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marda loop restaurants

Ok everybody! We've taken the plunge and bought a place in marda loop so we will be moving from connaught next month - what's the scoop on the restaurants in that hood?! I was excited to see there is a 2nd Globefish opening the next block from the new pad!!

groceries too! at least we will be closer to the market and i hear sobey's is going in too.

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  1. GLOBEFISH?!?! Where?

    New Myhre's deli- Montreal smoked meat- and unlike its sister resto (Palace of Eats), it's open late[r], until 7 or so. On the same block as Belmont, same owners.

    Sobey's is going in the new "Shoppes [sic] of Marda Loop," but I'd expect it will be a good 2 years before that is completed. But ya know, I stopped in a Sobey's for the first time (had been in Dominion in Toronto but never a Sobey's) at London Town Centre (next to Nando's) and was impressed, really pleasant, clean, modern grocery; will be good for Marda Loop which needs lots more retail.

    2 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      replying to myself- 1-2009 33rd Ave SW? Did they kick out that horrble Chinese place across the street from the Belmont?

      This is SUCH GREAT NEWS!!! Marda Loop needs a Vietnamese place now.

      1. re: John Manzo

        ya, it was the chinese place.

        the globefish is very exciting - only 2 streets over!

        the sobey's will be great, i've never been a fan of safeway, i just always end up living close to one

    2. It looks like there's some new digging activity around the Sobey's site. I was worried that nothing was happening.
      It'll be nice to have a bakery in the community. All we have right now is the gluten-free one (not bread), and Safeway (terrible bread). Rustic Sourdough bakery in the Farmer's market is good, but only open on the weekend.
      I can't really recommend many restaurants in the neighbourhood because I haven't been here long, but Nellie's and the Belmont are both good diners. Pharaoh's serves decent shawarma and falafel, and fantastic hummus and pita.
      My Favourite Ice Cream Shoppe is fun. Check it out on a Wednesday night when the piano player is there.
      A new restaurant just opened where Karma used to be (south side of 33 Ave & 21 St), a hookah bar called Narah. I haven't gone yet, but it looks like a nice place. I may stop in for some Arabic coffee soon.

      1 Reply
      1. re: 23skidoo

        I think the bakery in Safeway has actually become pretty good over the years; best crusty rolls in town in fact....

        Thank God some activity is happening at the Shops of ML site. Now if something would happen with the former gas station site... honestly, if it takes years to do enviro rehab to former gas stations, then just keep the bloody gas stations!

      2. Don't forget San Remo. Northern Italian across from the Safeway. Not Capo or anything, but a great meal for the price in the hood.

        Noon is opening a second location in the near future.

        Volos pizza!!!!

        6 Replies
        1. re: bohunk

          Volos is more Bankview (26th Ave and 20th Street SW)

          1. re: bohunk

            we went to san remo a couple weeks ago - it wasn't bad, pretty good for the price but not my favorite - something my parents might like...

            i'm looking forward to noon though - haven't been to the edmonton trail one yet but new blood in the neighbourhood is new blood :)

            1. re: pants

              I ate at San Remo about 1.5 years ago - easily one of the worst meals I have ever had. Unless something drastic has changed, I would not advise anyone go there. Marda Loop isn't all it could be for restaurants. Too bad Alexis Bistro closed, as it was the best thing in the area.

              Bistro JoJo is OK.

              1. re: pants

                I had a risotto there. I'm fairly certain that it was made with canned chicken broth - it was extremely salty and there was a bit of a rancid smell that's oft associated with pre-made broth.

                1. re: Shazam

                  I don't think the food at JoJo matches their prices. For French, Fleur de Sel has them beat hands down - roughly the same prices and WAY better food. The dining scene in Marda Loop is pretty lacklustre. For me, I would only go to JoJo if I was feeling lazy about venturing downtown.

                  1. re: shopwinedinefine

                    i'm surprised something better hasn't opened in marda loop - globefish is the best thing going, we stick to there or original joes which is pretty good pub food and it always amazes me how busy it is. probably says that if something good did open around there it would do really well.

            2. As a Marda Loop Merchant (of 17 years) I have some insight to some of the above speculations... Fisrtly the gas station ground is fast on it's way to becoming a Melrose Marda Loop... complete with underground parking, which will give Original Joe's a run for their money, yet neither options offer much by way of good eats.

              As for the Sobeys block traffic will be a nightmare once this store opens (fall 2008)! The developer has disclosed that there is barely enough (underground) parking for the 2nd floor offices usage, let alone the increased traffic to the grocery store. The other street side retails which will be added to this block, will be non competitive stores to Sobeys (mainly American chains) which will add little to the "unique shopping" that 33rd could use so much more of. Whatever your grocery store preference; having 2 of them within this distance is redundant, and a poor use of such great potential retail space.

