For those who haven’t been out of Calgary in a while, this weekend is the perfect opportunity to feel as though you’re travelling, but without actually having to fork out the cash for an airplane ticket. This Saturday, you can eat your way around the world and educate yourself on a variety of different cultures without leaving Marda Loop.
Treat yourself to Vietnamese noodle soup
What better way to start off an afternoon of cultural exploration than with a big bowl of Vietnamese soup? Especially on a rainy day – there’s an 80 per cent chance of rain this Saturday – pho is the ultimate comfort food. Head to Nho Saigon and order the chicken sate peanut pho, which has generous helpings of shredded chicken and a tasty ground peanut and red chili paste broth.
(2111 33 Ave. S.W., 403-246-1388)
After lunch, walk for 10 minutes to the Marda Loop Communities Association to learn about another culture: Serbian culture. This entire weekend is the Fourth Annual Spring Serbian Festival, which includes sport competitions, performances by the Serbian Folk Dance Group “Frula” and traditional live music.
While you won’t want to miss out on learning some Serbian dance steps, be sure to sample a few authentic Serbian dishes as well. As an afternoon snack, nibble on some roasted meat (both lamb and pork are on the menu) as well as assorted cookies and squares. On Saturday, the festival runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Adult admission to the festival is $5.
(3130 16 St. S.W., serbianfest.org)
Stay at the Marda Loop Communities Association until 7 p.m. dancing and appreciating the Serbian music before moving onto the next stage of the evening.
Walk down 16 Street to 33 Avenue and then over to 20 Street to Phil and Sebastian’s. Here, end off the day appreciating coffee culture. While this isn’t specific to one particularly country, it’s still worth exploring. In western Europe and the Mediterranean, coffee shops were traditionally social places: channel Simone de Beavoir and chat culture and literature over a carefully prepared latte late into the night. Or until 9 p.m. when the coffee shop closes.
(2043 33 Ave. S.W., 403-686-1221, philsebastian.com)