Eat + Drink

Coffee Shop Goals: Calgary’s Café Culture Takes Off

In recent years coffee culture has become a sophisticated aspect of Calgary’s flourishing culinary scene.

While the city has seen its fair share of third-wave coffee shops over the last decade, the new kids on the Calgary coffee-shop block are knocking it out of the park in terms of locally roasted beans, stylish shop design and partnerships with other local producers for their food programs.

Here’re five shops that hit the mark.

Monogram Coffee, Fifth Avenue Place

calgary coffee shops
Pay your due at the Monogram Honour Bar. (Photo: Courtesy of Monogram Coffee)

Combining great coffee, sleek design and a health-focused food program, Monogram Coffee is one of the industry leaders in the city. With two cafés now open (the other in Altadore), the Fifth Avenue Place location is a hotbed of activity for Calgary’s corporate crowd.

Designed by the owners themselves, the café is bright and open with natural wood tables and bars, a tiled feature wall and plenty of green plants adorning the space. Roasting their own whole-bean coffee, they work with Transcend Coffee in Edmonton, Alberta, to bring fresh new bean varieties to their cafés regularly.

One of the most unique aspects of Monogram Coffee, Fifth Avenue Place, is their honor bar, where customers purchasing pastries and brewed coffee can simply pick up their items using a self-serve payment system.

Analog Coffee

calgary coffee shops
Analog welcomes all patrons — even the four-legged kind, like Lola, pictured at right. (Photo: Courtesy of Analog Coffee)

Now a mainstay on the bustling 17th Avenue SW, Analog Coffee is arguably one of the most well-known cafés in Calgary. Owned by Fratello Coffee, this family business has been in the coffee roasting industry for nearly 30 years.

With well-trained baristas dedicated to educating customers on the best coffee gear, beans and brewing practices, the Analog Café is a hub for coffee lovers. If you have questions about how to make the perfect cup of coffee at home, their helpful staff will gladly assist you in that process.

Notably a great place to people watch with the large window seating and sidewalk patio, the café is also an excellent spot to pick up pastries and treats made by their sister company Corbeaux Bakery.

NHBR Coffee

NHBR Coffee, the sister café to popular grab-and-go market Our Daily Brett, is a staple for coffee lovers in Calgary’s Altadore neighborhood. They are the only café in Calgary to serve up the Nova Scotia–based Anchored Coffee — a Canadian coffee brand with a cult following — but also offer unique coffee alternatives like their Turmeric Coconut Latte and Mexican Hot Chocolate.

The dog-friendly NHBR Coffee focuses on creating a welcoming community spot with ample outdoor bench and table seating for coffee and food lovers from across the city. Their Instagram account features NHBR’s Dog of the Week, so pop by with your pup for a chance to be featured. Their food menu features plant-forward grab-and-go options like the Fried Banana + Almond Butter rice pot or the Beet Paté Toast.

Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters, Mission

calgary coffee shops
Behind the bar at Phil & Sebastian. (Photos: Courtesy of Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters)

Nestled in the heart of Mission’s busy 4th Street, the Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters café is a Calgary mainstay for great coffee. One of seven P&S locations, the Mission café is a warm and cozy space with floor-to-ceiling teak walls and a striking marble countertop that flanks the entire coffee and food-prep area. Pull up a stool at the communal table under the quirky portraits of owners Phil and Sebastian.

P&S is known for sourcing quality coffee beans from all over the world. Once sourced and imported, the beans are roasted locally in the P&S roasting facility. Experimenting with the latest in coffee-brewing technology, the baristas at P&S are fluent in many different brewing methods, from pour-overs to AeroPress.

Folks who love the coffee-shop vibe but want to indulge in an alcoholic beverage can pop in after dark and enjoy a beer or a glass of wine from their carefully curated drinks list.

Little Henry Café

Tucked in the front of the notable plant-forward restaurant Ten Foot Henry in the neighborhood of Victoria Park, Little Henry Café is a great spot for picking up your morning coffee thanks to its close proximity to downtown Calgary. Well-suited to afternoon coffee meetings, the small café has great table and bar seating with streetside window views.

Their coffee is 100 percent organic and fair trade, roasted locally by The Roasterie, a well-know coffee shop in the Kensington neighborhood. They even serve “bullet proof” coffee, blended with grass-fed butter and Brain Octane oil, as well as Warm Elixirs such as golden milk — a blend of almond milk, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and honey.

Their grab-and-go shop is filled with tasty baked goods and lunch items like their famous cherry-stuffed donuts and superfood salad in a jar.