The baristas at Bean Brokers Cappuccino Bar brew a vast selection of fine coffees and teas and serve them alongside baked goods and cafe fare. Diners kick off feeding frenzies with verdant nibbles of a small salad followed by a to-go sandwich, perfect for mobile noshing or carpool-lane food fights. A 16-ounce coffee awakens mouths and minds, and a 16-ounce cup of tea adds a dash of balmy zen to harried schedules. Alternatively, customers can scoop up punch cards and trade them in for trios of 16-ounce lattes and scrumptious muffins. Bean Brokers accepts orders via text to ensure that feasts are ready and covered in savoury emoticons upon arrival.
A 2010 winner of the Calgary Choice awards for Best in Children’s Retail, Coffee & S’cream invites parents and kids alike to mingle and unwind in a shop that’s equal parts coffeehouse and playland. In the latter, colourful paintings of puzzle pieces dance across murals on the walls, echoing the soft mats that fit together to cover the floor, as pint-sized patrons slither down slides, pilot toy cars, and instill a working communist utopia within 30 seconds of playing. Meanwhile, adults sip smoothies or lattes from the coffee shop, whose menu of sandwiches, soups, and 27 flavours of ice cream keeps visitors of all ages sated.
Caffe Crema is a family-friendly coffeehouse serving up a steaming menu of specialty drinks concocted with locally roasted, direct-trade beans from Fratello Coffee Roasters, as well as light gourmet fare (food items not available with today's deal). Recharge your internal battery with a cup of French-pressed coffee or an espresso brewed with the Slayer, a specialty retro-styled espresso machine not found in many other Canadian locales. The expansive, relaxed lounge area is stocked with plump leather seating and a healthy bookcase, fostering an atmosphere conducive to quiet time with a laptop or a casual chat with friends. Caffe Crema's aromatic halls are also the site of monthly music events showcasing local talent scouted out by the café's own music coordinator.
Second Cup Coffee brews and serves tea and 26 different types of fair-trade coffee hailing from Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The full-bodied el toucan ($1.75–$2.25), harvested from the slopes of a Panamanian volcano, soothes souls like a billionaire's pet parrot with a rich and nutty flavour. Others can indulge in specialty drinks, such as a butter-pecan latte ($2.75–$4.85) or the iced vanilla-bean quencher made with creamy, pure Madagascar vanilla ($1.85–$4.85). Second Cup Coffee also offers mouth bones some sweet and tasty action with cookies ($1.25–$2.85) and cheesecake ($4.49). Customers can bask in the pleasure of a warm cafe treat or can update their Angela Lansbury fan blogs in the comforts of the large outdoor patio equipped with free WiFi. Second Cup Coffee also carries Rainforest Alliance coffee.
Inside a family-friendly dining room or amid a lively atmosphere filled with jukebox beats and the triumphant exclamations of kids scoring a point in a sports arcade game, diners devour bites of Dover Pizza Steak House & Lounge's Italian fare, including pizza, pasta, steak, and seafood. Sports fans catch the game on the lounge's HD TVs and chow down on an order of honey-garlic dry ribs, revelling in $0.25 wings on Monday and Wednesday. Every second Friday, the lounge hosts karaoke night and helps crooners forget their attempts to sing Beethoven's Third Symphony with Kahlua root beers and margaritas.
Tilted Grill whirls taste buds thanks to a dizzying array of international street fare, complemented by reimagined comfort fare, aged Alberta steaks, and specialty vodka and tequila. The menu assembles an all-star team of dishes handpicked by the Queen's special forces culinary unit, unearthing delicacies such as Southern Thailand's tiger-shrimp cake swaddling muscular prawns in aromatic shallots, ginger, kaffir-lime leaves, and lemongrass beside a reflecting pool of sweet curry sauce ($16). Marinated for two days in 18 herbs and spices, the peking crackling chicken flash-fries succulent fowl ($24), and the grilled-cheese fondue reimagines a comfort classic as it layers three cheeses, sliced pears, and cranberry compote ($13). Steaks cut from aged AAA Alberta beef come straddled by seasonal veggies and choice of signature comfort-fare side, such as apple coleslaw or a mashed-potato teddy bear ($27+ for an 8 oz. tenderloin). Outside, the 2,000-square-foot patio and its two fireplaces invite lively conversation about investing in exotic goats while swigging a Grasshopper wheat ale ($7.50/pt.) off the extensive drink menu.