This month, Calgary welcomed a new French market, a chimney cake eatery and a new coffee. Here’s what you need to know about the latest food-related openings, news and events in Calgary.
The Banff Craft Beer Festival returns this week
Head to Banff this weekend to drink some great beer in a scenic, mountainous setting at the Banff Craft Beer Festival. Set at The Cave and Basin, the event runs from November 23 to 25 and is your chance to try different Alberta craft beers, spirits and fare from local restaurants. For more information, visit albertabeerfestivals.com.
Cacao 70 opens in Springbank Hill
Montreal-based chain Cacao70 opened its first Calgary eatery on November 12. It’s basically a brunch (and chocolate) lover’s dream. The brunch menu features a range of savoury and sweet options, including American-style frittatas, a smoked salmon scramble, waffles and more. But it’s the chocolatey creations that really steal the limelight here — think chocolate marshmallow pizzas, grill-your-own-s’mores and seven different fondue options ranging from Earl Grey chocolate to matcha chocolate. Wash it all down with a hot chocolate, iced strawberry chocolate shake or a coffee.
136, 30 Springborough Blvd. S.W., cacao70.com
Intenso opens downtown
Intenso recently opened in the space formerly occupied by Abruzzo Ristorante in downtown Calgary. Open for lunch and dinner, Intenso has a refreshed interior with more than 50 seats. The kitchen, led by chef Dale Nelsz, offers Italian fare such as spaghetti alla carbonara, pan-seared veal, scampi with garlic and butter sauce, tiramisu and more.
402 8 St. S.W., 403-452-8595, intensorestaurant.com
Leopold’s Tavern opens in Victoria Park
With locations in Regina and Saskatoon already, Leopold’s Tavern opened its first Alberta location in Calgary’s Victoria Park area in late October. A cozy, casual neighbourhood hangout, Leopold’s Tavern has pub staples like fried pickles, perogies, burgers, smoked meat sandwiches and seven different kinds of poutine (including an ever-changing poutine of the week). Happy hour runs from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, and all day on Mondays.
1201 1 St. S.W., 587-350-5367, leopoldstavern.com
Société Coffee Lounge opens in the Beltline
There’s a new spot to get your coffee fix in the Beltline. Société Coffee Lounge celebrated its grand opening on November 18, and is sure to become a fast neighbourhood favourite thanks to its cozy vibe, wide range of seating options and its unique approach to its coffee offerings. While you can always get Calgary’s Fratello coffee here, Société also offers a second feature roaster that will change every few months. That means you can opt for a local favourite, or try a different roastery that you won’t find anywhere else in Calgary. The coffee shop currently has coffee from Toronto’s Pilot Coffee Roasters, and roasteries like Portland’s Heart Coffee Roasters and Mississauga’s Pig Iron Coffee Roasters will be featured in the coming months. Another great feature that Société offers is latte flights, where you can get one or two kinds of espresso made a few different ways. You can pair it all with baked goods and sandwiches from Corbeaux Bakery.
1223 11 Ave. S.W., 403-474-6055, societecoffee.ca
Stock up on vegan baked goods at these two holiday sales
December is usually a month full of Christmas baking and treats. This year, Calgary vegans can also get in on the action thanks to two holiday bake sales going on in Calgary on December 2. VegFest will be holding its second vegan holiday market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association. Guests will be able to shop from more than 40 vegan vendors while listening to live music. That same day, you can also pick up sweet and savoury vegan items like pizza buns, cookies and brownies at the YYC Holiday Vegan Bake Sale, taking place at the Meadowlark Community Association from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
VegFest Vegan Holiday Market, facebook.com; YYC Holiday Vegan Bake Sale, facebook.com
The Little French Market opens
Looking for a place where you can pick up authentic French food? Pay a visit to The Little French Market, the latest venture from the owners of Cassis Bistro and Vélo Café. While the main focus is on groceries from France, there’s also a selection of products from cities like Montreal and Calgary. Shoppers can pick up everything from French cookies to soups to frozen escargot. The market also features a fresh produce area, bread, baked goods and more.
2505 17 Ave. S.W., 403-452-8356, thelittlefrenchmarketyyc.com
Utca opens in Victoria Park
Utca, which means “street” in Hungarian, is a new eatery in Victoria Park that makes chimney cakes and chimney cake cones. The Hungarian street food is made with dough that’s wrapped into a tubular, hollow shape and rotated in the oven until its cooked. The chimney cakes come with your choice of toppings like shredded coconut, sprinkles, almonds, walnuts or cinnamon sugar. When you order a chimney cake cone, the cake is also filled with your choice of vanilla, chocolate or swirl Fiasco Gelato soft serve. There are also savoury chimney cakes and breakfast chimney cake cones with eggs, sausage and bacon. Grab a chimney cake to go, or stick around to enjoy it with a cup of Rosso coffee in Utca’s 28-seat cafe.
207 13 Ave. S.E., 403-819-1259, utca.ca