Vintage Caffeine Co.

It seems like more and more we end down in the Kensington area for coffee or for a meal. The area is filled with cool eateries, cool coffee shops and Vintage Caffeine Co. is another one worth checking out. It is located on the corner of 19 Street and Kensington Road NW. Vintage has only been open for about 4 months now.

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The decor is very modern with a vintage vibe and very clean lines. They have some really cool tables with wood stools that look like they were made out of tree stumps. From what I have read this long high table is there to encourage a more european way of drinking coffee (standing up). They also have some metal chairs that don’t look to comfortable but they actually are. The shop has a few tables outside for those who would prefer to sit in the sun.

Both of the ladies working this morning were very friendly and made the place inviting.
Today we ordered the London Fog (earl grey tea, milk and vanilla syrup) and a Spanish Latte (a latte with condensed milk). The condensed milk makes the drink very creamy and rich. Today both drinks were very good. Coffee is supplied by Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters. My Spanish latte had some coffee art in the glass which is always a cool touch.

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We also ordered an Almond Croissant and an Apple Croissant. The almond croissant was kind of dry but still tasty. The apple croissant was moist and very flaky. My wife was told that they currently get their baked goods from a few different bakeries. They had a pretty good selection of baked goods as well as I also noticed they serve panini’s.

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Monogram Coffee

On Friday, we headed to Altadore and check out Monogram Coffee. This location is not a very big place but is very bright with really big windows and has a really cool vibe to it. They had a pretty big area outside with a bunch of seating. As soon as we entered the shop we were approached by a staff member carrying an IPAD (pretty cool) and asked what we would like to order. All the staff we talked to were very friendly and very attentive to the people waiting in line. Keep up the good job.


We noticed there was no menu posted any where. At that point in time, the one girl handed us a menu. It was small in size but had several pages of choices. Once we got to the till to pay we noticed the drink specials.

They had a cabinet with some baked goods in it. There was minimal selection.
We ordered a couple of cold drinks today as it was extremely hot out today. The drinks we ordered were a Iced chai latte (refreshing but a little strong for my wife’s liking) and I ordered a Iced condensed milk latte (my drink was very smooth and very refreshing). Sorry no pictures of the drinks as it was hot and we started drinking them right away.

I have recently read that Monogram has opened a shop in Downtown Calgary. I haven’t been there yet, the shop sounds like it very big, bright and very open.

The other thing I noticed is that they offer a service where Monogram will come to your house and teach you how to make your favourite beverages and how to do coffee art.

Communitea Cafe

This place was recommended to us by our server at the Hogshead. I was originally going to go to another place but was told to try this place first. We would not be disappointed. Communitea is about 2 blocks off of Main Street.

As we entered the place it was lined up with people waiting to order food. No menu up where more can read it. There is no menu up on a wall where you could browse before ordering. The menus are printed on 8 x 11 laminated paper, so everybody has to come up to grab one and read it before you get to the counter. The food menu is full of healthy choices. We bypassed the line as we were only ordering drinks today. The staff were friendly to deal with.

The walls on the inside of the cafe, were basically all white. On those white walls, they have a ton of cool artwork. They also have an area for kids to play, which seemed to be a hit with the kids I seen.

We had the London Fog and the Maple Latte. The maple latte was actually really good, as it had only a hint of maple flavouring and was not over powering. Service was pretty quick. They brought our drinks out to us on the patio.

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As the name of the place mentions, CommuniTEA, they sell a lot of tea, on the wall behind the baristas they have canisters of assorted teas as well as accessories to be sold to tea lovers. My daughter would love this place as she is a huge tea lover.

We sat out on the patio which stretches around the front of the shop. I cannot believe how many people have dogs in Canmore, they were everywhere! Water bowls were outside most of the businesses as well.

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Hogshead

Today we were off to Canmore on a road trip searching for a great caffeinated beverage. Before we went looking for a beverage, we decided to stop by Hogshead for some lunch. This is not your typical burger and beer joint. They offer a good selection of craft beers and gourmet burgers featuring elk, bison rabbit and beef.

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Hogshead is located on Main Street, it is a small place known for it’s Wild Boar Meatloaf Sandwich. I decided to order the fish & chips only because they were serving halibut and my wife went with the wild boar sandwich. It had mushrooms that is why I did not order it. The fish and chips were really good and the wild boar meatloaf sandwich was excellent, I wish I had ordered it but the mushrooms scared me. After seeing and tasting it, it was excellent. The meat was moist and the red wine demi glaze they served on it was also excellent. Scratch having wild boar of my wife’s to do list.

As we sat on the patio we had numerous people stop and ask how the food was. A couple of times I stopped eating and looked up only to find a person staring at me, and then ask how it is. The people walking around were all very friendly.

We did have one casualty during our time at Hogshead, a water glass was harmed during the making of this blog. Tables on the existing patio were very wobbly and while I was moving I took out the water glass, it could not be saved. They do have a new patio getting ready to open, just waiting for the furniture.

