Bigger is better and more is merrier! When it comes to spending a night (or day) on the town, more often than not you’ll probably find yourself on The Red Mile. The downside? Well, once you’re there, it can be pretty tough to pick a single place to go. This summer, instead of having to confront your commitment issues, why not hit more than one of the strip’s best pubs, bars, and dives? We hope you wore a comfortable pair of shoes, Calgary because here is your ultimate 17th Avenue bar crawl checklist!
A 17th Avenue staple, Calgary’s Ship and Anchor is an obligatory stop on every inner-city pub hop. Here, not only can you set the tone for the evening you can also sink your teeth into a hardy meal before heading west. A good night starts with a good meal, friends! It’s important that you set yourself up for success.
Where: 534 17 Ave SW, Calgary
So… The Ship got a tad busy and the crew wanted to head out. We get that after an entire meal and a beer or two you might not be ready to walk a long distance so, why not take a beat, but keep ‘er rolling by just heading next door to National for a patio hang while your food settles. Heck, maybe this is where you start your evening – the best part about 17th Avenue is that you can choose your own adventure.
Where: 550 17 Avenue SW, Calgary
The Living Room is one of 17th Ave’s older standbys for great food and an intimate setting, but if you’re enjoying a day of debauchery on the Red Mile, there’s a certain drink here you should be having at least one of to ensure that you’ve got enough gas in the tank to keep the day going. It’s called a ‘Shaft’, and it was invented at this exact restaurant. It’s Kahlua, skim milk, and espresso, combined into a tumbler-sized serving and intended to be taken like a shot. Pro tip: use the straw for full effect.
Where: 514 17 Ave SW
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Now that you’ve been fed and you’ve had some time to digest you’re ready to move things along. Though it may be just across the street, PinBar is a killer place to set the mood. It’s loud, social, the drinks are good and its many arcade games promote healthy competition. Loser buys the next round!
Where: 501 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
A personal favourite, One Night Stans is one of 17th’s liveliest stops. While you’re still sober enough to do so, put your dexterity to the test over Drunk Jenga or Connect 4 before heading to your next destination. This place is fun, loud, the crowd is usually toppers and the sips are primo.
Where: 520 17 Ave SW, Calgary
A good time doesn’t and shouldn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg! Now that you’re a few bars in, it’s not a bad idea to start drinking the cheap stuff. Luckily, at Chemical Steve’s, everything on the menu is $6 or less – because there’s nothing like being able to drink more, and cry less the next morning when you look at your credit card statement!
Where: 718 17th Avenue SW
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You could use a snack! At Trolley 5 Brewpub a cool, casual spot where they actually brew their own beer, take your time, get some fresh air and enjoy (another) cold beer over some fries or a plate of nachos or something. As we said before, it’s important to keep that stomach lined, friends. Nobody likes the alternative.
Where: 728 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
And now, if you’ve got enough gas in the tank, this bar crawl can turn into a serious fiesta. Kicking things off at Blanco, all you have to do is stumble across the street from Trolley 5 and sit yourself down for some spicy margs and tequila. In fact, Blanco offers one of the best happy hours in the city, offering half-priced tacos and tequila along with $6 margs and select beer from 3-5 PM and 9 PM – close every day!
Where: 723 17 Ave SW
Now that you’re legs are feeling pretty warm, you’re likely feeling a bit reckless… What do drunk people do when they’re feeling reckless? They order tequila! Chilitos is an intimate restaurant, but they make up for the lack of square footage with the size of their insane selection of Anejo! In addition to just having a great drink selection, the restaurant itself is also just really colourful, cold and it’s pretty affordable!
Where: 1309 17 Ave SW, Calgary
Last stop? Where else but Tropical! With dancing, larger than your head margaritas and friendly staff, this small 17th Ave bar is a great way to tie up a great night… or to kick one off! As one of the last bars on 17th Ave west, it’s also not a bad place to begin a wild evening before heading back the other way. It’s all up to you, folks!
Where: 1424 17 Ave SW, Calgary,
Whew, so there you have it! The ultimate 17th Avenue bar crawl checklist! Please remember that if you try to conquer it all in its entirety do so safely – Drink water, eat well, and pace yourselves!