A Perfect Day in Calgary

Our top 5 picks, including one of the country's best coffee shops and an upcoming arts neighbourhood.

9 a.m.

Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters

Photo: Elyse Bouvier

Skip the gym and head west to Edworthy Park for a morning run. With over two kilometres of trails and views of the Bow River, it’s popular with bikers, hikers and people from all walks of life. When you’re done, head to Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters for a single-source-origin espresso and an egg and crispy smoked meat sandwich. This Calgary chain’s latest outpost in the Mission neighbourhood is decked out with white-marble countertops, blond walls, original art and a state-of-the-art Kees van der Westen “Spirit” espresso machine.

Edworthy Park, calgary.ca/CSPS/Parks
Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters, 2207 4th St. S.W., philsebastian.com

11 a.m.


With privatization and no sales tax, Alberta is the perfect place to add a few bottles to your cellar. Tucked away in the back of the Cookbook Company, you’ll find a wine shop co-owned and operated by sommelier Richard Harvey. Specializing in small artisanal producers, Metrovino favours Burgundies from France’s Domaine Michel Lafarge as well as the wines of Comte Armand. And should you want a crisp white, Harvey can recommend an affordable standout from B.C.’s Naramata Bench.

722 11th Ave. S.W., metrovino.com

1 p.m.

RIver Cafe

Situated in Prince’s Island Park, River Café serves up local produce, from Olson’s High Country Bison and Spragg’s Meat Shop pork to locally raised eggplant and strawberries. Chef Andrew Winfield was recently cited Canada’s Outstanding Chef at the 2014 Terroir Symposium. Dine in or order a picnic basket – with 24 hours advance notice, the restaurant will supply you with utensils, linen, beverage, choice of sandwiches or entrées, fresh fruits and a homemade dessert.

25 Prince’s Island Park, river-cafe.com

3 p.m.

Esker Foundation

Dean, installation view of Janet Werner, “Another Perfect Day,” curated by Kent Archer, organized by Kenderdine Art Gallery/College Art Galleries, University of Saskatchewan

Inglewood’s once empty warehouses and packing plants have given way to a mix of design stores, cafés and contemporary galleries. Check out the custom suiting for men at Espy, then stop by the Esker Foundation, located on the top floor of the Atlantic Avenue Art Block, a four-storey building dedicated to retail and art galleries that show works by emerging as well as established contemporary artists. An integral part of the Art Block, the Project Space is home to a rotating series of displays visible from the street 24 hours a day.

Espy, 1009 9th Ave. S.E., espyexperience.com
Esker Foundation, 1011 9th Ave. S.E., eskerfoundation.com

8 p.m.


Photo: Dong Kim

A business-crowd favourite for lunch, Downtownfood is also a great spot for contemporary Canadian cuisine with a fusion twist at night (think wild boar chop with bok choy). The spicy scallop maki starter is a sure bet, while housemade macarons with honey from the rooftop garden and apiary are a great way to finish your meal. On Monday nights, chef Darren MacLean and his friend Jay del Corro host 628 Night Market, a weekly evening devoted to Asian street food, including his own hand-pulled ramen.

628 8th Ave. S.W.