I want to apologize, I forgot to take a pictures of our meals. I also want to say the food was excellent. I think next time we are in Canmore, I would go back and try the Elk Burger. This was another local favourite.
Our server was very personable and very outgoing. She asked what are plans were for the rest of the day and I told her we was going for a caffeinated beverage. I told her where we was going and she said to try a different place. She also said that if we weren’t satisfied with her choice, we were told to come back and she would give us a free coffee at the Hogshead. She also pointed us in the right direction and we were off.

Higher Ground Cafe

After trying a number of coffee places in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, Vancouver and Canmore, this is one of my favourites for coffee dates with my wife. After having dinner at Lot 102, we decided we would stop into Higher Ground and have a little dessert and a beverage.

The barista was very friendly and helpful. This is our second time here and the service has been really good both times. Higher Ground has a cool eclectic feel to the place. We sat over by one of the front windows and people watched. Looking around Higher Ground, in one corner there was a couple of guys playing some sort of dice game and in a another corner a couple seemed to be working on some sort of project together. As we stared out the window, more people running around catching the Pokemon. It was quite entertaining watching the people cruise by with phones in hand and looking around.

My wife ordered the London Fog and I ordered the Great Divide (expresso, hot chocolate, Raspberry and chocolate whipped cream), it seemed interesting and I would definitely recommend you try this. What was really great is that the raspberry flavour was the same at the top of the drink as it was at the bottom of the drink. It was excellent. My wife is not a coffee drinker but she even tried this and said she will be ordering this on our next visit.

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For dessert we ordered the grilled banana bread and a piece of the carrot cake. I have eaten in my day about 200 pieces of Starbucks banana bread, but it does not even compare to the grilled banana bread at Higher Ground. It is excellent. It is grilled to perfection, it’s crazy but there is actual grill marks on the banana bread. The spread that comes with it just adds to the flavour, it is a cinnamon, sugar spread. The layered carrot cake was moist and had a cream cheese icing. So good.

Higher Ground Cafe is a must go to when you want a coffee or whatever beverage you are into. It is a very popular place with a lot of folks and not necessarily just for the locals. At 10pm there was a line up in Higher Ground, which I found crazy. Higher Ground is open until 11pm on most nights and until 12am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Lot #102

Located on the NE corner of Memorial Drive and 10 Street NW. This place has been a number of different restaurants in the past. I have see it a number of times as we have driven by and thought we should go and check it out. So last night we did. Parking down in Kensington is always a struggle, so you just have to be patient, you will eventually find something.

We walked into Lot 102, not sure what kind of food they had, but checking out new places is always a risk. Tonight we were not disappointed.

For our evenings entertainment, we were able to watch a few guys surfing on the Bow River which was pretty cool. We also seen hoards of people, and I mean hoards of them walking by trying to catch Pokemon.

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The views of downtown are terrific.

Our server was also excellent to deal with, very friendly.

We both had a crispy chicken sandwich, it had asiago mayo, bacon and a fennel apple slaw on it. Sandwiches we excellent. We also ordered the house cut fries and an order of their onion rings. The fries were the skinny fries and were pretty good. I was expecting a thicker fry. The onion rings were made out of red onion and were excellent as well. The food was well presented and didn’t take very long to get.

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Overall, this is a pretty good place and would not hesitate to recommend it to everyone, I will be back and try something else. If I hadn’t had a burger for lunch, I would have went with the burger, because the choices sounded amazing. I would also like to try the Rosemary Lemon Fries.

Friends Cappuccino Bar & Bake Shop

Friends is located in Edgemont in Calgary’s NW.

When we first showed up I was a little concerned as to what I may find on the inside as the outside of the building looks a little run down. The place is in need of a fresh coat of paint. Once you enter Friends, the decor has a country flair with a hint of industrial. There is a three sided fireplace, and over in the corner they a couple of old spindle rocking chairs just like grandma used to have. The atmosphere is a friendly and cozy with all the different seating arrangements including a couch in front of the fireplace.

We somehow managed to receive our food before we received our drinks which seemed rather odd.

We ordered a couple of sandwiches, one was the “Breakfast Bob” (grilled cheese, ham, onion, tomato and a fried egg) and the other was “The One with Strawberries” (smoked turkey, brie, strawberries, lettuce and tomatoes). Both sandwiches were really good and were loaded up. Not cheap with the ingredients.

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As you tell from the menu, they have a lot of food options there for you to choose from. We let a few people go ahead of us as it took us some time to read through the menu. In looking at the menu, the prices are quite reasonable. Pretty comparable to most shops out there.

Our drink order was a London Fog and a Flat White. Then I said to the lady who brought out our drinks ” Excuse me miss but I ordered the large flat white.” Ha ha
Holy cow look at the size of that thing. It’s huge. I really struggled to finish it.

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Friends seems more like a place that the community locals go to as it is kind of out of the way. I have wanted to check this place out for quite a while now but because they have very limited hours during the week, it makes it tough. They close at 5pm from Monday to Saturday and at 4pm on Sunday’s. I do wish they were open later, because sometimes after dinner a guy just feels like getting a beverage.

The coffee shop is a friendlier place to sit around, as you could probably start up a conversation with anybody in the place. On Sunday, Friends was a very busy place. The clientele was a more mature crowd.

They also sell small gifts, cards and coffee at the front of the shop. Unfortunately no wifi.

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