Alright, let's be honest here. National is a great place to go for a beer and have some bomb chicken nuggets while you're at it. Some people say to never mess with a good thing like that, but hey, what's stopping you from exploring someplace new? Who knows, maybe you'll even find a new favourite? I know I did.
If you're tired of doing the same old same old every Thursday night at 5 pm when you get off work and your friends want to go have a brew, why not suggest trying out one of these UNREAL spots instead? You know what Robert Frost said: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by [by getting a drink at somewhere other than National], and that has made all the difference." I swear, that's what he said. Anyways, here's 9 of the coolest hidden drink spots in Calgary that you need to try out ASAP:
Where: 524 17 Ave SW #102
If you're looking to get some bougie cocktails, this is definitely the place to head. They serve up some intensely cool drinks, ranging from drinks that are on fire to drinks that have meals served on top of them!
2. Cold Garden Beverage Company
Where: 1100 11 St SE
This dog-friendly Calgary craft brewery definitely has the coolest vibes. Set in an old warehouse, you'll be entertained for hours just looking around at all the cool things and nick nacks that are around! Did I mention there are dogs?
3. The Blues Can
Where: 1429 9 Ave SE
This popular Inglewood watering hole has a casual vibe that is perfect for unwinding after a long day. The live music and dancing here are unparalleled, and there are people of all ages taking it all in!
4. Hop In Brew
Where: 213 12 Ave SW
If it weren't for the giant "PUB" sign, you would think this was just a beautiful old home. This place has a cozy and casual vibe and is super unique. Definitely a place to check out on a cooler or rainier night!
5. Oak Tree Lounge
Where: 124 10 St NW
This dog-friendly patio is the perfect place to grab drinks on a sunny summer day. The graffiti walls and shaded deck offer the perfect vibe for a laid-back and fun atmosphere.
6. Betty Lou's Library
Where: The Devenish Building, 908 17 Ave SW
Looking for a bit of an adventure? This Calgary speakeasy is hidden behind a bookcase door. Once inside, you will be transported back into the 1920's. Dress up and have a night to remember at this place!
7. Tropical YYC
Where: 1424 17 Ave SW
If you're in need of a vacation, skip the expensive airfare and be transported to the tropics at this Calgary bar. They serve margaritas bigger than your head, which is kind of necessary after a long week of work tbh.
8. Sub Rosa
Where: 200 8 Ave SW
Only open Fridays and Saturdays, this underground lounge is hidden underneath the Heritage Building on the corner of 1st St. and Stephen Ave. Look for the neon triangle!
9. Last Best Brewing Company
Where: 607 11 Ave SW
This craft brewery has the cutest little patio to enjoy your brew, and they also have amazing food. Perfect for an after-work drink and dinner with co-workers or friends!