20 amazing places in Calgary to grab a drink (or three)

Sep 17 2018, 4:06 pm

Bottoms up, cowboy! (… sorry, we had to)

Calgary may be best known for the Stampede, but there’s more to the city than luke-warm cans of beer for $10 a pop.

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There are plenty of great restaurants, pubs, and bars to check out that are crafting some seriously inventive cocktails. The best part is, many of them offer great happy hour or daily specials, so you won’t even be breaking the bank!

Here’s a list of our favourite spots to grab a drink in YYC.

Cozy watering hole: Cleaver

 

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Bold cocktails and European infused small plates are what this cozy watering hole is best known for. Happy hour runs daily from 4 to 7 pm, where you can get your hands on one of their carefully concocted drinks for a serious steal of only $7. A few must-tries are the ‘Dose of Original Sin,’ ‘Double Barrel Old Fashioned,’ ‘The Anti-Depressant,’ and of course the ‘Farewell to Sober’ – we all know where that one is headed!

Address: 524 17th Avenue SW #102
Neighbourhood: Beltline
Phone: +1-403-452-1211
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Craft oasis: Craft Beer Market

 

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This premium casual restaurant has a passion for fresh local food and great craft beer. Launched in Calgary in 2011, the CRAFT movement has been spreading ever since. Treat yourself to $4 Alberta draft beer, house wine, or highballs after work or after 9 pm from Sunday to Thursday.

Address: 345 10th Avenue SW
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Phone: +1-403-514-2337
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Sports pub: Home and Away

 

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This sports bar will sure have you feeling like a winner with their hearty food, cold brews, and cheering crowds. You’ll be happy to know that you can unwind here every day by sipping on a selection of $4 beers, wines, and house pours.

Address: 1331 17th Avenue SW
Neighbourhood: Beltline
Phone: +1-403-455-9789
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Latin street vibes: Gringo Street

 

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Putting a satirical twist on their food and drinks is something that is infused within the culture of this eatery. Serving up their perfectly loaded Micheladas and pitchers of Margaritas, they have also refined the techniques of their many unique cocktails. ‘Hard Nipples,’ ’17th Street Gang’ and ‘Lil Tramposo,’ — which comes with a hilarious gift on the side — are just a few of the well-balanced drinks that you simply must try.

Address: #101 – 524 17th Avenue SW
Neighbourhood: Beltline
Phone: +1-403-474-1411
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Japanese style sips: Gyu-Kaku Japanese Grill

 

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Whether you want to warm up on Monday with a large pitcher of hot sake for $7.95 or want to end your week with beer cocktails for $4.95, this Japanese grill house has some of the cheapest drink deals available all day, every day. Nothing like the classic pairing of beer and BBQ.

Address: #100 – 638 6th Avenue SW
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Phone: +1-587-538-6601
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Everything Ireland: Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub

 

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You can always trust the Irish to pour you a great brew and cheers you no matter the time or place. This social house is like an extension of your living room, as it has strong community roots. Its worldly selection of beer, wine, cocktails, premium whiskies, and spirits pairs perfectly with its pub grub. For $4.95 you can kick back at this pub and drink a 14oz feature pour.

Multiple locations
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Underground speakeasy: Sub Rosa

 

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This underground lounge is hidden beneath the historic Hudson Block on Stephen Avenue. Just look for the glowing neon red triangle and head down the stairs. This speakeasy-style bar offers up an array of artful cocktails, tasty bar bites, and a coveted escape from the ordinary in a luxuriously designed lounge. Keep it hush-hush and come out to celebrate the best of what the weekend has to offer – in the classiest way possible!

Address: 200 8th Avenue SW
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Phone: +1-403-770-2315
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Creative cocktails: The Off Cut Bar in The Nash

 

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One of Calgary’s most beloved restaurants, The Nash is also home to the coziest, upscale cocktail sanctuary: The Off Cut Bar. Featuring live music on Thursdays along with a menu noting some of the city’s most imaginative cocktails, this is a go-to destination for any occasion. They also provide a collection of small batch bourbons, whiskeys, and other spirits, along with and an extensive wine and brewery selection for those who prefer a (somewhat) less boozy drink!

Address: 925 11th Street SE
Neighbourhood: Mills Estate
Phone: +1-403-984-3365
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Straight from the ’60s: The Wednesday Room

 

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Reminiscent of a sophisticated 60s lounge, The Wednesday Room has significantly changed the cocktail game in Calgary ever since it first opened its doors. The cocktails show a tribute to the era, with twists on the Vesper Martini and the Old Fashioned, as well as elegant original mixes with sophisticated flavours. Try the ‘Rose Colored Glasses,’ ‘Afternoon Delight,’ or ‘The Real McKinley’ made with Rosso Earl Grey tea to get you started.

