I get asked all the time what my favourite cafes are in Calgary. So here is a list of some of the places that are a “must” to anyone who is a local of visiting form out of town.
They may be one of Calgary’s newer cafes & roasters, but they sure know what they’re doing! Caleb and Kitty are husband & wife team that have a clear passion for coffee and a real love for people. The customer service here is second-to-none. What’s really neat is that you can see their two San Franciscan Roasters right there in the back half of the cafe. They roast in very small batches (which ensures a very high quality) and offer their beans for retail on site. What’s great is that there is ample FREE parking in the gravel lot behind the cafe! This alone makes this place worth a visit.
When I moved to Calgary five years ago, and knew I’d be working in the NW (Crowfoot area) I made a point to find a cafe that could be my second-office. I was shocked to find out that there weren’t many good cafes in much of the NW. I was relieved when I found Euphoria and that it was only 9 minutes away from my work. This place uses Rosso beans, and the owner Matt has a great team that does a bang-up job. There is ample seating, and lots of coffee & food options. You can always find a free spot to park out front. I love to support local, and these guys deserve it!
Certainly one of the big names in coffee in Calgary. Monogram is what happens when three former Phil & Sebastian employees venture into the coffee scene with their own beans and multiple locations. Jeremy Ho, Ben Put, and Justin Eyford have done everything right in making a name for themselves in Calgary (and across North America). The amount of talent that comes out of these cafes is ridiculous. Their 5th Ave downtown location offers a free tasting experience the last Monday of every month at Noon. I’ve been, and it’s a great experience. Their Britannia location is home to “the vault” which is their collection of some of the most exciting coffees you can taste in this city. This location also features their “Atlas” program which curates unique coffees from various roasters every month from across the globe.
A local favourite of many Calgarians! Two U of C Engineers ventured out into the coffee business and have never looked back. From humble Farmers Market beginnings to now what is a globally recognized brand, these cafes are truly a gift to Calgary. Make sure to visit the Simmons Building location in East Village. It’s their Roastery HQ and a great place to people watch. They offer tours (free & paid) as well, which can be found on their website.
Home to the current two-time Canadian Barista Champion (Cold Torode) their cafes are located throughout the city. Their beans are also used throughout the city in many other independent cafes. Make sure you try out their Limited Edition roasts. Some of the most amazing coffee’s I’ve ever had. If you visit their Ramsay location you can enjoy the smells of roasted coffee as it also serves as their main roastery as well as a great cafe.
Coffee, in a drug store? Yup, and their retail bean selection is one of the most varied in the city. They feature a great selection of Canadian and American roasters as well as some from oversees. Many of them are only available in Calgary from their Bridgeland location. And what’s also amazing is that Luke’s offers soft-serve ice cream. If you’re lucky enough to visit when they’re serving the Charcoal & Super-Milk option, don’t pass on it. My kids beg me to take them for it.
What began in a humble 25 square-foot closet has now grown into a fantastic kiosk located inside the Cambrian Wellness Centre/CBC Headquarters. Offering hand-crafted beverages on a GS/3, alongside a great selection of baked goods and light-lunch options this is a great place to grab a drink if you’re in the NW. There is free street parking available which is always nice! Jess sure knows her stuff, and is always happy to connect with her customers.
Located in the historical C.C. Snowdon building, this new café opened up this past June and is full of local history, and is absolutely gorgeous! The brain-child of Mike Wenzlawe & Jamie Parker, these two former wild-land firefighters, have created something truly stunning and unlike any other café in the city. I had the opportunity to get a tour and I can see what all the hype is all about. Pull up to the tables made from actual 100 year old floorboards, reclaimed from the basement and sip on a hand-crafted drink made from their baristas.
Good Trade first popped up at the Crossroads Farmers Market in 2018, and this past year they put down roots in the heart of the Kensington neighbourhood here in Calgary by opening up their first brick-and-mortar location. I had the privilege of being welcomed into their buildout process and I absolutely love this new cafe. Good Trade is unique as all of their beans are sourced exclusively from Colombia. “All in with people means all-in with Colombia” says Brandon Waardenburg (Co-Founder). When you visit make sure to snag a seat in their giant half-circle window called the living room. It’s a great place to chat with friends and family, or just people-watch as they stroll through the streets of Kensington.