Last updated on May 28, 2023 by Wandering our World
Welcome to Calgary! Located in the western province of Alberta, this beautiful city sits at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers between the incredible foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the Canadian prairies.
This is a bar-hopping, club lover’s paradise and let’s not forget about all those trendy jazz bars. Calgary nightlife is a blast and if you thought Canadians didn’t know how to party, you’re in for a big surprise.
There are no shortages of options when it comes to those late-night parties. From traditional pubs to buzzing nightclubs and incredible live music, Calgary nightlife won’t leave you feeling disappointed.
So, get ready for a night of outrageous fun in this vibrant, friendly, and exciting city.
- Our Favorite Live Music Spots
- The Top Bars & Party Spots
- Our Favorite Places To Eat
- Late-Night Food Options In Calgary
- Our Favorite Calgary Nightlife Picks For Each Night Of The Week
Our Favorite Live Music Spots in Calgary
If you are a fan of live music, then Calgary is your kind of city. Reputedly known as the Country Music Capital of Canada, it has now become a local hotspot for just about every genre.
If you were in any doubt about Calgary’s love of live music, there is even a non-profit organization dedicated to the live music scene called the Music Mile. This is the coolest stretch of live music in Calgary and it connects two of their best-loved and most walkable neighborhoods, Inglewood and East Village. There you will find live entertainment every day and most importantly every night in over 20 venues, patios, and streets.
As for our two favorite live music spots in Calgary, they’re below:
1. The Blues Can
The Blues Can is easily one of our Calgary nightlife favorites as it hosts live music 7 days a week. It’s a great spot for a night out and they showcase both local and international talent, plus they have great open mic nights and jam sessions.
And there’s nothing better than a bit of southern soul food to accompany the blues vibes they have here. Take your pick from Jambalaya, Blackened Catfish, or Louisiana BBQ pork ribs. If you’re not in the mood for a full-on meal, they have great sides that will keep you going through the night, and for the brave, you can always give the breaded frog legs a bash.
They are open 7 days a week and close at around 2:00 am.
Location: 1429 9 Ave SE, Calgary
2. Betty Lou’s Library
There is something fun about a venue that you can only enter with a password!! Betty Lou’s is definitely old school. It’s an incredible combination of the 1920s Prohibition era mixed with a bit of Parisian glamor. Think vintage red velvet chairs and chandeliers and the best hand-crafted cocktails for miles.
Here you will find jazz bands, local musicians, dancers, and burlesque shows. This is not the type of place where you will be downing 20 shooters, but instead making cocktails takes time here and you’ll find all the classics plus some variations – we highly recommend giving the Josephine Baker or the Zelda Fitzgerald a bash.
Food-wise, you can’t beat their menu offering the perfect choice of small plates and they pride themselves on sourcing only the best and freshest ingredients around.
We weren’t joking when we said you need a password – passwords are given to guests with confirmed reservations. Although they will try and accommodate walk-ins, we don’t recommend it as you may to be turned away. Reservations have a time limit of 2 hours per visit except on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays when you can stay for the whole evening.
This Calgary nightlife venue is open Tuesdays through to Sundays and close at 11:00 pm except Friday and Saturday nights where they stay open until midnight.
Location: The Devenish Building, 908 17 Avenue Southwest, Calgary
Our Seven Top Bars and Party Spots in Calgary
Calgary nightlife awaits. Bars, clubs – well here in Calgary you can party just about anywhere. From friendly and bustling pubs to pumping clubs, we’ve got you covered. So get into party mode, it’s going to be a night to remember!!
1. Blind Beggar Smokehouse & Bar
The Blind Beggar has everything you need. They serve the best smoked meats and great sides, craft beers and cocktails, and to top it all there is even live music! Their huge 50-seater outdoor heated patio is a favorite of ours too and the perfect place to hang out with friends and start your Calgary nightlife adventure.
They boast that people come for the food but stay for the great atmosphere, drinks, entertainment and music and we completely agree! Tuesday nights are comedy nights, but we really love their live bands on Fridays and Saturdays. Thursday nights are open jam where you’ll be surprised by just how great some of the local talent is.
When it comes to food, there is a fantastic choice from small bites through to family-sized platters which are great for sharing with friends over a perfectly poured craft beer. They’re big supporters of local breweries too, so you won’t be disappointed if you’re a craft beer fan. And if beer isn’t your thing, try one of their signature cocktails like the Beggar Smash. They do pour a mean Old Fashioned too.
