Salutes and Shout Outs
Flowers and drinks are becoming popular in Calgary! Anna Ecal and Jaline Qureshi have opened Besties Floral Café, a micro café in Crescent Heights, at 920 Centre Street N, serving Blume lattes and Ritual Doughnuts. Gifting for kids and adults is top of mind here, and they share the space with Cherry Tree Lane Toys. There’s a grab and go flower wall, fresh and dried arrangements, and a lovely selection of food and drink-related gifts, online too. They also offer private and open workshops for six people max. 10-6 pm, closed Mondays.
Florist Raina Moon has been wanting to open a Korean café for six years, and now her dream is a reality. And Some Flower Café is at 540 7 Avenue NW, in Sunnyside, serving all-day brunch of French toast and waffles, with sparkling soda drinks, (try lavender-ade and rose-ade!) and house-made Croffles and Croffins to eat in or take home. Moon uses only premium Korean, organic, washed leaf green tea, and the thought and care of her beautiful flowers wrapped in Korean paper is evident. Seven days, 9 am-close.
Canmore’s new restaurant, EpiCanmore (EpiC), is from the Rocky Bean Co. and Crepes N Go food truck folks. Specializing in handcrafted sourdough breads and sweet and savoury crepes using organic, locally grown, milled grains and ancient methods of fermentation, they also make sandwiches and bake pastries throughout the day, all washed down with ethically sourced and locally roasted coffee. There are a few tables and bar seats inside, with mountain views from two outdoor picnic tables. 102 Boulder Crescent from 7:30 am, closed Sunday-Monday. Winnie Tsing Chen, Fu's Repair Shop is a fun, Asian-inspired restaurant now open in the ex-Prairie Fish and Chips space at 9902 109 Street. Come for dumplings, dim sum brunch, and Chen’s dad’s beef noodle bowl (all priced to end with .88), boozy bubble tea and cocktails, with DJs every Friday and Saturday. Walk-ins only, Thursday-Saturday, 5 pm-late and Sunday brunch.
Talking of bubble tea, Calgary has a new Chatime (its tenth!) franchise from Taiwan at 8560 8A Avenue SW, in West Springs. With a vast drinks menu, you’ll be spoiled for choice in this fun and colourful café. Partners Genevieve and Sarah make specialty signature milk teas, juice drinks with coconut jelly and tapioca pearls, sparkling fruit drinks, brown sugar pearl drinks, smoothies, slushies, and virgin mojitos. With 24-hour marinated popcorn chicken, three types of fries (and really good house-made spicy mayo) a few stools and plenty of power points, recharge yourself and your electronics seven days, lunch and dinner.
You’ll also be spoiled for choice at Edmonton’s Ancaron Macarons, with 40-50 flavours of Korean-style “fat macarons” with their giant fillings! At only $2 each or six for $10, they can be picked up Thursday-Saturday, 12-5 pm at 10336 82 Avenue NW, or ordered for one of their scheduled deliveries to Red Deer, Airdrie, Calgary, and St. Paul.
Thomas Dahlgren, of Calgary’s Von Der Fels, has opened Missy’s This That at 348A 14 Avenue SW, an understated bar with a laid-back atmosphere and loud music. Come for a casual evening of original or traditional cocktails, and beer or wine from the “tickle trunk” case, along with snacks of charcuterie, Canadian cheeses, and Sidewalk Citizen key-lime pie. Thursday-Sunday, 5 pm to 1 am. Edmonton’s Cheese Factory restaurant space, at 8943 82 Avenue, is now home to Mario’s Poutine & Pizzeria, who are serving up Quebec poutine with home-cut fries and cheddar cheese curds from the Cheese Factory, as well as delicious pizza, garlic fingers, sandwiches, and panini. Seven days from 11 am.
Calgary’s Pho Dau Bo has been popular for all its 14 years, and now Sarah and Long Thai have opened Mot To, a bright and fresh restaurant – just like the food! The menu is authentic but modern, with very creative takes on Vietnamese classics, like the inspired, elevated salad rolls with crunchy pastry inside, the genius Pho Grilled Cheese (made with their famous 16-hour broth), and soft-shell crab banh mi. And we applaud two friers – one for gluten-free. Open lunch and dinner, and for private events, at 1609 Centre Street N, closed Mondays-Tuesdays.
