The best of Calgary this April

By Joel Dryden

Near the end of March, a cheering sight materialized along 17th Avenue – patios packed with Calgarians enjoying a drink, mittens and toques nowhere to be found. Spring has sprung, and with it comes a packed docket of April attractions, including the Calgary Underground Film Festival and the Calgary Comic Expo. Here’s the best of Calgary this April. [Photo credit: Calgary Underground Film Festival]

The best of Calgary this April

Favourite spots to eat and drink this month

Though the quick revitalization of Inglewood and the East Village has given those two neighbourhoods a wealth of must-stop eateries, Bridgeland aficionados have had to bide their time waiting for new options to open.

Their patience has been rewarded – Bridges on First opened its doors in early March and has been packed since, in no small part due to the craft beers on tap and mouth-watering burgers on the menu, let’s hope Bridges on First becomes the first of many high-quality eateries in the northeast community.

With a name that plays off the intersection that is home to Halifax’s famous Pizza Corner – a tourist destination known for street food and famous donairs – you might be able to guess that Blowers & Grafton brings a certain philosophy to its food. Since opening in early March, the restaurant has served up delicious Halifax street food such as donair nachos, clams and chips, cheesesteak sandwiches and fish tacos.

Bursting with ‘50s pride, Benny’s Breakfast Bar is the latest addition to Calgary’s already formidable breakfast eatery lineup. True to its name, the diner serves up no less than 11 eggs Benedict options, including adventurous options like perogies and lobster. Playing no small part in the appeal is Benny’s unadulterated nostalgia, with metal road signs adorning the walls alongside classic illustrations of Superman and Wonder Woman.

Dates to mark on the calendar

Returning for its fourteenth year, the Calgary Underground Film Festival is a film aficionado’s dream. The indie cinema showcase, which is set to run from April 17 to 23, excels at introducing festival-goers to the best of underground cinema with an expertly curated lineup that impresses on a yearly basis. This year’s lineup, featuring Sundance favourite The Little Hours  and the 15th anniversary of Calgary cult favourite FUBAR, looks to be no different.

Comic lovers, unite! ­The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo is set to take over Calgary Stampede Park April 27 to 30. Confirmed guests include Wallace Shawn, Jeremy Renner and Steven Yeun, with more likely to be announced in the coming weeks. Geeks from across western Canada are expected to descend on Calgary for the massive event – there will be no shortage of Spiderman-clad CTrain riders to join you in your morning commute.

A food festival not meant to be conquered in one sitting, Calgary Poutine Week returns with 14 restaurants serving up their own take on the cheesy goodness of the Quebecois dish. From Market’s carbonara poutine to Home and Away’s cheesesteak poutine, April 21 to 29 can’t get here fast enough.

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Discover more things to do in Calgary:

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Springtime fun

If you manage to conquer all 14 dishes during poutine week, or if you take in something like the YYC Taco Fiesta, the countdown to summer beach season may be approaching all too rapidly. Pick up a new workout this spring from boxing to dance by using Jonathan Lawrence’s Smart Tip to alternative workouts in Calgary.

The warmer weather is the perfect opportunity to get out and explore some of Calgary’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, including Kensington, the East Village and Inglewood.

Though many of us will be enjoying the beautiful weather, many Calgarians will be predisposed starting April 9 as the NHL regular season draws to a close. The Calgary Flames appear to be poised to claim a playoff berth after a remarkable turnaround in the middle of the season – so if you don't get tickets to see Gaudreau and company in action, make sure you make your reservations at Calgary sports bars like Schanks or Home & Away early.

From CUFF to Calgary Poutine Week, there’s plenty on the docket this month in our city. Spring has clearly arrived – so hang up the winter jacket, hit a patio and make the most of an exciting month in Calgary.

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