The Blind Beggar is open from 4:00 pm on Tuesdays to Saturdays and they close late – which generally means around 2:00 am on busy nights.
Location: 4608 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary
2. Broken City
This is one of our favorite Calgary nightlife bars – it’s rustic, unique and has its own authentic vibe.
Décor wise, it’s eclectic to say the least. So don’t be surprised by the graffiti’d bathrooms and their hand-painted rooftop patio which is one of a kind.
Broken City has it all, the music scene is diverse here with everything from local bands to those big shows – hip-hop club nights, rock n’ roll, some of the wildest DJ sets, and they even host the odd karaoke night.
They have an extensive drinks menu featuring some outstanding drafts, like the Ol’ Beautiful Brass Monkey and the Lawnmower Lager. If you’re in the mood for cocktails, we highly recommend their Harvey Wallbanger or Tequila Sunrise.
And their food is right up there as well. We love their chicken wings, and the Broken City burger is guaranteed to fill the spot.
Broken City is open 7 days a week from 4:00 pm to 2:00 am.
Location: 613 11 Ave SW, Calgary
3. Commonwealth Bar & Stage
Housed in a double-story warehouse, this industrial club with its vintage feel is a brilliant place for drinks and dancing. It even has 4 bars!
With two levels of jam-packed dance floors and let’s not forget those 4 bars, you won’t need to go anywhere else. The vibe and décor ooze cool and trendy and they definitely live up to their motto of an “Uncommon Bar for Common People”. Drinks flow freely as does the food but most of all we are there for the party and they sure know how to party at the Commonwealth!
They are open on Friday and Saturday nights from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am but keep an eye out for special events during the week.
Location: 731 10 Ave SW, Calgary
4. Fire n Ice
Get ready for a complete Calgary nightlife sensory overload experience – it’s the combination of sheesha lounge and nightclub that does it. Fire n Ice have a neon-lit lounge that’s incredible and there is always something happening here. Expect the unexpected as Fire n Ice screams non-stop party!
The DJs get the floor buzzing and pumping to the sounds of hip-hop, rap and old school most nights except for those special themed occasions.
Thursday night is Ladies’ Night and we love the half-price champagne and wine specials. Sunday nights are for those Latin music lovers and if you’re feeling a tad outrageous, you’re going to love their Bollywood Saturdays.
Fire n Ice is open 7 days a week until 2:00 am.
Location: 854 16 Ave SW, Calgary
5. Greta Bar
Greta’s is different, think bar, think arcade, think street food, now add them all together and you’ve got Greta Bar. You can simply refer to it as a “barcade” if you prefer.
Grab a bite before you head off to beat your best PacMan score or party until closing – nothing great has been achieved on an empty stomach.
Here at Greta’s the atmosphere can only be described as colorful and vibrant with its pumping music plus an indoor food truck serving street food from around the world. And then there are those 50 odd arcade games to beat and yes, there is even a dance floor!! Stretched over 2 floors, you’re never sure what you should try next – it’s entertainment on a whole new level and we haven’t even gotten to the drinks yet.
You know we love cocktails, and our absolute best is the Dog Days of Summer made from your choice of tequila or gin (lose the gin, stick to the tequila!) served with cucumber, mint, vanilla syrup, citrus and grapefruit juice.
But then there is also the Marmalade Whiskey Sour. Considering you are already there, you may as well try both. The drinks menu won’t disappoint with the wide selection of wine and beer. And if that’s not enough, you have to respect a place that has an all-day happy hour… that day is Wednesdays, so no wonder it’s our new favorite day of the week.
Greta’s is open Tuesday through to Sunday until 2:00 am.
Location: 213 10 Ave SW, Calgary
6. Milk Tiger Lounge
We think – and hope -when they say milk tiger, they’re referring just to cocktails!
The cocktail menu here boasts around 45 different cocktails, so this is a Calgary nightlife cocktail paradise. You’re bound to find the one you love but if not, the barman will happily recreate it for you. But before you go ordering your go-to drink, we recommend giving the Corpse Reviver or the El Diablo a try. Just a warning on the El Diablo, it’s not your usual tequila-tasting cocktail, it’s sneakily very nice and you always want to order another one.