The talented team at Craft Beer Market have opened another winner. Central Taps + Food is a cool, modern restaurant bar at The District in Beltline, with crushable cocktails, beer - draft and cans - $5 daily shots, and zero proof drinks, along with a curated menu from Chef Mike Pigot that fit all sizes, whatever you’re in the mood for, with a lot of shareable appies, handhelds, salads bowls, and pizzas. We love the wall of speakers and the photos of “misfits” all eating, (think Amy Winehouse meets Anthony Bourdain) - food and music do bring people together! 224 12 Avenue SW, 11 am-close seven days.
Along the hallway is 33 Acres Brewing, small batch brewers from Vancouver. A micro-brewery with 24 taps (six are brewed here), six cocktail options, and an all-natural wine list, they also offer small snacks, such as a choose your own cheeseboard, and access to Central Taps menu – just order from the QR code and Central Taps will bring it over! There’s a direct-service patio on 11 Avenue SW with a wood-burning fire too. Seven days from 11 am.
Next door is Kama, Chef Kenny Kaechele’s gorgeous new restaurant (Amanda Hamilton did such a great job!). Meaning desire…wish…wanting… it’s aptly named, as when you read the menu, each dish makes you want it – and then you read the next one and want that too! Kaechele’s “Workshop” is the only restaurant in Canada to make OpenTable’s Top 100 restaurants in Canada five years in a row, and we suspect Kama might just be the second to achieve it. The menu is influenced by the fresh, robust flavours of the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Middle East, with six different house-made breads; your tapas will arrive mezze-style, so bring a crowd! There’s a separate lunch menu with most dishes under $25, a happy hour from 2-5 pm with 3 tapas for $20, and the BEST salted tahini chocolate chip cookies and Turkish Coffee Affogato for dessert. Tuesday-Friday 11-11, weekends from 5 pm, closed Monday. A great addition to Edmonton’s coffee scene, PACT Coffee is a collaboration with Baked Brands GF vegan donuts, and is now open at 10370 82 Avenue. Their talented baristas serve quality cortados, lattes, and mocha, espresso-based drinks, with oat, cashew, and soy milk options too. Seven days 8-8 pm
Calgary’s newest bar, Artist Lounge, is open in the Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, at 2108 18 Street NW, in Capitol Hill. Anna Ostberg expanded the gallery a few years ago and wanted to add another component for a relaxed atmosphere and a safe space to eat, drink, and work. Chef Trent Bochek’s (ex-4th Spot) excellent tapas menu is big on flavour, with dishes inspired by each month’s featured artist, and Jimmy Nguyen's bar menu includes his creative cocktails - all with wonderful stories - as well as natural wines, beers from five local breweries, and low- or no alcohol drinks. Thursday-Saturday 5 pm-close.
And more art gallery food! Now you can get take-out breakfast and lunch of sandwiches, stews, sweets, Cree coffee and more from Pei Pei Chei Ow at Edmonton’s Whiskeyjack Art House, an Indigenous gallery and boutique at 11051 97 Street. Wednesday-Friday 7:30 am till sold out. Many successful restaurants and markets are opening additional locations, and while we can’t fit in everyone, here’s a brief roundup:
In addition to their Kensington location, Indie counterculture is now open in West Springs for lunch and dinner every day at 8560 8A Avenue SW. As well as their Heritage Plaza location, Toscana Italian Grill is open in Mahogany at 1370, 7 Mahogany Plaza SE. Lunch and dinner every day. Already in Royal Oak Park and the Beltline, Paros Real Greek are also new in Mahogany at 1810 80 Mahogany Road SE. Lunch and dinner, closed Mondays. Holy Grill has opened its fourth location at 1020, 19369 Sheriff King Street SW, in Silverado and it has a drive-thru! Seven days, breakfast, lunch, dinner until 7 or 8 pm. With two very popular locations in Saskatoon, Wow Pizza has opened at 221, 4307 130 Avenue SE. Seven days, 11 am-late.
As well as Garneau, High Dough is now open in Strathcona at 7341 104 Street from 3-10 pm, closed Monday-Tuesday. Woodshed Burgers has a fourth location as well as Cameron Heights, Ellerslie, and 124 Street, at 2909 113 Avenue NW in Rundle Park. There’s a second Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market with 40+ vendors at the Currents of Windermere. Thursdays 4-7 pm until September 29. Hoang Long has opened their third location, Hoang Long 888, weekdays from 10 am at 9892 Jasper Avenue.