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8 Speakeasies Every Calgarian Must Try & One Bar Is Hidden Behind A Barber Shop

The best watering holes in Stampede City!

Two women drinking at Betty Lou's Library. Right: A chair at Cannibale Barber Shop.

Two women drinking at Betty Lou's Library. Right: A chair at Cannibale Barber Shop.

Staff Writer

Every major city has its hidden bar gems and retro-style watering holes, and Calgary is no exception. When it comes to indulging in delicious cocktails in the best iconic local bars, Stampede City offers a decent list of cozy spots to get wild at. From hidden passageways to one-of-a-kind alcoholic beverages, you won’t find adult drinking institutions quite like those in Cowtown anywhere else.

Plus, those spots are perfect for a night of fun with your crew, including dinner and sprinkled with tasty drinks, so you can make the most of your free time and never blank on what to do in Calgary.

Whether you are new to the Albertan metropolis or are just a local looking for a new spot to quench your thirst, these speakeasies should totally be on your list. All nine of these bars are a great way to explore the city and maybe try a little something different from your standard bottom-shelf gin and tonic or Cuba libre.

Between amazing eats and legendary cocktails and wine lists, these crafty bars have it all to make you feel special in a Progibition-era fashion. Some of these places are so magical and unique that it's an experience to just be in the room — if you even manage to find it!

Grab your friends and pick a couple of speakeasies on this list to hit up on your next big weekend out. It's basically a build-your-own bar crawl. Once you try these places, you’ll be amazed at how you ever went to a normal drinking hole before. Just remember to drink responsibly and always plan a safe ride home, so you can make the most of your night out without a worry in mind.


Address: 1210 1 St. S.W., Calgary, AB

Why You Need To Go: This bar effortlessly combines pre-prohibition style cocktails with modern mixology techniques and knowledge. The decor made up of gas masks and a few thousand lightbulbs, as well as the extensive menu will have you wondering why you never visited earlier.

Sub Rosa

Address: 200 8 Ave. S.W., Calgary, AB

Why You Need To Go: Between wicked private events and iconic cocktails on open nights, this place has it all. Not to mention the decor is everything. Get your camera ready you’ll be Instagramming all night.


Address: 616 17 Ave. S.W., Calgary, AB

Why You Need To Go: Frenchie Wine Bar is an adorably quaint local spot right beside the well-known UNA Pizza and Wine restaurant. This cute establishment has some iconic house cocktails that you won't get anywhere else, on top of delicious daily specials on both drinks and food items, happy hours, and a farm-to-table philosophy.

With ingredients like earl grey syrup, passionfruit, and yellow chartreuse in your glass, there is no way you'd prefer to drink your regular screwdriver in this 38-seat intimate setting.

Milk Tiger Lounge

Address: 1410 4 St SW, Calgary AB

Why You Need To Go: This bar has some awesome bites but is really known for its cocktail list. With over 30 classic or reinvented cocktails such as manhattan, bramble or espresso martini, you will want to stay for a bit and send your palate on a wild ride.

While you’re there, grab one of their vegan beet tartare or indulge in their chocolate chartreuse popsicle to pair with your liquid courage.


Address: 813 1 Ave. N.E., Calgary, AB

Why You Need To Go: Get ready to add a pop of colour and fun into your life when you step foot into Cannibale. Their food and drinks will satisfy your longing for flavour and you'll be pleasantly surprised by the garnishes.

Not to mention the chic and modern layout of the bar, well hidden behind a barber shop, is the perfect place to spend a night out with your crew or loved one.

Bar Annabelle

Address: 109A 8 Ave. S.W., Calgary, AB

Why You Need To Go: Known for their wine, Japanese whisky and tasty tapas, Bar Annabelle is the perfect place to spend time with your friends.

While the intimate, warm-lit atmosphere filled with onyx decor and old records will set the ambiance for a night of fancy wine tasting, you might find yourself unable to choose from their lengthy list of delectable drinks, with ordering multiple drinks as the only solution in sight.

The Tea House

Address: 1213 1 St. S.W., Calgary, AB

Why You Need To Go: The red, Japanese-inspired decor at Tea House pairs perfectly with the drool-worthy menu and delicious cocktails. With unusual bar ingredients such as green tea and bay leaf, you'll enter a new world of flavour.

Oh, and did we mention there are always cool events here?

Betty Lou's Library

Address: The Devenish Building, 908 17 Ave. S.W., Calgary, AB

Why You Need To Go: Betty Lou's Library is open of those Calgary hidden bars will make you feel like you’re entering into the Great Gatsby. To go in, you will literally have to enter through a secret door behind a bookshelf.

Once in, you'll get to enjoy a otherworldly atmosphere filled with tasty cocktails named after great women of history and a gorgeous library decor. Feeling peckish? Good thing the place offers baked goods from the local Black Sheep Bakery.

Make sure you read the house rules and RSVP in advance so you know the password before getting there and get your groove on.

This article has been updated since its original publication on October 10, 2019.

Narcity does not condone the overconsumption of alcohol. If you're going to drink alcohol, please do so responsibly and only if you're of legal age.

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