Away from cocktails, the drinks menu has a great selection of beers, wine, and spirits. And with all those drinks you definitely should order their Green Gumbo Clams and the Beer Battered Shrimps.
This is one of those places you intend to pop in for just a quick drink and bite and before you know it, it’s closing time!
They are open 7 days a week until around 2:00 am.
Location: 1410 4 St SW, Calgary
We are major fans of this authentic old-school cocktail bar. They see themselves as a ”bastion of classic cocktail culture dedicated to old-fashioned service.” And making drinks does appear a serious business at Proof as these aren’t just any old cocktails they create. In fact they take their inspiration for their cocktails from the literature that they love.
This is an artform and we really can’t phrase it any better than they do – “We have created an homage to the characters, themes and prose within these masterworks. Like in all art, we have borrowed from others and included our interpretation, to create an original piece through the art of the cocktail.”
But before you think we have lost the plot – we have to admit that the thought of a literary cocktail sounds rather bizzare. But that’s until you order The Rusty Blade, About Figging Time or The Boxer and the Smith. And don’t worry if you’re not into the literary experience, they have a great range of beer and wine.
Proof is open 7 days a week and closes at 1:00 am Tuesday to Saturday and at midnight on Sunday and Monday nights. Make sure to pop in for their daily happy hour from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Location: 1302 1 St SW, Calgary
Our Favorite Places To Eat in Calgary
Calgary has a rapidly growing diverse culinary scene and is renowned for its beef and bison. In fact the province of Alberta boasts that it has more cattle than people! Fresh local produce is in abundance too, and Alberta is known for its root vegetables, saskatoon berries, canola, and honey.
Considering that, you won’t battle to find the perfect fine dining restaurants or cozy bistro in the city., No matter what you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it here in Calgary as it’s fast becoming a global foodie heaven.
But you can’t leave Calgary without ordering the perfectly grilled local steak or trying some of those Bison short ribs at least once!!
1. Caesar’s Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar
As we said, Calgary is renowned for its beef and if you’re looking for a combination of fine-dining and incredible beef, then Caesar’s is for you!
As they say, “Our bread and butter is beef (figuratively speaking).” At Caesar’s, a steak dinner isn’t just a steak dinner, it’s a ritual they take very seriously. Their Alberta beef is cut to order and charbroiled over an open-flame grill but the secret is in the spice which they have perfected over the past 50 years.
And as everyone knows, you can’t have a perfect steak without a perfect glass of wine. Caesar’s wine list is extensive. If wine isn’t your thing, make sure to try The Bloody Caesar cocktail, it’s their own version and at a whole 3 ounces, you may just want to stick to just one.
But what we really love about Caesar’s is the attention to detail they have, and this traditional restaurant with its dark wood finishes and burgundy leather is only surpassed by its unrivaled service. Caesars hasn’t changed ownership since it was established in 1972 and you can tell!
Caesars is open daily until 10:00 pm.
Location: 512 4 Ave SW, Calgary
2. Vero Bistro Moderne
Vero means true in Italian and for Chef Jenny this means, “Staying ‘true’ to my passion which is cooking. What is really important to me is the flavor of the food, it has to taste great.., and that’s what I strive for every day.”
Vero Bistro Moderna manages to effortlessly combine the words relaxed and elegant across everything they do. At Vero, you will be served the finest Italian Fusion cuisine around. Priority is placed on fresh organic ingredients all locally sourced and every meal is jam-packed with flavor.
We highly recommend their 4-course menu and for a bit extra you can include wine pairings – trust us on this one, it’s well worth it. Our favorites include the Champagne Butter Poached Jumbo Prawns, the Signature Sweet Potato Gnocchi served with, amongst other things, wild boar bacon. Vero Bistro Moderna is known for some of the best Risotto around.
Veros is open for dinner Wednesdays through to Sundays until 10:00 pm
Location: 209 10 St NW, Calgary
3. Gaga Pizzeria
We can’t be fine-dining every night and who doesn’t love a good pizza?
We love the friendly atmosphere at Gaga Pizzeria and they seriously do make some of the best pizza in Calgary. The ‘Mamma Mia made’ with mozzarella, capiccollo, olives, Italian sausage, mushrooms, and hot peppers is one of our firm favorites!