Address: #100 – 118 8th Avenue SW
Neighbourhood: Downtown Commercial
Phone: +1-403-452-5080
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New York style hangout: Bar Annabelle

 

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At only 22 seats this spot may be tiny, but its menu is well curated to fit the warm, intimate vibe of the space. Bar Annabelle offers up many shareable plates that cost merely $12 or less, along with a handpicked section of charcuterie served with house-made preserves. These bites are best paired with something off their extensive wine, whiskeys, and spirits menu, or one of their sparkling options. This cubby will give you a fun escape from the everyday hustle and transport you to a New York hideout.

Address: 109A 8th Avenue SW
Neighbourhood: Downtown Commercial
Phone: +1-403-457-9884
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Intimate speakeasy: Shelter

 

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Meant to be a sanctuary for weary travellers, this pre-prohibition speakeasy is the perfect spot to escape the city (inside the city), while sipping on a libation or two. The bartenders will help you choose a drink that suits your fancy and gets the night started off on the right foot. Don’t forget to look through the dimly lit room to check out their unique decor, which combines industrial metal accessories with elegant glamour.

Address: 1210 1st Street SW
Neighbourhood: Victoria Park
Phone: +1-403-233-7730
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Experimental cocktails: The Tea Room at Two Penny Chinese

 

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Known as the ‘underbelly’ of Two Penny Chinese, The Tea Room is a cozy, intimate bar where you will find cold drinks, hot buns, and dazzling tracks playing all night long. Similar to its upstairs counterpart, this cocktail bar serves up experimental creations with both sweet and savoury flavours.

Address: 1213 1st Street SW
Neighbourhood: Victoria Park
Phone: +1-403-474-7766
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Hidden retro bar: Model Citizen

 

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Marked as simply #300 and once a storage area for Model Milk, this place has been transformed into a lavish hidden retro bar serving up a weekly rotating, creatively crafted cocktail menu. This upscale spot is a staple of the industry with skilled-bartenders just waiting to make your next boozy concoction.

Address: 300 17th Avenue SW
Neighbourhood: Beltline
Phone: +1-403-265-7343
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Old fashioned: Proof

 

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Cocktails at Proof are meant for the free and the curious, as their menus are constantly changing to keep up with the demand. You’d be hard-pressed to find many other spots that put more care into each drink than they do here. Reservations are not allowed, so head down right after work to drown out a long day or grab a few friends and toast to the weekend.

Address: 1302 1st Street SW
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Phone: +1-403-246-2414
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A barbershop’s back room: Cannibale

 

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A cross between a neighbourhood watering hole and a high-class establishment, this stylish cocktail bar is tucked behind the trendy Cannibale barber shop. There is an obvious pride that goes into each one of their prohibition-inspired cocktails. With its mellow ambience and bumping summertime patio, this spot is the perfect place to toast the weekend.

Address: 813 1st Avenue NE
Neighbourhood: Bridgeland
Phone: +1-403-454-5808
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Interestingly intimate: Frenchi Wine Bar

 

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Calgary’s favourite craft pizza joint is also home to the smallest cocktail bar in the city – who knew! With only 20 seats, you’re in for a very intimate evening, as you sip on bold, biodynamic, and (usually) organically produced offerings. Working with such a small selection they can afford to be picky, and as a result, you’ll undoubtedly discover your new favourite wine to go along with a charcuterie or fondu delight.

Address: 616 17th Avenue
Neighbourhood: Beltline
Phone: +1-403-476-3615
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Hidden gem: Betty Lou’s Library

 

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Tucked in the basement of the Devenish Building, you will first need to figure out how to get into this hidden gem. Step into another world as you pass through the bookcase and into a bohemian-style saloon. If you look hard enough you might even catch Hemingway and Fitzgerald sipping a scotch as they discuss their latest literary endeavours. Remember, cocktail attire might not be required, but it is admired – come looking fabulous!

Address: 908 17th Avenue SW
Neighbourhood: Beltline
Phone: +1-403-454-4774
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Caribbean-inspired: Ricardo’s Hideaway

 

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Ricardo’s is just off the beaten path of 17th Avenue. Sail away to the shores of the Caribbean with its twinkling lights, bright tiki decor, and rum-infused cocktails from their extensive menu boasting over 75 rum varieties. From a Piña Colada to a Daiquiri, they do an amazing job of sticking to the warm weather classics, all while offering their own concoctions that go down smooth and take you back to fun in the sun – no matter what the weather forecast is.

Address: 1530 5th Street SW
Neighbourhood: Beltline
Phone: +1-578-349-2585
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Modern marvel: Elbow Room

 

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This sunny two-story restaurant is a must-visit. Featuring stylish, modern decor, The Elbow Room hosts bougie evenings of culinary delights and delicious, handcrafted cocktails. Be sure to not miss out on the patio facing Elbow Drive once the warmer weather finally hits!

Address: 802 49th Avenue SW
Neighbourhood: Elboya
Phone: +1-403-460-8128
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Want to contribute to Mapped by sharing your favourite places to drink in your own city? Contact us at [email protected]

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