Time to Kill….in Calgary
Calgary is not usually top of mind when I think of the great cities of the world; places rich in history, art, food and other exciting ways to spend a couple of days. But a recent visit revealed that, in spite of that depressing oil situation, (Or maybe because of it?) Calgary is finding a new groove.
Not only is it the site of Canada’s first Nordstrom’s, but in two days I was introduced to a lengthy list of must eats and dos for anyone who likes the good life.
If starting your day with an intense cardio workout is your thing, book a spin class at One Cycle. I liked how un-gym like it felt (entry area below) and Instructor Joanna Magik rocks it with amazing tunes (I hear she’s married to a DJ). Thank God I was in the back row because I was dying.
For a little slower pace but still a tough workout, check out Lagree YYC. At first glance you might think you’re taking something like a pilates class but the Lagree workout is actually much different, delivering an intense core-strengthening and calorie burning hour. Your legs will feel like Jell-O afterwards.
Grab your post gym java at a Phil & Sebastian’s coffee shop on 4th Street. Best latte. Vancouver (where I live) seems to have more coffee shops than any other city I’ve been to, yet I struggle to find one where I want to meet friends and hang out. Phil & Sebastian’s has a great vibe. Here’s hoping the boys come further west.
For a pastry to go with that latte, hop across the street to Yann’s Haute Boutique in the yellow house for exquisite croissants, macaroons and cakes. Paris does Calgary.
Also, don’t miss Our Daily Brett. Part cafe, part grocery store, part well curated collection of cookbooks and kitchen wares. I very highly recommend the chicken and harissa sandwich. We also bought the coolest pair of kitchen scissors you’ve ever seen, some delicious salads to go, a steak to take home for dinner, a hunk of gorgeous aged cheddar and a copper shot glass to add to my bar cart. Who knew I needed all those things.
For lunch, journey outside the downtown core to Shikiji. Located on a strip of massage parlours and lingerie shops, it will be the best Japanese noodle bowl you will ever have. I kind of don’t want to tell you about this hole in the wall, because it’s a real gem. I’m guessing there will be a lineup the next time I go.
Take a wander through Newzones gallery and enjoy a fantastic collection of Canadian and international contemporary art. It’s the perfect way to pass an hour and the staff are knowledgeable and more importantly, welcoming.
If you have any room left for dinner, make a reservation at Model Milk. It’s been around for a few years now and it keeps getting better. Fried chicken and waffles and the peking duck with squishy buns will leave you deliriously stuffed. In a good way.
I’m loving Calgary’s new style and energy, and I didn’t even have to wear a cowboy hat! I’d say Cowtown’s growing up.