              So what does a foodie eat in the loop.. well when it comes to lunch, mainly leftovers if I want something good! But my picks are: Belmont for lunch and Breakfast, & Red Tree for a pick me up. As for dinner...Globefish and the new hooka place (formerly Karma) as well as San Remo's .

              And Volvo's for pizza delivery! YUMMY!

              Last week I ate lunch at Basils (after not eating there for 2 years) Wow was it horrible! But Wolfmans does a pretty good weekend breakfast (little secret when the breakfast places up the street are lined up down the block)

              And if you are after something sweet you can pop into the cookie shop!

              7 Replies
              1. re: CookieGal

                CG- I'm surprised to hear this about Melrose. First, there is already a pub being built next to Belmont (F.A.T.S.) that is in exactly the same vein as Melrose. Second, there was a Melrose presence at Marda Gras and I asked the folks there who told me CATEGORICALLY that there were NO plans to open in Marda Loop. They were adamant that there was no basis to this rumour. I'm not sure why there were at the street fair but then I'm not sure why 90% of the vendors were there- it is a horrible street fair, nothing but junk for sale and almost no presence of local retailers, and no food either. Terrible.

                Pharaoh's is good, for some things. I like Myhre's a lot, not that you can or should eat smoked meat too often.

                What about Sitio, CG? I had some decent Bulgogi a while back.

                Oh, and there's always Jugo Juice- Gawd, there is so much untapped potential in Marda Loop.

                1. re: John Manzo

                  Oh I feel for Sitio.... it is a great space but the coffee is horrid... it needs some TLC a total menu revision and some better beans. The bulgogi is pretty good.. but that is the best bite you will get there.

                  I thought Meyers was over priced and boring with small servings of a classically massive stacked sandwich. the slaw was good thought!

                  Pharaoh's makes a great lental salad, and offers some good healthy veg choices.

                  As for Marda Gras.... wow I couldn't agree more. My store has not participated in the event for 5 years as a silent protest to the poor planning and flea market theme.

                  F.A.T.S. >>>> that is news to me! I have heard from many people in planning and in the BRZ of Marda Loop that it was slatted to be Melrose, and I have noticed an increased presence of Wayne (the owner of Ming and Melrose) around the loop.
                  Food wise Melrose would be my preference between the 2... but hey 2 mega grocers.. and now 2 mainstream burger and beer joints! What can I say?

                  1. re: CookieGal

                    Just so we're on the same page- are you talking about the gas station site that has lain fallow for, oh, six years now? I'm talking about the one under construction where the little white house was next to Belmont.

                    Of course, things do change. I just can think of so many things the Loop needs before another pub. There is good (great, in my opinion) sushi now, but why not a single Vietnamese place? That's a pretty amazing lack, for Calgary.

                    I made the mistake of getting an "espresso" from Sitio. Oh my God. It amazes me that places make the investment in espresso equipment, even call themselves a "cafe," and clearly know nothing about espresso (and its associated beverages) aside, MAYBE, from what the machines company sales rep told them.

                    You have Kaffa, of course, but Kaffa is years from "third wave" now. It was good for, say, 1999; it is not a player now, but maybe they'll pull a Beano. Hope springs eternal.

                    With the possible exception of Bridgeland, no part of Calgary (outside of the core and beltine I mean) has more promise as a new inner-city destination neighbourhood than does Marda Loop. I keep wishing it would start to meet its potential.

                    1. re: John Manzo

                      Inglewood will be a contender too. The only thing it's missing right now is a grocery store, and the walk from downtown is pretty sketchy. The new "rivers" district will take care of that.
                      Although, Inglewood does have a lot of contaminated/unusable sites right now because of all the old industries along the railway. Thankfully there's just the one gas station lot in Marda Loop that needs to be remediated..

                      1. re: 23skidoo

                        I agree with everything you say, except I already consider Inglewood a destination neighbourhood- with some more diversity (more restos, fewer antiques) I'd put it right up there with Kensington.

                  2. re: John Manzo

                    Aw, seriously? FATS? Do we need another fratboy/sports bar?

                    I'll have to try the bulgogi at Sitio's. I had a pretty boring club sandwich there a few years ago and haven't been back. Sounds like they should stick to their roots and turn the place into a Korean restaurant.

                    1. re: 23skidoo

                      I wouldn't consider FATS a "fratboy/sports" bar. It's just a bar; I'll even go as far as to say that in general the food they server (at the original) is better than average for pub food and their pizza well above average. I'd much, much rather find myself in FATS with regular folks than paying way too much for a beer at Melrose.

                      Having said that... I think Marda Loop needs 100 other things before it needs either of these to show up.

                2. I have heard a rumour that a shop similiar to the Forage concept is being built beside My Favourite Ice Cream Shoppe. Does anyone know anything about this?


