Blog readers, meet Paige - the mastermind behind The Wholesome Handbook, an artistic, bucolic, introspective and inspiring woman, and one of my very closest friends. Despite the fact that we are total opposites - as she put it, I'm "buzzing with energy, always on the go" and she's "relaxed, contemplative, and probably barefoot in the garden" - we both love Calgary and spend a lot of our time exploring it. So we decided to put together a multi-part blog collaboration that focuses on our two (very different) perspectives of the city - one take wholesome, one take electric. Part one focuses on our favourite eats & treats around the city. Enjoy!
Paige: Saskatoon Farm
A kitschy, country-kitchen style greenhouse, shop and cafe, perfect for a wholesome morning-after escape with your fella or for delighting your nieces from out of town with a visit to the resident pig. Order the Farmer’s Biscuit and a slice of the saskatoon pie, and return to the city with half a dozen tiny aloe plants and a packet of heirloom lettuce seeds in your tote.
Suzanne: Blue Star
A small, bustling diner in the heart of Bridgeland, Blue Star is the perfect go-to for an a delicious breakfast close to the heart of Calgary. Their ingredients are locally sourced, their employees are infallibly friendly, and the Huevos Rancheros (or one of their famous eggs benedicts) will always hit the spot and leave you full (and happy as a clam!). There’s always a line-up on weekends, so drop by early to put your name on the list – and while you’re waiting, grab a coffee from Luke’s Drug Mart and wander around Bridgeland to admire the beautiful old houses.
P: Corbeaux Bakehouse
For your inner francophile, no place in the city is better than Corbeaux. From the voyeuristic glass-walled kitchen to the tiny cocktail bar in the corner, Corbeaux is impossibly chic. You can order a ham croissant to-go at the lively, crowded counter, or take a seat and slowly savour the communal-style lunch and dinner (a delightful selection of house-made bread, fine cheese, and meat). If you’re feeling a bit more traditional, they’ve also got lovely main courses to choose from. And no one will judge you if you decide to finish things off with a pillowy macaron and an espresso. After all, what is life without a little indulgence?
S: Holy Grill
I would recommend the Holy Grill simply for the charming, unfailingly welcoming (and not to mention handsome!) Yee boys who run the place, if it wasn’t also for the amazing food they serve. The smash browns are out of this world, especially when paired with one of their avocado bacon crisps or eggs benedicts . The chatter of happy customers and the steady stream of unlimited coffee makes for an atmosphere that makes you want to stay all day (but don’t, because chances are there’s someone waiting for your table).
P: Model Milk
I do love a good culinary adventure, and Model Milk provides just that. Their menu is a constantly-changing landscape of hearty, experimental fare that feels exciting and familiar all at once. You’ll want to hide away in a dimly lit corner in the art-deco inspired historic dairy building, flirt outrageously with the charismatic wait staff, and sip artisan cocktails into the wee hours of the night.
One of the most highly coveted dinner spots in the city, Una always has a wait, doesn’t take reservations, and isn’t exactly easy on the wallet – but boy, is it worth it. Their low-key but flavour-packed pizzas pair perfectly with their house wine, their trendy yet welcoming interior design, and their selection of desserts (my favorite is the flourless chocolate cake). Afterwards, walk off that over-full stomach with a stroll down lively 17th ave.
P: Rosso Coffee Roasters, Dominion Bridge
This tiny coffee shop is nestled in a converted iron foundry in one of Calgary’s oldest communities. Ramsay itself is one of the main reasons I love Rosso, another being the fact that they roast their beans on-site in a huge contraption right behind the counter. Grab a crumbly scone and a coffee and take a walk – soak in a piece of Calgary’s heritage with a historical walking tour or meander along the river.
Local coffee brewer Fratello opened up Analog Coffee in 2013, right on the busy corner of 17th Ave and 7th St. With its floor-to-ceiling windows and white walls, the interior is bright and inviting and always filled with quiet chatter and the smell of brewing coffee. If you’re looking for a quick latte this spot isn’t for you – they truly believe that good coffee takes time. The seating is limited, but if you can grab a spot at the window, it’s the best spot in the city to people-watch!