Park by Sidewalk Citizen | Calgary’s Best Restaurants 2022

Chef Scott McKay’s menu is Mediterranean-inspired, with plenty of seasonal flair, making great use of luxuriant ingredients and fresh vegetables.

Park by Sidewalk Citizen chef Scott McKay. Photograph by Jared Sych.

When it was announced in 2019 that the team from Sidewalk Citizen Bakery was taking over the restaurant in Central Memorial Park, many expected a repeat of the bakery counter in the Simmons Building in East Village. But owners Michal Lavi and Aviv Fried had bigger plans.

Park by Sidewalk Citizen took what was a difficult and cramped space and turned it into one of the most creatively designed dining rooms in the city. The former patio is now an all-weather solarium covered by a cathedral-meets-beehive wooden lattice that feels both elegant and sublimely natural, a descriptor that also matches the restaurant’s eclectic and shareable food.

Park really caught its stride this past summer, bringing new chef Scott McKay on board. McKay’s menu is Mediterranean-inspired, with plenty of seasonal flair, making great use of luxuriant ingredients and fresh vegetables. The Sidewalk Citizen pedigree shines through during the daytime with a sandwich-forward lunch menu and brunch items like the much-loved shakshuka.

At nighttime, though, the park gets dark and the restaurant and patio light up, with a beautifully curated wine list designed by Von Der Fels alum Thomas Dahlgren and a list of fragrant cocktails that match the food. Running a restaurant in a public building in a downtown park can be a challenge, but Park feels like it’s destined to be in this space, a tiny oasis in the heart of the city.

340 13 Ave S.W., 403-263-2999, sidewalkcitizenbakery.com/parklanding, @parkbysidewalk

Hot Tip
While the solarium is undoubtedly picturesque, snag a spot on the parkside patio in the summertime for some prime people-watching.

 

Back to Calgary’s Best Overall Restaurants 2022

This article appears in the March 2022 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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