17th Avenue isn’t the only neighbourhood in Calgary we love. If we have an afternoon in the city, we always try to make it out to Kensington Village. Nominated as one of Canada’s Greatest Neighbourhoods, Kensington Village boasts a shopping district that is more than 100 years old. This is a bristling neighbourhood with a lot of potential for new developments and residents.
Every summer the Kensington business district hosts the Sun and Salsa festival, attracting more than 100,000 residents and visitors to celebrate and enjoy the sense of community that holds true in Kensington. This festival highlights some of the best in dining, entertainment and shops that Kensington Village can offer. Here are some of our favourites that we love to check out when we’re in the neighbourhood:
The Container Bar is one of the newest and coolest bars around Calgary. It is entirely made up of a shipping container and features upcycled furniture. A small escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy Calgary atmosphere, the Container Bar is designed to make you feel like you’ve gone on an adventure out of Calgary. BYOV (bring your own vinyl) is in full effect to add to the intimate setting and hipster vibe of this Calgary gem.
Hankering for some authentic, wood-fired, Napoletana pizza? Then you’ll want to go to Pucinella for a thin crust, slightly charred slice. We recommend the classic Margherita pizza,
Did someone say cupcake? For dessert make sure to head to Crave Cupcakes, the best source of the freshest and most delicious cupcakes this side of the Rockies, dare we say it? Early every morning since 2004, this sweet little bake shop has being creating some of the most delicious treats from scratch ranging from cupcakes, cookies and cakes. Our favourite is the Red Velvet Elvis Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Icing. Need we say more?
For after work drinks you’ll want to head to Kensington Pub, a true neighbourhood English pub. It’s not only great for catching the hockey or football game, but they have some of the neighbourhood’s best food as well. The service is always friendly, and you can’t go wrong with a classic pub burger.
Small time, intimate movie theaters have been fading in the recent past particularly in Vancouver. Plaza Theatre is still strong and going in the heart of Kensington Village. As one of the only remaining independent theatres, Plaza is your go to for indie/alternative films that you will not see in the big chain theatres. They are a strong supporter of the arts, including the International Film Festival and the Underground Film Festival. Plaza Theatre is a gem in Kensington, where you can watch great movies and know you are supporting local business and inspiring film makers.
Kensington Village is known as a Calgary’s Urban Village, where you can find over 250 fun and unique shops. We won’t cheat you out of first discovering the excitement of one of Kensington Village’s most pedestrian friendly neighbourhoods, but we can definitely start you off in the right direction. You might want to start at one of the many vintage clothing stores that Kensington is famous for. For the best in boutique shopping, you’ll want to stop by Kismet, where you’ll always find more than a few dresses to catch your eye in the window. Or check out The Bee Hive, a shop offering a variety of products made from honey and beeswax. Located in one of Calgary’s historic buildings, they support natural remedies and environmentalism.
Are you a music junkie? Then Hot Wax is where you’ll want to find yourself. Part flea market, part hipster’s paradise (as described on their website), the record store has tens of thousands of records including everything from the classics to new vinyl releases.
Thinking of checking out Kensington Village and all the goodies it has to offer? The loop layout of the neighbourhood makes your navigating easy, ensuring you won’t miss a thing.
These are only a few of our favourites in Kensington, but if you have some time in Calgary, explore the neighbourhood and let us know which goodies you find!