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Favorite coffeehouse/cafe with wifi and why?

I'm in search of the ideal coffeehouse.

There are several criteria (ie: coffee & espresso quality, food, ambiance/decor/abundant comfortable seating, patio, noise level/music, people-watchability, beer/wine availability, etc.) but these are all very difficult to find in one place. Ranging from hidden gems like Caffe Rosso to Calgary institutions like Beano, even the exceptionally located Second Cup -- I don't care. I just want to find it in Calgary because living in a city without one feels a bit incomplete.

Where is your favorite place to get a drink, read the newspaper, and work on your laptop?

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  1. My favourite coffeehouse overall is probably Phil & Sebastian's Marda Loop cafe, but for all the criteria that you mention there really is only one choice and that's Kawa Espresso Bar. The espresso is as good as anywhere (and this is bearing in mind that the bar has been set insanely high in this city), brewed coffee is on the Clover, they have a full breakfast-lunch-dinner menu with the occasional special event with guest chefs AND the pastries are usually excellent, the seating is fine depending on what you choose, there's a nice protected patio, the music is well-chosen and, as long as you're not there during a live performance, is not overly loud; the crowd isn't as interesting as at Beano but is plenty diverse, and they have the best beer selection in town (and, from what I understand as a non-wine-person, a decent wine list too), Nobody else touches all these bases.

    8 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      I'm probably the only one but I find the Marda Loop Phil and Sebastion's decor to be cold and unwelcoming. I'll only take out from there.

      1. re: sharonanne

        You are not the only one. EXCELLENT coffee for take out.

        1. re: sharonanne

          I like the communal front table, but yeah it's not that conducive to hanging out. But for me it's about the coffee... plop me in any of P&S Insomnia Rosso DeVille Kawa Bumpy's Chiasso and I'm happy :)

          1. re: John Manzo

            If I can find my way into that small parking lot at the new P&S at Chinook, it would be the ideal place. Park at the curb, order an Espresso and a Croissant, a few minutes later you are on your way. Almost like in Europe. Minus the car.

            1. re: worldwidestuff

              I didn't have any coffee in Europe that was remotely as good as P&S.

              1. re: John Manzo

                My comment pertained to the access part. You know, hop in, hop out.
                P&S Coffee is very good.

        2. re: John Manzo

          I second the Kawa recommendation. One further bonus with Kawa - I have always found the staff to be particularly friendly and accomodating.

        3. For easily the best pure coffee shop in town, Phil & Sebastian, Marda Loop or Chinook. The Marda Loop may lack a bit in ambience, but the Chinook location is a lot cozier.

          For a good blend of coffee, good music, alcohol, food, and lounging, then Kawa would fit the bill.

          For very decent food, people-watching, lounging, or even studying, then Purple Perk would be the place. But their coffee is mediocre, at best.

          1. My fave is Vendome Cafe tucked behind the Safeway in Kensington. I love the light that streams in the windows of the old house and the staff are super nice. Bonus: the food is amazing (from the same people behind Teatro) like crab eggs benedict or duck confit sandwich. It's small but quiet with free wifi.

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            Teatro Restaurant
            200 8th Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0K7, CA

            Vendome Cafe
            940 2 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 0E6, CA

            3 Replies
            1. re: alau2

              alau2 you know I respect your opinions but if the espresso I got at Vendome last Friday is any indication- and I think it is since I've had espresso there three times now- their coffee program is, well, horrible. The espresso was pre-ground, stale in the hopper. This is a huge no-no. The pull was too long with almost no crema. I am sure they do a lot right there but the coffee seems like an afterthought.

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              Vendome Cafe
              940 2 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 0E6, CA

              1. re: John Manzo

                I am in agreement there coffee is not that great. I stopped in and was not impressed much better options in Kensington.

                1. re: John Manzo

                  John: No offence taken; you're definitely the coffee expert. :-) I just really like the food and atmosphere at Vendome.

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                  Vendome Cafe
                  940 2 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 0E6, CA

              2. I really like Weed's Cafe, on 20th Ave and 19th St. NW. It's not at all "fancy" or "upscale," but I really like it because it reminds me of the dirty, trashy coffeehouses I frequented during my undergraduate days. i've also done quite a bit of writing there, and reading those papers brings back memories of early Sunday mornings at Weed's. :P

                as for quality of coffee, though, nothing beats P&S.

                1. I am pretty sure anywhere in kensington has interesting people :) it may sound silly when I lived on that side I liked the second cup by the safeway the seating is good and people are always chillin doing their work and stuff. I like the deVilles downtown very good for people watching(or sketching ;) ) the coffee was not bad but I didn't drink much of it because I accidentally ordered caffiene :( i'm kind of an outcast since I started drinking no caffiene... aww this is like me and cheese, except I have an aversion to cheeses! There go two major culinary families! No fun coffee far up in the NE... P&S also my favorite coffee. I have a friend that works at caffe rosso, how is it? :P