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Jan 3, 2008 12:49 PM

Calgary near Mariott recs


I will be visiting the city for business next week and am looking for a chowish place for 1 near the Mariott downtown. (I would love to walk if the weather is half decent)

I would love a happening place where I can enjoy local specialties (beef anyone?) but not your typical steakhouse. A brewpub would be great.

Any type orf cuisine is welcome (except probably french, we have that in droves here in MTL.)

Thanks in advance, I promise a report regardless of where I end up.

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  1. Weather should be MUCH better than what you're experiencing in Montreal right now- long term sees no arctic outbreaks and little snow. You will have a great time walking.

    You're near tons and tons of places. Unfortunately my top suggestion for any visitor- River Cafe - is closed every January, but there are scads of options on Stephen Ave (8th Ave, about 4 short blocks south of Marriott). On that strip you have Teatro, Centini, Murrietta's, Tribune, Divino, Gypsy, Blink, The Belvedere, Opus on 8th, Seven, Escoba... too much choice really. The only brewpub in the downtown would be Brewster's on 8th St SW by MEC (11 Ave); it's fine, but the best reason to be in that area, aside from shopping at MEC and Coast Mountain et al, is the outstanding (think Caffe ArtJava quality) espresso and cappos (and homemade food) at Bumpy's Cafe. Speaking of coffee, the Marriott is two short blocks (the blocks between avenues are short; between streets, not so much) from the first location of Caffe Artigiano outside of Vancouver, at 3rd St and 6th avenue in that spectacular new building that angles over the street, but it will almost definitely not be open by next week when you're here. I'd urge you to eschew the Marriott's new Starbucks and look for a local chain called Good Earth (closest to you is 7th Ave and 6th St SW) instead.

    There's a start!

    And God dang, I just realised that I mistook the Marriott for the WESTIN. Westin is at 4th Ave and 3rd St; you're at 9th Ave and Centre. You're still close to everything I just mentioned but ask a concierge for directions, sorry about that!

    1. ScoobySnacks20:

      You are in a prime location downtown close at hand to Stephen Ave which is just about a block away as I think the Mariott is on 9th Avenue.

      I can recommend Teatro, Centini, Divino Wine and Cheese and Murietta's which are all a relatively easy walk away.

      Personally if dining alone I would sit up at the bar at Divino and chat with Brian while enjoying very good food and a decent wine by the glass offerings.

      Also close at hand are Belvedere and Tribune which I left off my list only because I have not personally tried them during visits to Calgary.

      A relatively short cab ride away is River Cafe on Prince's Island via the Eau Claire Market footbridge and in neighbouring Inglewood my favourite Italian spot, Capo.

      Cannot think of a brew pub per se as it has been a number of years since I tried the pub downstairs at the Wildwood. A Calgarian will have to chime in here as I do not know if they are still in operation. This will be a cab ride for sure. Not sure of others and will leave that recommendation to the Calgary residents.

      Enjoy your visit.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Bob Mac

        Ah yes, Wildwood, good suggestion. 4th St and 25th Ave SW. A long walk (I's say 25-30 mins) or a short cab.

        A very nice brewpub is Wild Rose at the Calgary Farmers' Market, open 7 days unlike the market per se. But that's definitely a cab ride.

        Bob, unless I'm mistaken, River is closed all January.

        1. re: John Manzo

          Thank you for the reminder John. I believe I encountered it being closed during past January trips to C-Town but had forgotten.

        2. re: Bob Mac

          I agree with the suggestion to sit at the bar at Divino...possibly mulitple nights in succession......

          1. re: formerlyfingers

            Yes, most definitely. I wish I could do this instead of feeding my husband and children.

        3. I would concur with the Tribune and Divino recommendations. I would however suggest you give the Belvedere a miss as the last time I was there it was not particularily stellar.
          Although it is not a Brewpub, the James Joyce which is right around the corner from you on the Stephen Avenue Mall, has a great ambiance and probably has the best pint of Guinness in town. BTW, the food is not bad either.

          1. Milestones is very close to you and actually not bad, for a chain, reasonably priced and I've never had a bad meal there in the 3 times I've been (all at lunch). Saltlik across the street is a steak place, at the time I thought it was overpriced for what you got but that was 2-3 years ago and I've only been the once. If you're looking for more of a pub atmosphere, I agree with Hart - James Joyce is probably the best bet within walking distance (I don't walk as much as John).

            If I were you I'd just stroll down 8th Ave heading west and see what strikes your fancy, there's lots to choose from.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hsk

              I was at Saltlik for the first time tonight and I'd recommend Vintage over Saltlik hands down. Vintage's food quality is miles ahead of Saltlik imho and so is the service. For one thing I've never had a server (clearing the table behind me) spill and break a water glass on my back like I did tonight. To her credit she was profusely apologetic and the wine for the table and my dinner were comped... but that didn't mean I wasn't still soaked (kicking myself for choosing to wear courdoroy but happy I wasn't wearing say silk or wool). I can't say the food was bad but it wasn't really anything to write home about either...just, well, uninspired.