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The "Secret" Behind Calgary's Best Happy Hour

by The Six Foot Canasian


The Mission

Happy Hour is (without a shadow of a doubt) the best part of any work day!

It's been a long week and, as 3:30pm rolls around, we start to look more intently at the clock on our phones waiting for ... HAPPY HOUR (the magical period of time, typically on weekdays in the late afternoon, where local restaurants, bars, and lounges offer "economically appealing" prices on various alcoholic drinks and food items)! Regardless of where you go, it can be the perfect destination location for friends and family to get together for delicious food, satisfying beverages and good times at the end of a long day! Although there are lots of Happy Hour options in Calgary to choose from, there are a handful of establishments that seem to really understand the "secret" to attracting people time and time again:

  • A welcoming atmosphere and ultra cool vibe.
  • Delicious, well-prepared food (made with quality ingredients).
  • Beer, wine and spirits that aim to please (i.e., high quality brands and never watered down)
  • Amazing people delivering top notch service.
  • A place that cultivates memories and having LOTS OF FUN!

Four restaurants that I've frequented time and time again (at the recommendation of others) include: AñejoBLANCO CantinaDouble Zero, and The Mission.

Añejo

Since it opened its doors in 2012, Añejo has been a destination location for people looking for fresh ingredients, bold flavours and authentic fare, inspired from the Mexican province of Jalisco. Signature dishes and libations include their Fresh Ceviche, Tacos Classico (Beef Short Rib, Adobo Pork, Crispy Snapper, Chicken, Wild Boar and Mushroom), Para la Mesa Guacamole and handcrafted margaritas (Classic, Mango, Chili Coconut, Cucumber Cilantro, Mezcalarita, Cadillac and more)! In addition, Añejo offers the most extensive list of tequilas (Blanco, Reposado,  Añejo, and Extra Añejo) in all of Canada, with over 200 varieties to choose from. Six Foot Canasian favourites include ... practically EVERYTHING on the menu!

JOIN THEM FOR HAPPY HOUR: Añejo offers "Halfy Hour" from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, seven days a week, where you can get half price on all tequilas and tacos and $5 margaritas and beers.

BLANCO Cantina

Unlike it's older brother, Añejo on 4th Street SW, BLANCO Cantina earned its way onto this list with its Tex-Mex inspired menu ... and hefty American-sized portions! Open in the fall of 2015, formerly Brava Bistro, this restaurant reminds me of an episode of Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" ... bright and lively decor, neon signs, and urban-inspired accents ... not to mention the best nachos in the city, "fill your belly" burritos, and a Queso Compuesto that will have you buckling at the knees! If food is not your focus, they also offer 50 different types of rum and a selection of 50 tequilas to tackle. They have BLANCO Pale Ale and Lager (in partnership with Granville Island Brewing) on tap and their signature slushy margaritas are definitely worth the trip down 17th Avenue SW!

JOIN THEM FOR HAPPY HOUR: BLANCO Cantina also offers "Halfy Hour" from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, seven days a week, and includes half price tacos, nachos, all tequilas and rum, and $5 margaritas and beers on tap (including the Mexican bottled varieties).

Double Zero Pizza

With two locations to serve Calgarians, downtown and Chinook Centre, Double Zero has changed the way people perceive (and enjoy) authentic Neapolitan thin-crust pizza. Inspired by the fresh flavours of Italy, using the finest flour in the world (i.e., "00"), and accessing the freshest local ingredients, this restaurant offers a simple menu with big, bold flavours that never disappoint! Modestly-sized portions of food are perfect for sharing and getting together a crowd of people ... all grinning from ear to ear! Six Foot Canasian favourites include: Calamari, Risotto Fritti, Marinated Local Beets, Papperdelle con Funghi and the Formaggio Finale pizza.

JOIN THEM FOR HAPPY HOUR: Double Zero offers a "5 Dollar Happy Hour" from 3:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday to Friday, where you can get bar snacks (decent sized portions), wine and beer for just $5 each.

The Mission

Although it has only been open since December of 2015, The Mission (located across the street from its cousin, Añejo, on 4th Street SW) is already turning heads and making a name for itself! With an "urban sexy" feel and an internationally-inspired menu, the food is both approachable and delectable and the bar offers sultry libations that will not disappoint. On the menu you'll find local favourites, international fare and Asian inspired dishes, including their signature "High Five" Satay Skewers (combination of chicken, beef, prawn, pork, and mushroom/eggplant skewers served over sushi rice). In addition, The Mission serves up live music on Thursday nights and feature the spinning styles of local DJs on Friday and Saturday evenings.

JOIN THEM FOR HAPPY HOUR: The Mission offers "Happy Hour" from 3:00pm to 6:00pm, seven days a week, and includes $5 cocktails (1 oz), wine (6 oz.) and pints of beer, and snacks at "Happy Hour" prices (i.e., $2 Oysters, $5 Shishito, $5 Brussels Sprouts, $4 Pork Tacos, $10 Chicken Wings and $16 Petit Charcuterie).

All Hail the Kings of Happy Hour

WAIT!!! Looking at this list, I've come to realize that three of the four restaurants come from the same heritage ... led by owners Jeff Hines and Patrick Hill. These two owners are the common thread amongst a tight knit collection of restaurants, each located within walking distance of one another along 4th Street SW and 17th Avenue SW (i.e., Livingroom, Añejo, BLANCO Cantina and The Mission). Because of the dedication of their teams to serving Calgarians with pride and integrity, each restaurant lives and breathes "service" and never disappoints:

  • The right atmosphere.
  • Delicious, well-prepared food.
  • Beer, wine and spirits that fail to disappoint.
  • Incredible service.
  • Memorable experiences.

CHEERS!!

If you would like to check out some of the pictures of food at each of the listed restaurants, visit our social media using the icons at the top of the page.

(This post was originally published on www.sixfootcanasian.com on February 25, 2016)

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