Relax with drinks and snacks: Best Calgary lounges

A really good lounge not only serves decent drinks, but also exudes a little of that uptown accent that makes you forget the world for a while. These lovely lounges are elegant and relaxing getaway spots whether you’re sipping solo or in good company.

Hotel Le Germain-Calgary

1
101-899 Centre St SW, Calgary, AB T2G 1B8

On the southeast-facing lower-level corner of Hotel Le Germain, Lounge Central 899 sits just a half step below street level and just around the main-lobby corner from Charcut Roast House. Sunny by day with a relaxed, downtown glow by night, this is a sweet spot in which to order cheese and charcuterie with wine, cocktails or craft beer.

National on 10th

2
341 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0A5

Tucked away at the back and up a flight of stairs in National 10th, the restaurant and craft-beer hall hides a true man-cave lounge. Bourbon Room takes its namesake drink very seriously, serving a long list of the best labels as well as plenty of Scotch whisky, its international counterparts as well as rye, Cognac and calvados.

Sandstone Lounge

3
700 Centre St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 5P6

Attached to Thomsons Restaurant in the downtown Hyatt Regency Calgary, Sandstone Lounge is lightly Western-themed and heavily relaxed. Take a stool at the bar, put your feet up fireside or settle in and watch the foot traffic on Stephen Avenue Walk. The liquor menu? Wine, beer and cocktails. Serving a modified version of the Thomsons Restaurant menu, the food is Rocky Mountain inspired.

Cannibale

4
813 1 Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T2E 0C2

Cannibale is the city’s one and only bar and barbershop, and it’s certainly swanky. Both comfortably complementary ends of the operation are styled in smart tile, antique brick and warm wood. Cocktails are historic, the wine refined and the beer crafty, while the food menu features snacks such as charcuterie and foie gras parfait. Sandwiches include a Cubano topped with smoked ham, pork shoulder and Gruyere. Try the bourbon pecan pie!

The Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar

5
925 11 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0R4

The Nash, a runaway hit restaurant spinoff sister to Notable. Its lounge, dubbed Off Cut Bar, is cozy in a way that harkens back to the early decades of the previous century. A narrow room glassed off from the main restaurant and built around a central bar, its drinks menu features classic and contemporary cocktails, craft brews and bountiful brown liquor. The Hotel Nacional is recommended. And turn to the always-changing, shareable lounge menu for burgers, charcuterie, bar snacks and daily features.

Caesar's Steak House

6
110-10816 MacLeod Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2J 5N8

The sister location of Calgary’s best-known steakhouse is situated in Willow Park. Every bit as swank as the original, it updates the velvet-and-leather charm the downtown location is known for. Peruse its drink menu, which is heavy on red wine selections, and melt into deep, plush chairs, banquettes or survey the room from the bar. If you’re hungry, this is steak central.

Proof Cocktail Bar

7
1302 1st Street SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0V7

A real bartenders’ bar, Proof features a cathedral-like back bar whose holy relics are lovely liquor bottles, and lots of them. Some of Calgary’s top bartending talent staffs the place, artfully mixing delectable selections from a lengthy and evolving cocktail menu. Updated weekly, the happy-hour featured drinks menu is always refreshingly surprising. Located on the First Street Southwest strip.

One 18 Empire

8
110 9th Ave Se, Calgary, AB T2G 5A6

Gorgeously appointed, this approachably upscale restaurant in the Marriot features a whisky-themed lounge. Settle in for a sip, and peruse the menu: ONE18’s satisfying fare is best described as uptown-rustic Canadian cuisine. From 4 pm to 7 pm, happy hour features a daily handcrafted cocktail and the finger-lickin’ option of half-price bourbon-honey chicken wings.

The Oak Room

9
133 9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2M3

There’s no more historic watering hole than The Oak Room in the Fairmont Palliser Hotel. A relatively big room with a wood-grain bar that takes up one wall, its plush chairs and loveseats impart an intimate feel. Select from drinks of yesteryear (cosmopolitan, old fashioned, etc.) as well as contemporary cocktails and craft beers. Wednesday happy hour features a specially priced wine du jour with cheese plate, and if celebration is in order, make it a glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne.

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 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.
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