Calgary cycling pathway pit stops

The city’s pathway system is one of the longest in North America. Given its lengthy stretches, the occasional rest and snack stop, though few and far between, are a welcome sight when walking, biking and inline skating. Here are a few restaurants, cafés and snack shacks located on or near our scenic cycling system. Image credit: iStock.com/mihailomilovanovic.

Heritage Park Historical Village

1
1900 Heritage Dr SW, Calgary, AB T2V 2X3

Forming a popular cycling loop that passes through North Glenmore and South Glenmore parks as well as Weaselhead Natural Area, Calgary’s pathway system circles Glenmore Reservoir. On the east side of the water, pedal into Engineered Air Plaza outside the main gate of Heritage Park Historical Village, and pay no admission fee. Opposite the shops of Haskayne Mercantile Block, enjoy a hot or cold drink with a snack at Railway Café, a sandstone rail station rest stop serving pastries, soup and sandwiches, salads and a pleasant view of the reservoir.

Lot 102

2
102 10 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1V3

Pedal your hungry cycling self right up to Lot 102 for a gourmet burger. The signature drink category here is bourbon-based cocktails, but more suitable for fuelling a sunny, riverside bike ride, its milkshake menu features selections such as a maple-bacon shake with real bacon bits. On the east side of the Memorial Drive and 10th Street Northwest intersection, enjoy a view of the Bow River and the sculptures of Poppy Plaza from inside the sunny bar and grill or from its small outdoor patio when weather permits.

Leavitt's Ice Cream Shop

3
3410 3 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 0M2

Ride up from the Bow River Pathway to the intersection of Parkdale Boulevard and 32nd Street Northwest, and ride west on Third Avenue to Leavitt’s Ice Cream Shop – Lic’s for short. Step up to the shop’s counter and order scoops of house-made hard ice cream in a hand-rolled waffle cone. Choose from flavours such as mint chocolate chip, chocolate peanut butter and orange Creamsicle. Avoid one-handed cycling, and park yourself on a street-side bench to savour your selection. Sugar- and lactose-free ice cream is available.

Angel's Cappuccino & Ice Cream

4
Edworthy Park, Calgary, AB T3B 0L9

On the north side of the water, this cottage-cute shack is located on the northwest corner of Edworthy Park across the Bow River Pathway bridge from the main park. Serving waffles, Benedicts and breakfast wraps until noon, Angel’s also offers burgers, soup-and-sandwich combos and entree-sized salads. Meals include gluten-free and vegan-friendly dishes. The lengthy drink menu features chai lattes, cappuccinos and regular coffee as well as cold sips such as ice frappes and iced fruit smoothies. Find a seat inside or on the café’s pleasant patio.

River Cafe

5
25 Prince's Island Pk, Calgary, AB T2P 0R1

One of the country’s top Canadian-cuisine restaurants, River Cafe features an excellent patio, affording diners sun-dappled seating under a canopy of cottonwood leaves. Situated in Prince’s Island Park just north of downtown on the Bow River Pathway, the restaurant’s two-level deck is at one with this relaxed green space. Enjoy beverages – perhaps a morning mimosa or afternoon glass of wine – with appetizers or a full meal. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are recommended at peak hours.

Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant

6
15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2J 7A7

A rustically welcoming café and bakery in Fish Creek Park, Annie’s is situated in a restored farmstead run by the park’s respected Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant. Open seasonally, it’s a popular stop for hikers, bikers and in-line skaters traversing its network of pathways. Sit at a patio table or bench with soup and a sandwich, a pastry and coffee, or a selection from the café’s ice cream list.

Charbar

7
618 Confluence Way SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0G1

Located in the redbrick Simmons Mattress building just paces from the Bow River Pathway in East Village, Charbar is sister eatery to Charcut. This Argentinian-barbecue-inspired restaurant shares its space with Sidewalk Citizen and Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters. A river-valley view on one side and downtown skyline on the other, Rooftop Bar @ The Simmons opens for the summer season on May 20, 2016. Reservations are not taken for the patio, meaning pathway pop-ins are likely to be accommodated.

Extreme Bean Cafe

8
3303 3 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 0M1

You can certainly order a coffee with sweets such as pie and cookies at Extreme Bean adjacent to the Bow River Pathway between Parkdale Boulevard and Third Avenue Northwest. But, breakfast, lunch and dinner are also available to hungry pathway users. Its menu is downright brunchy, featuring dishes such as traditional combos, Denver sandwiches, pancakes and avocado omelets for breakfast and BLT wraps, fish tacos and beefy burgers the balance of the day.

Bow Habitat Station

9
1440 17A St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4T9

On the south side of the Bow River’s Harvie Passage white water park, you’ll find the Bow Habitat Station among the willows and cottonwoods of Pearce Estate Park. Taking a break in its small café requires no admission – just ask for service at the front desk for coffee, juice and pop as well as snacks such as chips and instant-noodle bowls. A fun and informative visit to the Discovery Centre including a tour of the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery is a fitting complement to a riverside cycle trip.

Lukes Drug Mart

10
112 4 St NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3R9

When cycling side effects include coffee cravings, roll off the Bow River Pathway at the north foot of the Langevin Bridge and pedal approximately four blocks north on Fourth Street Northeast. At First Avenue Northeast, the Bridgeland location of Lukes Drug Mart is a pharmacy and post office that also features a vinyl record aisle and the Four Barrel Coffee Bar, serving light and dark premium grinds of its namesake San Fran joe. Drink options include cappuccino, espresso and latte as well as hot chocolate.

The quintessential Mexican meal, tacos are also a relatively scarce commodity in Calgary. However, we’ve done some digging and unearthed the select few restaurants that make truly marvelous versions of these hand-held snacks.
The city’s summer season features a delicious dance card of culinary festivals and events. Many, such as Stampede-time pancake breakfasts, are easy to access the day of, but the various tasting and tippling shindigs listed here can fill up quickly, so purchasing tickets sooner than later for these foodie festivities is recommended. Image credit: iStock.com/kasto80.
The annual YYC Taco Fiesta bursts upon Calgary’s restaurant scene like the tastiest piñata ever invented. From April 28 to May 7, restaurants across the city will serve bargain-priced individual tacos as well as platters, with a portion of profits being donated to local charities. Here are a few of the participating taco competitors. Image credit: iStock.com/rez-art.
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