Rewardful list: Summer treats in Calgary

November 17, 2020

There’s no bad time to indulge in ice cream, but when it’s scorching hot outside and you just need that afternoon pick-me-up? We’ve got you covered. 

Neo is partnered with over 500 stores in Calgary and lucky for us, there’s no shortage of sweet summer treats to go around. From ice cream shops to the hottest restaurants and coolest cocktails in between, here are 10 places you need to visit in Calgary for summer indulgences.

1. Amato Gelato 
Photo by Amato Gelato

This gem in Kensington has been serving Calgarians since 2003. They have over 72 gelato flavours, so there’s quite literally something for everyone. Their authentic Italian gelato is made from quality handpicked ingredients and they have speciality desserts and dairy-free sorbetto options too. 

Try fan favourites like Orange Creamsicle, Espresso Flake and Pistachio. But really, you could close your eyes, point to any flavour and not go wrong. Plus, we love Amato’s rich family history that dates back four generations from rural Italy to Canada.

Location: 7-2104 Kensington Rd NW

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2. Annex Ale Project
Photo by Annex Ale

Who said breweries had to be dark and industrial? Annex Ale’s stunning tap room with all the modern touches and spacious patio is basically your new summer haven. They’ve got tons of flights, growlers and non-alcoholic options–the whole shebang. The Good Authority Golden Ale is one you’ll need to get your hands on this summer.

Location: 4323 1 St SE

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3. Pie Junkie

Photo by Pie Junkie

With a name like theirs, you can trust they know what they’re doing. Pie Junkie offers freshly baked pies for your sweet tooth, with buttery crusts and fillings all made from scratch in small batches. And they have a wide selection of savoury pies to choose from that are proudly Alberta beef, pork and lamb. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, go with the Banana Toffee or Strawberry Rhubarb. For heartier flavour, try the Steak Stout & Gruyere or Jamaican Hand Pie.

Location: 081 2 Ave NW, 8 Spruce Centre SW and 2171 Mahogany Blvd SW

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4. Civic Tavern

Photo by Civic Tavern

Tucked away in Victoria Park, you could easily mistake this place for a regular house if it weren’t for the giant “PUB” sign. But you can’t blame them for trying to be homey because that’s exactly how it feels inside and out. It’s like you’re at your friend’s or neighbour’s house, and they’ve even got a front lawn patio that’s great for catching the sunshine.

Civic Tavern is a great spot to kick back with friends and enjoy a cold one. They serve up amazing craft beer, cider and mead. And it all goes down easy with their homemade, locally sourced pizza. 

Location: 213 12th Avenue SW

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5. Crave Cupcakes

Photo by Crave Cupcakes

Sometimes you just need a cupcake, or a dozen. And there's no better place to go to than Crave. Their irresistible buttercream icing can't be replicated and comes at the perfect ratio to dense and fluffy cake. You can try a bit of every flavour by ordering their assorted bite-sized cupcakes.

The fan favourites are the Crave-o-licious and Red Velvet, which you can enjoy all year long. But we highly recommend getting a taste of their Strawberry Cheesecake in the summer time, which is only available for the month of August!

Location: Kensington (1107 Kensington Road NW), Willow Park (222-10816 Macleod Trail SE), Aspen Landing (106, 318 Aspen Glen Landing SW), Crowfoot (#57 Crowfoot Terrace NW)

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6. Village Ice Cream

Photo by Village Ice Cream

Swing by the city’s staple ice cream shop. You can smell their sweet waffle cones from a mile away and if that's not enough to draw you in, their thoughtfully curated selection of ice cream will do the trick. Small-batches of creamy Salted Caramel, Toasted Coconut, or Maple Pecan are the perfect way to cool off on a hot day. Enjoy their patio at the Victoria Park location, snap a few photos at their “We are all Villagers” wall and relax on the steps nearby.

Location: Victoria Park (510 77 Ave SE), Britannia Plaza (820 49 Ave SW), Garrison Corner (2406 34 Ave SW)

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7. Lina’s Italian Market

Photo by Lina's Italian Market

You have to get groceries no matter the weather, but Lina’s makes summer shopping more refreshing with their cappuccino bar and deli shop located inside. Enjoy their tried and true iced Caffe Mocha (espresso that’s blended with rich dark chocolate and whipped cream), or the Espresso Tempesto if you prefer a smooth black coffee.

And if you’re hungry, stop by at lunchtime for soup and sandwiches, pasta of the day, pizza by the slice (or whole) and Italian desserts made fresh every day.

Location: 2202 Centre St NE

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8. CRAFT Beer Market

Photo by CRAFT Beer Market

If you’re looking for the perfect patio this season, look no further and head straight for CRAFT. Their brand spanking new rooftop patio has all the summer vibes with superb views of downtown Calgary, and it seats 300 people comfortably. That’s right. Tons of room for play.

Round up your friends and challenge them on the bocce ball courts, cornhole shoots and shuffleboards. Plus, you can choose from 120 different beers on tap, including local house beer like their Sour Blueberry Ale and international favourites. Try the fried pickles and divine mac and cheese while you’re at it.

(Coming soon to Neo!)

Location: 345 10 Ave SW

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9. Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters

Photo by Phil & Sebastian

With five locations open around town, this coffee shop re-energizes you while tantalizing your taste buds with seasonal, direct trade coffee offerings. Quality coffee is no doubt their focus, but if you’re into alternatives, their iced spicy chai latte is sure to cool you off too.

If you’re at their Marda Loop, Mission or Calgary Place cafes, treat yourself to a Hoopla Donut! Or visit their East Village location to watch the coffee roasting in-person then take in the gorgeous Bow River view.

Locations: Simmons (618 Confluence Way SE), Mission (2207 4 St SW), Marda Loop (2043 33 Ave SW), Chinook Centre (6455 Macleod Trail SW), Calgary Place (#248, 414 3rd St SW) and Stephen Ave (102 8 Avenue SW - currently closed due to COVID).

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10. Jelly Modern Doughnuts

Photo by Jelly Modern Doughnuts

Packed full of flavour and unbelievably fluffy every time. Doughnuts at Jelly Modern are so good there’s even one named after Mayor Nenshi (Nenshi’s Salted Caramel). They use local and organic ingredients and are inspired by fond childhood memories of small-town bakeries. 

Catch a whiff of freshly baked goods when you walk into the bakery and just know you’ll probably be back again soon. Plus, you can even order mini doughnuts. We recommend trying the Maple Bacon, the Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Peanut Butter Cup and of course, Nenshi’s Salted Caramel.

Location: 100 1414 8 Street SW

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We’re ending off on a sweet note and so should you. Neo is partnered with all these merchants and over 500 more around Calgary to reward our members with up to 20% cashback rewards. These are such sweet offers you can’t get anywhere else. Get a taste of these rewarding summer treats, and automatically get rewarded when you pay with Neo. 

Learn more about the Neo Card and rewards you can earn in Calgary.