Have you been meaning to go out on a date night and not really sure where to go? Or have you been asked on Bumble and you want to show off your knowledge of Calgary whilst still looking like a lot of fun?
Don’t worry, we understand: you just need to look a little more into cool bars, and be a little flexible on gaming. Cause that’s a lot of fun, alright? So here’s a list of places to go on a date in Calgary that you didn’t know about, or have been dying to go to and weren’t quite sure if they would work in a date setting (spoiler alert: they definitely will).
A little less secretive than the rest on this list, GRETA is Calgary’s newest arcade bar, giving off some crazy nostalgic (and pretty neon) vibes. Set in one of the busiest parts of downtown, GRETA caters to the gamer in all of us, with massive booths for Mario kart and the oldest pinball machines you can find on Ebay. Not to mention that their food is fashioned after classic international street food, with their kitchen actually set in a food truck. Be sure to check this place out on Tuesdays for game night, or even just for their food specials, because the greek donuts are literally to die (in Street Fighter) for.
2. Betty Lou’s Library
A red light, a one-way telephone, an endless list of passwords, and one-of-a-kind signature cocktails: these are just a few things this little speakeasy is known for. If you’re in the right circles, that is. Fashioned after classic 1920s speakeasies, Betty Lou’s offers themed, made-in-house cocktails and an extensive wine list that’ll definitely empty your wallet. Add some recently priced, fancy snacks, and you’ll start to feel like Josephine Baker, or Zelda Fitzgerald, depending on what you’re into. Just make sure to make a reservation — you don’t want to have to guess the password.
Ever wanted to drink in an apocalyptic underground bunker? Then Shelter has you covered. Recently featured on YYC Date Night’s Instagram, this bar has eerie, last-man-on-earth type of decor, and offers some of the best cocktail deals in the city — $7 Negroni hour, anyone? Add a pretty long list of surprisingly high-class local pickled and cured “rations” for anyone lucky enough to be invited from the nuclear storm, and you’ve got yourself a legendary night in the making. Just be sure to get there before bombs start to blow — and don’t forget your mask.
4. Boxcar Cafe
Switch up the traditional date with some board games and friendly competition. Featured on YYC Date Night and situated in the heart of Victoria Park, Boxcar is one of Calgary’s oldest and most popular board game cafes. With over 300 games on their shelves, a full-service menu, and coffee bar, this date night is sure to be a hit! Plus, they have some pretty crazy deals on wine: from BYOW Mondays to half wine Thursdays, you definitely have to try hard not to get a little lit on your date… unless that’s what you’re looking for.
5. GORO + GUN
Set pretty central on Stephen Avenue, GORO + GUN was started by two truck drivers in order to save a struggling noodle shop, which they absolutely succeeded. If you’re in the mood for ramen and traditional Japanese food, this is your place. Plus, GORO + GUN easily has one of the best Happy Hours in the city: every weekday from 3 pm to 6 pm, enjoy $5 sashimi, House Rolls, chicken teppanyaki, yam tempura, ramen burgers, and way more.