches that make this spot so popular. There are also several highly addictive sandwiches on the menu, along with one feature, and a number of breakfast handheld options.

Address: 2205 33rd Avenue SW #113, Calgary


Modern Italian: Annabelle’s Kitchen

The menu offers several antipasti dishes like fried mozzarella, meatballs, roasted eggplant, Foccacia, and whipped ricotta. Mains here include four kinds of pasta, and five kinds of pizza, along with a menu of cocktails, beer, and wine.

Address: 3574 Garrison Gate SW, Calgary


Taproom eats: Marda Loop Brewing Company Inc.

This taproom has a great interior but also an amazing heated and covered patio that sits nearly 100 people.

Dogs are allowed here, which makes it an even better place to drink and eat in Mardo Loop. whether you’re just in for a quick pint, or hungry for items like Street Car Fries, chicken wings, or the signature brioche burger topped with lettuce, tomato, pickle, red onion, and a house-made tangy IPA sauce.

Address: 3523 18th Street SW, Calgary


Breakfast spot: Belmont Diner


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With 100-year-old booths, a classic countertop, stools, and an open kitchen, this is an old-school concept that feels entirely authentic. It’s a fixture of the community, serving up a massive all-day breakfast and lunch menu.

Address: 2008 33rd Avenue SW #19, Calgary


Wild burgers: Boogie’s Burgers


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This is where diets go to die, and you enter burger bliss guilt-free. From the fried mac ‘n’ cheese topped burger to fried mushrooms and melted cheddar stacked on top of a double patty, you’ll ask to skip the lettuce.

Every community needs a go-to burger joint, and in Marda Loop, this is it.

Address: 2129 33rd Avenue SW, Calgary


Farm to fork: Forage


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Forage is takeout only, but it’s got an incredible menu perfect for a summer stroll.

Each day has different offerings, like a Vegetarian Special on Wednesdays and on Fridays, there is a Roast Organic Chicken Dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy. Saturdays treat yourself to any of the Sticky Cinnamon Rolls, scones, and quiche.

Address: 3508 19th Street SW, Calgary


Live music and sports: The Trop Bar & Grill


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Boasting that it’s “Calgary’s number one pub with live entertainment”, this is a fun watering hole with shows, drinks, friends, and great food.

The chef-driven food is all made in-house, with twists on classics like wings, pizzas, dumplings, or burgers.

Address: 1501 34th Avenue SW, Calgary


Mexican market: Tres Marias Food Market


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This spot has that “hole in the wall, need to know about it, hidden gem” kind of feel.

The market here sells authentic Mexican food products, but the kitchen also uses them to create homemade meals, like fresh tortillas, signature salsas, or meals to go. Some of these meals include tamales, empanadas, and some of the best burritos in the entire city.

Address: 3514 19th Street SW, Calgary


Coffee spot: Le Comptoir

Stepping into Le Comptoir is as close to stepping into a cafe in Paris as you’re going to find in YYC.

The inside is filled with sweet and savoury goods, as well as the aroma of coffee wafting through the air. In the summertime, it’s made to feel even brighter on the sunny patio.

Fresh-made pies, scones, buns, and so much more are all baked daily and ready for pickup. Going here for just a coffee is nearly impossible.

Address: 1928 34th Avenue SW, Calgary


Coffee and Mexican: Aroma Cafe and Bar


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This unique boutique coffee shop serves coffee, pastries, and…authentic Mexican food.

This family-owned spot serves delicious flour tortilla burritos filled with chicken, beef, pork, or veggies and rice, cooked beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and homemade condiments like salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, and chipotle sauce.

There are tacos, tostadas, tortillas, and more, but also other cafe menu options like bagels, soup, sandwiches, and more.

Address: 1721 29th Avenue SW Suite 130, Calgary


If you have a neighbourhood gem in or around the city that you want to shine a spotlight on, let us know at [email protected]. 

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