One of my favorite things to discover when traveling are new, walkable neighborhoods. While staying in Calgary at the Kensington Riverside Inn, we discovered the very walkable neighborhood of Kensington. One of Calgary’s oldest neighborhoods, Kensington is going through a revitalization & is now full of cute boutique shops, cafes & restaurants.
Kensington’s streets are lined with everything from an inline stake shop (Shop Task) to Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut (try the salted caramel chocolate!) to Cuisine and Chateau (which offers cooking classes, including “date night” classes for couples) to Stilla (awesome, quirky accessories). It was such a great place to spend an afternoon exploring, as it reminded us a lot of the neighborhood we live in outside of Washington, DC: a little bit hipster, a little bit old school & a lotta bit friendly.
Here were some of my favorite places we visited:
Higher Ground Cafe: Kensington does have a Starbucks, but why go there when you can visit a local coffee shop? We stopped by Higher Grounds Cafe for a quick afternoon caffeine fix. Their three step program (on the blackboard below) may just be the answer to the world’s problems…
Crave Cupcakes: Crave hopped on the wildly successful cupcake bandwagon ten years ago & hasn’t looked back. They are cranking out freshly baked cupcakes on a daily basis in a variety of creative flavors like Crave-O-Licious (dark chocolate with vanilla buttercream icing dyed blue), Red Velvet Elvis, & Nutty Over Chocolate (chocolate with peanut butter icing). Not in the mood for an entire cupcake? Grab a mini one for a quick two-bite snack. Crave also makes cookies & some Icebox Cakes that look like something your grandmother whipped up in the 1950s.
Sunnyside Natural Market: We were surprised to see a Safeway supermarket in Calgary, as we have only ever known it as an U.S. store. But what really caught our eye was the Sunnyside Natural Market across the street. This fairly large, locally-sourced, organic market carries everything from produce to meat to a rather large freezer & refrigerated section. We popped in to grab a few granola bars, which made for the perfect snack the next day when we were hiking. I’ll take local market over chain grocery store any day of the week!
Peasant Cheese: Peasant Cheese is one of the newest arrivals in the Kensington neighborhood & not a moment too soon. Opened just last year, they serve up a variety of cheeses & everything you need for the perfect picnic. We picked up a few slices of gruyere & some ham to make sandwiches on locally baked buns. Or you can buy one of their freshly made sandwiches right in the store. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll get service with a smile. Your stomach will be smiling too.