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Where to get your patio on during Stampede (rain or shine)


King Eddy

You’re sun deprived and need to make the most of any break in the weather with a cold drink and a seat on a patio, so here’s the scoop. At Stampede Park, you’ve got a few options such as the outdoor section of Nashville North (no seating, but there’s music), Triple B (beer, mechanical bulls & BBQ with limited seating), and various beer corrals on the midway. The ultimate on-park drinking experience for any seasoned stampeder though has to be leaning against the infield fence during the chuckwagon races.

Everyone knows that it’s hotter on the grounds than elsewhere, so sometimes you need to cool down beyond what a beer can provide. A few blocks from the grounds, Hotel Arts has a chic licensed pool, open to the public after 11am. Also a few blocks from the grounds is Village Ice Cream, with some of the city’s best handmade cool treats for kids of all ages, and a bit of outdoor seating.

Let’s admit it, this year the weather sucks during Stampede, but there’s no need to suppress your patio desires. Bottlescrew Bill’s large covered patio is probably closer to the grounds than your parking spot. Downtown, Ki has a large covered patio, and Last Best Brewing has a skylight courtyard. In the ‘burbs Earls Westhills is notable for its great heated & enclosed patio…maybe hit it up on your way back from showing visiting relatives Kananaskis Country.

If Stampede Park is jammed and an adult beverage is required, you can check out nearby patios, by proximity: La Vita e Bella (upscale Italian, vino anyone?), Vagabond (modern beer bar), Ed’s Restaurant (traditional, pub grub), Loungeburger (duh). The newly re-opened King Eddy on Olympic Way will be a great live music venue, while their rooftop patio will be a prime viewing location for the nightly grandstand show fireworks, and no cover before 6pm. Slightly further afield treat yourself to one of the many South-facing patios on 17th Ave SW such as Model Milk (think craft cocktails, rosé, small plates), Bar C/Cilantro (cocktails, upscale seasonal fare), Cleaver (hip, contemporary Irish) or National on 17th (modern beerhall). In case you forgot the sunscreen, across the road there’s a patio at MiraKuru (because Japanese-Italian and $4 draft/wine from 2 to 7pm everyday).

If you need incentive to head out of downtown, Ranchman’s has Canada’s only pet-licensed patio. Ranchman’s Yappy Hour is Tuesday to Saturday starting at 4pm, check out for details on required canine vaccinations.

Stampeded out and want a surefire patio seat? Larger patios in town include Rooftop Bar at Simmons, National on 8th, and Molly Malone’s. Whether you’re into Stampede or not, just get your patio on! Check out the latest happenings on Twitter @YYCPatios, or check out the Calgary Patio Finder.

Paul Gordon
Paul & his wife Marika’s passions include travel, food, and volunteering. If they’re not on a patio in Calgary, you’ll find them learning to cook dalchis in Cape Town or amok in Cambodia. When not at their jobs in finance & medical research, you’ll see them volunteering with cultural and worthwhile organizations from the Calgary Stampede, Beakerhead, Calgary International Film Festival, Rotary, CIBC Run for the Cure, and more.