The 10 Best Bars In Calgary, Canada

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Calgary, Alberta, Canada | © John Elk III / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Paige Watts
1 August 2018

From Mediterranean themes to distilleries to beer and barber shop combinations, Calgary’s bar scene will keep you on your toes. Read on for our round-up of the best bars Calgary has to offer.

Last Best Brewing & Distilling

Last Best Brewing & Distilling is all about beer and beer culture. They make delicious and fresh in-house beers that reflect the Calgary community and culture, including Show Pony Ale, Last Best IPA, and Dirty Bird Black Lager. Last Best also has spirits and a creative signature cocktail list. You can enjoy your drinks on the wonderful outdoor patio or alongside a dish of pub favorites from their menu. Join them on the first Wednesday of every month for the Last Best social club, which is filled with beer tasting and discussions.


Cannibale is the place to go to if you want a stylish bar with cocktails, fine spirits, wine, craft beer, and good food. Cannibale is also the place to go if you want all of this plus a haircut and a hot shave. This functioning bar and barber shop offers a small patio and a cozy interior. Their cocktail list is divided into pre-prohibition, post-prohibition, tiki, revivals, and original cocktails. This unique bar is unlike any other in Calgary.

The James Joyce Pub

The James Joyce Pub is an authentic Irish pub owned and operated by the Irish-born Currans. Dedicated to the Irish author James Joyce, and decorated with pieces of Irish memorabilia from the Currans’ family history, they have created a traditional Irish pub ambiance in downtown Calgary in which to enjoy the perfect pint. The James Joyce offers an extensive menu of beers, whiskeys, spirits, and cocktails and can fulfil the promise of pouring the perfect pint of Guinness.

Barcelona Tavern

The Mediterranean-themed Barcelona Tavern is known for global beer selection, cocktail menu, and liters of sangria. Their gin and tonic menu is more extensive than most, offering fruit selections such as zesty orange, blueberry basil, and grapefruit and sage. Barcelona Tavern’s decor is funky with brightly colored graffiti art on the walls, bright orange accents, large colorful glass vases in the windows, and plenty of space spread out over two levels. Barcelona Tavern brings a little Spanish Mediterranean flair to downtown Calgary.

Milk Tiger Lounge

Milk Tiger Lounge is a trendy little space that offers artisanal mixed drinks. The lounge also offers beers and wines, but their mastery of specialty cocktails is what they are known for. Milk Tiger also offers a small menu of late-night snacks. Tucked away, the small venue does not even display their name on the front of the building, but just a small white tiger in the corner of the awning and an outdoor patio area. Inside, you’ll find the most talked about cocktails in the city.

Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall

Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall is Calgary’s iconic western bar. Ranchman’s features a dance floor, stage, and a mechanical bull. Walking through the bar is like entering a museum of rodeo memorabilia and photographs. For the true western experience, Ranchman’s offers dance lessons for swing dancing, two step, double shuffle, and line dancing. They also offer special events like a ‘bachelor in paradise meet-and-greet’ and live music. The bar is at its peak during the Calgary stampede, naturally.

Nanta Karaoke and Bar

In the tradition of karaoke bars, Nanta Karaoke and Bar gives you the luxury of being able to toss a few drinks back before you get on stage and make a complete fool of yourself trying to sing along to a Britney Spears song. You can hop up on the main stage or you can opt for one of the private rooms that are individually named after famous cities. The songs come in multiple languages, so everyone can have a go.

Hop In Brew Pub

Located in what was once someone’s beautiful home in Victoria Park, Hop In Brew Pub has that dive bar vibe that makes you feel as if you were at a college house party. The bar has a wide selection of beers to choose from and pizzas that are raved about. There is seating available on both levels as well as a balcony and pool tables upstairs. Have a seat on the patio out front and feel as if you were having a beer at your friend’s house.

The Ship & Anchor

The Ship & Anchor’s website proclaims that, ‘If a pub could drunkenly hug you this one would,’ and if that isn’t endearing to you, then what is? Home to Calgary’s rock-and-roll crowd, The Ship & Anchor offers live soccer on TV, punk rock bingo, live music, and the occasional DJ spinning vinyls, soul, and R&B. The pub’s menu offers a wide variety of local brews and imported ales as well as traditional pub fare.

Kensington Pub

Kensington Pub is a homely, comfortable tavern modelled after a traditional British pub. The exterior is a Tudor-style building with brick walls covered in green vines and a sign featuring the loving face of its English bulldog mascot, Bufford, with a stylish red hat perched atop his head. Kensington Pub offers a long list of cocktails, wines, spirits, and beers, including the English-style Honker’s Ale bitter beer and British Columbia’s Granville Island IPA. The staff will make you feel right at home in this laid-back tavern.

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