                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Hart50

                    not a rumour at all- they have an ad in the most recent city palate- can't recall name off the top of my head but it looks more like Main Dish than Forage- cappo bar, deserts etc in addition to take-home.

                    1. re: John Manzo

                      Thanks, I'll have to give it a try.

                    2. re: Hart50

                      There is a shop opening soon called Fresh Kitchen (freshkitchen.ca). It is next to My Favourite Ice Cream Shoppe (not mine, I make my own), at 42nd Ave and 20th St SW, but I live close by, and am excited to see something like this open in this neighborhood. If they bring in a good baguette, they will definitely see me. Hard to find a good baguette in this city, let alone one that is easy to get to on a daily basis.

                      1. re: Albertagirl

                        Thanks, I drove by yesterday and it is under construction. I'm not sure when it opens but I did find this website. It looks very interesting.


                        1. re: Hart50

                          Fresh Kitchen opens today (sunday October 26) next to My Favourite Ice Cream Shoppe on 42nd ave and 20th street SW
                          it is carrying manuel latreu bread and pastry

                            1. re: jamtart12

                              finally!! maybe i'll try them for lunch today and report back!

                      2. Yes, Globefish is good but stay away from the $9.50 Sapporos brewed in Ontario.
                        The Belmont and Deli are never open at night.
                        Basils or Mamas or whatever it is beside Wolfmans is the worst restaurant in Calgary. They apparently are turning it into a pizza place but it has the worst pizza ever. The won't let you order the bar specials in the dining room you have to go to the stinky pub next door (which is at least fun).
                        The Hookah place is just plain wierd.
                        The coffee and nacho place (that's right a coffee and nacho place) across the street from the hookah place is stupid expensive.
                        San Remo is OK but tough to figure out when they are open. Its pretty pricey and small portions.
                        Does anyone go to Rasoi.....I've never seen more than two tables occupied.
                        The best restaurant in Marda Loop is the Vietnamese place. I have no idea what is called. The food is very good and the staff very friendly.
                        Honestly Marda Loop is pretty dissappointing with mostly really average or worse restaurants. Hopefully we see some additions and changes over the next little while. There is no shortage of customers.

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: california joe

                          I heard that the building next to Belmont will not be a FATS or even a bar at all, but rather a restaurant with a "celebrity chef". Seems like that building has been under construction forever, for the size.
                          In other news, the sidewalk in front of the future Sobey's will be open in January (according to Calgary Transit).

                          1. re: california joe

                            Nho Saigon

                            I had my first really positive experience at El's Japanese Fusion last week- the problem with that place is the menu is too huge (SEVENTY maki) and hit or miss, but I went simple: Ebi gyoza, one spicy tuna roll (not called that on the menu- the plain toro roll, I think, add $1 for spicy) and a really delicious avocado roll which comprised one whole avocado... $20 for dinner. Hours are now- get this- 1pm to 9pm and closed Sun (I think)- who opens for lunch at 1? BUT having had a really nice dinner there was a pleasant surprise.

                            Kaffa is coffee and a Mexican-lite menu. It's more than nachos and I wonder at the disposable income of anybody who would call it "stupid expensive" but I shouldn't judge.

                            1. re: John Manzo

                              Anybody tried the new bistro that opened on 33 next to wonderlust (where the french place used to be.. chez something?)

                              And what about Alexis... are they open for lunch?

                              1. re: CookieGal

                                Alexis has been closed for months- will soon be resurrected as Noon (second location for the Bridgeland Noon).

                                On 33rd- are you referring to Rasoi?

                                1. re: John Manzo

                                  are we sure that Noon is going in there? it's been months since that was first talked about and the Alexis sign is still up, looks like nothing has been touched...

                                  1. re: pants

                                    As far as the designer is concerned- yes. Same guy who did DeVille.

                                      1. re: pants

                                        I can't recall his name but you can see him at DeVille all the time.

                                        Incidentally the new DeVille in Colours condo will be called "CHOW"!

                                2. re: CookieGal

                                  Just had lunch there on Monday. Very nice decor. It is Indian influenced. Very nice. For lunch I only had the coconut mussels and they were very filling. They had flatbreads (which were more like wraps) on the lunch menu. Paying attention to local produce. Hot a large menu but adequate. My mussels were about $15. Flatbreads were less. They had salads and a soup of the day. Great lunch spot in the Loop.

                                  1. re: sarah galvin

                                    this is rasoi your speaking of sarah?
                                    mmm sounds great, i wasn't expecting Indian influence.
                                    Was it packed at lunch? or could i just walk in and sit down?

                                    1. re: CookieGal

                                      Yes, this is Rasoi. It was not busy on Monday so I think you could just walk in. Although I was there for a late lunch.

                                3. re: John Manzo

                                  I guess I wasn't clear. $20 nachos at Kaffa...thats stupid expensive.