The best of Calgary this October

By Sarah Sussman

As temperatures start to drop and the leaves change colour, Calgarians are lucky to see more than a few days of autumn before the winter snowfalls arrive. So make the most of the short fall season this October by digging in at the city’s newest restaurant openings, sipping on some adventurous new craft beers, getting cozy and finding some alternative ways to get into the Halloween spirit. Here’s the best of Calgary this October. [Photo credit: Sarah Sussman]

The best of Calgary this October

Favourite new spots to eat and drink

Located in the heart of Britannia just outside of the city centre, Elbow Room offers a modern twist on Canadian cuisine with chef Ryan Blackwell’s decadent menu of dishes made with regionally sourced ingredients. Located in a brand new building designed by Sarah Ward Interiors, Elbow Room boasts massive sunlit windows and an angled “elbow” inspired interior. If you’re hankering for some comfort food, try the Sungold roasted lamb with savoury wild mushroom baklava, lemon thyme carrots and olive tapenade.

Comic-loving craft beer fans, rejoice! Zero Issue Brewing’s tap room is finally open. Located in the city’s northeast (just a short few minutes away from Dandy Brewing Company), Zero Issue is the brainchild of brothers Mark and Kirk MacDonald. After delving into home brewing as a way to spend more time together, the pair eventually decided to open up their own brewery. Try the Nemesis IPA, a labour of love that Kirk brewed to resemble orange juice. It packs a huge punch of citrus and mango, with a smooth bitterness throughout.

Cold weather usually sets off some major carb cravings. Thankfully, Calgary has a ton of new bakeries and patisseries popping up across the city. One of the sweetest new additions to the East Village, Mari Bakeshop is a cute European style bakery and patisserie specializing in Korean roll cakes, bite sized French choux, European breads and more. If you want some seriously Instagram-worthy treats, head to the newly-opened 8Cakes cake shop in Marda Loop for dreamy cakes and cookies that are so beautiful you’ll (almost) feel guilty about eating them.

For anyone wondering what happened to La Vita é Bella in Victoria Park, it’s gotten a new facelift and will reopen as Cardinale later this month. Still under the same ownership and management as before, the eatery has revamped its interior to offer guests a more casual dining environment. The bar is now located right at the restaurant entrance, where general manager Graham Teare serves up his adventurous original cocktails made with Italian liquors and spirits. In the kitchen Steven Dowdell uses regionally sourced ingredients to put his own modern spin on Italian cuisine. Deep fried bocconcini salad? Yes, please. Bone marrow on pasta? Life changing.

Dates to mark on the calendar

From Oct. 21 to 22, head over to the BMO Centre for the annual Calgary Woman’s Show. Celebrate women (and everything women love) with fashion shows, beauty boutique pop-ups, food and free samples galore. Doug Davidson (aka: Paul Williams from The Young and the Restless) will be making an appearance. And if you’re a diehard fan, you can purchase tickets to a private meet and greet reception at Melrose Café & Bar Oct. 21.

For those who want to get into the spirit of Halloween this month, Alberta Parks veteran Wayne Meikle hosts a chillingly spooky ghost tour through Fish Creek Provincial Park on Oct. 24. The tour begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $7 for admission. If you’re really looking to shake up your Halloween routine this year, head to the upscale Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant Oct. 26 for a special edition murder mystery dinner. Dig in to a three-course meal of severed head jack-o-lanterns (stuffed peppers), werewolf (beef tenderloin) and vampire cheesecake, and witness a murder mystery unfold over the course of the evening.

For a Halloween outing the whole family can enjoy, visit Heritage Park from Oct. 26 to 29 for Ghouls’ Night Out. The four-day event sees the historic Heritage Park decked out for Halloween with tons of family-friendly activities including “ginger dead man” decorating, witch flying school and more.


More fun things to do in Calgary this October:


The best of the rest

As the temperature drop starts to kick in, make the most of the season by introducing some hygge into your life. The Danish and Norwegian philosophy centres around the idea of comfort, coziness and togetherness – so treat yourself, because you deserve it. Grab a cozy mug of coffee from Analog or snuggle up to some cats at the Regal Cat Café. You may even want to spend an evening catching up with loved ones over some board games at Boxcar Café or Hexagon Café.

Make sure you buy yourself a new blanket this season – it’s an essential hygge staple. Treat yourself with a visit to 28 Blankets in Inglewood and buy the coziest blanket you can get your hands on. If you’re more of a DIY type, the nearby Stash knitting boutique hosts dozens of weekly knitting and crafting classes. Learn how to make a big cozy cardigan or learn to crochet your own winter hat.

Calgary’s municipal election takes place this year Oct. 16, so make sure you get out and cast your vote. There have been some major discussions about infrastructure, the economy, revamping the city and increasing employment. Make sure you know where to vote, and make sure you bring eligible identification with you when you show up at the polls.

Just because the temperatures are dropping doesn’t mean you have to hide away this month. Get out and fill your belly with fall comfort food, get into the festive Halloween spirit and cozy up your life by introducing more hygge into your world. Use October 2017 as an opportunity to treat yourself and indulge in some of life’s little pleasures.

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