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Rise Bakery & Café - Calgary

I've been looking forward to the opening of Rise since I saw signs in Bow Valley Square four months ago. I finally made the trip out there for lunch yesterday, about a week and a half after its opening.

Found next to the also newly opened Redwater Grille in Bow Valley Square, Rise Bakery & Café is strictly a counter business, offering fresh panini, baked sweets, and bread. I had the goat cheese and veggie panini and a chocolate sourdough bun.

The panini was perfectly grilled--beautiful grill marks, crisp crust, soft and yielding chestnut bread. The veggies themselves were not the best for a grilled panini--the lettuce got a bit limp, the fresh tomato only contributed to the wetness, and I'm not a fan of warm cucumber. To Rise's credit, the salesperson did warn me that the veggies would be soggy from grilling. Beautiful bread--I haven't had chestnut bread before and the almost cake-like texture was surprising and interesting. The walnut pesto was deliciously garlicky and smooth but the flavours got lost in the panini.

With bits of melt-y Bernard Callebaut chocolate and dried cherries, the chocolate sourdough bread is not like a traditional sourdough. The texture was similar to a less-rich brioche, like a challah. As with the pesto in the panini, the dried cherries were a nice touch but got lost in the chocolate onslaught. The chocolate flavour was rich and subtly sweet.

Most intriguing to me were the breads, including the aforementioned chestnut and the apple and rosemary flax. I'll definitely go back to try a loaf of those.

The space is small (as I mentioned, counter service only) but well-appointed. Beautiful wood shelves for the bread and large window into the kitchen make the space seem slightly more homey despite being in an office building.

In any case, I recommend going to try one of the panini or at least checking out the bread. Rise is located on the ground floor of Bow Valley Square, near the intersection of 6 Ave and 2 St SW.


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  1. Thanks for the info aktivistin - I love checking out new bakeries. I'm surprised they'd do a LTC combo on a panini...tomatoes do well under a broiler but aren't good company for bread til after it's toasted....and I don't know that I've ever had warm cucumber.

    I think I saw ads for Rise awhile back - they're part of the Vintage Group if I remember correctly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: maplesugar

      Thanks to aktivistin for the post. Just to confirm Rise actually offers sandwiches which guests have the option of having grilled or cold, not exclusively paninis. There are a few sandwiches which are not recommended grilled due to the water content of the veggies, the goat cheese and pesto being one of them. However, if guests do choose to have those items grilled they are only given a light press opposed to the full press given to the other sandwiches.

    2. Nice, thanks! Alluring pics on the website- shame no weekend hours tho :(

      1. I stopped in for a look and purchased some multi grain bread.

        I must say it was the worst multi grain bread I have ever eaten.

        Won't be going back there again.


        2 Replies
          1. re: ccds

            I'm sure there's worse out there.

            I've had two loaves from Rise and both have been good- one was the apple-flax (I think that was the combo) which was very nice and the second was a half-sour loaf- it's not a demibaguette and not a boule, it's shaped like a football, what's that sort of loaf called? Anyway this was just superb. SUPERB. My partner and I sawed pieces off it when I brought it home and it was gone way too fast. Just one of the tastiest loaves of bread I've had. Ever.

            Rise is clearly built for the M-F downtown crowd given its hours and given the odd comportment of the store- it has windows but the storefront faces the mall (it's at Bow Valley Square, 1st level right inside the entrance off 6th Ave), and the loaves seem tailor made for carrying in a briefcase. I like that, actually, I don't like their not opening weekends (or just Saturdays- what about baking for Redwater on weekends??) but Rise is still definitely a good thing for this city. If you work DT give them a try.

          2. I bought a multi grain loaf and it had cumin it.

            Gave the bread an undesirable flavor

            I did send the bakery an email and they responded first that it had no cumin in it

            then I got another note a couple of hours later saying it did have cumin in it.

            They did do the right thing and asked that I drop by and they would give me another

            loaf that I could try no charge.

            It is out of the way for me to drop by so I will pass but I was pleased with the offer and

            shows good customer service.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ccds

              Good that they tried to make it right. Odd that there'd be cumin in a multigrain loaf; makes me wonder if someone confused cumin with a grain that looks similar.

              On another bakery related note... The COBS at Country Hills Town Centre is open :)

              1. re: maplesugar

                I was thinking that, too. Perhaps they confused the cumin with fennel/anise seed? They look similar.

                1. re: aktivistin

                  Exactly, and thanks I could picture it but couldn't remember the names. :)

            2. Just tried a sandwich here the other day. It was "just" a tuna melt, but so good. Beautiful bread and grill marks, high quality ingredients. I also had some nice thick, full-fat yogurt and granola.

              1. Bumping an old thread. The new Rise in Penn West Plaza is now open.

                Kinda disappointed that their coffee/espresso program is run by Coffee Concept though.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Strider

                  Thanks for the headsup! Is this one only open weekdays?

                  There's a Good Earth that just opened across the street in Banker's Court but I assume you already know that :)

                  1. re: John Manzo

                    Yeah, it looks like this new location is 7-3 weekdays. That's too bad, they could probably get foot traffic on weekends, unlike the BVS location.

                2. bumping up an old thread--- I started work at Intact Plaza in September and thought to myself I would have such a blast checking out all the things in the downtown area that there was to eat. I have been up and down +15s and checked out little pocket food courts all over and still haven't found a place I like to stop more than RISE.

                  They have steel cut oats for breakfast and a delicious dark roast, I have trained the lovely staff on how to make a London fog to my fickle liking ;) I have tried a few different types of bread and have loved each one (i WISH they had a Cumin bread! ) The regular sandwiches they have for lunch though -- Roast Beef.. it will change your lunch hour! Fresh tomato, simple little mayo, lettuce and roast beef still a little pink and shaved thin. (All they need to do is include a little horseradish ;) ) All on fresh squishy multigrain bread-- its a little pricey-- but i can say that about nearly everything downtown for lunch, but its all very nice simple quality; something I dont mind paying for.

                  One more thing-- Savory scones! sweet carmalized onion, bacon, cheese, fluffy, non sweet breakfast treat! (ingredient lists you can pronounce!) My boyfriend only dreams it was open on weekends.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Lingcullen

                    I'll add to this, as I eat grab something here nearly every day, whether it's breakfast, lunch, or just a treat. Both the savory scones AND the sweet scones are always excellent. Their muffins are outstanding though. Sandwiches are delicious, salads are good, but what I find myself getting a lot is the tomato soup. Not much beats a fresh made tomato-basil soup for lunch with a savory scone on the side.

                    1. re: NumberFive

                      There scones sure are great and at $2.25 it makes for a cheap and good way to start the day. I've had a few sandwiches and they are good but don't fill me up enough. How much is a "soup or salad" and sandwich at this place?

                      1. re: hclass

                        They have a deal that comes with soup, sandwich, and either fruit or a cookie. I can't remember how much it costs exactly, but it's a little over $10.

                        1. re: hclass

                          Yeah i usually get a couscous salad or something to go with the Roast Beef Sandwich. I can eat half one day and half the next-- the salad portion is a little TOO much with the Roast Beef Sandwich (they just need a little horseradish on the side ;) )