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Dec 26, 2009 01:17 PM

Any sidewalk grocers in Calgary?

When I was recently in Vancouver it seemed every few blocks had independent grocers with fresh produce out on sidewalk stands and it occurred to me that I had never seen that in Calgary.. sure one can blame it on the weather, but the temperature the whole time I was in Vancouver was only about 7C and there's a lot of days in Calgary warmer than that. Does such a thing exist in this city?

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  1. ive seen that in chinatown calgary

    2 Replies
    1. re: howlin

      The one in Chinatown is usually there in the late spring/summer/early fall months, in front of the white-ish building that is next to the ABC Bakery building (the building has flags on top). In the summer, there are also older ladies and gentlemen selling garlic chives, bok choy, small flowering plants, etc. on cloths laid out on the sidewalk along 3rd Ave, next to Harbour City restaurant.

      There is also a grocer who sets up a stall in the summer on Stephen Avenue, I think close to Milestones?

      1. re: aktivistin

        yep late spring is when i seen it.this one was beside silver dragon.sorry but i dont know the area well,i dont know where the abc building is

    2. Sorry to say this, I moved from Van to Calgary a number of years ago and fresh/cheap produce from grocers is one of the biggest things I miss most (besides great dim sum, shanghai food, and nice sushi located everywhere).

      I remember going to places like Kin's, Joe's Market, etc. all the time and there really isn't anything like it here.

      My best compromise is going between Farmers' Markets and T&T for variety. freshness, organic, price. Blush Lane Organic Produce Market also has really fresh stuff but located out in Aspen.

      I found the grocers in Chinatown Calgary to have pretty pitiful selection or freshness compared to the places you're referring to in Van.

      6 Replies
      1. re: foodkarma

        Toronto is the best city I've been to in NA for this sort of thing. Much, much, much better than Vancouver.

        Doesn't exist in Calgary. But then it doesn't exist in hundreds of other cities on this continent. The place on Stephen Ave is a flower shop btw.

        1. re: John Manzo

          flower shop? during the summer every thursday there is a stand set up on stephen ave that carries fresh produce, right outside the glenbow museum front doors.

          1. re: Pintye

            I think JM is referring to Twigs, they often have flowers displayed out front. They're just east of 1st St. SW. I worked near the Glenbow for years and never saw a produce vendor I wonder how long that's been going on? Pintye I'm just curious do you know if it's a BC producer or someone more local?

            1. re: maplesugar

              Pintye had this to say

              It was enough of a success for Downtown Calgary to repeat in 2010

              1. re: cancowboy

                Ah thanks cancowboy, somehow I missed that post. Good to know :)

              2. re: maplesugar

                ah I see, im thinking 1 st. SE. I'm not too sure how long the vendor has been there for, from what it seems like this was their first year though. As cancowboy pointed out from my previous post it is all from bc, from various growers, although many are from the same. I would recommend tallying up the cost of your goods first though as they are more known for their produce than their math skills...

        2. We have too much urban sprawl and our love of driving everywhere to have enough density to support independent grocers. The closest thing would be the Crossroads market in the summer or the more upscale CFM. I'd pass on the Chinatown places, there's not enough turnover to ensure quality produce. You have to head out to a T&T to get decent oriental produce with high turnover.

          1. With the subject of "Farmer's Markets" having been introduced, has anyone been to the seasonal-mid July to mid October-Blackfoot Farmers Market? It has never to my knowledge been mentioned on Chow, and I only found it when I took a wrong turn a couple of weeks ago. The seasonality of it, the cheap vendor rents, and the entire outdoor nature of the setup suggests that it is a true farmers market.


            3 Replies
            1. re: Scary Bill

              its been years ,but i remember it being ok .normal priices on veges (good quality)a few hutterite venders,and some crafts.wasnt a huge market,but this was a bunch of years ago

              1. re: Scary Bill

                Many of the CFM vendors used to be there. Then the rent went sky high and thus was born the CFM.

                I went there all the time back in the day.

                1. re: Shazam

                  Perhaps they saw the err of their ways since rent for a stall is now advertised as only $25 per weekend. Rents at CFM are a significant multiple higher at $6 per sq ft plus common costs.