Head west along 17th Avenue S.W., past what’s known as Uptown and Crowchild Trail, but before you cross 37th Street, and you’ll find Killarney.
The neighbourhood, though first developed in 1906, is comprised mostly of postwar bungalows. It may look predominantly residential, but its location close to the new West LRT and within jogging distance of the Bow River and Mount Royal University means there is plenty of commercial development in the neighbourhood and on its fringes.
The community lends itself well to an afternoon poking around the lesser-explored end of Calgary’s most popular avenue. Between the specialty grocery stores, undeniably metropolitan collection of music shops and alternative fitness studios, you can almost forget you are mere streets away from plush, tree-lined streets and an abundance of family homes.
What to Eat
Bow Bulgogi House
Arguably, Bow Bulgogi offers some of the best Korean food in the city. This family-owned hole-in-the-wall specializes in traditional menu items like bulgogi, bee bim bap and Korean barbecue.
(3515 17 Ave. S.W., 403-686-6826)
Step into Cassis Bistro and be transported to the south of France. The locally sourced, simple Provenal fare including tapenade, quiche and lamb makes for the perfect light lunch or brunch.
(2505 17 Ave. S.W., 403-262-0036)
Coffee Cats Cafe
Stop in at Coffee Cats to have a croissant sandwich and a latte. There is local art on the walls and a mini library to peruse. This eclectic, independent shop gives you the chance to support local business and artists all at once.
(2765 17 Ave. S.W., 403-240-1842)
The idea of Greek food at a gas station might make you raise an eyebrow, but Creteus is pushing the boundaries of what you might expect to pick up to eat while you fill your tank. Formerly Crete Souvlaki, the station got a makeover and an updated menu.
(2623 17 Ave. S.W., 403-246-4777)
This unassuming strip-mall joint is a favourite of food insiders. Brave the lunch crowd and try the baked chicken pita, made fresh right in front of you. Don’t leave without a piece of the baklava.
(3515 17 Ave. S.W., 403-217-0500)
A Calgary institution, Spiros has been serving up deep-dish pizza and Greek food for nearly 50 years. The family-run joint has a friendly, bustling atmosphere and enough cheese to tide you over until next month.
(1902 33 St. S.W., 403-685-4444)
Where to Shop
This building is one-stop shopping for the bon vivant. Find organic beauty products, fresh produce, free-range meats and ready-to-take-home meals at Market 17. Dine on Provenal eats at Cassis Bistro or grab a coffee and baguette at Vie Caf. Or stop in for flowers at In Bloom and a bottle of wine at J. Webb.
(2503 17 Ave. S.W., 403-770-4700)
The Filipino Market stocks authentic goods including specialty dessert Halo-halo, smoked fish such as bangus and tunsoy, frozen bananas and shelves full of beauty products and non-perishables like spiced coconut vinegar.
(12, 3803 26 Ave. S.W., 403-984-8100)
Pop into this family-run caf and food store for a latte or to pick up your favourite Italian goods. Find top-notch antipasti, in-house tomato sauce and specialty fresh pastas (try the fig and mascarpone ravioli), or pick one of dozens of specialty cheeses.
(3413 26 Ave. S.W., 403-249-1151)
Find Eastern European pantry goods, as well as fresh and frozen meals to take home. Heritage supplies perogies for the Perogy Boyz food truck, and you can buy lunch in-store, complete with sausage, cabbage rolls and hunter’s stew.
(1912 37 St. S.W., 403-686-6835)
Things to Do
With pools, a park, a gym and fitness classes including zumba and martial arts, the Killarney Aquatic & Recreation Centre offers a variety of options to get fit and get the whole family involved.
(1919 29 St. S.W., 403-268-2489)
The expert technicians here offer full service on bikes and skis, as well as sell equipment and athletic gear from brands like North Face, Loki and Recco. In the summer, you can catch a shuttle from the store to Moose Mountain in the Rockies west of Calgary.
(2707 17 Ave. S.W., 403-686-2453)
Pole Junkies offers all-level pole fitness classes and specialty workshops like aerial yoga. Test out your strength and flexibility in private or group classes, where any risky business is overshadowed by serious athletic prowess.
(2629 17 Ave. S.W., 403-479-7653)
Drop by the bright, airy studio for a sweaty session of traditional hot yoga, Vinyasa flow or a class set to music. All levels are welcome.
(2749 17 Ave. S.W., 403-686-9642)