Gaga’s is open daily until 8:00 pm, bar Friday nights where they stay open until 10:00 pm. Yes, it’s an early spot but it is the ideal way to line your stomach before hitting those bars and clubs.
Location: 1236 12 Ave SW, Calgary
Late-Night Food Options in Calgary
We get it, those few drinks turn into a complete party and now it’s after 10:00 pm and you’re in dire need of a bite before heading to the club. It happens all the time, but fortunately there are a few late-night food options in the city.
1. Singapore Sam’s
This well-loved restaurant has been around for over 30 years and serves great Peking-style Chinese food – they even claim to have the best Ginger Beef in all of Calgary. Not only is this a great late-night food option but it also has a great vibe and is known as the after-party spot once all the bars and clubs have closed.
Singapore Sams is open 7 days a week, closing at 11:30 pm, Sunday through Wednesday, and at 4:00 am on Thursdays to Saturdays.
Location: 555 11th Avenue SW, Calgary
2. Blowers & Grafton Mission
B&G is the place to go if you’re craving some East coast street food. This locally owned restaurant is “where Halifax street food meets east coast hospitality,” and we love going there for a bite whether it’s late at night or not.
The menu is full of amazing food and we’re never sure if we should order The OG Halifax Donair and Garlic Fingers or the Mini Lobster Rolls and chips. No matter what you decide, washing it down with a craft beer or one of their specialty cocktails is a great way to end the night.
We also love their Happy Hali Hour where there is plenty of food and drink specials. The first session is from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and then from 9:00 pm until closing. So, in other words, you can grab a late-night bite and enjoy happy hour at the same time.
They are open 7 days a week and you can order food up until 11:45 pm, Sunday through Thursday, and 1:45 am on Friday and Saturday nights.
Location: 2120 4th Street SW, Calgary
3. U & Me
Just because it’s late, doesn’t mean you can’t eat in style! U & Me is a favorite of ours for those late-night bites and that’s because they never compromise on quality no matter what the time is.
This Asian restaurant simply serves the best dim sum and steamed shrimp dumplings! Now that the starters are finished, you have to try their Pickled Cabbage and Tender Beef Fried Noodles or the Golden Mushroom and Pork Fried Yee Mein.
U & Me is open from Wednesdays through to Mondays until 4:00 am! They’re a Calgary nightlife staple!
Location: 233 Centre Street South, Calgary
And For Something a Little Different….
If you find yourself in Calgary in July, you have to check out the Calgary Stampede.
This festival which takes place over ten days is the largest rodeo in the world! Ten days of rodeo, concerts, and festivals. You may just need to take another holiday to recover.
Our Favorite Picks For Each Night of the Week
When it comes to nightlife in Calgary, there is always an exciting option regardless of what day it is.
Here are our top picks for each night of the week, so put your party boots on and head out for a night of fun, food, wine, cocktails, and shooters – the choices are endless!!
We feel it’s always wise to start the week off on an intellectual note and so we kick start our intellectual capacity at Proof.
And just because we’re brave, we’re going to order a round of Smoking Jackets – only the truly intellectual can handle a Laphroaig cocktail!
Betty Lou’s it is – but make sure to reserve a table and because it’s Tuesday, your reservation can be for the full evening.
Enjoy stepping back in time to a place where quality is appreciated. On a side note, lose the hoodies, it’s the 1920s after all – dress for the occasion!
As we said, Wednesdays are our new favorite day of the week and yes, we’re heading off to Greta’s for all-day happy hour and to make sure no one has beaten our Pac-Man score!
Milk Tiger is the ideal Thursday spot. A helping of Green Gumbo Clams and a Corpse Reviver – what else do you need?
It has to be Fire n Ice, it’s Friday night after all! It’s time for a sensory overload and an all-night party. A few shooters and a pumping dance floor are all that we need. And if that’s not working for you, head over to the Blind Beggar Smokehouse & Bar, the live bands there never disappoint.
Head to the “uncommon bar for common people”. There you can find an all-night party in the ultra-cool and trendy Commonwealth Bar and Stage where the drinks flow freely, and the dancing never stops.
Broken City is a great pick for those laid-back Calgary nightlife Sunday evenings. Sit back and relax with a draft in hand, a plate of chicken wings in front of you, and live music in the background. But we are going to issue a warning, those relaxed Sunday nights can easily get out of hand!