Just a short drive from Calgary’s busting downtown core you’ll find Inglewood, which centers around 9th Avenue SE, between 10th and 14th Streets SE. All along this strip you’ll find unique stores, galleries, and places to eat and drink, housed in a charming mix of old buildings, with vintage signage to match. If you have a couple of hours to spare, be sure to head over to Inglewood so you can see a different side of the city. Here are 5 good reasons to go there (but once you explore, you’ll find plenty more): 

1) Knifewear, the Japanese knife store

If you cook at home, then you’ll be mesmerized at the very cool selection of Japanese knives on sale at this store. Not only practical (and very, very sharp), the knives are also beautiful. Be prepared to drop a couple of hundred dollars on one of their knives, or less on the old-fashioned wet shave equipment imported from London, and various other cool cooking supplies and books. 

2) DaDe Art Gallery and Design Lab

This huge space is filled with gorgeous objects that you’ll want to take home with you; everything from oriental rugs, designer furniture, art pieces, and sculptures. The front of Dade is an exhibition space, where the art changes every six weeks, and you’ll see co-owner Darcy Lundgren’s drawing table set up right there with whatever architectural plans he is working on too. 

3) Choklat

As soon as you open the door to this little store the chocolate smell hits you and immediately makes you want to buy as much of their handmade chocolate as you can afford. Everything here is delicious (especially their hot chocolate topped with blue whipped cream), and extra special because everything is made from scratch, as in they buy the cocoa beans and roast them themselves before turning them into yummy chocolate. 

4) Frosst Books

From the outside, Frosst books looks like an abandoned building, but you go inside and it is small and neat, and filled with art, design and architecture books. Also, there are drawings and prints from local artists, so you may find something interesting to take home with you if the idea of lugging books in your suitcase doesn’t appeal. 

5) Jacqueline Suzanne’s Bistro and Antique Store

Housed in a heritage building and full of antiques (some of which are for sale), this fine dining restaurant is a locals favorite, and once you eat there you can see why. The ambiance is great, and the menu is interesting (Alberta beef heavy, but there are also interesting dishes like salmon poached in Sake).