Originally the ancestral land of the Blackfoot Nation, Calgary’s East Village became a warehouse district in the early 1900s but later fell into decline. Over the last 15 years, though, development has transformed the area into one of the Canadian city’s hippest neighborhoods, boasting the award-winning Central Library, restaurants, tech workshops, and more.
Chef Mikko Tamarra brings his experience from working in kitchens in Mexico and Peru to the menu at this restaurant, located in a former textile factory. Dishes range from chilpachole (a Mexican Gulf Coast seafood stew) to empanadas served with guasacaca (avocado salsa). The recipe for the latter, owner Nick Suche says, “is passed down from chef Mikko’s partner’s Colombian grandmother.”
Bow Cycle E-Bikes
A fixture in the west Calgary neighborhood of Bowness, Bow Cycle recently expanded to East Village because the area has “plenty of amenities,” according to store manager Adam Hatcher. “Our pedal-assist e-bikes are great for exploring the river pathway and public parks,” he adds. Customers can ride right across the George C. King Bridge to the 31-acre green space on St. Patrick’s Island.
Alt Hotel Calgary East Village
The Canadian-owned hospitality company Germain Hôtels opened this 152-room property in 2018. The hotel features a container-module design, artsy graphic details such as a cheeky fox mural in the rooms, and large windows that look out on the Bow River. On-site dining options include sushi and plant-based dishes at Nupo, as well as an omakase experience at Eight.
Honoring Life Givers North to South Mural
Calgary’s Blackfoot name, Mohkinstsis, refers to the bend in the Elbow River. Near the confluence of the Elbow and Bow rivers, on Treaty 7 territory, artists bb iskwew and La Morena created this mural for the 2022 BUMP Festival depicting the artist Alanna Bluebird-Onespot, a woman from the Tsuut’ina First Nation whose visage represents the matriarchal connection to the land.
Anne Sellmer opened this chocoholic’s dream spot in 2022. “Sipping our on-tap drinking chocolate, the cool older sister to your childhood hot cocoa, perfectly embodies the feeling of discovering a secret treasure,” she says. Her use of local ingredients and unconventional flavors (sponge toffee, Sriracha) reflects the district’s “mix of innovation and tradition, art and science.”
One of Canada’s oldest blues bars, the King Eddy welcomed legends such as B.B. King and Buddy Guy before closing in 2004. A multimillion-dollar transformation completed in 2018 incorporated the Eddy into the National Music Centre’s Studio Bell and reestablished it as a venue. “We’re a smaller room,” says general manager Ryan McLeish, “so the vibe is intimate, and the live music offerings are eclectic.”