By Dan Leahul
Just a stone’s throw away from the nightly bustle of 17th Avenue SW, Mission is one of Calgary’s oldest and most stately neighbourhoods. Shoppers will revel in some of the city’s most eclectic and high-end boutiques, while a number of Calgary’s best markets, restaurants and wine cellars—with enough variety to match any budget—reside along Mission’s main drag, 4th Street SW.
Offering a range of beauty products in a variety of “flavours,” from ruby red grapefruit to coconut lime, as well as nail, pedicure and waxing services, Frilly Lilly boutique is a must-stop for the indulgently inclined. Make sure to pick up a chocolate fudge bath cake, which looks good enough to eat (2105 – 4 St SW). Coco+Violet is a high-end boutique carrying the latest in ready-to-wear designer fashions and accessories, like Winter Kate cardigans and Siwy cargos (2500 – 4 St SW). Genealogy offers all things denim for women, men and children, with brands Naked & Famous and James Jeans (2500 – 4 St SW).
Men in Mission aren’t left out of haute couture shopping either. Henry offers premium denim products and high-end streetwear like Nudie Jeans, Acne sweaters and Swedish outdoor brand Fjallraven (2115 – 4 St SW). Down the block, Rumours sells hard-to-find high-top Nike sneakers, as well as imported graphic T-shirts, hoodies and accessories (1905 – 4 St SW).
For a new angle on an old staple, head to Le Chien Chaud, Calgary’s gourmet hotdog emporium, and try the Chilean Completo Dog, with rich and creamy guacamole, mayo, tomato, fiery Aji sauce and fresh cilantro (2015 – 4 St SW). On the other hand, Burger Inn offers huge hamburgers in a variety of meat styles, from free-range elk to ostrich. Or try the plain beef burger, paired nicely with a root beer milkshake (1711 – 4 St SW).
Those seeking a little bit of Zen are well suited at Lululemon’s Calgary anchor store, selling a range of sublimely comfortable bottoms and tops, suitable for downward dogs or walking the dog (1708 – 4 St SW). Break in the new digs next door at Yoga Santosha, which offers a roster of competent instructors and a variety of class styles and formats, for beginners and old pros (1800 – 4 St SW).
The inspired design staff at Marlow Floralworks create cutting-edge floral arrangements, including European hand-tied bouquets, made from imported flowers from around the world (2101 – 4 St SW). Afterwards, head to Masters Gallery to ponder over a selection of painted works, including historically significant pieces from Group of Seven artists, as well as pieces by contemporary painters and sculptors (2115 – 4 St SW).
Mercato’s Italian market houses a deli, offers take-away meals, specialty sauces, fresh produce, groceries and pasta, as well as finely crafted espresso. Mercato has an open-kitchen concept restaurant too, allowing customers to sit at the counter and chat with chefs as they prepare meals (2224 – 4 St SW). Inside a quaint yellow house off 4th Street, Yann Haute Patesserie creates sinfully sweet macarons: delicate and colourful almond-based meringues surrounding a variety of tasty fillings, from rose and lychee to salted caramel and apple (329 – 23 Ave SW). A perfect way to cap off a busy day is lounging with a glass of wine at the intimate and elegant Vin Room, which boasts more than 200 wines by the bottle and a creative tapas
menu (2310 – 4th St SW).